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Become one of the privileged few to say they have experienced this beautiful kingdom in this relatively untouched corner of the Himalayas.
Depart London Heathrow on your scheduled, overnight flight to Kathmandu, via Delhi.
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Patan, one of three royal cities in Kathmandu Valley. After an introductory meeting at the hotel with your guide, the afternoon will be at leisure to allow you to relax and take in your new surroundings. The group will reconvene in the evening to enjoy a welcome dinner together.
Following breakfast, your group will commence its first foray into Nepal's capital city. Kathmandu is not only the country's core in terms of trading and religion but is also known for the sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes which keep watch from the stupas and temples dotted amongst the chaotic jumble of buildings that spread across the valley. Begin with Boudhanath, the largest and holiest Buddhist stupa (a hemispherical shaped monument containing Buddhist relics) outside of Tibet. Continue on to the ancient religious complex of Swayambhunath, also known as Monkey Temple due to the families of macaques that live and roam around the grounds. After lunch your tour returns to Patan, a sprawling city which has almost merged with Kathmandu, separated only by the murky waters of the Bagmati River. Explore the enchanting melange of temples and former royal palaces of Durbar Square before concluding your day with a shopping trip in Thamel where you can barter for souvenirs or take a break to enjoy a sweet pastry from one of the local bakeries.
In the morning you will begin your drive to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur, arriving in time for lunch. With winding lanes, traditional Newari-style buildings and a community of farmers and traders, this beautiful town is seemingly untouched by modern life. Following a local lunch, venture into the heart of Bandipur to discover Bandipur Bazaar, an area of old shops, houses, temples and meeting places where you can appreciate the extraordinary view of the snow-clad Himalayan skyline.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Bandipur before journeying to Pokhara, the gateway to the peaks and valleys of the Annapurna mountain range. This sleepy lakeside city enjoys a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere and is the perfect base for day walks or hikes into the spectacular surrounding mountains. Arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon there will be some time to unwind before your evening meal.
After breakfast at your hotel, a tour to the stunning Devi's Falls follows where the group will follow a series of underground streams and small walkways before reaching the cascading waterfall that bursts through a tunnel and falls into a cave deep below. Next visit Mahendra Cave to appreciate the stalagmites and stalactites before making a stop at the Tibetan refugee camp to browse for handmade jewellery, pashminas, trinkets and local carvings. Finally your group will take a peaceful boat trip on the serene waters of the lake before enjoying a riverside lunch. Returning to your lodge in the afternoon the rest of the day is at leisure.
Today you will depart Pokhara after breakfast for Chitwan National Park, one of the largest havens for the endangered Bengal tiger and home to a rare population of one-horned Indian Rhinoceros. A stop will be made en route at Manakamana to take a cable car ride to the summit of a spectacular viewpoint. Arrive at the hillside temple and a mountain shrine which dates back to the 17th century and is believed to be a place where the goddess Bhagwati has the power to grant wishes to those who are able to make a suitable sacrifice. Following lunch, your journey will continue into the sub-tropical lowlands of the national park where, in the evening you will experience the traditional dances of the Tharu Cultural Show.
Your full day tour of Chitwan National Park begins in the morning with a canoe ride up the Rapti River where you may encounter the rare gharial, a fish-eating crocodile whose population is estimated at less than 235 individuals. Next visit the elephant breeding centre where you will have the chance to watch mother and baby elephants interact whilst grazing in the jungle and warding off pesky mosquitos by covering themselves in dust. After lunch the group will proceed further into the jungle for a guided safari upon the backs of the majestic elephants, led by the local mahouts (elephant riders) who will be keen to help you spot deer, rhinoceros, antelope and perhaps even a glance of the 'King of the Jungle', the Bengal tiger.
Leaving Chitwan after breakfast, you will be driven back to Kathmandu, stopping for lunch along the way and arriving back in the city in the late afternoon. Enjoy some free time to venture out into the bustling streets to pick out any last minute gifts before enjoying your final dinner with the rest of your group. The sounds of bicycle bells and chanting monks and the intoxicating aromas of Nepalese delicacies will leave you with a memory to cherish
Depart Kathmandu in the morning for your flight to Paro in Bhutan, offering incredible views of the entire Himalayan region. Your guide will meet you on arrival and accompany you to Thimphu, stopping en-route to admire the joining of the Thimphu and Paro Rivers at Chuzom before arriving at your hotel with some time to relax. In the afternoon visit the impressive fortress of Trashichoedzong, then 'Buddha Point' where locals chant prayers to the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. In the evening explore Thimphu's main market area and browse through paintings, hand-woven textiles and jewellery.
Explore the Thimphu valley with a trip to the National Library and the King's Memorial Chorten - a monument constructed to represent world peace and prosperity. Taking the scenic highway back to Paro appreciate the dramatic river valleys before arriving at your hotel late morning. Next visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower during the 1864 Duar War and now home to the National Museum focussing on royal memorabilia and Buddhist art.
Visit the breath-taking Taktshang Monastery perched on the side of a cliff, a place of worship recognised as one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of Drukgyel built back in 1649 as a control point along the route to Tibet.
Depart Paro after breakfast for your return flight to Kathmandu, with the rest of the day at leisure.
Transfer to Kathmandu airport for your flight to the UK.
British Passport Holders do not need to obtain a visa for Nepal prior to departure, a Nepalese visa can be purchased on arrival into Kathmandu. This will cost around USD $25, so please have this ready in USD cash together with three passport size photos. We recommend that you check the following website before travelling for all the most up to date advice and requirements for entry into Nepal http://www.nepembassy.org.uk/visa.php
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£39||£75||£129|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Nepal is with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size, in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars and UK sterling are both also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. The currency in Bhutan is Bhutanese Ngultrum and is officially pegged to the Indian Rupee. Also Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan. There are ATMs in Bhutan but currently they only operate with their respective Bhutanese banks. Since these ATMs currently do not function with outside banks, so ATM facility can't be used by visitors. Traveller's checks / cash are the best option so please ensure you have enough currency with you when you travel.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price|
|02 Apr 2018||15 Apr 2018||€1541pp||€1992pp||€3533pp|
|30 Apr 2018||13 May 2018||€1541pp||€1813pp||€3354pp|
|28 May 2018||10 Jun 2018||€1369pp||€1701pp||€3070pp|
|25 Jun 2018||08 Jul 2018||€1408pp||€1567pp||€2975pp|
|03 Sep 2018||16 Sep 2018||€1541pp||€1903pp||€3444pp|
|24 Sep 2018||07 Oct 2018||€1541pp||€1903pp||€3444pp|
|22 Oct 2018||04 Nov 2018||€1541pp||€2004pp||€3545pp|
|12 Nov 2018||25 Nov 2018||€1515pp||€2004pp||€3519pp|
|03 Dec 2018||16 Dec 2018||€1382pp||€1869pp||€3251pp|
|07 Jan 2019||20 Jan 2019||€1382pp||€1679pp||€3061pp|
|04 Feb 2019||17 Feb 2019||€1382pp||€1791pp||€3173pp|
|04 Mar 2019||17 Mar 2019||€1502pp||€1936pp||€3438pp|
|29 Apr 2019||12 May 2019||€1502pp||€2015pp||€3517pp|
|27 May 2019||09 Jun 2019||€1502pp||€1712pp||€3214pp|
|24 Jun 2019||07 Jul 2019||€1382pp||€1567pp||€2949pp|
|02 Sep 2019||15 Sep 2019||€1382pp||€1903pp||€3285pp|
|30 Sep 2019||13 Oct 2019||€1502pp||€1903pp||€3405pp|
|21 Oct 2019||03 Nov 2019||€1502pp||€2015pp||€3517pp|
|11 Nov 2019||24 Nov 2019||€1502pp||€1981pp||€3483pp|
|02 Dec 2019||15 Dec 2019||€1502pp||€1903pp||€3405pp|
We have secured a few places on this tour for single travellers with no single supplements. Once these are all sold, if you are a single traveller, you will need to pay a small supplement. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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