Natural beauty, Himalayan vistas and Buddhist culture
This corner of the eastern Himalaya has a great deal to offer. Bhutan is unique in its appeal, almost completely unaffected by Western influences, and one of the true homes of Tibetan Buddhism.
Sikkim is renowned for its flora and large number of Buddhist monasteries, including Rumtek, Labrang and the rarely-visited Phodang, with their fine collections of paintings and relics. Darjeeling, 2000m above the plains of Bengal, is surrounded by tea plantations and is the archetypal hill station; slightly faded, but still a lively centre for the different hill peoples. The view from Tiger Hill at sunrise is one of the most impressive in the Himalaya, with the great bulk of Kanchenjunga dominating the northern horizon. There will also be a chance to ride the famous Darjeeling Toy Train.
The spring departure includes the Paro Tsechu, Bhutan's most important and colourful festival, whilst the autumn departure will visit festivals in Wangdi Phodrang and Thimpu.
What makes this trip responsible?
When visiting Dzongs or monasteries, please dress respectfully with arms and legs covered. Hats should also be removed before entering. Please walk round any religious place in a clockwise direction. It is usual to leave a small donation (Nu10/20) when visiting a temple and you will need to remove your shoes when entering as well. By law, $70 of the daily cost of any trip in Bhutan goes towards education and health.
View of Darjeeling, Kanchenjunga behind