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Nepal and Bhutan: The Heart of the Himalayas

Apr 16-26, 2025

11 days | Nepal | alumni UBC Travel Club

Embark on a journey of discover and wonder as we venture into the mystical lands of Nepal and Bhutan in the company of two outstanding study leaders whose works focus on the Himalayas in a very personal way.

Nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Himalayas, these two enchanting countries beckon us with their rich tapestry of culture, spirituality, and outstanding natural beauty.

We start our Himalayan journey with four nights in Kathmandu exploring its lively bazaars, carved rose-brick temples, numerous shrines and spectacular Boudhanath Stupa. We’ll delve into the enchanting medieval cities of Bhaktapur and Patan, and delve into Buddhism at the sacred sites of Yangleshö and NamoBuddha.

A short flight takes us to the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom in the Clouds. This is a country that famously measures Gross National Happiness, where archery is the national sport, where Buddhism thrives in fortress monasteries, and where almost everyone wears national dress. We travel overland through a stunningly beautiful landscape dotted with those exquisite fortresses and temples and take that exhilarating hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

Our explorations will be guided by two outstanding study leaders who bring an insider’s perspective to our explorations with daily presentations and special access moments as we consider both the rich history and contemporary realities of these spectacular and remote Himalayan countries.
 

 
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alumni UBC Travel Club Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
US$6295 including taxes and gratuities
Group Size:
14 - 18 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers on tour start and end dates; accommodations based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; all ground transportation by private vehicle; flight from Kathmandu to Paro; all activities as described in the detailed itinerary; entrance fees to all sites visited with the group; services of English-speaking specialized guides; meals as specified in itinerary; gratuities for guides, driver, and included meals; all taxes; visa fee for Bhutan; services of your study leaders; fully escorted by our Tour Director.

"[Favourite moment] Completing the hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery." - Past traveller
"This was an experience I'll never forget. Being in the Himalayas and immersed in Buddhist culture were something that was mind-altering." - Past traveller

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu 
Day 2: Temples and Stupas 
Day 3: Newari architecture in Patan and medieval Bhaktapur 
Day 4: Yangleshö and Lalitpur
Day 5: Fly to Paro and drive to Thimphu 
Day 6: Thimpu: Bhutan's national animal in Takin Preserve and art galleries
Day 7: Drive to Punakha over the super scenic Dochula Pass
Day 8: Punakha Dzong, lunch at a local private farmhouse
Day 9: To Paro, Rinpung Dzong, Fortress of a Mountain of Jewels
Day 10: Paro: Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest
Day 11: Depart Paro 
Optional Extension: Nepal’s Chitwan National Park and Pokhara
Download Itinerary

Your Tour Leaders

UBC Assistant Professor Pasang Yangjee Sherpa is a Sharwa anthropologist from Pharak, Nepal. Her research, writing, and pedagogy focus on climate change and Indigeneity among Himalayan communities. Current projects include “Transnational Sherpas” investigating what it means to be a Sherpa today.

UBC Professor Michele Koppes is a Canada Research Chair in Landscapes of Climate Change. Her research and pedagogy focuses on how glaciers, landscapes, and the people who dwell within them are responding to ongoing climate change. Her current projects in the Himalayas include understanding local perspectives of landscape change, and the impacts of melting glaciers on livelihoods from the high mountains to the coasts.

alumni UBC Travel Club Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
US$6295 including taxes and gratuities
Group Size:
14 - 18 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers on tour start and end dates; accommodations based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; all ground transportation by private vehicle; flight from Kathmandu to Paro; all activities as described in the detailed itinerary; entrance fees to all sites visited with the group; services of English-speaking specialized guides; meals as specified in itinerary; gratuities for guides, driver, and included meals; all taxes; visa fee for Bhutan; services of your study leaders; fully escorted by our Tour Director.

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Nepal and Bhutan: The Heart of the Himalayas

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