Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Rooftop of the World (20 days)

Captain's Choice

Kolkata, India To Lhasa, Tibet , China

Valid for Departures: 27 Sep 2019 - 16 Oct 2019

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
27 Sep 2019
Kolkata, India
The Oberoi Grand Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our adventure begins in Kolkata. Locals are known

to keep cool in style, wearing traditional white kurtas,

collarless cotton shirts that make the most of the breezes

blowing in from the Bay of Bengal. We make our home

for two nights at the refined Oberoi Grand.

Day 2
28 Sep 2019
Kolkata, India
The Oberoi Grand Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we dive into Kolkata’s juxtaposition of British

colonial buildings and raucous street life. Our guide

takes us to the Victoria Memorial, where 25 galleries

display portraits and relics of Queen Victoria’s reign.

We then marvel at the Indo-Gothic architecture of St Paul’s

Cathedral. Next, we visit Mother Teresa’s House; an oasis

of calm in the otherwise busy city. This evening, we enjoy

our hotel’s legendary hospitality at a special welcome feast.

Day 3
29 Sep 2019
Darjeeling, India
Windamere Heritage Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our flight takes us to Bagdogra, a town in the Darjeeling

district. A road journey then brings us to our destination,

located in the lesser Himalayas. Darjeeling is incredibly

picturesque but, at 2,042 metres in altitude, a mere

foothill in the Himalayas. Rolling hills covered in tea

plantations extend as far as the eye can see, while the

Himalayas form a snowy backdrop. Our hotel tonight

is the Windamere Heritage Hotel. Once a boarding

house for English and Scottish tea planters, it has been

converted into cosy rooms with colonial-era furnishings.

Day 4
30 Sep 2019
Darjeeling, India
Windamere Heritage Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our full day in Darjeeling begins with a choice

of Your World experiences:

- Start the day by catching the sunrise at Tiger Hill.

Unlike any other sunrise, we are presented with

the awe-inspiring view of Kangchenjunga and

her sister peaks glowing amber, illuminated before

the sun reaches the valleys below.

- Those who prefer not to wake so early are treated

to a ride on the antiquated ‘toy steam train’ of the

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. We climb impossible

gradients to reach Ghoom.

In the afternoon, we call in at the Himalayan

Mountaineering Institute, the Himalayan Zoological

Park, the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre and a tea

plantation to see famed Darjeeling tea being picked

and processed.

Day 5
01 Oct 2019
Phuntsholing, Bhutan
Hotel Druk Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an early breakfast at the hotel we leave for

Phuntsholing, a border town in southern Bhutan. Though

India is only a stone’s throw away, the mood and vibe

of this town is decidedly different. We check in to Hotel

Druk before setting off to explore. Our destination, the

Kharbandi Monastery. Known for long lines of prayer

flags, enormous prayer wheels and clanging bells,

the place breathes spirituality.

Day 6
02 Oct 2019
Thimphu, Bhutan
Taj Tashi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The incredible rugged geography of Bhutan is on

show today as we undertake a scenic drive to Thimphu.

The mostly uphill journey leaves the tropical lowlands for

pine forests and steep slopes with plunging ravines. We

visit Kuensel Phodrang, a colossal statue of Buddha that

houses within it a hundred thousand smaller statues. From

this hilltop, we have breathtaking views of the Thimphu

Valley. The Taj Tashi Hotel welcomes us for the next three

nights. The hotel specialises in authentic Bhutanese

cuisine, as well as exotic Tibetan and European dishes

and tonight, a special dinner awaits.

Day 7
03 Oct 2019
Thimphu, Bhutan
Taj Tashi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, Thimphu’s main sites draw our attention.

The National Memorial Chorten, honouring Bhutan’s third

king, is part of many people’s daily worship. We linger for

a while, watching its steady stream of visitors come and

go. Then it’s on to the National Library and the Institute

of Zorig Chusum, which teaches the 13 traditional arts to

Bhutan’s next generation. At the Motithang Takin Preserve,

we glimpse the rare takin. It is a goat-antelope found only

in the eastern Himalayas and also Bhutan’s national animal.

Day 8
04 Oct 2019
Punakha, Bhutan
Taj Tashi Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

From Thimphu, we steadily gain altitude towards the

Dochula Pass. If the weather is clear, look northeast to see

the eastern Himalayas and Gangkhar Puensum mountain.

At 7,570 metres, it is Bhutan’s highest mountain. After we

go over the pass, the road winds down through conifers

and rhododendrons. At the confluence of the Sankosh

and Tangmachu rivers, look up to see the white walls

of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong watching over the valley

below. The dzong is a monastery-fortress, usually built

on high ground, and every region has one. We stop for

lunch on this beautiful spot, then drive on to Punakha.

This evening, we return to Thimphu, retiring early

in anticipation of tomorrow’s scenic drive to Paro.

Day 9
05 Oct 2019
Paro, Bhutan
Zhiwa Ling Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The National Museum of Bhutan, located in Paro’s Ta

Dzong watchtower is our first stop of the day. A cultural

museum, it houses some of the finest examples of

Bhutanese art. After the museum, we move on to our

next stop, Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1644, it houses the

district’s monks. Kyichu Lhakhang is our next port of call,

and one well worth visiting. Built in the 7th century, it is

one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It is said that Tibet’s

first Buddhist king built the temple over an ogress’ foot

to prevent her from creating chaos. After lunch, we are

granted a rare opportunity to be a part of Bhutanese

culture. Having taken tutorials on the national sport from

some elite archers, we are set free for a friendly match with

locals, on a sporting ground reserved exclusively for us.

We call Zhiwa Ling Hotel home for the next two nights.

Built by hand from 450-year-old wood, it combines

traditional architecture with modern creature comforts.

Day 10
06 Oct 2019
Paro, Bhutan
Zhiwa Ling Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The sacred Taktsang monastery, or Tiger’s Nest, is built

into vertical cliffs 900 metres above Paro Valley. According

to legend, Guru Padmasambhava, the guardian deity of

Bhutan, meditated here for three years, three months,

three weeks, three days and three hours. To visit, we must

hike up from the valley floor. While slightly strenuous,

the walk itself is meditative and offers unmatched views

of the valley below. After lunching at our hotel we visit

a traditional farmhouse. Typically built without nails,

these pretty houses dot the countryside and feature

striking wooden frames, painted with colourful Buddhist

motifs. This evening, we dine in our hotel.

Day 11
07 Oct 2019
Kathmandu, Nepal
Hyatt Regency Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We depart Paro and fly to the capital of Nepal,

Kathmandu. The city is the centre of Nepali history,

art and culture, and is a place of riotous colour and

sound. Our home for the next two nights is the Hyatt

Regency Hotel. In the afternoon, we visit Boudhanath

Stupa, a World Heritage-listed Buddhist monument that

dominates Kathmandu’s skyline. Spend the rest of today

at your leisure, in anticipation of tomorrow’s discoveries.

Day 12
08 Oct 2019
Kathmandu, Nepal
Hyatt Regency Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Start the day spectacularly with a once-in-a-lifetime flight,

taking in close-up views of Mt Everest. Soak in views of

Lhotse, Makalu and the countless other peaks populating

the horizon. Exhilarated by our morning, we then explore

Kathmandu’s surroundings, beginning with old Bhaktapur.

The capital of Nepal until the second half of the 15th

century, it’s home to exquisitely preserved temples,

palace courtyards and statues. While the earthquake in

2015 damaged some of the buildings, most are intact.

We drive on to the town of Patan, also known as Lalitpur,

the city of beauty. Gazing at the Krishna Temple in Patan

Durbar Square, it’s easy to understand why.

Day 13
09 Oct 2019
Chitwan, Nepal
Kasara Jungle Resort None

This morning, we board a short flight to Bharatpur.

On arrival, we drive to Chitwan National Park,

whose name means ‘heart of the jungle’. Within it,

you’ll find one-horned rhinoceroses, deer, monkeys

and the occasional leopard and Bengal tiger.

Explore the area with these Your World experiences:

- A canoeing trip allows you to quietly explore the

waterways of the park, increasing your chances

of spotting wildlife.

- The gharial, or fish-eating crocodile, is a critically

endangered species found here. Visit the conservation

centre today.

This evening, we see a performance of Tharu dance.

The Tharu people call themselves the ‘people of the forest’,

and have kept to their agricultural life within Chitwan.

Tonight, we stay at Kasara Jungle Resort, surrounded

by lush, green trees as far as the eye can see.

Day 14
10 Oct 2019
Pokhara, Nepal
Fish Tail Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning in our resort. The day continues

with an unbelievably scenic drive to Pokhara. Along

the way, we admire the Nepali countryside and pretty

villages perched on rolling hillsides. We stop for lunch at

a riverside restaurant. In Pokhara, visit the market, which

stocks incredibly detailed crafts made by locals. Our home

for two nights is the Fish Tail Lodge, on the edge of Fewa

Lake. The lodge is named after Mt Machapuchare which

dominates the view across the water. Dinner tonight

is at a local restaurant.

Day 15
11 Oct 2019
Pokhara, Nepal
Fish Tail Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take in breathtaking views of Pokhara with one of these

eye-opening Your World experiences:

- Go hang gliding with an experienced practitioner,

or fly solo.

- Hike to the World Peace Pagoda and stare

transfixed at the Himalayan peaks in full view.

- Take an ultralight flight. These are fixed wing

aircraft where you are seated in an open cockpit

together with the pilot.

Lunch is at a local restaurant before a visit to the

Bindebasini Temple, one of the holiest places for Hindus

in Nepal. The afternoon takes us to Gupteswar Cave,

a city shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. We finish a full

day by relaxing on a boat ride across Fewa Lake before

adjourning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 16
12 Oct 2019
Kathmandu, Nepal
Hyatt Regency Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We return to Kathmandu by plane this morning.

If the clouds co-operate, we will have magnificent views

of Annapurna. We arrive, and once again check in to

the Hyatt Regency. In town, we visit Kathmandu Durbar

Square. Nearby is the house of the Kumari Devi, a young

girl believed to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga.

While she is not guaranteed to appear in the window,

the elaborately decorated house facade is a sight in itself.

On a rickshaw ride through Thamel, we immerse ourselves

in the city’s sights and sounds. Our last stop of the day is

the Swayambhunath Temple. Here, ancient carvings and

incense permeate every space, and above it all is a stupa

painted with the eyes of Buddha. Dinner tonight is at

Gokarna House Restaurant. A true cultural experience,

it is where we taste beautiful Nepali food while a stage

show depicts the country’s culture and traditions.

Day 17
13 Oct 2019
Lhasa, Tibet , China
St Regis Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Set in the centre of the Tibetan Plateau, Lhasa is surrounded

by mountains over 5,000 metres in height. The red and

white Potala Palace rises above the old city, where Tibetan

life continues as it has for over a thousand years. We arrive

here after our flight from Kathmandu, then travel by road

past nomadic herders and their yaks. We check into the

St Regis Hotel for three nights. Spend the afternoon at

leisure to acclimatise to the altitude.

Day 18
14 Oct 2019
Lhasa, Tibet , China
St Regis Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we head to the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred

in Tibet. The temple is encircled by Barkhor Street, which

pilgrims circumambulate in a clockwise direction as

part of their worship. The street is a bustling place and,

incongruously, a major marketplace with traders from all

over the country. The Sera Monastery, one of the three most

important teaching monasteries in Tibet, was once home

to 5,000 monks, but many fled to India after the 1959

Tibetan Rebellion. The community is now much smaller,

but despite that, holds lively debates, complete with wild

gestures and hand slapping, a unique sight to behold.

Day 19
15 Oct 2019
Lhasa, Tibet , China
St Regis Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, Potala Palace’s magnificence demands our

immediate attention. Once the residence of the Dalai Lama,

it contains over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000

statues. Its interiors are adorned with colourful carvings,

sacred paintings and embroidered coverings. In the

afternoon, we visit Norbulingka, which was the Dalai Lama’s

summer home. The compound holds palaces, chapels and

pavilions surrounded by man-made lakes and gardens.

Tonight, celebrate the end of our journey with a gala dinner,

accompanied by performances of Tibetan music and dance.

Day 20
16 Oct 2019
Lhasa, Tibet , China
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend our final morning in Lhasa relaxing, or take one last

stroll through the city. Reflect on the magnificent

parts of the world we have explored, seemingly hidden

from outsiders.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife & Nature

Description

Here, living goddesses reside among us. The clatter of prayer wheels

forms the soundtrack of cities. Temples are visited as often as tea shops.

And strings of colourful flags flutter in the wind, spreading goodwill

to all who are around. The people of the Himalayas exude a warmth

that belies the forbidding peaks their countries are built around.

Prepare for immersion into a way of life enthrallingly alien

to our own, on this exclusive journey for just 24 guests.

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