A trip to Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan introduces you to eastern mysticism and some of the world's best natural wonders. Located in the high Himalayas and shadowed by the tallest peaks in the world, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan offer you a complete Himalayan experience. Journey across soaring snow-covered mountains, alpine valleys dotted with grand Buddhist monasteries and traditional homes and meet people whose kindness and hospitality will bowl you over.
These destinations remained hidden from the rest of the world for centuries. It was only in the late sixties and seventies that tourists were allowed inside these countries. Filled with iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sacred Hindu and Buddhist shrines, ancient castles and palaces, and pristine nature, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan are ideal getaways for people seeking a different and exotic adventure. These countries are some of the best destinations for adventure holidays and cultural tours.
The best seasons to visit these countries are spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). Though cultural tours can be booked any time of the year, adventure holidays like trekking and mountaineering cannot be done during off-seasons (summer and winter) because of bad weather conditions. Though trips during early winter (December) is possible, it will be a bit colder than autumn or spring.
While Bhutan and Nepal share a similar climate and weather pattern, Tibet, which lies at a higher altitude and is the highest country in the world, has a colder climate.
During spring the landscape is decorated with wildflowers and clear views of mountains.
Some of the most colorful and vibrant festivals are celebrated during this season - Holi, Bisket Jatra, Nepalese New Year, Mahashivaratri, Paro Tshechu, Punakha Tshechu, Tibetan Butter Lantern, and Peach Blossom Festival.
Autumn is a favorite season for trekking holidays. The weather remains stable and temperatures moderate. The skies are clear offering great views of Himalayan peaks.
A trip during this season will allow you to observe Nepal's grandest festivals – Dashain and Tihar. In Bhutan Jambay Lakhang Drup, Thimphu Tshechu, Gangtey Tshechu, and Black Necked Crane Festival are celebrated. Tibetans celebrate Palden Lhamo Festival, Lahbab Duchen or Buddha Descent Day festival, and Gongbu New Year during this season.
Summer trips can be a bit comfortable as both Nepal and Bhutan receive monsoon rains during this time. But on the bright side, you receive off-season discounts if you choose to travel during off-seasons. Touristic sites and hotels will have fewer crowds. Unlike Nepal and Bhutan, Tibet remains dry during this season as it lies under the rain shadow area.
If you travel in summer you get to observe these festivals- Teej (Women's Festival), Janai Purnima, Ropai Jatra and Gai Jatra (Rice Planting Festival) in Nepal; Haa Summer Festival and Matsutake Festival in Bhutan and Saga Dawa, Nagqu Horse Racing Festival, Karma Dunba (Bathing festival), Shoton, Choekor Duechen(Holy Mountain festival) and Gyantse Dharma Festival in Tibet.
Traveling in early winter will give you some really great views of the Himalayas. It may not be warm or pleasant like in spring or autumn, but it won't be too cold either for traveling.
As these are Himalayan countries you can take trekking or hiking holiday. The trails to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Druk Path, and Jumolhari are some of the most popular trekking trails in these countries.
Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan are also home to ancient palaces and Buddhist monasteries. Cultural tours to these amazing heritage spots make up for a wonderful experience. Nepal has 10 unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Boudhanath, Pashupatinath Temple, Lumbini, the 3 Durbar Squares, Changunarayan Temple, and Swoyambhunath are some of them. Bhutan's cultural treasures include Taktsang Monastery, Rinpung Dzong, Tashichho Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Chimmi Lakhang, etc. Tibetan cultural highlights include Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Square, Drepung Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery, etc.
Steeped in Buddhist and Hindu spiritualism one can take a pilgrimage tour to ancient Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan Buddhist pilgrimage packages are some of the best-selling pilgrimage packages in Asia. Pashupatinath Temple, Muktinath, Halesi Mahadev, Manokamana, Chimmi Lakhang, Jambay Lakhang, Lumbini, Mount Kailash, Mansarover Lake, Ganden Monastery, Dra Yerpa Caves, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple, etc. are some of the important pilgrimage sites.
Other adventure activities include wildlife tours, rafting, paragliding, mountain flights, mountain biking, bungy jumping, nature tours, short day hikes, motorbike tours, etc.
A vacation of 14 days or two weeks is enough to take a multi-country tour and visit the cultural hotspots of all these countries. Combing cultural experience with an adventure holiday may take longer, 20 days or more.
Find trips that will give you a 360-degree experience of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
I am Werner Berger and my "claim to fame" is probably best defined as being in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world to have climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.
Little did I know my life was to change forever on my first trek into the Himalaya in 1992 at age 55. It was the beginning and just a matter time before I realized I could combine my leadership and climbing skills to create a program in which people could explore their own possibilities.
So, in 2010, I began leading Transformational Life Experiences, treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp and other high places.
One of the earliest keys to success is to find a company with the right mix of professionalism, support, and, of course, experience. I have used Naba Amgai and his teams on all my Nepal trekking adventures.
Naba's caring and climber support, is second to none. In my estimation, Third Rock Adventures is one of the very best in the business, in or outside of Nepal. They know the mountains. So you can relax, enjoy and transform.
- Werner Berger