Auerspergstrasse, Austria Nov 23 - Dec 06, 2014
Your guides and drivers were very professional. TID 8682 Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan Tour - Extension to West Sikkim. (Nov 23 - Dec 06, 2014) Dear Anand, We
Pola Alto, California, USA Sept. 19-30, 2012
We thought it would be good but it was actually great/fascinating TID 571: Darjeeling Sikkim & Bhutan (Sept. 19-Sept. 30, 2012) We just returned from our trip and are going through our
Beachood, Ohio, USA March 09-April1,2011
I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us. Stephen Freeman x 03 - 09 Mar/01 Apr, 2011 Dear Sonam, Now that we have returned home after our trip to
Ohio, USA March 9 -April1,2011
I want to thank the tour guides in each location who are all outstanding individuals who have left lasting memories of the lands we visited Stephen Freeman Family 09 March - 01 April, 2011 Dear Ugen, Now that we have returned home after a memorable 3
Beverly Hills, CA, March,25 2010
Overall, however, we had an enjoyable and informative time. Sikkim Bhutan Custom Trip Mar 21- April 03, 2010 Our guide in Sikkim and Darjeeling was also very good. We gained
St Day,Truro Conwall, UK Sep 25-17Oct, 2008
It truly was a trip of a life time in every aspects and was of top quality TID 155 India and Bhutan Tour (25 Sep -17Oct. 2008) Hi Ugen, Thank you for everything you have done to organise
Woodbridge Ontario, Cananda 20071024
Marg and Ken S We would like to thank you for organizing a very interesting and trouble-free trip. All the guides and drivers were
Forest Hills, New York, USA August,17, 2004
My recent visit to Darjeeling and Bhutan a wonderful one. August 2004 Ku zu zangpo la ! I am not sure if you received my earlier email, therefore I am re-sending. In
- Colonial character in form of Churches and Tea garden in Darjeeling.
- Historical and religious attractions in Gangtok (Sikkim)
- Scenic drives through tea estates
- Visit off-the- beaten villages from Chalsa
- Diversity of Environment and Culture
- Quaint and Pristine environ in Bhutan with rich historical legacy in for of Dzong ( erstwhile Fortress converted into Administrative unit) and monasteries.
Explore Sikkim and Bhutan, two of the most isolated Himalayan regions. Centuries-old Buddhist monasteries cling to mountain cliffs and rice paddies stair-step down steep hillsides. Your journey begins with arrival transfer to Darjeeling, where we include a ride on the narrow gauge mountain railway and sunrise over Kangchenjunga from Tiger Hill. Visit the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok and passing on to Rumtek, visit the Karmapa’s Monastery. Travel to Kalimpong, once an important trading post for these parts of the world.
From Kalimpong our road then descends into the plains known as Duars, filled with lush tea garden and some remote villages that are much isolated from the mainstream. Cross into Phuntsholing, Bhutan. Discover Bhutan’s captivating cultural mix, reflected in its beautiful shrines, temples and handicrafts as you travel from south to western Bhutan; in the towns and villages of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha valley. Explore the Dzongs, ancient fortresses that once protected the kingdom.
Day 1: Arrive in Bagdogra – Darjeeling
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport/NJP station, meet our representative and transfer to Darjeeling, which takes about 3+ hours. The journey passes through small towns, villages and tea estates, as you climb up the hills. After high tea in the evening, take a stroll around Chowrastha Mall and into Bazaar area. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 2: Sightseeing tour in Darjeeling
Before dawn, you have an option to hire/share a cab to visit Tiger hill for sunrise view (extra). After breakfast, begin our sightseeing tour. Visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Then visit Tibetan Self-Help Center which boast of high quality Tibetan handicrafts and on the way back, visit a tea estate. In the afternoon, visit Dali Gompa monastery and rest of the time is free to stroll around the town or take a toy train joy ride until Ghoom(Optional).
Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 3: Darjeeling – Gangtok
Drive through the tea gardens and descend through sub-tropical Teesta valley and enter Sikkim at Rangpo. After permit formalities, continue drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. (Total 4-5hr). In Gangtok, visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology a repository of Tibetan works, iconography and religious arts and the nearby Deorali Dodrul Chorten surrounded by 108 prayer wheels. In the evening walk through the iconic MG Marg, a Pedestrian cobbled Boulevard lined on both sides with interesting neon lit shops and also visit the Lal Bazaar vegetable and food market. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 4: Gangtok Sightseeing
Visit a Flower Exhibition Center – wide arrays of orchids, some indigenous plants and flowers on display. Drive to Enchey monastery affiliated to Nyingmapa order of Tibetan Buddhism and continue further uphill to reach view Points such as Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok and Tashi view point which overlooks gorgeous view below. On the way back visit the Directorate of Hand-loom and Handicrafts which houses workshops for carpet weaving, Black strap loom, Bamboo craft, Painting school followed by a museum and handicraft sale emporium. Afternoon is free to rest or pursue your own interests. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 5: Rumtek & Kalimpong
Drive for about an hour to Rumtek monastery on the opposite hilltop. This was the main seat of Karma Kagyu lineage in exile. The architecture itself is the replica of original monastery in Tsurphu Tibet. After visiting this famous monastery, drive to Kalimpong (3hr), another hill town with good views, bursting bazaar, and rich history. Visit to Durpin Dara viewpoint, commanding panoramic view of the whole town, Teesta river below and the backdrop peaks. Favorable climate and conducive soil contributes in growth of horticulture extensively, so we’ll visit some of the Flower nurseries. Remnants of colonial era are still conspicuous in form of medieval Churches, homes and schools such as over century old Dr Grahams Homes campus. After the visit drive to Deolo hill, the highest point in Kalimpong with panoramic view of Kalimpong town and neighboring hills. On the way back stroll through the charming bazaar. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 6: Kalimpong – Chalsa(Dooars)
Descend from the hills into Dooars , flanked by lush green sub-tropical vegetation, and tea gardens – originally planted by British. These lush green areas constitute the floodplains and foothills bordering Bhutan, Darjeeling and plains of Assam. It takes little over 2hr to reach Chalsa. In the afternoon, explore the nearby tea gardens, off the beaten road villages, open school under tree, tea garden worker’s colony and the small bazaar area. Option is available to visit the nearby National Park and Wild Life Sanctuary. (Entrance fees and safari fee extra). Overnight in Chalsa in a resort set with nice lawns and fruit trees.
Day 7: Chalsa-Phuntsholing-Thimphu
After early breakfast, drive for about 2hrs through the plains to cross the border into Phuentsholing, Bhutan. After completing immigration formalities, drive up the hills to the capital Thimphu, which takes another 5+hrs. En-route, stop and visit Rinchending monastery and other villages and towns along the way. Thimphu being the capital has a lot of monuments and attractions – some contemporary and some medieval. Upon arrival, you can choose to rest or relax after long hours of drive or instantly get a feel of pulses of Thimphu by visiting Tashicho Dzong – the main government seat. Evening free to take a stroll around the town. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 8: Thimphu-Punakha
Drive across spectacular Dochula pass (3100m) that separate Thimphu from Punakha valley. Take a brief stop at Dochula to experience the spell binding view of snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. Descend into sub-tropical and agrarian Punakha valley. Once there, visit astounding Punakha Dzong, one of most beautiful Dzong, located at the confluence of the two rivers. Late in afternoon embark on a short hike of 45 mins to visit Khamsum Chorten. The hike is the mixture of paddy field and village trail walk. The view of meandering Punakha River, terraced rice field and village below is simply spectacular.
Overnight in Punakha.
Day 9: Punakha – Thimphu
Visit Chhimi Lhakhang temple dedicated to saint Drukpa Kinley (15c) popularly known for his offbeat antics and jokes, and as protagonist in most of the local folklores. Drive further to Wangdue and visit the remains of its Dzong and continue to Thimphu. Upon arrival in Thimphu, we can begin with a visit to Memorial Chorten, Buddha Statue, Takin Reserve, Zilukha Nunnery, Textile musuem and the weekend market as per your interest and time. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, visit the remaining attractions if you have missed the previous day and then drive to Paro. The drive to Paro takes about an hour. Paro is one of serene and loveliest valley in Bhutan. Upon arrival, cross the archaic wooden cantilever bridge to visit Rinpung Dzong erstwhile fortress converted into office of district administration and monastic body now. Also visit nearby National Museum that houses some of finest specimen of Bhutanese arts. Then we drive short distance to visit some monasteries that define Paro such as Kichu & Dungtse Lhakang. Subsequently, walk into the village and visit a local farmhouse, strike in conversation with locales to gain insights into their daily life. Overnight in Paro
Day 11: Paro (Takstang trek)
Transfer to the trail head and hike to iconic Taktsang Monastery(Tiger’s Nest Monastery) one of the most sacred and pilgrimage sites for Himalayan Buddhist. One can marvel at its architecture and gravity defying location precariously clinging to a vertical granite cliff. There is an option to hire a mule or pony for the uphill part but you should be able to walk downhill. If for some reason, you are unable to visit Takstang, our Guide can arrange other suitable alternatives. Even after Taktsang, we may have time to visit some sights in Paro and to wander around charming township of Paro. Overnight in Paro.
Day 12: Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight. Depending on the Druk Air schedule, you can fly to Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata or Kathmandu.
We can also suggest dates to coincide with local festivals in Bhutan or Sikkim.
Group SizeAny number of participants
MealsDaily breakfast and dinner in India and all meals when in Bhutan.
Trip AccommodationBest tourist standard hotels through-out the trip. Hotels can compared to 3-4star standards.
RouteDarjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Phuntsholing, Thimphu, Punakha, Paro
Trip Type Cultural Tour
Trip SeasonsBest from late Feb-April, Oct-Nov. Next good times are in May, Dec, Jan and February.
Best MonthsMarch, April, May, October, November
Good MonthsJanuary, February, December
Lean MonthsJune, July, August, September
Prices & Dates
Starting USD$ 1900 is based on low season. Also it depends on group size, hotels etc. Please contact us for details.
|Start date||End Date||Remarks||Status|
- Accommodations in listed hotels or similar.
- Only breakfast and dinner in Darjeeling and Sikkim and all meals in Bhutan.
- All Private transfers by best quality vehicle.
- All Sightseeing with entrance fees.
- English speaking local Guide and driver from start till finish.
- Bhutan visa, taxes and permits
- Flights (priced based on the sectors)
- Indian Visa.
- Bar/Beverages, Laundry, Telphone, optional tips and other personal expenses.
- Travel Medical Insurance.
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Nima Dhondup Bhutia is the senior most guide for Darjeeling, Sikkim and Doars Tour. From past political turmoil to changing tourism scenario in the region, he has seen it all from close quarter. His career as guide started from 1980, and going great gun still. His experience along with amicable nature and soft-spokenness brings forth a subtle difference in every tour that he conducts.
He was born and brought up in Tibetan Self-help camp in Darjeeling, when it was still quaint and serene towns unlike now. He still remember fondly the days of yore and growing changes that the time dictates. He graduated from one of prestigious school – Mt Hermon school in 1977. You will still find vestige of old school of English in his accent.
Growth in Tourism in Bhutan has also its share of impact on young minds. With tourists freely moving around, the curiosities to know them, talk to them holds ground firmly on young minds . Namgay is one among many youth whose imagination was captured by razzmatazz of tourism.
He has his career goal cut out, he could have easily opted for some comfortable desk jobs, after passing out in flying colours from prestigious St Joseph college Darjeeling in 2010 but he chose to pursue his dream, he loved to be in field, among the guests, so it was only matter of time to enroll for guiding course.
His first foray into job was in 2013 at Wind Horse Tours and still he is going great guns. Feed Backs from guests that he led are great testimonial to his dedication.
He prodigiously read books that open up new frontiers and interaction with guests coupled with sound command of English takes his outlook towards learning and experiences altogether to different height.
A good sense of humour is the currency that prevail everywhere regardless of the time or circumstances. An asset that that has potential to make even the ordinary trip into extraordinary. Sonam Loday has this traits in abundance. This is intrinsic and come as naturally as bees to the flower. He wears it in his sleeve in every tours that he conducts and this is one aspects that steal the limelight when we receive the feedbacks from the guests.
He finished his higher secondary school in 2005. Subsequently, he was at loose end trying to find meaning to his life and career, a chance meeting with a group of tourists resurrected his passion for the trade. He did his cultural guide course in 2005 and trekking in 2007. He burn the midnight oils to complete his senior guide course in 2008. He joined Wind Horse Tours in 2009 and has led countless tours with flair and his brand of humour.
Along with great sense of humour, he is well versed on both aspects cultural as well as trek. The Horse riding course refuelled his passion for horses to a new height in 2010. He is the coordinator and manager of Wind Horse Ranch and Riding Club – a low carbon footprint product.
When it comes to giving air to his interests and passion, he has varied propensities, it ranges from being cultural and trek guide to horse manager to his new found passion – mountain biking, his new best friend. On weekend, perhaps he will be one among the many guys to come across in Thimphu biking zone. And also among the few to volunteer first for audacious Haa to Phuentsholing Trip.