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12Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comT his tour visits the main valleys of western Bhutan, travelling over mountain passes that offer stupendous views. There is no trekking, but we explore the towns on foot and also enjoy some gentle village walks.We meet villagers and weavers in their own homes, and travel right into Bhutan's interior, visiting the remote and isolated Phobjika valley. The towns of Bhutan are dominated by enormous monastery-fortresses, or dzongs, that still stand after earthquake and war and are in use today.Centuries of isolation have left the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon unique. The architecture is unlike anything else found in the Himalaya with houses more akin to Swiss chalets, but painted with magic symbols to keep out evil spirits. Bhutanese national dress has survived, as has their "Dragon" sect of Buddhism.Archery is the national sport and the mystic rites are almost as important as hitting the target. Bhutan is also renowned for producing the highest quality fabrics of any of the Himalayan regions.T he Black-Necked Crane festival takes place every year in Phobjika, celebrating the annual arrival of these magnificent birds in the surrounding valleys and marshlands. This species of crane is endangered with only 8,000 birds estimated to be surviving in the wild but here the local community revere their feathered winter residents. Our fascinating tour provides ample opportunity to view the cranes in their protected habitat as well as attending the local Black-Necked Crane festival where you will see traditional masked dances including the 'Crane Dance'. In addition there are optional gentle walks and visits to weaving centres, villages and monasteries. A fascinating insight into many aspects of Bhutanese culture in less than two weeks London to London. Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan A wonderful, easy-paced tour designed to get 'under the surface' of Bhutanese culture. Black-Necked Crane Festival Tour The perfect introduction to the magical Kingdom of Bhutan. Tigers Nest, Rob & Sally Hull£1,850£2,535Land OnlyFlight IncludedSun 06 Nov - Wed 16 Nov 11Local Leader Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 7 Luxury Camping: 2Optional: Single Room £145 Single Tent £50Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 11 DaysFestivalAppointed Leader Michael Rutland OBE?Local Leader?Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 12/13 Optional: Single Room £250Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 14/15 DaysOther Cultural Tours - see pages 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58Other Cultural Tours - see pages 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58£2,620£2,165£2,495£2,165£2,265£3,295£2,850£3,125£2,795£3,145Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 15 Mar - Tue 29 Mar 11?*Thu 22 Dec - Thu 05 Jan 12?Fri 21 Oct - Thu 03 Nov 11?Sun 02 Oct - Sat 15 Oct 11?*Fri 15 Apr - Thu 28 Apr 11?Festival15th Mar & 2nd Oct departures onlyGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2/4* clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comBhutan The HimalayaGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients

13telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comB hutan and Tibet are linked by their Buddhist culture but are scenically very different. In Bhutan we attend a festival and visit some of the finest monasteries in the country, including impressive Taksang Temple (the Tiger's Nest), clinging to the side of a cliff, and the magnificent riverside Dzong at Punakha. As we travel over high passes we will also enjoy some spectacular Himalayan mountain vistas. In Tibet we visit Samye Monastery, Tsedang and the 'Valley of the Kings', the cradle of Tibetan civilisation, before continuing to busy Lhasa. Here we might join pilgrims on a 'kora' around the Potala Palace or join the throng visiting the ancient Jokhang Temple. Added to these treats is the spectacular return flight past Everest and other Himalayan giants and then time to explore Kathmandu from the fabulous Dwarika's hotel. T his cultural tour of all the major towns and sights in western Bhutan utilises some of the more upmarket hotels that now exist in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Tastefully designed and traditionally furnished, these properties provide a level of sophisticated refinement that will add that extra pizzazz to your stay. Our journey through picturesque western Bhutan visits grand monastery-fortresses and explore off-the-beaten-track villages. Everywhere we go we will be welcomed by the friendly Bhutanese people. We will attend the impressive Buddhist festival at Thimphu Dzong, one of the most important events of the year and a never to be forgotten experience. Our time in Bhutan concludes with a relaxing traditional 'hot stone' bath in the stylish converted nobleman's house that is Uma Paro Hotel. Returning to Kathmandu we stay at the delightful Dwarika's hotel whilst we explore this ancient city and take a special flight into the high Himalaya for a close-up look at Everest. Private departures We can also offer this trip as a private holiday for a minimum of two people sharing for £2,555 per person, Land Only. International flights available from £700.Cultural Highlights of Bhutan & Tibet This trip really does have it all - three Himalayan capitals, important cultural sites and unforgettable high mountain landscapes. First Class Tour of Bhutan Why not treat yourself to something truly special and explore Bhutan in style?View over Thimphu, Andi HarrisonGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£2,450£3,085Land OnlyFlight IncludedThu 29 Sep - Tue 11 Oct 11Local Leader Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 9 Lodges: 2Optional: Single Room £345Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 13 DaysFestivalAppointed Leader Ann Sainsbury?John Yost?Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 14/15Optional: Single Room £295Insurance: £132Cultural Tour | Duration: 16/17 DaysOther Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58Other Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58£3,450£3,495£4,150£4,150Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 15 Mar - Wed 30 Mar 11?Fri 30 Sep - Sun 16 Oct 11?FestivalGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Himalaya Bhutan