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15telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comT his exciting new itinerary in the eastern Himalaya offers many delights. In Darjeeling, a typical Indian hill station, we will enjoy great views of Mount Kangchenjunga and have the opportunity to ride the toy train. We then continue to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, an important centre of Buddhism, but as equally renowned for its orchids as for its architectural heritage with many fine and interesting monasteries. We then drive through tea plantations to cross the border into Bhutan, a beautiful and unspoiled country with a vibrant tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Here we marvel at the magnificent fortified dzongs and will visit the most important monasteries in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, as well as some more intimate, smaller temples. We will also enjoy some lovely gentle walks in both Darjeeling and Bhutan, such as the hike up to the dramatically situated Tiger's Nest Monastery. The spring departure attends the vibrant Paro festival in Bhutan.I n less than two weeks London to London we take in monasteries, markets and a three-day trek through classic Bhutanese countryside. We will attend either the Paro (spring) or Thimphu (autumn) festivals, both popular and lively events where monks perform masked dances in front of crowds of Bhutanese dressed in their festival finery. Our time in Bhutan starts in Paro, exploring the town, visiting the Dzong and walking up to the spectacular Tiger's Nest Monastery. We have plenty of time to visit the main sights of the three valleys which lie at the heart of Bhutan; Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. The Samtengang trek is a lovely low altitude trek, which passes through pristine pine, oak and rhododendron forest, and villages where centuries of tradition have been preserved. Weather permitting on the first day, there may be views of distant snow capped peaks, including Mount Chomolhari. Travels in Sikkim & BhutanVisit lively Darjeeling and dip a toe into the fascinating Buddhist cultures of Sikkim and Bhutan.Bhutan Festival Trek The ideal condensed trip to Bhutan for those who don't have weeks to spare.Paro Dzong, Steve HarbertGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£1,745£1,745£2,450£2,395Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFri 11 Mar - Tue 22 Mar 11Fri 30 Sep - Tue 11 Oct 11On Trek: 4 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 7 Camping: 3Optional: Single Room £145 Single Tent £50Insurance: £95Trek | Duration: 12 DaysFestivalGrade: Gentle/Moderate Day Walks: 3Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 13Optional: Single Room £545Insurance: £95 Trek | Duration: 15 Days£2,375£2,825Land OnlyFlight IncludedFri 11 Mar - Fri 25 Mar 11Sat 15 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 11FestivalMar departure onlyGrade: GentleGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Himalaya Bhutan

16Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comU p until 1962 when the first 'jeep track' from the border to Thimphu was completed, there were no roads at all in Bhutan. Until then, even visiting Indian presidents took roughly a week on horseback to reach the capital from the Indian border.The Druk Path trek takes in the most varied and beautiful sections of the original mule trail through the mountains from Paro to Thimphu; Bhutan's main towns. We walk through rhododendron forest, alive with colour in the spring, across open yak pastures and along glorious high ridges. Highlights along the way include serene sacred lakes teeming with trout, meeting nomadic yak herders, visiting a haunted monastery, and in good weather, wonderful views of the snow capped eastern Himalaya. Our five-day trek is combined with the must see cultural highlights of Paro, Punakha and Thimphu, and two of the departures will attend lively annual festivals.O ur time in Bhutan begins in Paro where we walk up to Tiger's Nest Monastery before starting our first trek to the modern day capital, Thimphu. En route there are views of snow capped Chomolhari, Bhutan's second highest peak, and our walk on mountain paths gives an insight into Bhutan's remoteness prior to the first roads being built.After a rest in Thimphu, a second four-day trek again takes us through glorious countryside to the old capital of Punakha, set in a verdant valley with one of the most enchanting dzongs in the Kingdom.The spring departure attends the most important religious festival in the Bhutanese calendar, the Paro Tsechu. Here we see the unfurling of the three-storey high 'thangka' early in the morning. Direct rays of sunlight must not touch the sacred image that people from all over Bhutan travel once a year to see. Druk Path TrekThe perfect moderate trek through magnificent mountain country from Paro to Thimphu.The Chorten PathFollow the original Chorten Path to reach the least visited of all the Himalayan capitals, Thimphu.Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£2,395£2,395£3,095£3,050Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 15 Mar - Sat 02 Apr 11Tue 12 Apr - Sat 30 Apr 11Tue 04 Oct - Sat 22 Oct 11On Trek: 9 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 10 Camping: 7Optional: Single Room £210 Single Tent £75Insurance: £99Trek | Duration: 19 DaysFestivalMar departure onlyGrade: Moderate/VigorousOn Trek: 5 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 8Camping: 4Optional: Single Room £175 Single Tent £50Insurance: £95 Trek | Duration: 14 Days£1,895£1,950£1,950£2,595£2,595£2,695Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedSun 13 Mar - Sat 26 Mar 11Sun 06 Nov - Sat 19 Nov 11Sun 25 Sep - Sat 08 Oct 11FestivalMar & Sep departures onlyGrade: ModerateGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comBhutan The HimalayaChorten Ningpo, The Chorten Path, Steve Berry