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21telephone: 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 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. We will also attend a colourful Bhutanese festival, a highlight of any visit.In Tibet we travel to Samye Monastery, Tsedang and the cradle of Tibetan civilisation - the 'Valley of the Kings'- 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 the many treats on this tour is a spectacular flight past Everest and a tour of the main sights of bustling Kathmandu. B efore setting off on trek we have plenty of time to relax in Kathmandu, with visits to the 'Monkey Temple' and bustling Durbar Square, and also in Lhasa where we'll visit Drepung and Sera Monasteries and see the magnificent Potala Palace. This will also assist our acclimatisation. Given its proximity to Lhasa, it is incredible that the beautiful Phenpo Valley has remained one of Tibet's best kept secrets - we're most unlikely to encounter other western tourists on our trek. This agriculturally rich area is scattered with villages, many housing fascinating monasteries and other cultural sights, which we will have ample time to explore. The itinerary has been carefully planned to avoid demanding climbs over high passes but there are dramatic mountain views, an abundance of culture and history and easy walking trails.Cultural Highlights of Bhutan & TibetThis trip has it all - three Himalayan capitals, important cultural sites and high mountain landscapes.Gentle Trekking Tibet Enjoy the highlights of Kathmandu and Lhasa followed by a short trek in the delightful and rarely visited Phenpo Valley.Festival monk, John Turner£2,395£3,050Land OnlyFlight IncludedWed 18 May - Thu 02 Jun 11Wed 03 Aug - Thu 18 Aug 11On Trek: 5 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 9 Camping: 5Optional: Single Room £100 Kathmandu Single Room/Tent £225 TibetInsurance: £95Trek | Duration: 16 DaysGrade: Gentle/Moderate Appointed Leader Ann Sainsbury?John Yost?Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 14/15Optional: Single Room £295Insurance: £132Cultural Tour | Duration: 16/17 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comAround Lhasa TibetGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£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?Other Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58Festival

22Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comTibet Holy Mountains of TibetT ibetans hold many of their mountains sacred, but Mount Kailash is the most significant of all. From this isolated, perfectly shaped peak, spring four of Asia's most important rivers; the Indus, the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), a tributary of the Ganges, and the Sutlej. Our trek begins in Simikot, Nepal, following an ancient trail. This relatively little trekked route offers plenty of scenic and cultural interest, as well as ideal acclimatisation for our time in Tibet, where we arrive on the shores of Lake Manasarovar, the holiest lake in Asia. After completing the pilgrimage kora around Kailash itself, we'll attend the annual festival of Saga Dawa, held at the foot of the mountain. Finally we make the impressive drive across the Tibetan plateau to Zhangmu and thence back to Kathmandu. F ounded in the 10th Century, Guge was a seat of power that once ruled over parts of Zanskar, Spiti and Ladakh. Today the ancient kingdom's remote location (it lies 1,200 miles/1,900km from Lhasa) makes it one of the least visited areas of Tibet and therefore a special highlight of this memorable trip. Trekking from Simikot in Nepal, we cross the border to reach Lake Manasarovar and then drive on to visit Tsarparang and Tholing. Tsarparang, the former capital of Guge, is one of the unknown wonders of the world - a city of cave dwellings which pepper a mountain, atop which stands the royal palace. Driving to Darchen we now undertake the four-day kora around Mount Kailash, before ending our exciting adventure with a drive back to Nepal, across the Tibetan plateau.T his remarkable trek takes us to a little visited part of eastern Tibet. Flying into Lijiang, we travel northwards via Tiger Leaping Gorge and Zhongdian to reach the trading outpost of Dechen. From here it's a short drive to the banks of the Mekong, and the start of our trek. Whereas Mount Kailash in western Tibet represents the body of the Buddha, Kawa Karpo represents the mind emanation of the Buddha. Therefore our circuit of the mountain (kora), often in the company of devout pilgrims, bestows considerable merit. In total we cross five high passes and trek through an amazingly diverse range of scenery from dense forests dripping with orchids, to alpine yak pastures and arid semi-desert. Very few westerners have trekked here, so this truly is a trip of exploration and discovery. Mount Kailash & the Saga Dawa FestivalTrekking from Nepal into Tibet to join pilgrims on the Kailash Kora and at Saga Dawa.Mount Kailash & the Kingdom of GugeTrekking from Nepal into Tibet to complete the Kailash Kora and visit the ancient Kingdom of Guge.The Kawa Karpo Pilgrimage A unique and stunningly beautiful trek around sacred Kawa Karpo (6,740m/22,113ft).£3,095£3,795£3,375£3,975£2,855£3,695Land OnlyFlight IncludedLand OnlyFlight IncludedLand OnlyFlight IncludedSun 29 May - Tue 21 Jun 11Sun 11 Sep - Thu 06 Oct 11Thu 19 May - Sat 11 Jun 11Thu 15 Sep - Sat 08 Oct 11On Trek: 12 days Appointed Leader: Steve HarbertAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 6 Camping: 16Optional: Single Room £175 Single Tent £120Insurance: £154On Trek: 11 days Appointed Leader: Beetle GravesAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 5 Camping: 19Optional: Single Room £155 Single Tent £135Insurance: £169On Trek: 15 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 7 Camping: 14Optional: Single Room £180 Single Tent £145Insurance: £154Trek | Duration: 24 DaysTrek | Duration: 26 DaysTrek | Duration: 24 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clientsGrade: StrenuousGrade: StrenuousGrade: Strenuous Tibetan girls, Steve BerryFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFestival