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The Best of the Mountain Kingdoms: Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan

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Road Scholar
Program #21103RJ
19 Days | 18 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Pat Hoskin Jul 31, 2014 at 12:01 AM

I did get altitude sickness. I had to ask for oxygen several times, I was on the trip which returned on May 1. You need to demand oxygen, some of the local guides try to not encourage this, but it really helps. So by the third day I was able to do the Potala Palace. again I am not able to take the high altitude pills.
thank you

Premium Email Subscriber Jul 30, 2014 at 08:32 PM

I am wondering if anyone had problems with altitude sickness. I have read that it is important to gve yourself time to become accliated to the high altitudes in this part of the world. The itinerary does not seem to take that into consideration. Did anyone become ill? I have allergy-induced asthma, am not on meds because I avoid the allergens (cats) but was recently at Yellowstone and experienced some breathlessness at 8000 feet. I would appreciate your observations and experiences. Thanks!
Manoj Aryal Jul 30, 2014 at 10:15 PM

yes, few clients had problems with altitude sickness
Manoj Aryal Jul 30, 2014 at 10:18 PM

if you go through the itinerary it clearly suggests that we do not engage in any activities on the day of the arrival in Lhasa. We have kept free time to relax on the first day. I suggest you to go with proper medicines like Diamox, Ibuprophne, drink plenty of water when you arrive in Lhasa. The hotel provides you water bottles, while on tour just slow your pace, do not rush, this will help you to combat altitude sickness.

Manoj Aryal Jul 19, 2014 at 12:47 AM

Hi All..! I am Manoj Aryal, I am the Group Leader for Mountain Kingdoms, I have just joined the discussion forum, I have finished my group from 01 June to 19th June, please feel free to ask any questions related to the trip would be happy to answer
Mary Ann L Jul 19, 2014 at 04:11 PM

Hi Manoj, I'm seriously considereing this trip for next year. Any recommendation on the best time of year to go? I'm favoring October but was wondering if it ever snows in October?
Manoj Aryal Jul 30, 2014 at 04:35 AM

Hay Mary, October is actually is the best season to go on this trip, Tibet will be a bit chilly but you will enjoy your trip

Mary Ann L Jul 13, 2014 at 06:14 PM

Laura or anyone else who's taken this trip: was anyone in your group unable to make it all the way up to Tiger's Nest?
Annemarie Etsell Jul 13, 2014 at 06:28 PM

I was in the April 2014 group. We were 21. Everyone made it to the tea house where we also had lunch. Seventeen made it to the view point which is actually above the Tiger's Nest, and ten made it all the way to the monastery. From the view point, the trail goes down into a gorge, across a bridge and then up again on the other side. More steps inside the monastery. Personally, I did not go all the way as I feared my knees would rebel too much on the way down. I used hike poles and for anyone with knees issues, I would recommend them. Regardless of how far someone can make it, it is a wonderful experience. Enjoy!
Laura Inscoe Jul 13, 2014 at 11:05 PM

I agree with Annemarie about taking care of your knees--I overdid it. We had some who stopped at the tea house. Don't hurt yourself, just to make it up there. It's a lovely place to see, even from the tea house.

Pat Hoskin Jul 13, 2014 at 06:00 PM

Hello I went on the trip which returned May 1st. I used a Bank of America visa card at the ATM's in Bhutan. No problem.
I do recommend a hiking pole.

Laura Inscoe Jul 12, 2014 at 09:50 PM

From the June 1, 2014 trip: I and one other person had poles. I'm not in great shape and was glad to have them, but most didn't have them and were fine. It is a tough hike, no doubt about it, but worth it if you cn do it. The few hotels without elevators have porters to take luggage to and from your rooms. The hotel in Bhutan without an elevator had 4 floors. Climbing floors helps prepare you for the Tigers Nest Hike as do many days of walking a lot. If you're not in shape already, you will be by the end of this trip! We had one person who lost his cell phone--he thinks some boys in Nepal jostled him and took it--a big inconvenience and concern for him. In Bhutan, the ATMs seemed to only take MasterCard. Most people are gracious and kind. I wasn't fearful, but was cautious, as one would want to be whenever traveling. Be not afraid; a beautiful trip awaits you!
Karen Lewis Jul 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I second the Laura. Beautiful, memorable trip.

Richard Selby Jul 12, 2014 at 05:41 PM

I would not buy new hiking poles..for the long hike up to Tigers Nest purchase at the beginning of the trail two wooden poles ($1 each)...give them to the guide when you return so they could be used by the next group..or just return them to stand where purchased...they do not repurchase them.Keep you eye on them at the 1/2 way restaurant/toilet; They disappeared from one RS hiker there.
And we had one wallet taken from a backpack in Beijing so make copies of all CC information so as to call to cancel cards..that couple did not do that..and therefore spent one day of their trip recreating that information.
Elevators in Bhutan/Beijing hotels..Nepal Hotel has many levels and stairs; spread out and no elevator..ask for lowest level room.There is usually a porter to help with your luggage if needed.Get all local monies at airport..suggest getting small bills...and converting residual monies to next country before going thru security.
Used US dollars for large purchases in Tibet & Nepal.Bangkok credit cards were used in some stores. Always had local currency.In Beijing there was only one exchange open at the late hour of your flight back to the was in the area just beyond where you checked in and before security.

Mark Townsend Jul 12, 2014 at 05:06 PM

Judy and Mark again. Can we assume that the hotels without elevators are fairly short?
Karen Lewis Jul 12, 2014 at 05:18 PM

The elevator ride depends on what country and what hotel you are in. I was on the May-June trip and in China, Thailand and Nepal we stayed in very nice hotels. 4-5 star actually and the hotels were fast. In Tibet the elevator was adequate, although I took the stairs as I was on the second floor. In Bhutan, the hotel did not have an elevator. Great country though. Gracious, lovely people.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
16 nights of accommodations
48 meals: 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 15 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
24 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances
4 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 3 required)


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