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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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Laurel Kracen Jul 10, 2014 at 03:35 PM

I am going on the Oct. 19 trip; traveling with a few other friends. Anybody else planning on that trip?

Laura Inscoe Jul 01, 2014 at 08:35 AM

I just returned from the June 1 trip. It was fantastic! I would do it again--no changes. The road going into the mountains of Bhutan were under constructin and rough, but not scary, in my opinion. Take some Dramimine/Meclizine on those days. Some of had prescription Diamox for the Tibet altitude--I just had a headache for a day, but some felt sick (vomited). I got the runs" once, but took a half of Immodium and that took care of it. Be prepared to have toilet paper or tissues in your pocket at every restroom, by the way. You will have a great time--pack light and bring the items on the suggestion list. I had a pair of Leki collapsible carbon hiking poles--one woman had just a single one--great help for Potala Palace and Tiger's Nest. This was a strenuous program for me--I'm overweight--but I was able to make it and I'm so glad I did! The approach to Bhutan on Drukair is no problem and incredibly beautiful. Road Scholar has thought of everything and can respond to absolutely anything that arises. You can have confidence in this program! In all things, be patient and stay positive--that's the best advice of all!
Daniel Tam Jul 01, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Thank you for the valuable information. I like you attitude towards exploring new places!!
Mary Ann L Jul 02, 2014 at 03:56 PM

Laura, thanks for the info. I'm considering this trip either May or Oct. of next year. How was the weather in June?
Laura Inscoe Jul 02, 2014 at 05:50 PM

Mary Ann, I found the temps to be uncomfortably hot, esp in Beijing, Kathmandu and Bangkok. June is supposed to be the beginnng of monsoon season and rain was predicted, but we didn't have any rain to speak up until the last day. We had a very small (14) group, maybe because people suspected it would be hot. The small group was a great benefit, and, I suppose, a fair trade-off.

Toni Johnson Jun 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM

I just spoke to a woman who had been in Bhutan but not with Road Scholar. She spoke about harrowing drives along mountain passes. She also spoke about flying in to the capital on a 747 in which the plane had its wings point toward the ground and the sky above on approach. She seemed credible! Has anyone else had such an experience? I read that the roads were terrible, but are they on the sheer cliffs of the mountains?
Pat Hoskin Jun 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Hello: You are going on the trip so the best thing is to not worry. The plane into Bhutan is owned by Bhutan airlines. It is fine. I would suggest asking for oxygen in Tibet if you feel bad.
Pat Hoskin Jun 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM

You will adjust to the altitude and by the time you are in Bhutan you will be fine.
Annemarie Etsell Jul 01, 2014 at 01:57 AM

I was with April group. We flew with Drukair, which has smaller planes and highly qualified pilot. There are mountains along both sides of the Paro airport. Even in other locations do the pilots sometimes need to adjust the approach and tilt the plane. I never worried. As far as the roads are concerned, let's remember that Bhutan is a mountainous country in full developement. Some roads are still narrow or under construction for widening. Our group of 21 was split between two smaller buses as the ones we had used in both Tibet and Nepal. The drivers are professionals and I felt perfectly safe. Enjoy the trip. It is well worth it!

Karen Lewis Jun 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Just returned from the trip.One recommendation take stomach medicine in case you develop issues. (Trying to be polite.) I took great care drinking only the bottled water and I still got ill as did several others on the trip. Also do not over pack and be prepared for a lot of walking. It is a challenge at times. The guide we had was outstanding. The roads in Bhutan are horrid, but that is not the fault of Road Scholar.It is a developing country with gracious lovely people. The trip is worth taking. I also recommend No-Jet Lag. A homeopathic pill that helps with jet lag.
Toni Johnson Jun 11, 2014 at 01:33 PM

Karen, Thank you for the advisories. If anything more pops in your head, please let us know.
Karen Lewis Jun 11, 2014 at 03:00 PM

Pop!! Sunscreen is necessary. Take a hat and trecking poles. There are many many photo opportunities. Also the security checks are more thorough than the TSA in America. Be prepared to be patted down.
Toni Johnson Jun 16, 2014 at 02:02 AM

How about the altitude? Was it a problem for people?
Toni Johnson Jun 16, 2014 at 02:04 AM

I am going on the September 24th trip. I have been trying to get a single supplement. They suggested I watch the web-site in case something came up. anyone else in this same situation?
Karen Lewis Jun 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I got the double supplement. That worked for me. As to the altitude, I did not take the medication recommended. My doctor would not give it to me because I take high blood pressure pills. I took ginko biloba and it worked well. It was a tad hard to breath first couple of days. It passed. Drink a lot of water that is key.
Toni Johnson Jun 17, 2014 at 02:21 AM

Were others on your trip negatively affected?
Karen Lewis Jun 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Toni, there were a couple of people that did not do too well the first couple of days. I did have a headache, but after about 3 days it left. It was tolerable.

Pat Hoskin Jun 10, 2014 at 12:09 AM

I went on the program. I suggest those lightwear pants which zip off for shorts,like by Columbia; and especially a "travelers vest" I bought one by L.L.Bean.; so you have lots of pockets and can be hands free. I also took a lightweight skirt for evening dinners. I used my jacket only one time. I do suggest tennis shoes, and lightweight hiking boots. I used Keene light hiking shoes. In Thailand, I used sandals.
Toni Johnson Jun 10, 2014 at 12:44 AM

Did you have a good time on the trip? anything you would say we should beware of?

Toni Johnson Jun 09, 2014 at 02:16 PM

I am going on the trip to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal in mid-October. Love to communicate with others who have been or are going. Toni
Jennifer Payton Jun 09, 2014 at 02:27 PM

I am planning on going on that trip. What are you going to wear? Do we need to dress up like we're going skiing?
Pat Hoskin Jun 09, 2014 at 09:43 PM

I personally did not find it very cold and I live in Hawaii. I added an earlier trip.
Toni Johnson Jun 09, 2014 at 10:14 PM

It looks like the weather should be in the mid 60's in Llhasa and perhaps a bit warmer in Bhutan and Nepal. I hope the experts at Road Scholar tell is what to bring!
Toni Johnson Jun 09, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Pat, I see you went on this trip recently. How did you like it. What were the best and worst things!?

Laura Inscoe May 15, 2014 at 09:31 AM

Recent travelers, if you can post photos, we'd appreciate them!

Suzanne Whisler May 14, 2014 at 01:15 PM

Thankyou both for your input. Very helpful.
Karen Lewis May 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Suzanne, I am leaving from Seattle to LAX. Looking forward to meeting everyone and having a great experience.

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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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