The Best of the Mountain Kingdoms: Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan
Sacred temples, hidden monasteries, magnificent palaces and ancient cities — learn about these and other enduring cultural treasures from the people who call the Himalayas their home.
Rating (4.85)
Program No. 21103RJ
19 days
Starts at
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Flights start at
14 Reviews
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4.85 Average

In 18 short days, you cover thousands of years of history, understand and learn the cultures and religions of 3 countries, take pictures you will treasure, and taste some really great food.


It was an amazing trip. yes I had problems with the altitude when hiking, but the sights (Potala Palace in Tibet and Tiger's Nest in Bhutan) made the hard hikes worth it. I am also amazed how many people know English. I was able to communicate with a deaf Nepalese man in American Sign Language!! Go on this trip, it was great!

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In my heart, I'm a Lonely Planet traveler -- self-sufficient and independent. In reality, this would not have been possible in the Himalayan region, which I had long wanted to visit. Lots of wonderful sights, sounds, tastes on this itinerary.


This was my first trip to Asia and what an introduction. I would describe my experience as breath taking and beyond my expectations. As my tee shirt says "I did not climb Mt.Everest...but I touched it with my heart!"


Bhutan is a perfect adventure for those who value exploring a little known paradise. I call it the "Brigadoon" of the Himalayas. A dream vacation in a beautiful place with beautiful people.


This trip was great. Ours was a small group - only 8 - so we moved easily and received a lot of individual attention. I was travelling alone and the other participants were welcoming and we all got along well. Hats off to our guides, Wentao and Binaya. They made the trip informative, fun and thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommend if you are interested in this area of the world, or want to expand your horizons.


The Best of the Mountain Kingdoms was an amazing trip. It became sort of “Comparative Himalayan Cultures 101” as we dipped into three different mountain kingdoms, and also visited Beijing and Bangkok briefly. Our group was solid, experienced and compatible. The guides were of course, excellent. The additional local guides lent a more complete, even emotional point of view to what we were seeing. The insight into Buddhism in its different forms was warm and valuable. Over half of us made it up to the Tiger’s Nest, but I’m disclosing that it was one hard hike. I’m 70 and am really proud that I made it, as well as all 460+ steps of the Potala Palace (at 12,000 feet of altitude.) Personally, I would have liked more rural experiences. This was a very urban trip with only a few exceptions…. People considering signing up for this adventure need to pay attention to the amount of flying hours, hotel changes and length of the trip, because it is definitely a complex and strenuous journey. I think Road Scholar should look into a different carrier than Air China--- That said, RS did a wonderful job of providing us with really special hotels, sometimes even lavish ones. At times, given the stresses and enormity of what we were seeing, being coddled felt exactly right. Our buses and drivers were top flight, and the lecturers were of high caliber and always interesting. This is a very special learning expedition, no doubt about it.


Very eclectic group of folks from all over the country who quickly got to know each other. Sanjay Nepal, and Shi Wentao were superlative program leaders and made every day of the trip an adventure. Lots of interesting food served each day with a chance to eat either Western dishes or local cuisine. Hotel accommodations were very definitely better than we thought they would be. This trip is definitely moderately challenging and we were on the go from morning to evening. Definitely bring walking poles, nasal spray for dry nose at high altitudes and we found Diamox very helpful.


What an interesting and beautiful part of the world this is! The weather was excellent, although a bit cold in Beijing and Tibet, and the mountains were picture-perfect against the bright blue sky. Our leader arranged for a flight to Mt Everest that was breathtaking. Thank you for that experience. Being in these countries exposed me to a culture that truly intertwines their religion with their everyday lives. All the people were extremely friendly and wanted to share in conversations using their English skills. This trip included the right amount of walking, hiking, sightseeing, photo opportunities, and an occasional shopping stop. Bucket list: check.


This trip is a once in a lifetime experience. Lean on local experts to learn more about these countries, their culture and understanding of the rest of the world. The sites are so different from what we see and experience in the US. The scenery was beautiful, the excursions - educational and fun, and the hiking - strenuous and and affirming. I highly recommend this program for those who want to know and learn more about the countries in SE Asia.


Amazing adventure! Every country is unique and intriguing in its own right. The hike to the Tiger's Nest is very strenuous, but so worth it!! Get in shape, take your altitude pills and your electrolytes and DO IT! Trip of a lifetime!


This program fulfilled our expectations and is a great value for the cost. What I value most is to experience of the Buddhist and Hindu cultures and to see the Himalayas with my own eyes.


This is a phenomenal program. A fascinating profoundly visionary and spiritual journey into a part of the world that few have encountered.


The "Best of the Mountain Kingdoms" was AWESOME! I learned so much about Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Our guides were experts and shared important information about their countries and cultures.

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