Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim tour

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim tour

Environment

An incredible journey to 3 Kingdoms where tourism aligned with sustainability and local ethos are lived. The charming mountain kingdom of Bhutan for example is the only country in the world that measures its citizens’ Gross National Happiness. By visiting Bhutan you help to preserve and sustain one of the world's 10 most biodiverse regions, with 72% of pristine forest cover. On your trip we will ensure that we respect the countrys sustainability & happiness rules and customs to the most by working with local partners, using local food and resources, and by educating our staff and our guests as much as possible.

Both Bhutan and the state of Sikkim have gone 100% organic in their farming, which will do good to your health and support these practices, as a real role-model and inspiration.

This tour is one with a lower ecological footprint in general, as it includes plenty of hikes, trekking and the visit of natural and cultural sites and monasteries (for example hikes to Dochula Pass, Takin Sanctuary, the Monasteries of Tango, Cheri, the Kila Nunnery, Tiger's Nest...). We promote excursions which foster a more sustainable tourism and we commit to maintaining small-group sizes for the excursions on your trip, in order to limit negative environmental impacts in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.

There is a particular focus on this trip of maintaining the traditional way of life, the simple local food, and the traditional cultural environment based on eco-tourism concepts while generating economic benefits for rural populations in ways that are environmentally and socially responsible. Our core principle is to respect and enhance these values by encouraging our travellers and guides to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible.

Nature
By visiting the three states' parcs and treks, you will directly contribute to conserve their native wildlife and natural environment. Bhutan hosts more than 770 species of birds and over 165 species of animals, which roam free in the country’s 5 million acre network of protected areas. In Sikkim, nowhere in the world in such a small area can one find flora and fauna of all varieties than here. Sikkim's botanical and zoological richness is awe-inspiring, boasting of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of all the birds found in the Indian sub-continent. Amongst the mammals of Sikkim are the rare Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda, Musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Shapi, Common Langur, Leopard Cat, and the Flying Squirrel. We work with licensed local trekking guides who are officially trained in the necessary trekking, mountaineering, environmental and cultural issues relevant to the country’s eco-tourism policies.

You will visit Darjeeling, set against the jaw-droppingly gorgeous backdrop of the snow-covered Himalayas and surrounded by the phenomenal forests and streams. The little village of Mineral Spring is a community knit together by strong cultural values that have made it a model of sustainable growth. Two of these values are commitments to traditional agriculture and to protecting the region’s incredible biodiversity. This vibrant ensemble of small farms has been producing high-quality and certified organic Darjeeling tea since 1998 – even competing successfully against large corporate tea companies – without losing sight of the health and long-term preservation of their local environment. All of this is particularly important given the adjacent Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, whose resident birds and wildlife such as rhesus monkeys, barking deer and Himalayan flying squirrels know no borders.

Building & Conservation
Your visits to the monasteries, temples and buildings in this tour will directly help the preservation and maintenance of important historical sites, such as the Unesco World Heritage sites Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu, Swayambhunath, or Paton Durbar Square, all of outstanding universal value for their religious, symbiolic and artistic values.

Another highlight is the Toy Train ride in Darjeeling. The toy train and stations of Darjeeling were declared World Heritage sites, which you will support to maintain with your visit.

Accommodation
We focus on promoting the culturally most authentic accommodation experience. Priority is given to boutique hotels or accommodation directly managed by the local owners, where the travelers can find the natural hospitality and ambience suitable to the areas’ archeology, environment and culture. We take you for example to the unique Meri Puensum, established in 1999, one of the first resorts to come up in the serene and culture-rich valley of Punakha. Run by a family, the resort takes special care to attend to the needs of its guests in the true tradition of Bhutanese hospitality.

Or the small Hotal Olathang, beautifully perched on a hill amidst 28 acres of blue pine forests and greenery. At Hotel Olathang guests can enjoy an ambience of peace and tranquility, always in close intimacy with nature. The architectural heritage design and structure of its facilities present a purely Bhutanese touch and feel.

Community

We only work with local guides that come from the very region you are visiting, giving back to their families and communities. The hotels we choose are dedicated to empowering and creating opportunities for the local community through training and employment and respecting the environment through low impact design and green operational practices.

If you do want to shop, we will guide you to local markets where local artisans craft their products or local farmers sell their organic produce, which will help keep the money earned in that very community. In Thiumpu for example we will take you to the local traditional market where all village people assemble to sell their products (vegetable, fruits etc.). We will take you to local town restaurants with typical Bhutanese red rice and curry. There are also several Handicrafts shops: A wide assortment of colorful, hand woven textiles and other craft products.

This is a tour where you can learn a lot about the many Buddhist monks and their ways of living, especially in the Sikkim monasteries. For it is here the air breathes peace and folks live in harmony. Mountains sing lores of legend, and the ancient monasteries are echoing with holy chants. These Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim are special not just because they are scenic and immersed in the soft aroma of alpine but also because of the great legacy they carry. Behold them for the fine architecture, ancient existence, and incredible surroundings. Perched atop the mountains most of these Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim are scattered across the length and width of the state. A majority of these monasteries belonging to the 17th and 18th century stand wearily today.

Local experiences and interacting with the locals are important to us. We take you to a Bhutanese farm house in Paro for example, where you can gain an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the local people – an exchange of cultures and wisdoms which will benefit both the family and you. Most importantly, we are helping you to create lifelong memories by reconnecting you with yourself and your loved ones in this unique country.

Ever mindful of the difficulties involved in maintaining traditional ways of life and protecting nature, local farmers in Sikkim have started harnessing the power of community-based tourism as an opportunity for additional income. Our partner has designed several village tourism concepts in the entire eastern Himalayas, mainly in Darjeeling and Sikkim region and included as many village activities as possible to give the tourists a real taste of village atmosphere.

Priority has been given in selecting the villages where the villagers have maintained their own traditional customs, practices and rituals. Each of the selected villages differs in landscape, language, customs and practices from the other allowing the tourists to experience the vast ethnic diversity. Special arrangements are done for the tourists for accommodation where the typical village houses are used as home stays. Each village home stay is designed in typically traditional style, which reflects its own architecture and presents a basic but comfortable stay. During the stay in the village houses tourists can experience the organic cultivation, taste the local cuisine and drinks and also take part in the cooking process and other household activities with their hosts.

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