15 Day Epic Journey to India (2017)



Stopover Programs

3 Day/2 Night Post-Trip Beijing Stopover Program ($200 per person, Beijing) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Beijing

Take advantage of China's new 72-hour visa-free transit program and visit imperial Beijing!

Our Beijing stopover program features two-night hotel accommodations, including breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. We also recommend our optional full-day Beijing tour of the Great Wall and Forbidden City, which includes a sumptuous Peking Duck dinner.

This tour is only available to Air China travelers.
Day 2: Full day excursion to the Great Wall and Forbidden City with Peking Duck dinner ($130 per person, Beijing)
Optional tour in Beijing

After a hearty breakfast, we take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to visit China's most renowned monument-the Great Wall. The wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China's northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of more than 3,500 miles! Chairman Mao once said, "You haven't walked on the Wall, you haven't been a good Chinese." Today, you will have time to walk on the wall and experience its splendor.

In the afternoon, we continue to visit the royal Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the Chinese universe and a lasting monument of dynastic China, from which 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world's largest palace complex and China's most magnificent imperial architecture, consisting of many buildings with 9,999 rooms on a 250-acre compound, protected by a 171 feet wide moat and 20 feet deep. Now known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the exclusive domain of the imperial court and dignitaries where outside visitors were forbidden for five centuries. Here you will explore the imperial treasures in the grand palaces and pavilions, exquisite courtyards and gardens in what was once the residence of China's rulers.

Tonight, we enjoy a dinner of specially prepared Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.

Please note: The Forbidden City is closed on Mondays. On these days, we will visit the Summer Palace instead. The sprawling grounds of the Summer Palace served the Qing Dynasty as an imperial retreat from the stifling summer confines of the Forbidden City.



6 Day/5 Night Nepal Extension ($849 per person, Nepal) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Nepal

Nepal remains the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya and still offers incomparable adventures.

Surrounded by the high mountain peaks, the Kathmandu Valley includes three fabled cities: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each one formerly the capital of a small kingdom and home to an exposition of graceful temples, beautiful countryside, brick-paved courtyards, and quaint streets. Several UNESCO World Heritage sites grace the valley region.

On this extended trip, we get the opportunity to see and learn about Newari people and their culture, ancient temples and impressive Buddhist stupas, smiling people and beautiful villages. We also have an opportunity to take a flight and get up close to the most majestic peaks of Everest - also referred by many as the "rooftop of the world."
Day 5: Day excursion to Nagarkot and hike through villages including lunch ($55 per person, Kathmandu)
Optional tour in Kathmandu

After breakfast, we drive to Changunarayan and start our day hike to Telkot. Said to have been built in 323 AD by King Hari Datta Varma, Changunarayan is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest temple of Nepal, richly decorated with sculptures and carvings. The entire 3-hour easy-leveled hike is a cultural experience and offers spectacular views through villages, fields and forest.

We drive to Nagarkot for lunch, the best place to view the spectacular Himalayas. Situated about 32 km east of Kathmandu, this city is a popular hill station for the sunrise and sunset, commanding one of the broadest views of the Himalaya (subject to weather conditions) in all directions. After spending some time we drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 6: Mt. Everest flight (USD $200 per person, to be paid directly in Nepal) ($0 per person, Kathmandu)
Optional tour in Kathmandu

If the weather is clear, join an early morning flight above the mighty Himalayan peaks for a close up view of Mount Everest, the world‘s highest peak. The small aircraft, with guaranteed window seats, offers the opportunity for unsurpassed views of Everest and the surrounding mountains - a far easier way to experience the landscape than an arduous multi-day trek. This excursion is booked directly with a local tour company in Nepal, and will be approximately USD $200 per person.
8 Day/7 Night Bhutan Land of the Thunder Dragon ($2399 per person, Bhutan) - Post Tour
Extension tour in Bhutan

Set amid the beautiful scenery of the Himalayas, the small mountain kingdom of Bhutan is a unique destination which retains a distinct character largely untouched by the modern world. Geographically, the country is set snugly between the behemoths of China and India, but with a population under a million it feels somehow out of place. A deeply Buddhist nation, the country maintains a deliberate separation, forging a divergent path from global homogenization, best exemplified by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, where the country measures the wellbeing of its citizens rather than their economic wealth.

Visiting Bhutan feels like a privilege, an opportunity to gain a rare insight into a lifestyle and culture that is very different from anything that you will experience elsewhere. Comparatively few tourists visit each year and tourism is carefully controlled to ensure that the impact onto the local populace is minimized. This means that accommodation options are limited and standards of service may not match those which you would expect in other countries. However, for those prepared to put up with some minor inconveniences the country rewards the intrepid traveler with a distinct and rewarding experience.