With plunging valleys and Buddhist monasteries, Sikkim in India is breathtaking. Add Bhutan's dramatic landscapes and colourful heritage, and you will experience an incredible journey through a lesser known part of the Himalayas
UK - Kolkata (3N) - Siliguri (1N) - Darjeeling (2N) - Pelling (2N) - Gantonk (2N) - Kalimpong (2N) - Gorumara (1N) - Phuentsholing (1N) - Thimphu (2N) - Gangtey (1N) - Paro (3N)- Kolkata - UK
Ride on the iconic Darjeeling Toy Train through West Bengal’s spectacular scenery
Find your spiritual side at the Tibetan-inspired Tashiding Monastery
Take a jeep safari through the Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the elusive One Horned Rhino
Explore the friendly Buddhist city of Thimphu
Walk to Chimi Lakhang, the ‘Temple of Fertility’
Take in the dramatic setting and layout of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination
If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.
Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
One of the finest Kolkata hotels, The Peerless Inn has 122 en-suite rooms and is located in the heart of Kolkata, central to local shopping areas. All rooms feature modern amenities including; air-conditioning, TV, tea/coffee makers and mini-fridges. Other facilities include a fitness centre, restaurant and currency exchange.
The Royal Sarovar Portico 4 star hotel is a delight for business and leisure, in an ideal location for tourists heading towards Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok. Guests can enjoy the verdant landscapes from the luxurious en-suite rooms, and delicious multi cuisine, a relaxing spa and pool.
Amidst the mighty Himalayas, Hotel Viceroy offers beautiful mountain views 2,650 yards above sea level. The hotel’s en-suite rooms feature a satellite TV and electric kettle. Other facilities include a sun terrace, sauna and library for guests. For dining, there is a multi-cuisine restaurant, as well as a coffee lounge. In-room dining is possible with room service.
In a delightful hillock overlooking a breath-taking view of Mt. Khangchendzonga, Norbu Ghang Resort sprawls over an abundant private space offering its visitors plenty of room to amble around or relax in quiet solitude. The resort offers comfortable en-suite rooms with private balconies, and serves guests both local and international delicious cuisines.
Situated in the northeast of India, Silver Oaks Kalimpong is surrounded by beautiful greenery and is a great place to unwind. Situated close to the main Kalimpong area allows guests to discover the delights of this former Bhutanese village as well as visit markets and local shops. The hotel features 25 spacious en-suite rooms including great views of the hotel's gardens, and a delicious in-house restaurant serving local favourites.
The Riverwood Forest Retreats is located in Gorumara, 8 km from Gorumara National Park and 2 km from Dakshin Dhupjhora Masjid. The Riverwood Forest Retreats is a luxury forest resort in the lovely Sunderbans. This classic boarding house with a simple decor exudes bucolic charm, also featuring air conditioning, an iron and telephone. The hotel also provides bikes for hire and a swimming pool.
The Druk Phuentsholing Hotel guarantees guests a peaceful stay, perfectly positioned near to the main city and shopping centres. The hotel offers 32 beautifully appointed en-suite rooms, all providing Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and television. The hotel also boasts a excellent restaurant serving local Bhutanese Indian and Chinese flavours.
Located right in the heart of the city overlooking sparkling river meandering across the valley, Kisa hotel is the unique blend of Bhutanese traditional and contemporary architecture. Elegantly adorned with classical paintings and frescos, its 35 guestrooms are equipped with modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and television. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves delicious local and continental flavours.
Pema Karpo is a beautiful hotel located between Khuru and Bajo town, with a magnificent view of Puna Tsang Chuu. Each en-suite room overlooks the breath-taking view of the silver sands of Punatsangchu River or the beautiful dusky terraced paddy fields. The hotel also features a gift shop and restaurant serving tasty Bhutanese, Continental and Indian cuisines.
Situated in the historical Bumthang District, Yozerling Lodge offers beautiful, scenic views over Jalikhar. The lodge's airy en-suite rooms each offer Wi-Fi, a balcony and room service. Other facilities include a bar, laundry and foreign exchange service.
Beautifully located on a hill amidst 28 acres of blue pine forests and greenery, Olathang Hotel has comfortable en-suite rooms, all featuring television, tea/coffee facilities and room service. The hotel also offers a multi-cuisine restaurant & bar, spa and a traditional hot stone bath ensuring guests a warm and comfortable stay.
A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!
The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.
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