Himalayas & culture in Nepal & Bhutan

Himalayan culture, hikes and mountain views on a budget in Nepal and Bhutan

We’d like to visit Nepal and Bhutan. We’re regular walkers and are keen to include some time on foot as well as discover local life. We need comfort rather than luxury. ”

Charles and Amanda

What we recommended and why

We recommended a couple of days in Kathmandu for its open-air medieval living art gallery of richly decorated atmospheric temples and grand royal palaces all still part of everyday life.

Travelling west overland we suggested breaking the journey to mountains with an overnight stop in Bandipur. Almost untouched by modernisation, the little hilltop town has sweeping views of the Himalaya and great local walks. Pokhara provided further walking opportunities beneath the mountains before returning to Kathmandu via rhino spotting at Chitwan.

After flying along the Himalayas – and a view of Everest – to Bhutan we suggested a couple of nights at a homestay in the capital, Thimphu, for an authentic insight into local life and culture, timed to be in town for the Weekend Market.

We suggested staying in Punakha for a temple blessing and beautiful riverside walks.

We planned the trip so that we could include attending the Black-necked crane festival in the remote Gangtey Valley before heading back to Paro and ending with a hike to the highlight of Tigers Nest monastery

The journey

Arrive Nepal. Everyday life, temples & palaces in the capital (2 nights)



Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the country’s only large city, its political, commercial and cultural hub. Like many Asian...

To forgotton Bandipur for walks & first mountain views (1 night)

Old Inn


The Old Inn in Bandipur is a restored town-house that offers simple but characterful accommodation in a town where time has stood...

Guided hikes and the Himalayas at sunrise (2 nights)



Lying beneath the snow crested Annapurna Massif the lakeside town of Pokhara is a laid-back place to spend a couple of days...

Elephant back safari in search of rhinoceros (2 nights)

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge

Chitwan National Park

Situated in Chitwan's buffer zone near the Rapti river, Tharu Lodge is owned and managed by the famous Tiger Tops group who set up...

Return to Kathmandu ready for flight to Bhutan (1 night)



Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the country’s only large city, its political, commercial and cultural hub. Like many Asian...

Into Paro and transfer to the capital for weekend market and homestay (2 nights)



Thimphu was established in the 1950’s to replace the former capital of Punakha. Situated in western Bhutan at an altitude of 2400m...

Off the beaten track for a remote festival (2 nights)

Gangtey (Phobjikha)


The Phobjikha valley (3000m) is also often simply known as Gangtey after the 17th century monastery that perches on a hillock...

Spectacular mountain views, riverside hikes and temples (2 nights)



Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu three hours drive to...

Monasteries and the Tiger's Nest (2 nights)

Gangtey Palace


This 19th century Bhutanese courtyard styled building was once the residence of the Paro Penlop (Governor), who also was one of the...

Return to Kathmandu for flight home (1 night)

The Inn, Patan


An old traditional brick and timber Newari house with a courtyard at its centre The Inn has been meticulously renovated by Nepal’s...

We had a super time. The weather was brilliant for walking and the views of the mountains were incredible. We loved being in Gangtey for the festival – the masked dances were amazing and the children with cranes masks were so sweet!”

Charles and Amanda

Start your journey...

Speak to one of our experts about planning a trip like this for you.

Andrea Hulme
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Our team

Our experienced travellers include:

Rod Tether
Catherine Ronan
Alex Edwards

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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