18 Day Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan

From

$6449

Land Only

$7969*

Air & Land

18 Day Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan

From

$6449

Land Only

$7969*

Air & Land



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Book By Mar 16, 2023 & Save!

2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1300
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  Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
$6849 $7449 $7969* $8569*
$6849 $7449 $8169* $8769*
$6849 $7449 $8379* $8979*
$6849 $7449 $8379* $8979*
$6899 $7499 $8429* $9029*
$6899 $7499 $8249* $8849*
Only 1 seat left! $6899 $7499 $8709* $9309*
$6899 $7499 $8429* $9029*
$6899 $7499 $8899* $9499*
$6899 $7499 $8649* $9249*
$6499 $7099 $8249* $8849*
$6499 $7099 $8249* $8849*
$6449 $7049 $8749* $9349*
 
2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
Book By
Mar 16
Book After
Mar 16
$6849 $7449 $8099* $8699*
$6849 $7449 $8149* $8749*
$6849 $7449 $8149* $8749*
$6899 $7499 $8199* $8799*
$6899 $7499 $8199* $8799*
$6899 $7499 $8249* $8849*
$6899 $7499 $8249* $8849*
$6899 $7499 $8249* $8849*
$6849 $7449 $8399* $8999*

Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Kathmandu-Chitwan, Chitwan-Pokhara, Pokhara-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Paro & Paro-Kathmandu.

A visa is required for entry into Bhutan and is obtained on your behalf by Gate 1 Travel. This visa is required in addition to and separately from an India and/or Nepal visa.


Accommodation Details:
Triple Rooms cannot be accommodated on this program.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend two to three hours on your feet during tours and two to five hours driving between cities. The pace is moderate. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. You will hike on easy-to-moderate terrain during two hikes in Nepal and on moderate to difficult terrain in Bhutan. There will be we have many early mornings. You will reach an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea-level during the Tiger's Nest visit, which should be taken into consideration for those affected by high altitude. The Tiger's Nest visit takes approximately five hours and requires a strenuous uphill hike including over 700 steps to reach the temple. All passengers must be able to hike unassisted. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 16 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights New York-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Kathmandu-Chitwan, Chitwan-Pokhara, Pokhara-Kathmandu, Kathmandu-Paro & Paro-Kathmandu
  • 16 nights accommodations
    • 5 nights Kathmandu
    • 2 nights Chitwan National Park
    • 2 nights Pokhara
    • 3 nights Thimphu
    • 1 night Punakha
    • 3 nights Paro
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 41 meals: 16 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners (including 2 home hosted dinners)
  • Coffee and tea with all meals
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour managers throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Bhutan Visa

This itinerary requires a high level of physical fitness. The Tiger's Nest visit takes approximately 5 hours and requires a strenuous uphill climb including over 700 steps to reach the temple. All passengers must be able to hike unassisted.

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Visit Durbar Square, the ancient palace of Hanuman Dhoka and the Temple of Kumari in Kathmandu
  • Marvel at the Buddhist Stupa of Swayambhunath, designated a World Heritage Site
  • Travel to medieval Bhaktapur, known as the "City of Devotees," dating back to the 13th century
  • Spiritual journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, a world-famous Hindu shrine
  • Spend three days at a Jungle Resort in Chitwan National Park, adjacent to the Indian Tiger Reserve
  • Tour the Pokhara Valley with its natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls
  • In ancient Patan, "city of fine arts," tour the square filled with Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments
  • Travel to the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its extraordinary scenery and striking monasteries
  • In Thimphu, a blend of old and new, observe monks serenely strolling in their crimson robes
  • Join Buddhists performing their daily rituals at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten
  • Drive to Punakha, ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan
  • Visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan with its towering whitewashed walls
  • Choose to hike to the world-famous "Tiger's Nest" on the face of a sheer cliff above the Paro Valley

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day. Expect to spend two to three hours on your feet during tours and two to five hours driving between cities. The pace is moderate. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. You will hike on easy-to-moderate terrain during two hikes in Nepal and on moderate to difficult terrain in Bhutan. There will be we have many early mornings. You will reach an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea-level during the Tiger's Nest visit, which should be taken into consideration for those affected by high altitude. The Tiger's Nest visit takes approximately five hours and requires a strenuous uphill hike including over 700 steps to reach the temple. All passengers must be able to hike unassisted. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. During this tour, you may come into proximity of wild animals whose actions can be unpredictable. Certain inherent risks are involved which should be considered at your own discretion. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Book Now!
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Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Nepal
Depart for Nepal

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrival in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Late morning arrival in Kathmandu, the "Roof of the World," in the shadow of the Himalayas -- you'll be warmly greeted with a traditional flower garland. At your hotel, time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone
Overnight: Kathmandu

DAY 3, Wednesday - Swayambhunath, Cooking Demonstration, Boudhanath
Rise early this morning to join the one hour optional flightseeing of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Back at the hotel, join your fellow travelers and Tour Manager for an orientation meeting outlining the extraordinary journey that lies ahead. Then, on to 1st-century Swayambhunath, crowning a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley with its golden spire adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most recognizable symbols of Nepal; the painted eyes of Buddha follow all who ascend the worn stone steps. Crowds of pilgrims and red-clad monks circle the complex, spinning the prayer wheels while scores of monkeys prance about in irreverent groups. Continue to Durbar Square, an amazing cluster of ancient temples and palaces that symbolize the country's religious and cultural life, including sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty and the Temple of Kumari. View the stone carved statue of ferocious KalBhairav, a colorful memorial to the Hindu God of Destruction and the Temple of the Goddess Taleju. A change of pace as you arrive at a popular restaurant for lunch and a specially arranged cooking demonstration of MoMo, one of Nepal's national dishes. Afternoon visit to Boudhanath, the largest stupa of its kind in the world. Participate in a prayer ceremony and receive blessings from the Holy Lama at this extraordinary Buddhist monument. After an outstanding day, return to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a Nepalese restaurant. Afterward, we suggest a Rickshaw ride to see the city's astonishing night lit temples and palaces
Optional: Mount Everest Flightseeing (AM)
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath, Mt. Everest Mountaineer
An excursion takes you this morning to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, called the "City of Devotees," a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with palaces, temples, statues and squares connected by a maze of pedestrianized streets. The 14th century Dattatreya Temple and the world-famous Peacock Window at Tachapal keep visitors spellbound. Marvel at the intricately carved deities of the richly molded Golden Gate and enter the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows with its exquisite wood carvings. View the Lion's Gate with its guarding statues, Nyatapola, the five-storied temple in Taumadhi Square and the astonishing Bhairab Temple, dedicated to Lord Buddha. Then, you visit the Pottery Center where you watch a demonstration of this fine craft by skilled potters. After a village inspired lunch, you embark upon a journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. On the banks of the holy Bagmati River, this temple is renowned for its beautiful architecture along with its cremation platforms spread along the river. You'll see throngs of devotees meditating and praying on the steps throughout this sacred temple. At dinner tonight, an evening lecture and one-to-one conversation with a Nepalese woman mountaineer who has climbed Mt Everest -- you'll be inspired by her determination and courage
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Friday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Flight this morning to the village of Bharatpur, with its ochre-colored thatched roof houses. Continue past small villages and terraced rice fields to the Tharu villages of Chitwan. Arrive at Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort, nestled on the banks of the Narayani River and Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your naturalist guide for a refreshing drink and briefing about the park and the many different activities available during your stay. The resort, within its own surrounding forest, is designed to adjust to the natural harmony. No doubt you'll enjoy this memorable experience in the midst of one of the world's most beautiful nature centers. Time to settle in and savor a leisurely lunch before this afternoon's very special adventure. Begin with an exciting Jungle Safari that penetrates the dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Tonight, a slide presentation on the local wildlife by a senior naturalist is followed by dinner at the resort's Round House. Share stories of today's adventure with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Your day is filled with wonderful adventures starting with a morning Jeep Safari. Afterward, you can choose to board a boat or paddle a canoe down the Narayani River. There'll be plenty of opportunities to view the Gharial or Mugger crocodiles as well as a variety of water birds. Then, travel a short distance by jeep inside the park stopping for a picnic lunch in this lush natural oasis. A nature walk with a trained naturalist introduces you to some of the wildlife and the huge species of birds. You'll learn more about Chitwan and its conservation efforts during your discussion with the guides. Later, an ox-cart ride to an authentic Tharu Village where you visit the museum and the homes of some of the indigenous people. In the evening, a delicious barbecue dinner accompanied by a performance by the local Tharu dance group
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Sunday - Pokhara's Natural Wonders
Depart the national park and transfer to the Bharatpur Airport for your flight to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. Arrive in scenic Pokhara, home to three of the highest mountains in the world. Lunch is at the hotel. Take an afternoon tour of some of the Pokhara Valley's natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls, (Hell's Falls) which drops out of sight and is hidden in an underground gorge and the Seti Gandaki River, that flows throughout the city. Visit Gorkha Memorial Museum before continuing to the diverse Old Bazaar with its ethnic traders and stalls selling everything from edibles to gold. Here you also view the white domed Bindhyabasini Mandir, one of Pokhara's most important shrines, dedicated to the Goddess Bhagwati. The rest of the day is at leisure in Pokhara
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Monday - Pokhara and the Annapurna Mountains
Early morning hike to the viewpoint at the Peace Pagoda; see the unforgettable sunrise over the mountain peaks. The Annapurna mountain range dominates your northern view while the sweeping expanse of the Pokhara Valley looms over the south and east. This is a not-to-be-missed experience! Return to the hotel for breakfast, followed by a visit to the International Mountain Museum. View the many exhibits focused on technique, equipment, and materials for hiking, of great interest in a country that is dominated by hikers and trekkers. The museum is in a perfect location, surrounded by the stunning Annapurna mountain range -- a favorite place for adventurers. Afterward, lunch together at a local restaurant in Pokhara. This evening, you're invited to a local family's home for dinner. There will be lots of opportunities to share great stories, local legends and delicious home cooked food
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 Tuesday - Return to Kathmandu, Ancient Patan, Farewell to Nepal
Return flight to Kathmandu for an excursion to the ancient city of Patan, known as the "City of Fine Arts." Your tour begins at the main square, filled with breathtaking Hindu temples and striking Buddhist monuments. See the old Royal Palace, dominating all others in grace and grandeur and the 16th century stone Krishna Mandir, with its 21 pinnacles dedicated to Lord Krishna. Other landmarks include the Golden Temple, and the terra-cotta temple of Mahabouddha. While in Patan, attend a lecture on Patan's restoration process. Afterwards, time to rest and freshen up before tonight's festivities. A very special home hosted dinner has been arranged just for you -- a perfect conclusion to your wonderful journey through Nepal. The friends and family of the host and hostess will join you as you bid farewell to your Tour Manager and to Nepal
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Wednesday - Kingdom of Bhutan
A traditional "khada" ceremony this morning as a symbolic scarf is wrapped around you, with blessings for a serene and safe journey. Travel by flight to Paro in the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its striking monasteries and magnificent mountain scenery. Here, you'll also see traditional dzongs dotting the landscape, a distinctive type of fortress architecture with towering exterior walls surrounding complexes of courtyards, temples, and monks' accommodations. Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains a uniquely distinct country. Upon arrival in historic Paro, drive to the capital city of Thimphu, a fabulous blend of old and new. Time to stroll through the main square and get acquainted with your new surroundings. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your new Tour Manager about the adventure that awaits you in Bhutan, followed by a Welcome Dinner together at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Thursday - Discover Thimphu
In Thimphu, you observe monks strolling serenely in their crimson robes and workers wearing traditional ghos and kiras. Your day begins with a visit to the indigenous medical hospital, and the Painting School where students learn thirteen different Bhutanese crafts over the six-year course including paper making, masonry, painting, sculpture, embroidery and much more. At the National Library you view the largest book in the world before proceeding to the Folk Heritage Museum to tour the medieval home used by Bhutan's Queen mothers. Here, you enjoy a lunch of traditional Bhutanese cuisine served in the impressive and historic courtyard. At the Royal Textile Museum, view unique displays of textile designs and watch a multimedia presentation before returning for dinner at the hotel and an evening at leisure
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Friday - Memorial Chorten, Big Buddha Hill, School of Astrology, Takin Zoo
This morning, you join Buddhists performing their daily ritual of turning the giant red prayer wheels at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten with its shining golden finial, dedicated to the third king of Bhutan. Next, drive to the Big Buddha Hill. Here, stop at the Big Buddha Temple for a visit, or for an independent meditation. Afterward, begin a moderate hike around the temple. The area, offers great views of the Thimphu Valley below. End the hike at Kuensel Phodrang Park where a picnic lunch will be provided. Afternoon drive to Pangri Zampa and visit the School of Astrology, where you learn more about this very popular study followed by many families and young monks. Afterwards, drive to the Takin Zoo where you'll finally meet a Takin, the rare national animal of Bhutan. The rest of the day is yours. Perhaps shop in one of the many handicraft stores to bring some treasures back home. At dinner this evening, high school students in traditional dress will join you and bring costumes for you to try. Opportunity to dress as a Bhutanese! It will be a great photo opportunity!
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Saturday - Lobesa, Punakha Dzong, Punakha
An early start this morning as you drive through the scenic terrain of the Himalayas to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing at Dochhula Pass to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan (on a clear day.) You pass over one hundred monuments and see many colorful prayer flags along your route on your way to the Royal Botanical gardens. After lunch in the village of Lobesa, continue to Punakha Dzong, considered the most beautiful dzong in the country with its towering whitewashed walls accented by elaborately painted gold, red and black wood. By tradition, all of the Kings of Bhutan are crowned here in the 100-pillar Coronation Hall, decorated with massive gold statues and murals depicting the life of Buddha. Before dinner at the hotel, you gather to learn how to create a Mandala out of colorful rice, a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the Universe
Overnight: Punakha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Sunday - Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Sisina Farm House, Tachogang Lhakhang, Paro
Visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to a famous monk also known as "the divine madman." Famous for being unorthodox and trying to make Buddhism more relaxed, he is considered a hero in Bhutan. The monastery is also a fertility temple and couples often come here who want to have children. Later, you experience the soothing sounds of chants and spiritual music as you enter a nearby nunnery or temple. After, you continue to Paro, stopping along the way at the legendary Wang Sisina Farm House for a delicious traditional Bhutanese meal served in original earthenware by the hostess. An interesting tour of the vast courtyards of this 300 year-old-home will also be arranged. After, you drive to Tachogang Lhakhang near Chuzom, one of the temples founded by a Tibetan saint who also designed and erected many iron suspension bridges in the early 15th century, making parts of Bhutan accessible for the very first time. At an incense making shop you learn more about this craft, and how this has become a popular small industry in this area. Arrive in the town of Paro for an orientation walk before heading to your hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Monday - National Museum, Rinpung Dzong, Temple of Kyichu
Morning tour of Paro's National Museum, housed in an old hilltop watchtower resembling the shape of a conch shell. You're guided here by a local historian/writer who interprets for you the museum's valuable collection of antique paintings, festival masks, religious statues and stone carvings. Next, on to Rinpung Dzong, one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Don't miss the unique painting of Milarelpa, considered the master of meditation by the Buddhists. Walk down to the cantilevered wooden covered bridge that spans the Paro Chhu, a reconstruction of the original bridge washed away in 1969. Then, head to Namgay Artisanal Brewery for lunch and cultural show. Take a guided tour of the microbrewery followed by beer tastings. After lunch, continue on to the 7th century Temple of Kyichu; tour the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong built as a symbol of victory when the Mongolian and Tibetan invaders from the north were defeated. Later tea will be arranged with views of the Tiger's Nest Monastery. Tonight, dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16, Tuesday - Ascend to "Tigers Nest"
If you're adventurous and physically fit, get ready for a memorable hike to world-famous "Tiger's Nest" or Taktsang Palphug Monastery. Located on the face of a sheer cliff above the floor of the Paro Valley, this not to be missed site is accessible by hiking. It is a strenuous uphill climb including over 700 steps. This sacred pilgrimage site is where the great tantric mystic, Padmasambhava flew on the back of the tiger and brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan (mythical belief). The Monastery clings to a cliff soaring 3,000 feet above the valley floor at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Along the way, you can hang prayer flags for world peace, or for people who are hungry, ill or in pain (in Buddhism, a prayer flag is considered a blessing). Stop for lunch and admire the breathtaking views from the cafeteria before slowly descending. Tonight, bid a fond farewell at dinner to your Tour Manager with whom you shared this extraordinary journey in Bhutan
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 17, Wednesday - Depart Bhutan, Arrive in Nepal
Early this morning, depart from the airport in Paro on a flight that takes you back to Kathmandu, Nepal. The remainder of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18, Thursday - Depart Nepal
Morning is at leisure. In the late afternoon, transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for Nepal
Depart for Nepal

DAY 2, Thursday - Arrival in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Late morning arrival in Kathmandu, the "Roof of the World," in the shadow of the Himalayas -- you'll be warmly greeted with a traditional flower garland. At your hotel, time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone
Overnight: Kathmandu

DAY 3, Friday - Swayambhunath, Cooking Demonstration, Boudhanath
Rise early this morning to join the one hour optional flightseeing of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Back at the hotel, join your fellow travelers and Tour Manager for an orientation meeting outlining the extraordinary journey that lies ahead. Then, on to 1st-century Swayambhunath, crowning a hill overlooking the Kathmandu Valley with its golden spire adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most recognizable symbols of Nepal; the painted eyes of Buddha follow all who ascend the worn stone steps. Crowds of pilgrims and red-clad monks circle the complex, spinning the prayer wheels while scores of monkeys prance about in irreverent groups. Continue to Durbar Square, an amazing cluster of ancient temples and palaces that symbolize the country's religious and cultural life, including sprawling Hanuman Dhoka, ancient palace of Nepalese Royalty and the Temple of Kumari. View the stone carved statue of ferocious KalBhairav, a colorful memorial to the Hindu God of Destruction and the Temple of the Goddess Taleju. A change of pace as you arrive at a popular restaurant for lunch and a specially arranged cooking demonstration of MoMo, one of Nepal's national dishes. Afternoon visit to Boudhanath, the largest stupa of its kind in the world. Participate in a prayer ceremony and receive blessings from the Holy Lama at this extraordinary Buddhist monument. After an outstanding day, return to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a Nepalese restaurant. Afterward, we suggest a Rickshaw ride to see the city's astonishing night lit temples and palaces
Optional: Mount Everest Flightseeing (AM)
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Saturday - Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath, Mt. Everest Mountaineer
An excursion takes you this morning to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, called the "City of Devotees," a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with palaces, temples, statues and squares connected by a maze of pedestrianized streets. The 14th century Dattatreya Temple and the world-famous Peacock Window at Tachapal keep visitors spellbound. Marvel at the intricately carved deities of the richly molded Golden Gate and enter the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows with its exquisite wood carvings. View the Lion's Gate with its guarding statues, Nyatapola, the five-storied temple in Taumadhi Square and the astonishing Bhairab Temple, dedicated to Lord Buddha. Then, you visit the Pottery Center where you watch a demonstration of this fine craft by skilled potters. After a village inspired lunch, you embark upon a journey to the World Heritage Site of Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. On the banks of the holy Bagmati River, this temple is renowned for its beautiful architecture along with its cremation platforms spread along the river. You'll see throngs of devotees meditating and praying on the steps throughout this sacred temple. At dinner tonight, an evening lecture and one-to-one conversation with a Nepalese woman mountaineer who has climbed Mt Everest -- you'll be inspired by her determination and courage
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Sunday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Flight this morning to the village of Bharatpur, with its ochre-colored thatched roof houses. Continue past small villages and terraced rice fields to the Tharu villages of Chitwan. Arrive at Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort, nestled on the banks of the Narayani River and Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your naturalist guide for a refreshing drink and briefing about the park and the many different activities available during your stay. The resort, within its own surrounding forest, is designed to adjust to the natural harmony. No doubt you'll enjoy this memorable experience in the midst of one of the world's most beautiful nature centers. Time to settle in and savor a leisurely lunch before this afternoon's very special adventure. Begin with an exciting Jungle Safari that penetrates the dense grasslands to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Tonight, a slide presentation on the local wildlife by a senior naturalist is followed by dinner at the resort's Round House. Share stories of today's adventure with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Monday - Chitwan National Park, Jungle Resort
Your day is filled with wonderful adventures starting with a morning Jeep Safari. Afterward, you can choose to board a boat or paddle a canoe down the Narayani River. There'll be plenty of opportunities to view the Gharial or Mugger crocodiles as well as a variety of water birds. Then, travel a short distance by jeep inside the park stopping for a picnic lunch in this lush natural oasis. A nature walk with a trained naturalist introduces you to some of the wildlife and the huge species of birds. You'll learn more about Chitwan and its conservation efforts during your discussion with the guides. Later, an ox-cart ride to an authentic Tharu Village where you visit the museum and the homes of some of the indigenous people. In the evening, a delicious barbecue dinner accompanied by a performance by the local Tharu dance group
Overnight: Chitwan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - Pokhara's Natural Wonders
Depart the national park and transfer to the Bharatpur Airport for your flight to Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal. Arrive in scenic Pokhara, home to three of the highest mountains in the world. Lunch is at the hotel. Take an afternoon tour of some of the Pokhara Valley's natural wonders including cascading Devi's Falls, (Hell's Falls) which drops out of sight and is hidden in an underground gorge and the Seti Gandaki River, that flows throughout the city. Visit Gorkha Memorial Museum before continuing to the diverse Old Bazaar with its ethnic traders and stalls selling everything from edibles to gold. Here you also view the white domed Bindhyabasini Mandir, one of Pokhara's most important shrines, dedicated to the Goddess Bhagwati. The rest of the day is at leisure in Pokhara
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Wednesday - Pokhara and the Annapurna Mountains
Early morning hike to the viewpoint at the Peace Pagoda; see the unforgettable sunrise over the mountain peaks. The Annapurna mountain range dominates your northern view while the sweeping expanse of the Pokhara Valley looms over the south and east. This is a not-to-be-missed experience! Return to the hotel for breakfast, followed by a visit to the International Mountain Museum. View the many exhibits focused on technique, equipment, and materials for hiking, of great interest in a country that is dominated by hikers and trekkers. The museum is in a perfect location, surrounded by the stunning Annapurna mountain range -- a favorite place for adventurers. Afterward, lunch together at a local restaurant in Pokhara. This evening, you're invited to a local family's home for dinner. There will be lots of opportunities to share great stories, local legends and delicious home cooked food
Overnight: Pokhara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 Thursday - Return to Kathmandu, Ancient Patan, Farewell to Nepal
Return flight to Kathmandu for an excursion to the ancient city of Patan, known as the "City of Fine Arts." Your tour begins at the main square, filled with breathtaking Hindu temples and striking Buddhist monuments. See the old Royal Palace, dominating all others in grace and grandeur and the 16th century stone Krishna Mandir, with its 21 pinnacles dedicated to Lord Krishna. Other landmarks include the Golden Temple, and the terra-cotta temple of Mahabouddha. While in Patan, attend a lecture on Patan's restoration process. Afterwards, time to rest and freshen up before tonight's festivities. A very special home hosted dinner has been arranged just for you -- a perfect conclusion to your wonderful journey through Nepal. The friends and family of the host and hostess will join you as you bid farewell to your Tour Manager and to Nepal
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Friday - Kingdom of Bhutan
A traditional "khada" ceremony this morning as a symbolic scarf is wrapped around you, with blessings for a serene and safe journey. Travel by flight to Paro in the spiritual mountain kingdom of Bhutan with its striking monasteries and magnificent mountain scenery. Here, you'll also see traditional dzongs dotting the landscape, a distinctive type of fortress architecture with towering exterior walls surrounding complexes of courtyards, temples, and monks' accommodations. Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains a uniquely distinct country. Upon arrival in historic Paro, drive to the capital city of Thimphu, a fabulous blend of old and new. Time to stroll through the main square and get acquainted with your new surroundings. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your new Tour Manager about the adventure that awaits you in Bhutan, followed by a Welcome Dinner together at the hotel
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Saturday - Discover Thimphu
In Thimphu, you observe monks strolling serenely in their crimson robes and workers wearing traditional ghos and kiras. Your day begins with a visit to the indigenous medical hospital, and the Painting School where students learn thirteen different Bhutanese crafts over the six-year course including paper making, masonry, painting, sculpture, embroidery and much more. At the National Library you view the largest book in the world before proceeding to the Folk Heritage Museum to tour the medieval home used by Bhutan's Queen mothers. Here, you enjoy a lunch of traditional Bhutanese cuisine served in the impressive and historic courtyard. At the Royal Textile Museum, view unique displays of textile designs and watch a multimedia presentation before returning for dinner at the hotel and an evening at leisure
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Sunday - Memorial Chorten, Big Buddha Hill, School of Astrology, Takin Zoo
This morning, you join Buddhists performing their daily ritual of turning the giant red prayer wheels at the whitewashed National Memorial Chorten with its shining golden finial, dedicated to the third king of Bhutan. Next, drive to the Big Buddha Hill. Here, stop at the Big Buddha Temple for a visit, or for an independent meditation. Afterward, begin a moderate hike around the temple. The area, offers great views of the Thimphu Valley below. End the hike at Kuensel Phodrang Park where a picnic lunch will be provided. Afternoon drive to Pangri Zampa and visit the School of Astrology, where you learn more about this very popular study followed by many families and young monks. Afterwards, drive to the Takin Zoo where you'll finally meet a Takin, the rare national animal of Bhutan. The rest of the day is yours. Perhaps shop in one of the many handicraft stores to bring some treasures back home. At dinner this evening, high school students in traditional dress will join you and bring costumes for you to try. Opportunity to dress as a Bhutanese! It will be a great photo opportunity!
Overnight: Thimphu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Monday - Lobesa, Punakha Dzong, Punakha
An early start this morning as you drive through the scenic terrain of the Himalayas to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, pausing at Dochhula Pass to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Bhutan (on a clear day.) You pass over one hundred monuments and see many colorful prayer flags along your route on your way to the Royal Botanical gardens. After lunch in the village of Lobesa, continue to Punakha Dzong, considered the most beautiful dzong in the country with its towering whitewashed walls accented by elaborately painted gold, red and black wood. By tradition, all of the Kings of Bhutan are crowned here in the 100-pillar Coronation Hall, decorated with massive gold statues and murals depicting the life of Buddha. Before dinner at the hotel, you gather to learn how to create a Mandala out of colorful rice, a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the Universe
Overnight: Punakha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Tuesday - Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, Sisina Farm House, Tachogang Lhakhang, Paro
Visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to a famous monk also known as "the divine madman." Famous for being unorthodox and trying to make Buddhism more relaxed, he is considered a hero in Bhutan. The monastery is also a fertility temple and couples often come here who want to have children. Later, you experience the soothing sounds of chants and spiritual music as you enter a nearby nunnery or temple. After, you continue to Paro, stopping along the way at the legendary Wang Sisina Farm House for a delicious traditional Bhutanese meal served in original earthenware by the hostess. An interesting tour of the vast courtyards of this 300 year-old-home will also be arranged. After, you drive to Tachogang Lhakhang near Chuzom, one of the temples founded by a Tibetan saint who also designed and erected many iron suspension bridges in the early 15th century, making parts of Bhutan accessible for the very first time. At an incense making shop you learn more about this craft, and how this has become a popular small industry in this area. Arrive in the town of Paro for an orientation walk before heading to your hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Wednesday - National Museum, Rinpung Dzong, Temple of Kyichu
Morning tour of Paro's National Museum, housed in an old hilltop watchtower resembling the shape of a conch shell. You're guided here by a local historian/writer who interprets for you the museum's valuable collection of antique paintings, festival masks, religious statues and stone carvings. Next, on to Rinpung Dzong, one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Don't miss the unique painting of Milarelpa, considered the master of meditation by the Buddhists. Walk down to the cantilevered wooden covered bridge that spans the Paro Chhu, a reconstruction of the original bridge washed away in 1969. Then, head to Namgay Artisanal Brewery for lunch and cultural show. Take a guided tour of the microbrewery followed by beer tastings. After lunch, continue on to the 7th century Temple of Kyichu; tour the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong built as a symbol of victory when the Mongolian and Tibetan invaders from the north were defeated. Later tea will be arranged with views of the Tiger's Nest Monastery. Tonight, dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16, Thursday - Ascend to "Tigers Nest"
If you're adventurous and physically fit, get ready for a memorable hike to world-famous "Tiger's Nest" or Taktsang Palphug Monastery. Located on the face of a sheer cliff above the floor of the Paro Valley, this not to be missed site is accessible by hiking. It is a strenuous uphill climb including over 700 steps. This sacred pilgrimage site is where the great tantric mystic, Padmasambhava flew on the back of the tiger and brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan (mythical belief). The Monastery clings to a cliff soaring 3,000 feet above the valley floor at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Along the way, you can hang prayer flags for world peace, or for people who are hungry, ill or in pain (in Buddhism, a prayer flag is considered a blessing). Stop for lunch and admire the breathtaking views from the cafeteria before slowly descending. Tonight, bid a fond farewell at dinner to your Tour Manager with whom you shared this extraordinary journey in Bhutan
Overnight: Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 17, Friday - Depart Bhutan, Arrive in Nepal
Early this morning, depart from the airport in Paro on a flight that takes you back to Kathmandu, Nepal. The remainder of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits
Overnight: Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18, Saturday - Depart Nepal
Morning is at leisure. In the late afternoon, transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Mount Everest Flightseeing

Enjoy an early morning flight on a small aircraft, with a window seat, for an hour of spectacular scenery over the tallest mountain peak on earth. You will be able to view some of the most incredible, and famous sights that Nepal has to offer. This is weather permitting so tour might be delayed or an alternative day may be scheduled.

Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Day #3 01 Sep 2023 - 31 Aug 2024 $250.00
Mount Everest Flightseeing Thumbnail
Mount Everest Flightseeing

Enjoy an early morning flight on a small aircraft, with a window seat, for an hour of spectacular scenery over the tallest mountain peak on earth. You will be able to view some of the most incredible, and famous sights that Nepal has to offer. This is weather permitting so tour might be delayed or an alternative day may be scheduled.

Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Day #3 01 Sep 2023 - 31 Aug 2024 $250.00
Mount Everest Flightseeing Thumbnail

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Traveling to India and Nepal - Traveling to India and Nepal should be a rewarding and exciting experience. To improve your experience, it is helpful to understand these unique countries. While India may be known for high-tech entrepreneurs and Bollywood films, it is still a developing country with over 450 million people that eke out a meager existence on less than $1 per day. Based on the World Bank's figures, more than one third of the world's poor live in India. As a country of over 1 billion citizens, the cities in India, which were built to hold a fraction of their current population, are often crowded, noisy, dirty and smelly. Air pollution is a problem in many of India’s major cities. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. Some passengers find that using a bandanna or light scarf screens out some of the pollutants in the air. Many Western visitors are unprepared for the level of poverty that they may witness. Getting around in India & Nepal can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations. Despite these realities, traveling to India & Nepal offers many rewards and we are pleased to introduce you to the people, history, and culture of these incredible countries.

Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Nepal, Bhutan
Visas required for Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan Visas - A visa is required. The cost is included in the program price and will be arranged on your behalf. Information regarding the visa application process will be provided after a reservation has been completed. The visa clearance document will be provided in Nepal prior to departure from Nepal. Upon arrival in Bhutan, Bhutanese immigration officials will require copies of both your visa clearance document and e-ticket in order to receive a visa stamp in Paro.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Bhutan - There are many dogs in settled areas. They sleep in the day and roam around at night. Bring earplugs if you think their barking might bother you. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of glasses as well as, at high altitudes, contact lenses can irritate the eyes.
Smoking is banned in all public places. The sale of tobacco items is prohibited in Bhutan, so kindly bring your own and declare at the airport in Paro that they are for personal use. The tax on tobacco items will be 200%.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

India and Nepal - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to India. Also, please be aware that authentic Indian cuisine can be difficult to digest for those who are not accustomed to it.

Bhutan - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Visitors coming from an area infected with yellow fever are required to have had a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before their arrival. Cholera vaccinations are strongly recommended for visitors coming from cholera infected area. Please consult your physician before traveling to Bhutan. Please refer to the advice of your own doctors for any high altitude medication if you are traveling 8,000 feet above sea-level or susceptible to altitude illness.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
India and Nepal - Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops, shoulders must be covered and a shawl or scarf is frequently not accepted as a cover. A good pair of sunglasses is highly recommended.

India has three seasons. November through March is generally pleasant, with warm, sunny days. It is hot in May and June. Monsoon season usually begins around June on the west coast and slightly later elsewhere. Southern India receives rainfall between mid-October and December. Nepal has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. During periods of high heat in the summer months, the order of sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.

India Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather

Nepal Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather

Bhutan - The western part of Bhutan is a mix of temperate (Paro & Thimphu) and sub-tropical (Punakha). However, bear in mind that the higher the altitude, the cooler the weather, and that with a brisk wind blowing down off the mountains, even a low-lying valley can become quite chilly. Winter in Bhutan is from mid-December till mid-February, and at this time of the year the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, temperatures peaking at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and falling below zero at night. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June until the end of September, with light rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings.

Bhutan Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#bhutan-weather

Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. A good pair of sunglasses is highly recommended. Some religious sites require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops; a long sleeve shirt or short sleeve shirt with a collar is required) and avoid skimpy or tight fitting clothing. Women are advised to wear below the knee skirts or fairly loose trousers. Shorts should be worn only while hiking (Bermuda shorts are preferable). Avoid sleeveless T shirts as outer garments.

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

NEPAL: Books
The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes by Bavara J. Scott
The Soul of the Rhino and Bones of the Tiger by Hemanta Mishra
The Snow Leopard by Peter Mattiessen
High Adventure by Sir Edmund Hillary
Customs & Etiquette of Nepal by Sunil Kumar Jha

BHUTAN: Books
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa
Radio Shangri-la: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli
Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming
So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas by Barbara Crossette


Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

India - Flights within India and between India & Nepal have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

Bhutan - Nepal-Bhutan flights have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: India, Nepal, Bhutan & Sri Lanka

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $8 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $2 per person per day, $1 per half day
Driver’s Assistant: US $1 per person per day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $2 per person per day of sightseeing, US $1 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Bhutan - Gifts for Small Children : Please do not bring pens, sweets, chewing gum, etc. for handing out to children who may gather around you. This encourages begging, is regarded as patronizing and unhelpful, and is actively discouraged by the government, teachers and school principals.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

India, Nepal and Bhutan
Some days involve long distances driving in the coach. The drive between Delhi and Agra is approximately 5 hours. The drive between Delhi and Jaipur is approximately 6 hours. The drive between Agra and Jaipur is approximately 7 hours. The drive between Chitwan and Pokhara is about 6 hours. Roads are generally not up to Western standards and may be very rough in some areas. For coaches, general driving speed is low due to poor road conditions and heavy traffic. There are no emergency bathrooms or curtains on the windows on the coaches in India. Getting around in these countries can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

India and Nepal - The Indian Rupee is the currency of India. The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal.

Passengers traveling to India are not allowed to bring Rupees into the country. We recommend taking out a small amount of currency upon arrival.

It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations in local currency or in US $1 bills to make tipping and minor expenses easier.

Bhutan - The Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Bhutan - There are bank branches in all major towns. A few hotels and shops in Thimphu accept payment by credit card, but with a surcharge added. Visas cards are more widely accepted than MasterCard or American Express.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

India and Nepal - Local handicrafts and artwork, carpet, jewelry, semi-precious stones, inlay marble stone work, pashmina wool, silks, custom 24-hour tailoring are among the most popular items.

Bhutan - Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, Thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travelers. The buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden. Be cautious when considering the purchase of old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate. Your guide’s advice should be sought before committing to such purchases. It is best to buy more expensive items at reputable shops, which provide receipts as proof of purchase.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Bhutan - Please note, we do not include horseback riding while at the Tiger's Nest due to safety concerns. We strongly recommend that passengers do not ride any horse and instead participate in the included uphill climb.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
India
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Fire: 101
  • Police: 100

Nepal
  • Ambulance: 228094
  • Police: 100

Bhutan
  • Ambulance: 110
  • Fire: 112
  • Police: 113

Languages
India and Nepal - Language and dialect varies by region. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Bhutan - The national language is Dzongkha. Dialect varies by region. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

India and Nepal - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Bhutan - The voltage used is 220/240 volts.

Code of Conduct
India and Nepal - Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting. Refrain from public displays of affection, as this can be seen as rude. In the event that you encounter people begging for alms, it is suggested that you do not give, as this often attracts the attention of many other alms-seekers. Many Indians are extremely friendly and may want to engage you in conversation. There are two sensitive topics it is generally recommended to avoid: any perceived negative economic conditions in the country and the issue of Pakistan.

Bhutan - Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting in addition to bowing your head. Giving of alms to mendicants and holy men in the vicinity of markets and outside temples is an accepted practice. In exchange for your contribution of a small coin, a prayer will be intoned for you. Take your cue from the Bhutanese on such occasions and, when in doubt, ask your guide what would be the appropriate thing to do. Before taking photos of local people, their homes or shops, always ask by a gesture if it is ok to do so. Smoking is banned in all public places.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

India and Nepal - Food in India and Nepal differs greatly from the typical American diet. It is recommended to eat fully cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Accordingly care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. The warm climate and reduced use of refrigeration, combined with the use of salt and spices for instance in curry, may not be palatable to every taste and may result in stomach ailments. Advise us in advance if you prefer less pungent flavors and we will do our best to comply. It is also recommended to pack digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications and antacids. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Bhutan

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: Winter Solstice
Feb 2: Traditional Day of Offerings
Feb 21-23: Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Mar 3-4: Losar (New Year):Year of the Male Water Tiger
Mar 5: Bhutan International Marathon (Paro)
Mar 9-11: Punakha Drubchen (Punakha)
Mar 12: Punakha Tshechu (Punakha)
Mar 20: Gross National Happiness Day
Apr 9-11: Talo Tshechu (Punakha)
Apr 12-16: Paro Tshechu (Paro)
Apr 15-17: Rhododendron Festival (Thimphu)
May 11: Shabdrung Kuchoe
May 2: Birth Anniversary of Third King HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuck
May 26: Lord Buddha's Parinirvana
Jul 9: Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
Aug 1: First Sermon of Lord Buddha
Sep 3: "Tour of the Dragon" Bike Race (Western Bhutan)
Sep 23: Blessed Rainy Day
Oct 1: Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu)
Oct 5-7: Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu)
Nov 1: Coronation of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Nov 11: Birth Anniversary of Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Nov 15: Descending Day of Lord Buddha
Dec 13: Druk Wangyel Tshechu (Thimphu)
Dec 17: National Day
Holidays 2023

Jan 2: Winter Solstice
Jan 22: Traditional Day of Offerings
Feb 12-14: Punakha Drubchen (Punakha)
Feb 15-17: Punakha Tshechu (Punakha)
Feb 21-23: Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Feb 22: Losar Holiday
Mar 14-16: Talo Tshechu (Punakha)
Mar 17-21: Paro Tshechu (Paro)
Apr 19-21: Rhododendron Festival (Thimphu)
Apr 30: Death Anniversary of Zhabdrung
May 2: Birth Anniversary of Third King HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuck
Jun 4: Lord Buddha's Parinirvana
Jun 28: Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
Jul 21: First Sermon of Lord Buddha
Sep 23: Blessed Rainy Day
Oct 4: Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu)
Oct 8-10: Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu)
Oct 24: Dashain
Nov 1: Coronation of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Nov 4: Descending Day of Lord Buddha
Nov 11: Birth Anniversary of Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Dec 13: Druk Wangyel Tshechu (Thimphu)
Dec 17: National Day
Holidays - Nepal

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 30: Martyrs' Day
Feb 5: Basanta Panchami, honoring the deity of knowledge Saraswati
Feb 19: National Democracy Day
Mar 1: Shivaratri, in honor of Lord Shiva
Mar 17-18: Holi, Hindu festival of colors
Apr 1: Ghode Jatra
Apr 10: Ram Nawami, Birthday of Lord Ram
Apr 14: Nepali New Year
May 16: Buddha Jayanti, The day Lord Buddha was born
Aug 11: Janai Purnima
Aug 13: Gai Jatra
Aug 19: Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Krishna
Aug 30: Teej, Hindu festival of womanhood
Sep 9: Indra Jatra, Chariot festival of Goddess Kumari
Sep 19: Constitution Day
Sep 26: Ghatasthapana, first day of Dashain festival
Oct 3: Durga Ashtami; Maha Ashtami, Dashain festival
Oct 4: Nawami, Dashain Festival
Oct 5: Vijaya Dashami, Dashain festival
Oct 7: Fulpati Saptami, Dashain festival
Oct 25: Laxmi Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 26: Govardhan Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 27: Bhai Tika, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 30: Chhath Parva, of Sun god

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 26: Basanta Panchami, honoring the deity of knowledge Saraswati
Jan 30: Martyrs' Day
Feb 18: Shivaratri, in honor of Lord Shiva
Feb 19: Prajatantra Diwas
Mar 8: Holi
Mar 30: Ram Nawami, Birthday of Lord Ram
Apr 12: Ghode Jatra
Apr 14: Nepali New Year
May 5: Buddha Jayanti, The day Lord Buddha was born
Aug 31: Janai Purnima
Sep 1: Gai Jatra
Sep 7: Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Krishna
Sep 18: Teej, Hindu festival of womanhood
Sep 19: Constitution Day
Sep 28: Indra Jatra, Chariot festival of Goddess Kumari
Oct 15: Ghatasthapana, first day of Dashain festival
Oct 21: Fulpati Saptami, Dashain festival
Oct 22: Durga Ashtami; Maha Ashtami, Dashain festival
Oct 23: Nawami, Dashain Festival
Oct 24: Vijaya Dashami, Dashain festival
Nov 13: Govardhan Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 14: Laxmi Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 15: Bhai Tika, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 19: Chhath Parva, of Sun god

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Traveling to India and Nepal - Traveling to India and Nepal should be a rewarding and exciting experience. To improve your experience, it is helpful to understand these unique countries. While India may be known for high-tech entrepreneurs and Bollywood films, it is still a developing country with over 450 million people that eke out a meager existence on less than $1 per day. Based on the World Bank's figures, more than one third of the world's poor live in India. As a country of over 1 billion citizens, the cities in India, which were built to hold a fraction of their current population, are often crowded, noisy, dirty and smelly. Air pollution is a problem in many of India’s major cities. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. Some passengers find that using a bandanna or light scarf screens out some of the pollutants in the air. Many Western visitors are unprepared for the level of poverty that they may witness. Getting around in India & Nepal can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations. Despite these realities, traveling to India & Nepal offers many rewards and we are pleased to introduce you to the people, history, and culture of these incredible countries.

Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Nepal, Bhutan
Visas required for Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan Visas - A visa is required. The cost is included in the program price and will be arranged on your behalf. Information regarding the visa application process will be provided after a reservation has been completed. The visa clearance document will be provided in Nepal prior to departure from Nepal. Upon arrival in Bhutan, Bhutanese immigration officials will require copies of both your visa clearance document and e-ticket in order to receive a visa stamp in Paro.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Bhutan - There are many dogs in settled areas. They sleep in the day and roam around at night. Bring earplugs if you think their barking might bother you. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of glasses as well as, at high altitudes, contact lenses can irritate the eyes.
Smoking is banned in all public places. The sale of tobacco items is prohibited in Bhutan, so kindly bring your own and declare at the airport in Paro that they are for personal use. The tax on tobacco items will be 200%.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

India and Nepal - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Please consult your physician before traveling to India. Also, please be aware that authentic Indian cuisine can be difficult to digest for those who are not accustomed to it.

Bhutan - No inoculations are required. However, some inoculations are recommended. Visitors coming from an area infected with yellow fever are required to have had a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before their arrival. Cholera vaccinations are strongly recommended for visitors coming from cholera infected area. Please consult your physician before traveling to Bhutan. Please refer to the advice of your own doctors for any high altitude medication if you are traveling 8,000 feet above sea-level or susceptible to altitude illness.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
India and Nepal - Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops, shoulders must be covered and a shawl or scarf is frequently not accepted as a cover. A good pair of sunglasses is highly recommended.

India has three seasons. November through March is generally pleasant, with warm, sunny days. It is hot in May and June. Monsoon season usually begins around June on the west coast and slightly later elsewhere. Southern India receives rainfall between mid-October and December. Nepal has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. During periods of high heat in the summer months, the order of sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.

India Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather

Nepal Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/#india-nepal-weather

Bhutan - The western part of Bhutan is a mix of temperate (Paro & Thimphu) and sub-tropical (Punakha). However, bear in mind that the higher the altitude, the cooler the weather, and that with a brisk wind blowing down off the mountains, even a low-lying valley can become quite chilly. Winter in Bhutan is from mid-December till mid-February, and at this time of the year the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, temperatures peaking at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and falling below zero at night. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June until the end of September, with light rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings.

Bhutan Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/asia-pacific/default.aspx#bhutan-weather

Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. A good pair of sunglasses is highly recommended. Some religious sites require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops; a long sleeve shirt or short sleeve shirt with a collar is required) and avoid skimpy or tight fitting clothing. Women are advised to wear below the knee skirts or fairly loose trousers. Shorts should be worn only while hiking (Bermuda shorts are preferable). Avoid sleeveless T shirts as outer garments.

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

NEPAL: Books
The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes by Bavara J. Scott
The Soul of the Rhino and Bones of the Tiger by Hemanta Mishra
The Snow Leopard by Peter Mattiessen
High Adventure by Sir Edmund Hillary
Customs & Etiquette of Nepal by Sunil Kumar Jha

BHUTAN: Books
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa
Radio Shangri-la: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli
Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming
So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas by Barbara Crossette


Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

India - Flights within India and between India & Nepal have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

Bhutan - Nepal-Bhutan flights have a weight restriction for luggage of 44 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: India, Nepal, Bhutan & Sri Lanka

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $8 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $2 per person per day, $1 per half day
Driver’s Assistant: US $1 per person per day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $2 per person per day of sightseeing, US $1 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Bhutan - Gifts for Small Children : Please do not bring pens, sweets, chewing gum, etc. for handing out to children who may gather around you. This encourages begging, is regarded as patronizing and unhelpful, and is actively discouraged by the government, teachers and school principals.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

India, Nepal and Bhutan
Some days involve long distances driving in the coach. The drive between Delhi and Agra is approximately 5 hours. The drive between Delhi and Jaipur is approximately 6 hours. The drive between Agra and Jaipur is approximately 7 hours. The drive between Chitwan and Pokhara is about 6 hours. Roads are generally not up to Western standards and may be very rough in some areas. For coaches, general driving speed is low due to poor road conditions and heavy traffic. There are no emergency bathrooms or curtains on the windows on the coaches in India. Getting around in these countries can be challenging, and sometimes involves walking through narrow streets with busy traffic to reach some tour locations.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

India and Nepal - The Indian Rupee is the currency of India. The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal.

Passengers traveling to India are not allowed to bring Rupees into the country. We recommend taking out a small amount of currency upon arrival.

It is recommended to carry cash in small denominations in local currency or in US $1 bills to make tipping and minor expenses easier.

Bhutan - The Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Bhutan - There are bank branches in all major towns. A few hotels and shops in Thimphu accept payment by credit card, but with a surcharge added. Visas cards are more widely accepted than MasterCard or American Express.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

India and Nepal - Local handicrafts and artwork, carpet, jewelry, semi-precious stones, inlay marble stone work, pashmina wool, silks, custom 24-hour tailoring are among the most popular items.

Bhutan - Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, Thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travelers. The buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden. Be cautious when considering the purchase of old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate. Your guide’s advice should be sought before committing to such purchases. It is best to buy more expensive items at reputable shops, which provide receipts as proof of purchase.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Bhutan - Please note, we do not include horseback riding while at the Tiger's Nest due to safety concerns. We strongly recommend that passengers do not ride any horse and instead participate in the included uphill climb.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
India
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Fire: 101
  • Police: 100

Nepal
  • Ambulance: 228094
  • Police: 100

Bhutan
  • Ambulance: 110
  • Fire: 112
  • Police: 113

Languages
India and Nepal - Language and dialect varies by region. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Bhutan - The national language is Dzongkha. Dialect varies by region. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

India and Nepal - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Bhutan - The voltage used is 220/240 volts.

Code of Conduct
India and Nepal - Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting. Refrain from public displays of affection, as this can be seen as rude. In the event that you encounter people begging for alms, it is suggested that you do not give, as this often attracts the attention of many other alms-seekers. Many Indians are extremely friendly and may want to engage you in conversation. There are two sensitive topics it is generally recommended to avoid: any perceived negative economic conditions in the country and the issue of Pakistan.

Bhutan - Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting in addition to bowing your head. Giving of alms to mendicants and holy men in the vicinity of markets and outside temples is an accepted practice. In exchange for your contribution of a small coin, a prayer will be intoned for you. Take your cue from the Bhutanese on such occasions and, when in doubt, ask your guide what would be the appropriate thing to do. Before taking photos of local people, their homes or shops, always ask by a gesture if it is ok to do so. Smoking is banned in all public places.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

India and Nepal - Food in India and Nepal differs greatly from the typical American diet. It is recommended to eat fully cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Accordingly care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. The warm climate and reduced use of refrigeration, combined with the use of salt and spices for instance in curry, may not be palatable to every taste and may result in stomach ailments. Advise us in advance if you prefer less pungent flavors and we will do our best to comply. It is also recommended to pack digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications and antacids. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Bhutan

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: Winter Solstice
Feb 2: Traditional Day of Offerings
Feb 21-23: Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Mar 3-4: Losar (New Year):Year of the Male Water Tiger
Mar 5: Bhutan International Marathon (Paro)
Mar 9-11: Punakha Drubchen (Punakha)
Mar 12: Punakha Tshechu (Punakha)
Mar 20: Gross National Happiness Day
Apr 9-11: Talo Tshechu (Punakha)
Apr 12-16: Paro Tshechu (Paro)
Apr 15-17: Rhododendron Festival (Thimphu)
May 11: Shabdrung Kuchoe
May 2: Birth Anniversary of Third King HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuck
May 26: Lord Buddha's Parinirvana
Jul 9: Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
Aug 1: First Sermon of Lord Buddha
Sep 3: "Tour of the Dragon" Bike Race (Western Bhutan)
Sep 23: Blessed Rainy Day
Oct 1: Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu)
Oct 5-7: Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu)
Nov 1: Coronation of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Nov 11: Birth Anniversary of Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Nov 15: Descending Day of Lord Buddha
Dec 13: Druk Wangyel Tshechu (Thimphu)
Dec 17: National Day
Holidays 2023

Jan 2: Winter Solstice
Jan 22: Traditional Day of Offerings
Feb 12-14: Punakha Drubchen (Punakha)
Feb 15-17: Punakha Tshechu (Punakha)
Feb 21-23: Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Feb 22: Losar Holiday
Mar 14-16: Talo Tshechu (Punakha)
Mar 17-21: Paro Tshechu (Paro)
Apr 19-21: Rhododendron Festival (Thimphu)
Apr 30: Death Anniversary of Zhabdrung
May 2: Birth Anniversary of Third King HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuck
Jun 4: Lord Buddha's Parinirvana
Jun 28: Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
Jul 21: First Sermon of Lord Buddha
Sep 23: Blessed Rainy Day
Oct 4: Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu)
Oct 8-10: Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu)
Oct 24: Dashain
Nov 1: Coronation of Fifth King HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Nov 4: Descending Day of Lord Buddha
Nov 11: Birth Anniversary of Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Dec 13: Druk Wangyel Tshechu (Thimphu)
Dec 17: National Day
Holidays - Nepal

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 30: Martyrs' Day
Feb 5: Basanta Panchami, honoring the deity of knowledge Saraswati
Feb 19: National Democracy Day
Mar 1: Shivaratri, in honor of Lord Shiva
Mar 17-18: Holi, Hindu festival of colors
Apr 1: Ghode Jatra
Apr 10: Ram Nawami, Birthday of Lord Ram
Apr 14: Nepali New Year
May 16: Buddha Jayanti, The day Lord Buddha was born
Aug 11: Janai Purnima
Aug 13: Gai Jatra
Aug 19: Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Krishna
Aug 30: Teej, Hindu festival of womanhood
Sep 9: Indra Jatra, Chariot festival of Goddess Kumari
Sep 19: Constitution Day
Sep 26: Ghatasthapana, first day of Dashain festival
Oct 3: Durga Ashtami; Maha Ashtami, Dashain festival
Oct 4: Nawami, Dashain Festival
Oct 5: Vijaya Dashami, Dashain festival
Oct 7: Fulpati Saptami, Dashain festival
Oct 25: Laxmi Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 26: Govardhan Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 27: Bhai Tika, Tihar festival of lights
Oct 30: Chhath Parva, of Sun god

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 26: Basanta Panchami, honoring the deity of knowledge Saraswati
Jan 30: Martyrs' Day
Feb 18: Shivaratri, in honor of Lord Shiva
Feb 19: Prajatantra Diwas
Mar 8: Holi
Mar 30: Ram Nawami, Birthday of Lord Ram
Apr 12: Ghode Jatra
Apr 14: Nepali New Year
May 5: Buddha Jayanti, The day Lord Buddha was born
Aug 31: Janai Purnima
Sep 1: Gai Jatra
Sep 7: Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Krishna
Sep 18: Teej, Hindu festival of womanhood
Sep 19: Constitution Day
Sep 28: Indra Jatra, Chariot festival of Goddess Kumari
Oct 15: Ghatasthapana, first day of Dashain festival
Oct 21: Fulpati Saptami, Dashain festival
Oct 22: Durga Ashtami; Maha Ashtami, Dashain festival
Oct 23: Nawami, Dashain Festival
Oct 24: Vijaya Dashami, Dashain festival
Nov 13: Govardhan Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 14: Laxmi Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 15: Bhai Tika, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 19: Chhath Parva, of Sun god

Americas Asia & South Pacific Europe Mediterranean Africa Ways to Save Request a Brochure 16 Day Southern India, A Spiritual Culture, October 2022
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This was one of the best Gate 1 Discovery tours we've taken. Our tour guide was wonderful! One of the best we've had! His knowledge of the country visited and his ability to communicate and mesh with the group was excellent! The food was universally excellent and the accommodations and special stops and meals were just fantastic! Well done!!!

Robert W.
13 Day Golden Triangle of India with Nepal, August 2022
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My trip was amazing! In India our tour guide was Kapil and in Nepal our tour guide was Avash. Both were incredible fun. Very professional and knowledgeable about history and current events of the cities. I truly enjoyed the experience and by talking with other tour participants they did as well. Thank you very much, I will recommend Gate1 to anybody interested in traveling the world!

Ada F.
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2022
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We recently got back from the Sri Lanka trip and I wanted to say it was an excellent trip. We loved the variety of sites and activities. The pace was very good and every day there was a new interesting discovery. The tour director Shaem was excellent. He kept things very interesting and moving at the right pace. He really brought his country alive to us. The driver and assistant were very excellent. The hotels were great. All in all another great trip. Thanks.

Halyna B.
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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The trip was fabulous. Went off without a hitch. I’ve been on several Gate 1 tours and I’d rate Raj as the best guide I’ve encountered. His energy, enthusiasm and flexibility made the trip a pleasure.

Kathleen M. Hopkinton, NH
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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The trip was great! The guide was very professional and the driver and assistant were all very helpful. India is amazing. Thanks to Gate 1 !

Hsiao-Ju C. Dural, Australia
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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My trip was wonderful! Jay was a great tour leader and gave such breath and scope to the experience. India is an incredible country to explore and the Small Group Spiritual Tour of Southern India was a perfect introduction to this vast and complex country. I don’t think my senses have ever been so stimulated. I look forward to booking another tour to explore the northern part of the country and Nepal.

Myra A. Newton, MA
Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2020
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It was great! Sri Lanka and her people welcomed us with open arms. Our tour guide, Heshan, along with our driver, Susantha, and his assistant, Thilina, were all excellent. Well done!!!

Joanne J. Los Angeles, California
Spiritual Southern India, January 2020
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It was a great trip.. really enjoyed our group, our leader, Srini, and the sights and the Indian people. They were so friendly and always wanted to have their pictures taken with us. And they didn’t mind if we took pictures of them. The temples were unbelievable, and the stops we made along the way, on driving days, were great. Visited rubber farm, coconut fiber rope family business, batik making, spice garden, cashew roasting, paper making factory,... I could go on and on.. waiting for a good sale to book another trip in 2021..

Michele K. St. Charles, IL
Spiritual Southern India, November 2019
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Amazing....Radhika was an exceptional tour leader. Great accommodations and food throughout the trip. Good weather and well traveled people to make this a great experience.

Susie M. Phoenix, AZ
India, Nepal & Bhutan, Tradition & Majesty, October 2019
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The trip was great! Our expectations were exceeded! Our tour managers, Aparna in India, Neraj in Nepal, and Sangay in Bhutan were fabulous. All did an extraordinary job and are very well informed. This was our second trip with Gate 1. We would recommend Gate 1 to anyone!

Charles L. Fresno, CA
Incredible India & Nepal, October 2019
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Trip was great. Our guide Avash was also great. One of the best tour managers' we have ever had. Really made the trip amazing.

William H. Sheridan, WY
Spiritual Southern India, October 2019
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I had an amazing trip in India. Rajesh ( Raj ) the tour guide was exceptional, knowledgeable, and fun. He was very patient, and professional with the group. He made the tour interesting and enjoyable. Siva the bus driver was fantastic, we all felt very safe with him. Bala the assistant was so helpful, making sure all of our needs were met with a smile every day. The hotels were first rate, and the food was delicious. This was my first trip with Gate 1, and I could not have imagined a better experience. With warm regards from a happy, and satisfied traveler. Can’t wait for my next trip with Gate 1.

Raynell C. Dunedin, FL
Treasures of Sri Lanka, October 2019
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The trip was wonderful. Our tour manager Shyam was excellent. His caring, knowledge of the country and attention to detail enhanced a wonderful experience.

Betty G. Fair Lawn, NJ
Spiritual Southern India, September 2019
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It was great. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend to anyone who is going to travel abroad for a two-week vacation. Our tourist guide was very knowledgeable and energetic. I dare to say one of the best among all the best guides in Gate 1 family.

Branda K. Edmonton, Alberta
Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan, September 2019
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We had a great time, Bhutan was a wonderful experience. Our tour director, Leki, was well organized with regard our daily schedule of activities and seat rotation. It was an interesting and educational tour.

Susanna M. Alexandria, VA
Himalayan Kingdoms: Nepal & Bhutan, March 2019
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It was the best trip I ever took, only the Patagonia trip was comparable! Bhutan is such a special place and I have only superlatives to say about it, the whole world should see it! Gate 1 did a great job with the itinerary, the pace, the hotels; very smart how the hikes were placed in the program and how we had the time to acclimatize; the tour directors, both Anup and Sangay were awesome (which I have to say, is always the case with Gate 1). Looking forward to our next adventure with Discovery!

Anca T. Maplewood, MN
9 Day Golden Triangle of India, March 2019
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Seeing the Taj Mahal has been on my bucket list for years. My gate one tour manager Sandeep, made India come alive for me. He provided history of the area and many stories at each site we visited which made you feel more connected. He set the stage for our visit to the Taj Mahal with the moving story of its construction. Experiencing the Taj Mahal was magical and something I will never forget thanks to Sandeep. This trip was just a taste of India but made me want to see more of the country. Thank you Gate one and Sandeep for a magical week in India.

Patricia P. Hitchcock, TX
Spiritual Southern India, February 2019
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It was a great trip. Southern India was fantastic, with such a small, intimate group, great accommodations, and fabulous guide, all went brilliantly.

Cedric R. Fredericksburg, VA
Treasures of Sri Lanka, February 2019
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Terrific, as usual! We’re now in double digits with traveling with Gate 1! Shyam, our guide, was superb. He conveyed his love of country, gave a good explanation of each day’s activities, and made sure everyone in the group was satisfied. He’s a gem. Also, his helper, Rohan, was great, and the driver did a terrific job. We were very pleased with the hotel selections and the itinerary. We have 2 more tours scheduled with Gate 1 this year. Keep up the good work!

Ronald R. Chicago, IL
Spiritual Southern India, February 2019
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One of the best trips of my entire life! Thank you for everything Gate 1, a truly lovely experience.

Dan H. Chicago, IL
Treasures of Sri Lanka, February 2019
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Our trip was wonderful! We loved Sri Lanka. Our guide Shyam was the best. He handled everything, and made the trip very informative and fun. Gate 1 is a great company. We’ll be back!

Gail E. Sacramento, CA
Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2019
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As usual, Gate 1 did not disappoint. Sri Lanka was fabulous... with an abundance of friendly people, fabulous landscape and micro climates. It was rich in history and spirituality (Budha and Hindu temples everywhere) make this island very interesting to discover. I would be interested in expanding my exploration into the Northern part of Sri Lanka sometime in the future. I need to find out where in the world I will travel to in 2020...

Tamara R. Citrus Heights, CA
Treasures of Sri Lanka, January 2019
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We had a great time in Sri Lanka! We enjoyed all the activities and learned a lot about the history and culture of the country. We look forward to our next Gate 1 trip in March.

Elizabeth H. Kingwood, TX
Treasures of Sri Lanka, November 2018
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It was a fantastic trip. Heshan our guide was knowledgeable and nice. Fantastic food and wonderful country.

Douwe D. Flagstaff Hill, Australia
Treasures of Sri Lanka, November 2018
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We had a very nice holiday in Sri Lanka. This was our first trip with Gate 1 and we are 100% satisfied with the superior standard of hotels you chose for us. The itinerary was varied and interesting, changing between nature and culture. Our guide, Heshan, was excellent, very helpful and very knowledgeable about the history, flora and fauna. The coach was always clean and fresh flowers were put on our seats daily. The couch driver and the assistant were excellent, and worked well as a team to get us safely through the chaotic traffic in Sri Lanka cities. Overall, very memorable and positive experience. We will definitely use your company in the future and recommend you to our friends.

Jessica L. Queensland, Australia
India, Nepal & Bhutan, Tradition & Majesty, November 2018
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We had a great trip. Everything went perfect. The guides were excellent. Some of the best we’ve experienced. Don’t let them get away. Transportation, hotels and food were all great!

Richard M. Bettendorf, IA