Discover a rewarding travel experience like no other in the ancient lands of Nepal and Bhutan. Tucked between two of the world’s biggest powerhouses, these Asian nations are blessed with natural beauty, genuine happiness and a distinct culture that has lasted the test of time. Take a Nepal and Bhutan holiday today.
Bhutan and Nepal may be neighbours, but the Himalayan countries maintain quite separate identities. Throughout its history Bhutan came under British and Indian influence, and in 1949 the country regained its independence. Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world to measure Gross National Happiness and was one of the last to receive the internet and television, which occurred in 1999. Today the country is ruled by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as part of a constitutional monarchy. Nepal on the other hand is part of a democratize republic, the result of a decade-long civil war by the Communist Party of Nepal during the 2000s. The country contains eight of the world’s highest peaks and is incredibly fertile with agriculture making up for 40% of Nepal’s economy.
Bhutan’s weather varies from subtropical to alpine depending on the elevation zone. In spite of its broad terrain, the country experiences four distinct seasons, with spring from March to May presenting the most ideal travel weather. From June to September Bhutan experiences the monsoon season where rainfall is constant. Nepal experiences a very similar monsoon season with 80% of the country’s rainfall occurring between June to September. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for travel as the weather is moderate. Nepal’s summer months can reach up to 40 degrees, while in winter, temperatures range from 12 degrees to below freezing in the central valley regions.
As a Buddhist nation, the majority of Bhutan’s events and festivals have religious significance. One of the country’s most important celebrations is the Tsechu Festival. Taking place on the tenth day of a month in the lunar Tibetan calendar (usually in October), the festival’s primary focus is on the sacred Cham Dances which are performed in costumes and masks. Gai Jatra is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal. Celebrated on the 14th of August, the festival commemorates the death of people from the previous year, with families marching cows down streets. Despite the sombre subject, Gai Jatra is a colourful and joyous festival where, after the march of the cows, participants dress up in masks, sing songs and tell jokes.