Discover a travel experience like no other in the ancient lands of Nepal and Bhutan. Bordered by the world's most impressive mountain ranges, these tranquil Asian nations are blessed with natural beauty on a grand scale. From the snow capped mountains to the bountiful river valleys, the characteristic beauty of these two nations is reflected not just on land, but in the long established cultures, and in the welcoming spirit of the people. It's no wonder that Nepal and Bhutan have become two of the most popular places to visit in recent years.
Bhutan and Nepal may be neighbours, but the Himalayan countries maintain quite separate identities. A country where agriculture is the main economic driver, visitors will find that the cultural heritage of Bhutan still has a role to play in day to day life. With an eye to the future, economic growth continues, but it's the traditional architecture and customs that make for a uniquely rewarding experience. 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.
Bhutan’s weather varies from subtropical to alpine depending on the elevation zone, and in spite of its broad terrain, the country experiences four distinct seasons, with the spring months of March, April and May bringing the most ideal weather for travel. From June to September Bhutan experiences the monsoon season and rainfall is common but temperatures are warm.
While mostly rural, Nepal has many larger cities, including the bustling capital city of Kathmandu. Like Bhutan, Nepal enjoys many historical sites and attractions but it also boasts eight of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Festivals too are an important part of the culture, and Gai Jatra is one of the most popular. Celebrated on the 14th of August, the festival commemorates loved ones lost. Despite the sombre subject, Gai Jatra is a joyous festival where after the march of the cows, family participants parade through the streets, singing and revelling while masked in vibrant dress.
Nepal experiences a very similar monsoon season with 80% of the country’s rainfall occurring between June and September. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for travel as the outside temperatures are 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.