This was going to be a visit to the Himalayas, more precisely Bhutan and Nepal, two countries in this magnificent mountain range. This is a summary of the trip including the stopovers I made getting in and out.
The trip lasted for two weeks in the autumn of 2015. I presented a series of articles after the visit. Following an initiative by Netra Lal Bagale (my travel agent) I wrote an article about touring Bhutan and Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. It was first published on the travel blog belonging to his company, Himalaya Holiday Service, and is republished here on Sandalsand as well.
Getting in, via Bangkok (Thailand)
Bhutan does not have many international connections and the most convenient for me was Bangkok. A stopover – or layover – might be considered a hassle. I viewed it as an opportunity to revisit Thailand’s capital for the first time in 30 years. I had 24 hours at my disposal.
There are several posts from Bangkok. The first mentioned here is a regular travelogue and the second is a special article in my series of World Heritage Sites.
- Summary of a 24 hour visit (there are four posts in addition to this)
- Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bhutan – land of the Thunder Dragon
My visit to Bhutan lasted a week and was organised like most other itineraries to this somewhat hidden and closed country. After a transit stop in the Indian town of Guwahati we landed in Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. From the airport I was driven to the country’s capital, Thimphu, by my travel agency. (Every visit to Bhutan has to be on an all-inclusive ticket with hotels, meals, guide and transportation). From there I went east a couple of places before returning to Paro to climb the Tiger’s Nest on my last day.
Bhutan has not yet any World Heritage Sites but I suppose the dzongs (fortresses) will be listed soon. I presented my experiences in a series of articles.
- The capital of Thimphu (the first of six articles).
Nepal – soaring peaks, amazing temples and a humid jungle
My visit to Nepal also lasted a week. I spent it in the capital of Kathmandu and the cities surrounding it in the Kathmandu Valley. Here we find several structures making a combined World Heritage Site. In addition there is a lot more to see and discover here.
I also spent a couple of days in the Chitwan National Park. Hot and humid, but very fascinating. This stay is presented both in my Heritage series and as regular travelogues.
- Inflight views of the Himalaya mountain range (the first of seven articles)
- Kathmandu Valley as a world heritage site
- Chitwan National Park as a world heritage site
Getting out, via Doha (Qatar)
Nepal has more international connections than Bhutan, and I had chosen to book a ticket with Qatar Airways. That would leave me with 15 hours in Doha before my final flights home to Norway. This proved a total disaster as my plane from Nepal was ridiculously delayed, it even had a refuelling stop in New Delhi and all my plans faltered.
I am however presenting my plan in an article, hopefully it will be useful for others. The article includes the impressions I did get on my much shortened stay.