Arrive in Kathmandu
Parallels and Meridians welcomes you to Kathmandu! This day is set aside for your leisure, catch up on some sleep or, if you wish, you can take a stroll around the markets nearby – there’s plenty to see and explore, so take this opportunity to get under the skin of Nepalese culture straight away! Our fun filled adventure begins tomorrow. Overnight in Kathmandu.
A fusion of history and culture
Early morning – optional mountain flight (290 $ extra per person) : It offers an aerial view of Mt. Everest, Kanchanjunga and the Tibetan Plateau. The 45-minute flight offers an incredible panorama, and you can take a photograph of the world’s highest mountain peak from the cockpit.
We will start our exploration, from the Pashupatinath temple situated on the banks of Bagmati River, which is considered to be the most holy temple in the world of Nepalese Hinduism. The sight of a cremation being performed on the banks of the river is very common.We follow this up with a visit to Patan, a locale of Kathmandu, is a cradle of arts and architecture and rightly admired for its Durbar Square, known for being one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu – Dhulikhel
En-route to Dhulikhel
Today we will be driving to Dhulikhel (32kms/1hr) via Bhaktapur, Sanga and Banepa. We will be visiting the Bhaktapur durbar square, which showcases the finest medieval art of Nepal. Particular points of interest include the Lion Gate, Golden Gate, Nyatapola temple and the statues of Kings on stone monoliths. In Sanga we will stop to see the world’s tallest statue of Shiva, which is an incredible 144ft tall. In Banepa we will stop to see the main attraction, Chandeshwari temple and, if time permits, we can also see the other 8 temples surrounding the town. From there we continue our drive to Dhulikhel. Overnight in Dhulikhel.
Hiking to Namobuddha
This morning we can enjoy a spectacular sunrise view of the Himalayas. After breakfast we will go for a hike to Namobuddha. The hike will take around 2 hours and we will be able to pass through typical Nepalese villages before we reach the Buddhist Monastery and stupa in Namobuddha. You can interact with the monks and also light an oil lamp. It is believed that Buddha came to Namobuddha (which means ‘Hail to the Buddha’) in one of his incarnations and fed his flesh to a hungry tigress so she could feed her cubs. There is an ancient stone slab and a stupa with the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha that commemorate that occasion. There are several stupas and colorful flags fluttering in the cool breeze. A big statue of Buddha and several closely lined-up stupa in the back drop of the enchanting Himalaya provide an alluring opportunity for photographers of all talents. After this, we will visit Panauti (30 mins drive), a medieval site and a historical city boasting many Buddhist and Hindu monuments. We shall head back to Dhulikhel afterwards. Overnight in Dhulikhel.
Dhulikhel - Pokhara
Today we shall drive to Pokhara (210 kms/6 hrs). Upon arrival, the rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight in Pokhara.
You would regret missing the mornings here for a lie-in, which is why we will wake up early (5am) and go for a small excursion to Sarangkot viewpoint to see the Himalayan Ranges. After breakfast we shall proceed for some sightseeing. To start with, we will visit the Bindhya Bashini Temple, which is one of the oldest temples in Pokhara and was a part of the Kaski Kingdom; the main deity of the temple is Goddess Durga. Later in the afternoon, we will go to Devi’s Fall, which is an astonishing waterfall lying 2 kms southwest of Pokhara, Gupteshwar Cave, which is one of the largest caves in Pokhara, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and lastly see the Seti River Gorge which is special for being completely white – a popular attraction around here! We will also take a 1 hour boat ride on Lake Phewa. Overnight in Pokhara.
Time for some trekking!
After an early breakfast, we shall drive to Kande (50kms/1hr), from where we will start our trek to the Australian Camp (1hr). After spending some quality time in the beautiful outskirts of the camp, we will walk down to Dhampus (1hr). It is a beautiful Gurung village, offering mesmerizing views of the Annapurna mountain range. After this we will walk downhill to Phedi, and drive to Pokhara from there. Overnight in Pokhara.
Pokhara – Lumbini
Birth place of Lord Buddha
A lovely drive to Lumbini (200 kms/4 hrs), which is the birth place of Lord Buddha, will surely lift up your soul this morning. The main attractions here are the Lumbini grove, the Ashoka Pillar and different monasteries from of architectural styles from various styles. In the afternoon we shall visit the temple dedicated to Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi. Overnight in Lumbini.
Lord Buddha’s town
Today we will explore Tilaurakot, which is Lord Buddha’s childhood-town. It sits in a peaceful meadow on the banks of the Banganga River. There’s a small museum at the final turn-off to Tilaurako that displays some of the artefacts found at the site. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Lumbini.
Lumbini – Chitwan
On the way to Chitwan
This morning we will drive to Chitwan (121 kms/3 hrs 30 mins). After lunch we will visit the Tharu Village on Ox carts, which is their traditional means of transport. It will be a unique experience that will give you the chance to learn about the culture of this very interesting ethnic group. And in the evening there will be an informative and fun slideshow presentation on wildlife and Chitwan National Park. Overnight in Chitwan.
A day in the jungle
In the early morning, after an invigoraitng cup of hot tea or coffee, we shall proceed for an elephant safari in the jungle for 2 hours. We will head back to the resort for breakfast. If you are here in the summers, you are in for a treat, where you can take part in elephant bathing. While you ride on the back of the elephant, it will throw water through its trunk around and probably at you – a wonderful relief from the summer heat! The afternoon has a canoe ride waiting for you on the Rapti River, for 5 kms straight. We will visit the crocodile breeding centre and later will do a jungle walk back to the hotel. In the evening, the local villagers and farmers will be showcasing their talent to you with their Tharu stick dance. Overnight in Chitwan.
Chitwan – Kathmandu
Back to Kathmandu
Time for us to drive back to Kathmandu (157 kms/5 hrs). The rest of the day is at leisure for you to enjoy some shopping. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Exploring the capital city
This morning, we will pay a visit to the Boudhanath Stupa, which is the largest Buddhist Stupa and a site of great veneration for Buddhists. The unique aspect of this great Buddhist monument is that it is set in the octagonal Mandala design. Hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha set into the niches around this huge structure make it even more mesmerizing. It is surrounded by a multitude of monasteries which practice various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. There is a big statue of Maitreya Buddha (the future successor to the current Buddha in Buddhist belief) which adds to the beauty of the place. From there we will walk to Sechen monastery, which is one of the six primaries, or “mother,” monasteries of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet and Nepal. We will then proceed to see the Kathmandu Durbar Square, along with a rickshaw ride to Thamel. We can end our day with a scrumptious authentic Nepali dinner in Bhojan Griha, while enjoying live traditional music and dance performances by the locals. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Departure from Kathmandu
See you soon
You have some free time before your departure, and then it is time for us to bid you goodbye. Hope you have a safe journey home, and we hope to see you again soon!
(From April 15, 2016 – September 30, 2016)
|02 pers||$ 1645||$ 1925|
|03-04 pers||$ 1650||$ 1940|
|05-08 pers||$ 1400||$ 1680|
* price per person
YOUR HOTELS (or similar):
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we chose the most beautiful destinations, we also hand-picked the most suitable hotels for your comfort.
In addition, we offer you options to choose from depending on your budget and travel style that suits you.
You will stay in comfortable or deluxe hotels depending on your preference.
THE PRICE INCLUDES
- Accommodation in hotels listed in a double room with breakfast
- Ground transfers by Air-conditioned private car with an English speaking driver.
- Entrance fees at sites, museums and shows mentioned in the program
- 01 Hour boat ride on Phewa Lake
- Elephant back safari in Chitwan
- Canoe ride in Rapti River
- Evening Farewell Authentic Nepali Dinner with Cultural Dance Show
- English Speaking Guide
- All applicable taxes
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International Flight & Airport taxes (International)
- Insurance and visa costs
- Expenses of Personal nature
- Camera and Video charges
- Tips to guides and drivers (allow about 5 $ / day / person)
- Any other Expenses that are not mentioned above
- Visa and Travel Formalities
- Accommodation and transportation
- Flights & Land Package
- Our guides
- Insurance and Unforeseen Circumstances
With a population of 28.5 million inhabitants, Nepal is surrounded by two emerging giants, India and China to the north east and west. It has a natural resources and cultural diversity remains witness to a rich civilization. Seven sites are also listed as World Heritage by Unesco. This long isolated mysterious territory opened to tourism to the delight of adventurers in search of thrills and particular emotions. Known for its trek to the Himalayas and majestic Hindu and Buddhist temples near the country of Tibet is also incredibly rider. The undeniable strength of Nepal is surely its people have a gift for the kindness and empathy, people know how to welcome and give the best of themselves for the welfare of travelers, a touching quality that defines the Nepal as one of the most hospitable countries in the world.
What would the Nepal without these momos! Tibetan recipe borrowed from the famous ravioli steamed, boiled, fried stuffed with meat or vegetables and seasoned with spices of all kinds became the star of the appointment friendly. A share without moderation momo emblem of a country with strong traditions is exported beyond the boundaries and gives us a taste of the journey into the unknown.
Perhaps Nepal is regarded as a home to more yearly festivals and holidays than any other nation on earth. We recommend some of the most vibrant and beautiful festivals you should not miss while traveling to Nepal. Please plan your trip around these festivals and get an added flavor of this culturally rich country.
Losar Festival: Losar is celebrated for three days as a Tibetan New Year. Many Buddhist monasteries participate in this colorful celebration and ritual. The best place to enjoy this festival is to visit monasteries in Kathmandu Valley. It is usually celebrated around February.
Maha Shivaratri: This is an auspicious festival for the Hindus, celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. You can experience the deep dedication and ritual ceremonies at Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. This is usually celebrated in the month of March.
Holi: The festival of colors has created a wave in Nepal. Although is it celebrated nationwide, you experience the best of it in Bhaktapur. This festival is celebrated in March.
Gai Jatra: Every year in the month of August, people dress in colorful outfits for this festival, the “Festival of Cows” Gai jatra is a very colorful festival. Costumes and colorful processions mark the event in Kathmandu along with comedy and laughter. This tradition comes from an eighteen-century king who gathered his people together to cheer up the queen after the death of their son.
Teej: A festival for married women, where they fast and pay respects to the Lord Shiva and to grant their husbands a long happy life. The unmarried women alos take part in the traditional rituals and dances whiled dressed in bridal costumes hoping for a good husband. This s celebrated across the Hindu community in September.
Tihar: This Hindu festival is also known as the “Festival of Light” or Deepawali. Candles, lanterns and colored tinsel are used to decorate homes over a three-day period.
For most trips, your passport will be enough. It must be valid for up to six months after your return trip. Passports can be easily obtained from your municipality, although there may be delays during holiday periods and holidays. Note that the passport is also required for children. For some destinations, it will be mandatory to send us a copy of your passport immediately after booking a trip.
Entry to Nepal requires obtaining a visa. You must be in possession of a passport with a validity of 6 months minimum. For more information please visit this site: http://www.immigration.gov.np/
The initial visa is for 90 days. If you require a visa to enter multiple times, you must specify at the time of application:
– 15 days, multiple entries: USD 25
– 30 days, multiple entries: USD 40
– 90 days, multiple entries: USD 100
We recommend you to get your visa 4 to 6 weeks before your arrival.
Minors traveling with an adult: Parents
When a minor is traveling with a parent, the officials at the airport might ask for proof of documents to confirm your relationship. Some countries require certificates such as a birth certificate. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Minors traveling with an adult: Others
When a minor is traveling with someone other than the parents or a family member, some countries require a declaration by the relatives to give permission for this trip. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country of destination regarding the requirements.
Each destination has a unique character, a story. So we chose the most beautiful destinations, we also handpicked the most suitable hotels for your comfort. In addition, we offer options to choose according to your budget and travel style that suits you.
We offer three options in MOST of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
Deluxe – In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
Luxury – For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
Typically, road condition in Nepal is good. The presence of highways allows communication to all parts of Nepal without many problems, however, we must recognize that some roads are in poor condition, it must account on average 5 hours of road to cover a distance of 200 km.
Transport is a very significant part of your trip to Nepal. We ensure the quality of the vehicles and the drivers are trained to show you the best landscapes, rural life, by the side of highways, and be attentive to all your requirements. The drive in the Himalayan area can be tough, but you will certainly enjoy the journeys with our expert and hospitable drivers. All our trips are inclusive of transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary contracted and we will not surprise you by asking any additional fees for your small wishes.
The airline and the flight schedules are subject to change. P&M will keep you informed about the latest changes in the schedule, if any.
The price in the website are indicative and may change as per the latest amendment given by the hotels or suppliers. However, P&M will honor the rates once they are offered to you and you have made the payment for the package, even partially. In the case of international or domestic flights, the additional airport taxes that are imposed by local authorities shall be passed to you.
It is also possible to book international flights with P&M. Since we have good connections with several airlines, we will be happy to assist you for your requirements.
These people are our most amazing assets, taking you on beautiful trips with P&M. Who can explain a city or town better than the locals? This is why we always work with the locals carrying a passion for their culture. Their knowledge of destinations is immaculate; eagerly indulging you to experience the journey of the moment. All destinations, most of the cities and towns have English-speaking local guides. These guides are employed by our local agents and get regular training’s pertaining to our requirements. We evaluate their performance after each trip based on your feedback’s.
The services of local guides are included in the program (if opted by you in the package). They not only show you around the city but also purchase the tickets at the monuments. They are available to answer any of your travel related queries.
Although P&M pays them with the standard rates of travel-based companies, they expect a tip at the end of the trip. We recommend a tip of 5 €/ day/ person.
Although our travels are organized with detailed planning, the climate and other factors may change due to some unforeseen events. These however, should not spoil your travel or ruin your fun. In case such circumstances arise, be assured that you have 24/7 P&M support staff ready to offer the most suited solutions to your problems. We do our best to provide the quickest resolutions; nevertheless, we are not responsible for any factor beyond our control.
Nepal’s climate allows stays throughout the year in the country, but this is typical of countries with a monsoon season. The dry season (October to May) is followed by a wet season (June to September) — it can get very hot in the summer in the capital. The best months are October and November, when the sky is particularly clear and the temperatures are still mild and the pastures are green. December to February is winter and it can get very cold, some mountain passes will be closed, as most lodges in altitude. All climates are present in Nepal and change with altitude: tropical in the jungles of the Terai, temperate in the valleys and mountains are cold.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following vaccinations for travellers going to Nepal (as well as being up to date with measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations):
- Viral hepatitis A and B
- Typhoid fever
It’s a good idea to consult your government’s travel-health website before departure.
Credit cards & ATMs
In all cities and you can withdraw cash with a bankcard with VISA, Master Card and American Express. Cash can be exchanged at a bank or the hotel where you are staying. Credit cards are accepted in most of the hotels, restaurants and shopping places except the very remote village areas. The banks at the international airports are open day and night.
Mobile in Nepal
In most areas of Nepal, you will get a wide network coverage, however you will get better connection on international roaming.
Nepal is not a strict vegetarian country and you will find a good variety of food. They have adapted cousins from neighboring countries such as India, China and Tibet, while adding more flavors to the original recipe.
To respect the Nepalese culture, the dress code is something that the traveler should know. In religious places, people are expected to wear clothes that go beyond the knees. Women are expected to cover their heads in some religious sites.
There is no reason for you not to take your electrical items due to electrical outlet; the Nepalese market most of adapter.
There aren’t many cafes in Thamel (Kathmandu) and Lakeside (Pokhara). It will be available in most hotels or guest house in Thamel but know they are more expensive than elsewhere: about 200 Rps / h against 100 Rps/h than the rest of the country. Good connections, in general, are available especially in the most modern cafes, where you can also usually communicate by Skype.
What makes Parallels and Meridians different?
We believe that holidays should be planned thoughtfully. Hence, we spend a good amount of time planning and offering you products considering your requirements. Amazing journeys begin the moment you contact us for a personalized trip. We design programs exactly as you wish; you will always remain a partner in making it a dream holiday.
What can I expect in a holiday with Parallels and Meridians?
Our trips bring you closer to the local community and culture as you will be taken to some of the places where no tourists have gone before. Our travel experts are always in search of something new, inspirational and entertaining. These ideas are intricately designed around your style of travel, creating a perfect trip for you.
How do you create a style of travel?
People are different, and so are their ways of traveling. We speak to several people from different walks of life, locals, travelers, families, and even bloggers, to get a better idea on the ways they prefer to travel. The styles of travel are created through their contributions and the expertise of our travel designers. It is our success formula in making exceptional trips for you.
Why do you make the trips participative?
In our small endeavor to support the local community, we found this as the most encouraging and heartfelt experience for both our guests and ourselves. We don’t indulge into activities with big charitable organizations, but quietly do our bit with the help of our guests. Our projects are humble and mostly recommended by our guests. For example, teaching basic French to the drivers (while traveling with him) actually came from one of our guest.
What are the different hotel combinations you offer?
Each destination has a unique character and history, so do their hotels. We have selected the best hotels as per your style and budget. We offer 3 options in most of our programs:
Simple and comfortable – These are clean and comfortable hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 2-3 star categorization.
– In this option, we offer a mix of charming and deluxe hotels. Some of them are heritage palaces, which are now famous contemporary hotels. As per P&M standard, they fall into a 4-5 star categorization.
– For the ultimate luxury holiday, we have a collection of rustic, chic and stylish hotels combined with laid back indulgence and unmatched amenities. These international favorites are the best in the destinations.
How many beds can we have in a room?
A room will usually have a double bed. Most hotels will be able to add one extra bed.
If we’re traveling as a family, can we have interconnected rooms?
Some hotels offer interconnected rooms. If they don’t have, we ask them to provide two rooms next to each other or on the same floor.
Can I choose my own set of hotels?
Yes, you can. Just send us your wish list and we will do our best to fulfill your requirements.
What is the category of hotels included in the itinerary on the website?
You will have the option to choose the categories of the hotels you want to stay in. There are a few exceptions, however, some places like villages in Rajasthan or hiking tents in Bhutan will not offer you luxury. We will clearly advice you on this.
How does Parallels and Meridians choose the hotels?
We choose hotels based on our personal experiences. We will not recommend a hotel unless we have stayed there ourselves or have it recommended by our contributors.
What kind of vehicle do you provide?
Generally, this depends on the number of people. We provide cars for two people and micro van for three and more people. All our vehicles have air-conditioning.
Can we choose our own type of vehicle?
Yes, you can. Just let us know while sending us the information for your trip.
Are we sharing the car with someone else?
No. The car is for private use and you will share it only the people you are travelling with.
Does the car stay at my disposal every day?
Yes, it does. Our drivers are flexible and will remain at your disposal.
Do we have a guide in every city?
Yes, a guide will be provided to you in each city unless there is no visit scheduled.
How do you select your guides?
We select guides who understand your interests and requirements. They carry a flair for their culture and tradition, offering the best experiences to our clients. All our tour guides are locals, have professional licenses and are known for their passion and knowledge of the destination. We only hire highly rated guides with years of experience.
How do I plan my trip with you?
Once a program is picked from the website and the query form is filled, our travel experts will start working on the program. They will carefully prepare a tailor-made itinerary for you and will present it in details. Your itinerary will be refined and polished until you are satisfied and happy to book with us. As it is very important for us to understand your requirements, please do not hesitate to ask questions and voice your concerns or desires.
I like one of your family programs. Can it be tailor-made for a couple?
Yes, it can. All our programs can be further tailored for your specific requirements. You will be amazed to see the countless possibilities in our programs as per your style.
Can I make my own itinerary?
Yes, you can. Simply fill the form or send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you decide your pricing?
The itineraries in the website have indicative pricing which may change as per your personalized travel request. We choose the most important sightseeing, destinations, guides and hotels, which makes a great holiday experience for our guests. As we do not want to surprise you with hidden costs, we always include essential costs in the program. Although we are not necessarily the cheapest, we do aim to offer exceptional overall value for money and rely on our clients for repeat business and recommendations for your future dream holidays.
Can I adjust my budget?
Of course, our experts can share plenty ideas with you, fitting your budget. However, we make sure that quality is never compromised. We immediately inform you with our inability to offer you something that is below standard or of low quality. It is always better to say no than to regret a bad holiday experience.
What is included in the cost of your packages?
Our services start the moment you arrive at your destination, where a representative will be awaiting your arrival. All accommodations, transfers, local flights as well as arranged activities, unless otherwise specified will be included. Our trips are on breakfast-only basis except some special meals like welcome lunch or a special farewell dinner.
Why don’t you offer trips on full board?
We could; however, you will agree with us that everybody has different tastes. Moreover, the local cuisine is also an important aspect of your trip. Why should we charge you extra for some meals in hotels and expensive restaurants, when you can enjoy the spontaneity of discovering restaurants on your own? This is why we intentionally refuse to include all meals in our itineraries. If you are on a safari or a trekking trip, all meals are included as these are remote areas without restaurant alternatives. In lieu of this, you will receive a list of recommended restaurants, where you can have a taste of authentic cuisines.
How do I get the assurance of my travel safety?
Having our headquarter in France, P&M provides all necessary financial and legal guarantees to our travelers. You not only get the best travel programs from us but also experience a memorable and safe travel arranged by our local correspondents with 24/24 assistance. To ensure that all our local agents offer best services, quality travel and assurance, we have an office in India supervising all the activities in Asia. In addition, for your peace of mind, we support you with a range of insurances to meet your needs.
Who will be taking care of my trip when I am on the go?
You will have a dedicated travel expert from the first moment of contact. The travel expert will work with you before and during the trip.
What are the different modes of payment you accept?
The different modes of payment we accept are bank transfer and online payment by credit or debit card. You can pay either 30 or 50% at the time of the booking and the remaining, one month prior to your travel.
How secure is my credit card for online payment?
As your trusted partner P&M guarantees secure payment via secure payment platform enabling you to make transactions by credit card or debit card. The credit or debit card details are never reserved with us for your complete peace of mind.
Where can I see the reviews on P&M?
All reviews given by our travellers are regularly uploaded to our website. Furthermore, many of our guests have shared their experiences with P&M at the sites of Trip Advisor and Trust Pilot. We are proud to share with you that; – 98% of our travelers rated our services excellent or very good – 97% of our travelers recommend our agency to their friends – 98% of our travelers would be willing to repeat the experience with P&M.
Traveling with us is the best way to come closer to the daily life of the locals. Impart your knowledge, skills and art with them. If you are an artist, a photographer, a cook or whichever skills you have that can be shared with the local community, please feel free to tell us about them, and we will organize a special activity for you at a right place to support them. In our very first communication with you, we will ask your interest and if you are willing to participate in an activity for even just one hour.
In 2016, our participants have already taught over 400 hours, the equivalent of 17 days!
Our conscious tourism does not end there; we constantly propose new participatory activities:
There are many young kids who aspire to take the job of ‘guide’. We are helping them to speak better English, or teaching them skills and techniques of travel guiding.
Post the earthquake, life is still struggling in Nepal. We are helping some small shops and businesses to get into the mainstream; not by giving money, but improvising some ideas to run their business more effectively.
“In your route, though you choose to take part in any one of these options, your trip will be the same number of days and the price will not change under any circumstances.”
How much do you donate?
Nothing Actually. We just need little bit of your time and involvement.