Sightseeing in Darjeeling
At 2130 metres, Darjeeling is surrounded by the tea gardens for which it has been so famous since it was established as a British hill station in the days of the Raj. There are still many traces of British occupation, such as the beautiful Mall Road walk, below the Hindu temple on Observatory Hill, with it's stunning views of Kanchenjunga. The British also built the town square, Chowrasta, where locals sit and sip tea below the old Rajesque Windermere Hotel. The actress Vivian Leigh was born in Darjeeling and as the town has a reputation for the quality of it's schools, the Nepalese royal family were educated here. It is possible to take a sunrise trip to Tiger Hill, a famous local Himalayan view point, the Botanical Gardens, or visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and museum, founded by the first Everest summiter, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who lived in Darjeeling. At certain times, the Snow Leopard and red panda breeding centre is open to the public to allow visitors to see these rare and elusive animals. Darjeeling is also famous for it's Steam Railway which is now protected by World Heritage. It is possible to take a two hour ride on the steam train to Ghoom and back.
Darjeeling is synonymous with tea and wherever you go, you will see tea gardens and tea shops. You can visit a local tea garden to see the production process and afterwards sample a cup of Darjeeling's finest at Glenaries tea room.
Sightseeing in Kathmandu
A days sightseeing will enable you to experience the most famous sights and temples of the Kathmandu valley. Visitors are welcome to observe many of the rituals at the various temples, but we would ask you to be sensitive with regards to photography.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is at the heart of the old city and is home to the old Royal Palace, the Kumari – a little girl worshipped as a living goddess, and numerous other monuments and temples. It’s a great place to wander and soak up the bustling atmosphere.
Pashupatinath is Nepal’s holiest Hindu pilgrimage site, encompassing a complex of temples and ghats straddling the Bagmati River. It is said that to die and be cremated here releases you from the cycle of rebirth. Swayambhunath, also known as the monkey temple because of its famous residents, commands a view of the whole city from its hilltop position. The temple is the most important expression of Buddhism in Nepal and the surrounding area is home to many Tibetans in exile. The same is true of Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas and the greatest Tibetan Buddhist monument outside of Tibet.
Patan (or Lalitpur) lies to the south of Kathmandu and is known as the city of artisans. It has it’s own Durbar Square, a quieter and more bohemian version of the one in Kathmandu. Patan’s craftsmen produce much of the fine metalwork of Nepal and it’s an excellent place to buy arts and crafts.
Bernado Bertolucci chose Bhaktapur for the location of his 1995 movie Little Buddha. A truly medieval city, a visit to Bhaktapur is like stepping back in time. It’s a personal Blue Sage favourite and you can combine your trip with a visit to the panoramic viewpoint at Nargakot. The majority of the city is closed to traffic and as you walk the narrow streets, you will suddenly come upon courtyards where pottery is made as it has been for generations and rows of pots are set out to dry in the sun. Bhaktapur is a small city, easily explored on foot and best experienced by wandering its brick paved alleyways. Buildings and streets are carefully preserved, thanks to the city’s decision to charge an entrance fee and thus allow the local heritage to thrive. Many people visit the city on a day trip from Kathmandu, but in our experience Bhaktapur is at its best in the evening when the locals come out on the streets to sing and play their musical instruments or worship at the temples. Why not spend the night at a guest house in the heart of the old city or at Nargakot viewpoint? Bhaktapur is really a place to wander and soak up the atmosphere or find a roof top café in one of the squares and watch the world go by with a cup of coffee.
Everest viewing flight
Experience the beauty of the Himalayas and Nepal’s highest mountain peaks from the air on a mountain viewing flight
Nepal has some of the best white water rafting in the world and it’s an excellent way to see the countryside. Nights are spent camping beside the river under the stars. You can expect to raft for around five to six hours per day through a mixture of wild rapids and calm water. Your rafting team are highly trained and experienced and you will be using quality rafts and equipment, life jackets and helmets.
Class 1 – Easy. Small rapids with few obstacles.
Class 2 – Moderate. Small rapids with some manoeuvring and easy navigation.
Class 3 – More Difficult. Irregular waves and hazards with manoeuvring required. Scouting from the shore may be necessary.
Rafting on the Trisuli River - Two days. Kathmandu – Kathmandu.
Class 2 to 3. This is Nepal’s most popular rafting river with an excellent balance of white water and calm stretches for water fights with other boats!
Chitwan Jungle Safari
Chitwan means ‘Heart of the Jungle’ and this area was declared Nepal’s first National Park in 1973. Chitwan has been a rhino sanctuary since 1962 when the asian one-horned rhino was on the verge of extinction. Chitwan is also home to tigers, although these are notoriously elusive. You may also see any one of the fifty-one species of other mammals in the park, including bison, wild elephant, sloth bear, deer, wild boar and leopard, as well as the four hundred and fifty species of birds or two varieties of crocodiles.
You will have the opportunity to experience the remoteness of the jungle in comfort and safety. Various activities are available throughout your stay including elephant-back safaris through grassland and jungle, nature walks and bird watching with knowledgeable guides and naturalists. You may also choose to just relax with a book or spend the evening sitting under the stars with a drink from the bar.