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India, Bhutan, Nepal - Same Trip

India, Bhutan, Nepal - Same Trip

Old Jan 14, 17, 8:32 am
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India, Bhutan, Nepal - Same Trip

Hey folks,

Do any of you have a recommendation of how much time I need to do India, Bhutan, and Nepal?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 11:00 am
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What do you want to do in each country? You could spend months in India and still not see everything. If you're trekking in Bhutan or Nepal, you'd spend a lot more time than if not. You could "do" India in two days: Delhi and Agra or just one if all you wanted to do was see the Taj. How much time do you have in total?
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Old Jan 14, 17, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by manneca View Post
What do you want to do in each country? You could spend months in India and still not see everything. If you're trekking in Bhutan or Nepal, you'd spend a lot more time than if not. You could "do" India in two days: Delhi and Agra or just one if all you wanted to do was see the Taj. How much time do you have in total?
5 weeks max which I think should be efficient.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by Terminator8 View Post
5 weeks max which I think should be efficient.
5 weeks is a decent amount of time....is there anything in particular you want to see or want to avoid????what are you planning on doing in nepal & bhutan????
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Old Jan 15, 17, 8:57 am
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India is the biggest country and has the most diversity in terms of things to see and do. Simply for that, it probably deserves the lion's share of your travel time. On the other hand, it's also the most mentally exhausting of the three, depending on your style of travel. You may want to pick a region and focus on it, rather than trying to criss-cross your way around the country, simply because of the distances involved.

Nepal is beautiful, relaxing and easy to travel in. If you're planning to do any trekking, spend more time there. If not, you can probably see the highlights in a week or ten days without too much trouble. Though of course, you could spend months there, too. It's all personal preference.

Remember that Bhutan is very expensive with the required tourist minimum. If budget is an issue, you may want to minimize time there, and maximize it in the less expensive destinations of India and Nepal.

Personally if I had five weeks to allocate, I'd devote about 3 weeks to India, 10 days to Nepal, and 4-5 days to Bhutan, if not trekking. If trekking, more time for Nepal and less for India. But that's just me. Tell us more about your interests and goals for this trip and I'm sure we can provide additional info.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 4:19 pm
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Of the 3, I'd have to say Bhutan and Nepal are probably more interesting to me than India. But I feel obligated to see India since I'm right there (I'm from Chicago so India is quite a haul). In Nepal, I would definitely like to do some trekking (Annapurna) and visit Everest Base Camp. I'd like to visit Tibet as well.

For Bhutan, Taktsang Palphug Monastery of course. I'm not that familiar with this country but I would like to spend most time checking the temples and architecture.

For India, again, Taj Mahal of course. Also, Chand Baori Stepwell, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Kukki's Cave Paintings, Jolly Music House, Orchha, Golden Temple.

With regards to India, while I've listed those activities, I haven't spent much time researching the travel complexities of reaching them all. So advice is appreciated.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 6:16 pm
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That's quite an extensive wishlist. It seems to me that you're in initial research phase, not paring down phase just yet. But yes, you will have to winnow down this list somewhat if you want to make it all fit into five weeks.

For info on the Annapurna Circuit and the EBC track, see here: http://www.kathmanduandbeyond.com/in...epal-himalaya/. The EBC trek is generally at least 3 weeks on its own, and the AC about 2 weeks, so consider timing, physical fitness, altitude and other factors before committing to a trek.

Visiting Tibet requires you to book on an organized tour at least 20 days in advance, get the appropriate permits, and remember that the rules change frequently and at the whim of the Chinese government. Do your homework. The shortest tours from Kathmandu are typically about a week.

The Indian sites you've listed are all over the map. You could easily go from Delhi to Jaipur and Rajasthan, then to Agra for the Taj Mahal, and back again. This is the "golden triangle" circuit popular for tourism, and about a week is a decent amount of time for it. You've also thrown in Orchha, which I visited in November and quite enjoyed, but remember it's a full day's travel from either Jaipur or Agra. The Golden Temple is in Amritsar, totally in the other direction. And Varanasi could be on your way to Nepal, if you do that route -- I did a Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Orchha-Varanasi-Nepalese border trip in ten days last November, but that was with a tour and adding some private transport along with a few long rail trips (one overnight train) and believe me, it was rushed.

I can't really give advice for Bhutan, since I've never been. It's a bit out of my budget range. Remember that there's a $250 USD tourist fee per day, with a surcharge if you're travelling solo or as a couple.

I'd also strongly suggest you post your questions in the Indian Subcontinent Forum at Lonely Planet Thorntree. You'll get a lot of useful responses there from people who've travelled to all of the above.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 7:08 pm
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Seg, appreciate all that awesome info. Very useful for me. I won't be doing this until Feb/March/April 2018 so I have TONS AND TONS of time to create the ideal itinerary.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 7:16 pm
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No worries! Note that Tibet permits are typically not issued from mid-February to April each year (dates vary).
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by segacs View Post
No worries! Note that Tibet permits are typically not issued from mid-February to April each year (dates vary).
Too bad, might be out then.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 9:33 am
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Nepal with Annapurna trek would require at least 2 weeks. Bhutan can be done in 4-7 days. Tibet 4-7 days (if not going overland one or both ways - would add a few days), India, if only Delhi 3 days, if Agra, etc, 10 days, if other places a lifetime.

With 5 weeks I suggest flying into Delhi, do Tibet, Nepal, and back to Delhi. That works well with flights. Spend the bulk of your time in Nepal. You can do a Tiber sidetrip from Kathmandu easily without pre-booking. Flights KTM-DEL are very cheap so you can play it by ear once you hit Nepal.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 2:34 pm
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According to previous poster though, it doesn't seem like Tibet would be an option without the permit. And they don't grant permits during Feb-April
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Terminator8 View Post
According to previous poster though, it doesn't seem like Tibet would be an option without the permit. And they don't grant permits during Feb-April
Dates vary. Generally closed in March. Re-opens sometime in late March or early April. But that's at the whim of the Chinese government and it's different each time. Looks like this year's dates are Feb 20th to March 31st.

And here, more background info.
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Old Jan 17, 17, 12:40 am
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Thanks Seg. Maybe I can finesse the order of visits to make it work. Would love to see it.
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