12 - 20 NOVEMBER 2017

There is so much more to Nepal than trekking. Join our pre-conference tour to discover the medieval city squares of Kathmandu and Patan, joining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around centuries-old stupas and monasteries. In chilled-out Pokhara, admire the panorama of the snow-capped Himalayas reflected in a tranquil lake. And, then experience the jungle of Chitwan National Park for safaris on elephant, canoe and jeep to view some extraordinary wild-life including the chance to spot a majestic royal Bengal tiger.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Depart Australia in the morning and stay overnight in Bangkok Airport Hotel.

Monday 13 November 2017

Arrive in exotic, chaotic Kathmandu. Kathmandu’s timeless cultural and artistic heritage will reveal itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Begin with Kathmandu’s Durbar Square with its cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. Admire stone statues of gods and goddesses and erotic carvings and the jangle of little alleyways. Visit Swoyambhunath Stupa, the most holy of all shrines and pilgrim destinations, its white dome and golden spires visible from afar.

This afternoon, visit Patan city, hosting the finest architecture in Nepal, including a magnificent carved-stone confection in honour of Lord Shiva. Patan is a great place to shop as there are many fair-trade shops, selling superior handicrafts at fair prices.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

This morning take a short flight to Pokhara, surrounded by spectacular Himalayan peaks. Visit Devi’s Falls, the water plunging into a sinkhole below. Then view Seti Gandaki River, which rushes powerfully through and under Pokhara having carved out a deep gorge. Enjoy shopping at the Old Bazaar, a wonderful, colourful mix of traders and goods. Admire the local Newari-style houses with decorative brickwork and ornately carved wooden windows. Visit the small two-tiered Bhimsen Temple , a 200-year-old shrine to the Newari god of trade and commerce, decorated with erotic carvings. Yes, but why?

This evening soak in the magnificent panorama of snow-capped mountains from your lakeside hotel.

Thursday 16 November 2017

This morning, take a short boat ride across Phewa Lake and hike for 1 and a half hours through a forest grove to reach World Peace Pagoda. This, along with many other World Peace Pagodas around the world, was built after WWII built under the guidance of Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985). The shining white shrine, besides being an impressive sight in itself, is a vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. The shining golden statue depicts the Buddha in the posture he assumed when he was born.

Friday 17 November 2017

Drive to Chitwan National Park, located in the subtropical lowlands of central Nepal, and settle in to your delightful safari villa. After lunch, mount your elephant for a safari through dense grasslands and riverine forest in search of wildlife. This area is a favourite habitat for rhinoceros, deer, monkeys and up to 544 species of birds. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ll see leopards, wild elephants and sloth bears and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spot a majestic royal Bengal tiger.

Saturday 18 November 2017

After breakfast take a jeep safari, hoping to see those animals you missed yesterday. A canoe and boat ride will provide an opportunity for viewing Gharial crocodiles, mugger crocodiles, otters and a variety of water birds. Enjoy a riverside picnic lunch. After lunch you can take a bird watching walk or relax at the lodge before visiting some local Tharu villages. This evening attend a special Tharu cultural show.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Catch a short flight back to Kathmandu where the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own. Tonight enjoy a typical Nepalese dinner.

Monday 20 November 2017

Fly to Paro to join the main conference group.        

End of arrangements

Please note that this itinerary and costs may be subject to change.