Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Ophthalmology in Nepal and Bhutan - TOUR FULL

10 - 21 Mar 2023
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Take a journey deep into Nepal and Bhutan, two destinations with extraordinarily rich cultures and history, as well as some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.

Nepal boasts distinctive ethnic groups and languages, striking architecture and vibrant street life, making it a treat for the senses. Bhutan is one of the last great Buddhist kingdoms; a mountain kingdom which ranks its Gross National Happiness Index more highly than Gross Domestic Product.

This carefully designed tour combines professional visits for obstetricians, gynaecologists and ophthalmologists. Some visits are combined, while others are separate. The professional visits give an overview of local medicine and healthcare, as well as providing particular insight into these three areas. You will also learn about the development of these fields in Nepal and Bhutan.

There is a partner programme during the tour as well as a post-tour extension to Chitwan National Park.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Professor J. Richard Smith MD, FRCOG is a consultant gynaecological surgeon at the West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust. He was Adjunct Associate Professor at the New York University School of Medicine from 2001 to 2021 and is currently Professor of Practice, Imperial College.

Professor Smith graduated from the University of Glasgow and worked in various Scottish hospitals until 1988. He then moved to further his training at St Mary’s Hospital in London and took up a consultant post at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in 1993. He is also an honorary consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital. He moved to Hammersmith/Queen Charlotte’s Hospital a few years ago where his sub-specialisation of gynaecology is oncology, and within this he specialises in gestational trophoblastic disease, ovarian germ cell tumours, cervical cancer and vulval disease. During his career, he co invented the procedure of radical abdominal trachelectomy, and the modified Strassman procedure to allow fertility sparing surgery for woman with rare uterine tumours. He also invented the Smith’s safety needle holder. He is a registered colposcopist and has a long-running interest in the management of pelvic pain and the psychology both of his patients and of the operating theatre.

His main surgical interest is fertility-sparing surgery and his research interest is the development of uterine transplantation, both from live and deceased donors. He is the Chairman of Womb Transplant UK Charity and leader of this research team. He is an Honorary Consultant in Transplantation Surgery at the University of Oxford hospitals. He is also involved with research related to endometrial transplantation, endometrial stem cell research and novel treatments for vulval cancers.

He has a long-running interest in doctor-patient communication and has published Women’s Cancers; Pathways to Healing 2009, Women’s Cancers; Pathways to Living 2015. He is the series editor of Patient Pictures (17 books) (210,000 copies).

With respect to books for the medical profession he is First Editor of an Atlas of Gynaecological Oncology (4 editions) and first author of eight other post-graduate medical textbooks. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications as well as numerous reviews and articles.

In the field of non- medical publishing he has published two books, The Journey: Spirituality, Pilgrimage and Chant, DLT, 2016 and A Very Byzantine Journey, Sacristy Press, 2022. He currently has two new books for the general public one with his agent entitled The Sacrifices a Woman will make in Pursuit of a Baby. The other, Womb Transplant - An Epic Journey is with World Scientific Press.

He has four children whom he loves dearly and spends his time between London, where he lives on a house boat, and Scotland, where he lives at the south end of an island, in the middle of nowhere.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Kathmandu (Fri, 10 March) Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to the Yak and Yeti Hotel, where you will have dinner.
  • Day 2: Kathmandu (Sat, 11 March) Full day tour of Kathmandu, an exhilarating city crammed with cultural and artistic treasures. Visit majestic Durbar Square with its stepped temples, pagodas and palaces, the Old Royal Darjeeling Palace and the Temple of the Kumari Devi, the real-life child goddess who reigns until the onset of puberty. Visit magnificent Boudnath Stupa, one of the largest Tibetan stupas in the world, and the great Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath. You will also visit the Tibetan Monastery and the Eastern Ghats. Welcome dinner at Mul Chowk restaurant.
  • Day 3: Kathmandu (Sun, 12 March) Visit Ek Ek Paila (Community Hospital), an initiative of a group of volunteers in Nepal. It aims to provide free health services to the people in the remote rural areas of Nepal. Meet with Nepali doctors specialising in various fields, including obstetrics and gynaecology and ophthalmology. Partners visit Kirtipur, an attractive ancient Newar hill town of paved streets lined by typical red-brick houses and tiled roofs, as well as temple squares. In the afternoon, explore the artistic heritage of Patan, which contains the most visually stunning display of Newari architecture in Nepal.
  • Day 4: Kathmandu (Mon, 13 March) Visit the government-run Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital and meet with the obstetrics and gynaecology department. (ALTERNATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY VISIT: Visit the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, renowned globally as an education and training facility.) Partners at leisure. Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association to hear about their work and the treating of medical conditions in extreme environments.
  • Day 5: Kathmandu (Tues, 14 March) Drive into the mountains to visit Changunarayan Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, considered to be the oldest temple in Nepal. Hike to Telkot through forest and terraced fields. Drive from Telkot to Nagarkot and have lunch. Drive to Bhaktapur, known as the ‘City of Devotees’ and visit Durbar Square. Drive back to the hotel for dinner.
  • Day 6: Kathmandu / Paro / Thimphu ((Wed, 15 March) Fly to historic Paro in Bhutan and meet your Bhutanese guide. Drive to Thimphu, an unusual capital city with just 40,000 inhabitants. Still deeply traditional, the few cars in the city are directed by white-gloved traffic policeman in ornate booths instead of traffic lights. Visit the General Post Office for your own personalised stamp, before continuing to the National Memorial Chorten, an extraordinary example of Buddhist architecture and artwork with its paintings and intricate sculptures. Take a walking tour of this charming city before visiting the local markets.
  • Day 7: Thimphu (Thurs, 16 March) Excursion to Tango and Cheri monasteries, set in the serenely beautiful Thimphu Valley. Return to Thimpu and visit RENEW centre, an organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women and children in Bhutan. (ALTERNATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY VISIT: Return to Thimphu and visit the Thimphu Eye Hospital, the first of its kind in Bhutan, and meet with ophthalmologists.) Later visit a government hospital that uses traditional Bhutanese medicine.
  • Day 8: Thimphu / Punakha (Fri, 17 March) Drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass, with panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayas. En route visit Talo Nunnery, which provides education, health and welfare to the local nuns of the area. Visit magnificent Punakha Dzong, with its intricately carved wooden window frames and balconies in vivid colours.
  • Day 9: Punakha/Paro (Sat, 18 March) After an early breakfast visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a lovely example of traditional Bhutanese architecture overlooking paddy fields. Short drive to Kabisa Valley and trek up to the chorten through beautiful ricefields and villages or drive back to the hotel with time at leisure. Drive to Paro and check into your hotel. Visit a government hospital in Paro and tour its obstetrics and gynaecology department (ophthalmologists visit the eye-care unit.) Enjoy dinner with local doctors.
  • Day 10: Paro (Sun, 19 March) Visit the dramatic Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, perched on the face of a sheer 1,000-metre high cliff face. The monastery is approached on foot, which takes around two hours with a break at a cafeteria on the way up.*
  • Day 11: Paro / Kathmandu (Mon, 20 March) Fly back to Kathmandu. Afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner in the evening.
  • Day 12: Kathmandu (Tues, 21 March) Option of morning flight for a view of Everest and the Himalayas or at leisure. Depart for airport or take extension to Chitwan.

* Those who do not wish to walk can wait in the cafe. Alternatively, you can hire a horse to take you to the café. All itineraries are subject to change according to local conditions.

Extension to Chitwan: 21 – 24 March 2023

  • Day 12: Kathmandu / Chitwan (Tues, 21 March) Option of morning flight for a view of Everest. Fly to Bharatpur airport. Transfer to Chitwan National Park, a 932 square km World Heritage listed reserve that is home to tigers and rhinos. It is one of the best wildlife viewing national parks in Asia and there are excellent chances of spotting rhino, deer and monkeys as well as a huge variety of birds. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 13: Chitwan National Park (Wed, 22 March) Activities within the park, including jungle walks, bird watching, ox cart rides, canoeing or visiting a local village.
  • Day 14: Chitwan National Park / Kathmandu (Thurs, 23 March) Fly back to Kathmandu. Afternoon at leisure
  • Day 15: Kathmandu (Fri, 24 March) At leisure before transferring to the airport.

Tour cost

Tour cost is USD $5,118 per person sharing (excluding international flights and transfers)