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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed March 2019
    Jenny lawrence

    Wonderful trip - do it!

    A brilliant trip capturing all the chaos, filth, colour and magic of India & Nepal . The memories are too many to detail but will last a lifetime. Personally I loved every day- I stayed healthy throughout sticking to a vegetarian diet and using loads of anti bacterial hand gel. The food was delicious & i am sure I’ve put on a few pounds. The group was also great - a perfect mix of solo travellers and couples and we all got on very well. The organisation behind the scenes by exodus was excellent - our guide in india and first part of Nepal, Jatin was always calm, reassuring & charming. The travel involved some changes due to road closures and a train cancellation but jatin always did his best to rearrange schedules & keep us informed. We covered long distances so there are some long days being jolted around in the bus so be prepared, but the good humour of the group, amazing scenery and a few snacks helped pass the time. I found it helpful to download some music or I player podcasts to listen to en route. Also a blow up pillow and big scarf or blanket for when the air con made it chilly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The early morning walk to the holy river Ganga at Varanasi . The sights, smells, sounds, colour & sheer numbers of devoted Hindus was more magical than anything I have ever seen.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jatin was excellent all round - efficient, thoughtful, calming and warm towards us all. I could not fault him & highly recommend him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above... re bus journeys & taking lots of anti- bacterial hand gel. Drink lots of water - it really helps you stay well & avoid dehydration

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is described as leisurely - it’s certainly not physically demanding, but the long days travelling chaotic roads & early starts do make it quite strenuous! So be prepared.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Julie Nunn

    What an amazing journey!

    An amazing and enlightening journey with a great group of people. We saw both city and countrywide and visited many incredible landmarks along the way. We learnt lots about India it's religion and culture. Lead by the most caring and considerate guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise over the Annapurna Mountains and paragliding from Sunrise Peak.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jatin was wonderful, preparing us for each part of the trip by explaining what should/ might happen and what we should do. He looked after the whole group so well and made the trip stress free.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind. Be prepared for a lot of travelling. Take plenty of listening material for the time on the coach, the roads are too bumpy for reading and you can watch India go by while you listen. Noise cancelling headphones are a bonus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well done Exodus the trip far exceeded our expectations!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Louie Tham

    Great, varied trip

    Concise itinerary of some key sights in Northern India and Nepal. Varied sights covering important Moghal, Buddhist, Hindu sites, mixed with wildlife, rural landscapes, lakeside resort and Himalayan vistas. Good pace, not too rushed, not too many bus trips, chance to experience overnight rail journey. Good standard of hotels, good breakfasts with local and Western choices. Trip was considerably enhanced by having Mayank as our leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Varanasi in all it's intensity ; driving through rural Bihar and seeing all village life on the road, the paranama of Everest on a mountain flight ; the energy of Kathmandu, great end to the trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayank was outstanding : incredable knowledge, good communicator, ever helpful, always going the 'extra mile' to solve problems, and good company at meal times with an easy, natural manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    India is an assault on your senses - come with an open mind and flexible attitude, it will grip you like no other country. Nepal is more chilled, nice contrast to India but people and mountains will want you to return.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Ask for Mayank
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Julie Woodward

    Excellent jam-packed adventure

    After a fair amount of research into which trip/company to select, I opted for this one. I opted for this trip for a few reasons - I'd previously done another excellent trip with Exodus, only 1 overnight train (just enough!), the itinerary sounded fascinating with some different places included to other similar tours. I was extremely pleased with my choice - an adventure from start to finish, amazing places, loads learned, a fabulous group and a brilliant tour leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to mention - a true sensory experience. Varanasi was a huge highlight - people watching, the Ganges, the Ghats and the various ceremonies we saw - including beautiful weddings. The mountain scenery in Nepal was breathtaking - including the drives to get to Pokhara and Kathmandu, the Pokhara paragliding experience and Everest flight from Kathmandu. The Pashupatinath complex and Bodnath temple in Kathmandu. Learning about the Hindu and Buddhist history, beliefs and traditions was fascinating (including the Bodhgaya stay and day trips). Finally, our 13 strong group and Jatin were very special people to share this experience and adventure with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jatin was absolutely brilliant - this would have been a tough and complex trip to manage and Jatin worked tirelessly to make sure everything came together, that we were all safe and well, and that we had a brilliant time. Whether someone needed meds, first aid, money, recovery of a misplaced/lost/left-behind item, souvenirs ... Jatin was always on hand and happy to help (he even rolled his sleeves up to help fix the bus!). Jatin's knowledge and experience was superb, he cared and his happy nature made us smile. A huge credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring plenty of hand sanitiser (and use it regularly!), drink loads of water, bring an open-mind and be prepared to go with the flow. This is a really fun adventure trip - there are some early morning starts (for activities or to travel), rough and bumpy roads, long days, squat toilets and often facilities which might not meet our usual standards - go with it, it's really worth it. The long travel days weren't so bad as the views and outside life was fascinating to watch. Try and carry some snacks to keep the energy levels going - Jatin and the drivers often stopped at street vendors to get us fruit or other snacks during the day. During the long journeys, we stopped every couple of hours for a leg stretch, cuppa and a loo break. We were always told to shout if anyone needed an earlier stop. We encountered an unscheduled 6 hr delay, due to protests, on the morning train to Varanasi and many of us were very grateful for saving some our breakfast box leftovers which kept us going. The overnight train was an adventure. We made sure we had a good feed at lunchtime and we stopped off at the shop for some snacks. I carried a lightweight sleeping bag liner for the overnight train - I used it because I carried it, but the bedding provided seemed clean enough to use without the liner. However, it did get a little chilly during the night so the extra layer was welcomed. One thing I wished I'd packed was some cards or small games, but we made our own fun in the end. US $ are very useful to carry - crisp and un-torn notes. Indian rupees can be carried into and used in Nepal. Don't overpack - hotel laundry facilities were cheap and good, and best used on 2 night stays. I used the hotel laundry facilities in Bodhgaya and Varanasi. Bodhgaya was slightly cheaper, but neither expensive at all. Get over the cappuccino love! Mainly instant coffee all the way until Pokhara - but the Masala Chai is a good substitute.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a superb trip for an India first-timer or someone wanting to get a taster of Nepal and North India- It gives a taste of so much - people, ways of life, forts, palaces, mountains, countryside, nature, temples, Hindu and Buddhist insights/learning, trains, roads etc. The trip visits many UNESCO world heritage sites. It requires a bit of stamina (for the travelling days and early starts). Both India and Nepal are challenging and daunting countries and this trip made the experience do-able, straighforward and easy.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Mary Spencer

    Delhi to Kathmandu

    This was a great trip which involved a lot of travelling ( by bus, train, jeep and boat) but with the reward of visiting some beautiful and historical places and having some wonderful experiences. The travelling times for our group were often longer than suggested in the trip notes but this was because at the time of our travel there was some major road construction occurring. However the long bus trips did give one an opportunity to observe the countryside, the Indian and Nepalese cultures and ways of life as one passed through towns and villages. There was also the opportunity for the odd nap as there were quite a few early morning starts. Also this gave an opportunity to read up on, or reflect on the places visited as the trip moves quickly across India and into Nepal.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the inspirational moments of the trip were visiting the Taj Mahal, getting close to the Indian one horned rhino in Chitwan national park and the flight to Everest . The Taj Mahal is such an iconic building and to have experienced its beauty and atmosphere at sunrise was inspiring. Our group were so lucky at Chitwan ...we saw about 10 rhino with 7 being distant viewings but 3 were really close to the jeeps. Being a keen photographer of animals this really made my trip !!! Am still wondering how Gaj our " all things can be sorted" guide managed to arrange that !!! Seeing Everest and the Himalayas above the clouds..... not to be missed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gaj was our fantastic leader who looked out for our safety but also ensured that we had a good time. He frequently asked us if our tummies were in order... "because if your tummy isn't in the right place your head isn't going to be in the right place". For the majority, tummies were in the right place for the whole trip and I am sure that this was partly owing to the fact that Gaj knew where to take us to eat. A guide is always worth his money for giving good advice to avoid unhappy occurrences and then if they occur being able to sort things out . Gaj always gave us good tips on things to do or not to do and always knew where we could change money, find a chemist, procure a chain and lock for your suitcase or get passport photos done . Besides all the practical stuff Gaj told us lots about the history and culture of his country and answered all our questions enthusiastically.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the long drives.. its what you have to do to visit places where some roads are not great. The Nepalese immigration insist on pristine US dollar notes ( no markings and flat) for your visa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its not a rest .. its an experience.....but a great one !!!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jane Dare

    Delhi to Kathmandu

    A fantastic adventure from start to finish. India was hot, dirty, crowded and chaotic. It was a riot of colour, noise and amazing photo opportunities! Nepal was slightly less chaotic and provided a wonderful contrast to the madness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Both morning and evening trips on the Ganges were incredible. Not for the faint-hearted, we watched cremations on the banks of the river. We loved Chitwan even though we didn't see the elusive tiger. We went paragliding in Pokhara which was great fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronit was a great leader. We were a very small group, just four of us and Ronit. We got on extremely well and Ronit just made everything easy. He was knowledgable, informative and fun. He made navigating the chaos easy, getting us on to the train for our overnight trip, getting us tuktuks and rickshaws and adding his own experiences that he thought we would enjoy such as taking us to the Sikh temple in Delhi where we made roti, stopping at the brick factory, walking over a suspension bridge on the way to Pokhara and taking us to eat street food at a stall in Agra.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not a relaxing holiday. It is an adventure. Be prepared for long journeys on terrible roads. There is always something to see but you will spent a lot of time on the road. There are also some early starts. The standard of driving, generally, is not great. It was particularly dusty in Kathmandu. Some of the hotels are quite basic. Be prepared for sights you would not see in the UK. Embrace the chaos and you will have an amazing time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend this trip. It was well organised from start to finish. Excellent!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Penelope Phillips

    Delhi to Kathmandu

    Very enjoyable experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all that we saw and did. We visited a school on request to give pens and paper. Thought seeing sun rise on the Ganges and sending a light down the river very moving. Loved staying at Chitsan another chances to flot on the water and seeing all the animals. Didn't see the tigers though.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gajraj was very good with information and helped us to understand his country. He was full of fun to that helped us all to get on together. Pleased that he fixed for us to visit a school.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Water in Nepal is readily available no need for water purifying stuff. Lot of dust a face mask is a good idea to have if you suffer with a bad chest.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Loved all the things we saw and did.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Jennifer Dixon

    delhi to kathmandu

    a trip that far exceeded expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the human spectical of Veranasi

    What did you think of your group leader?

    simplly the best
  • Reviewed November 2014

    Delhi to Kathmandu

    This is an ideal trip for those who want to have a taste of India and Nepal and not much time to do it in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being the first people into the Taj Mahal and having no-one in our photos...and then the place being absolutely rammed 10 minutes later. The amazing Hindu ceremony along the river Ganges at sunset where thousands and thousands of people turned up to worship. Trekking fishtail mountain to see the sunrise. Visiting the amazing Buddist and Hindu Temples... and of course Bang Bang Bollywood film!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vivek was amazing. I have been on 3 exodus trips now and he was the best by far. His years of experience shone through as he took care of restaurant bookings, extra trips and basically anything else we could possibly want (and we wanted a lot!). He was extremely caring and protective (which as a solo female traveler was appreciated) without making us worried and made the time every day to have conversations with each of us. As well as this he joined in on almost all of the optional activities despite probably having done them countless times already and we were all sad to say goodbye at our last meal as a group. He also provided never ending cough sweets to the whole group as we each passed a cold back and forth to each other all trip!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is an intense trip - I was not prepared for exactly how busy and loud India would be and add this to the long days and early starts and it is hard work but just make sure you take the opportunity for some down time when you can get it. It's absolutely worth doing. Practical info- wifi is at every hotel you go to and there's about 3 places you can get laundry done too so don't be tempted to over-pack.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a fantastic trip but i think the day trip to Chunar once you've arrived in Varannasi is unncessary. A few of us opted to go to the site of the Budda's first sermon instead and get massages in the hotel and it was fantastic and a chance to relax after the overnight train, whereas the people who went on the day trip spent a very long time travelling to go to a fort which they said wasn't as good as the ones we'd already seen. There is so much to do in Varannasi that it seemed odd to spend one of the two days travelling elsewhere. Lastly, in Chitwan there is an elephant ride which I was unsure about as it is agreed upon by most animal charities that elephants should not be used in this way as you cannot know the treatment of the elephant, where they have come from (e.g stolen from herd) or beaten to be tame, worked all day... it would be reassuring to know that Exodus have looked into the company used to verify that the elephants are well treated.
  • Reviewed May 2014
    Reg Odbert

    Delhi to Kathmandu

    The trip started early on the first day in India and continued at pace throughout: the scenery was breathtaking. In spite of repeated early morning starts at 4.30 - 5am we were amazed by the sheer numbers of people everywhere at all times of day and night. The journeys between cities were long even though the distances were relatively short - the roads are dreadful! However, we didn't witness any aggression or accidents even though the views of the chaotic traffic were scary at times! The accommodation was really good and far better than we either expected or that we have had on previous trips. Food was plentiful, tasty and excellent. We deliberately ate veggie and completely avoided any tummy upsets. The overnight 'sleeper' train was quite an experience - we boarded 1.5 hours late around 12.30 am and arrived in Varanassi 6 hours later than planned at 2pm - interesting and actually quite fun even though we didn't sleep much! Our guide Gajendra (G) was experienced, friendly, knowledgeable and super efficient - a great guy!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to choose one experience from such a brilliant trip. There were a lot of amazing moments. The Ganges at both dawn and dusk, the elephants and the swim with the elephants, the sheer colour and smells and noise of the cities - all absolutely fantastic. But - The 'Diana bench' at the Taj Mahal at dawn was beyond anything that we ever anticipated - it was simply awe-inspiring! We were fortunate to be there during the festival of Holi. This was terrific fun, and it took about a week to get all the dye and paint off after being plastered from head to toe in coloured paints.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant! He was just great. Nothing was too much trouble and he made the whole trip appear effortless. Of course, he was working very hard behind the scenes but he just made everything happen. He didn't even loose anyone in the crowds of Delhi at night!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip - it is not a physically energetic trip, but it is great. We added a week of trekking in Nepal to get the legs moving after eating and drinking far too much in India.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the best trips that we have been on. It's quite hard work because India is such a big country and , if you want to see things, you have to put in the time on the road - well worth any minor inconvenience and a few very short nights!
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