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Reviews

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

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22 Reviews

  • Reviewed April 2020

    Fantastic Trip covering large part of Nepal

    Can highly recommend this trip, it was absolutely amazing from start to finish. It provides a fantastic insight into Nepal and you will see a lot in a short space of time, it far exceed my expectations and is worth the money. It is fast paced but a good mix of city/history and cultural introduction of the country to start with in Kathmandu followed by the excellent walking, and finishing in Chitwan before going back to Kathmandu. I agree that Kathmandu was not the highlight and in my view could of easily been missed altogether, or only covered at the end of the trip for half a day, it was very polluted and dirty, the hotel was a good standard for Nepal but not amazing, but fine for a few nights and comfortable. Definitely would recommend flying straight into Pokhara when the airport is open to International carriers in the near future. I could easily have spent more time in Pokhara and Chitwan. The walking was amazing, you do need a good level of fitness there are one or two steep ascents, poles are a good item to bring with you in your kit bag, the porters carry your bags for you as you walk, my recommendation is to pack light for the walking! Lodges were very comfortable and the people very friendly food very god standard and plenty of it! Cold at night but good hot showers and nice bathrooms, I loved that you were delivered a hot water bottle every night. Food in the lodges was amazing and catered for everyone. The walking thought the unspoilt and at times completely isolated parts of the countryside will be something that will stay with me for a long time, that was truly unique and in complete contrast to Kathmandu. We saw hardly any tourists and saw farmers at work and people living in the countryside, it was peaceful and you truly could appreciate this amazing country. Pokhara was fantastic and is an amazing city, with a lot to do, I would definitely go back there. Chitwan Safari was truly unique and the hotel was absolutely outstanding and luxury. A few opportunities in Pokhara, Chitwan and Kathmandu to have massages to ease away the aches of the walking. Our guide Keshar was fantastic, extremely knowledgeable about Nepal, the flora, fauna and history, there was nothing he could of done to make our trip any better. Going in December meant we had very clear views of all the spectacular mountain ranges and I would definitely recommend this time of year, albeit it is cold in the evenings. Each trip I do with exodus just gets better and better!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking thought the unspoilt and at times completely isolated parts of the countryside will be something that will stay with me for a long time, that was truly unique and in complete contrast to Kathmandu.
  • Reviewed December 2019

    Fantastic way to see Nepal

    Booked this as wanted to see Nepal without roughing it. Far exceeded my expectations. A great taster of several regions, the culture, fabulous scenery and wildlife of this incredible country. It may not be heavy trekking, but you still need to have a good fitness level for all the uneven steps and relentless ups and downs. It is pretty full on if you make use of the optional trips in free time, but there is so much to see. Kathmandhu is pretty much as you imagine, and as little time spent there as possible is probably a good plan, it was the least impressive hotel, dirty, crowded and polluted, but still has areas of culture and history worth a look. When the new airport in Pokhara opens, that might mean you can fly there which would reduce the long and 'exciting' road trip. Pokhara was a much nicer place all round and could have spent longer there. Chitwans wildlife was also amazing, we just skimmed the surface on this trip, could have easily spent longer there. The lodges are of a great standard, although unheated, so you need to dress accordingly. The food was far better than I anticipated, and with happy hour, I failed to lose weight or detox on this trip! The trekking was mainly off the main paths and as it was end of season, we saw very few other tourists either on the paths or in the lodges. It was only a group of 7 and felt like a very personal trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to choose from! 1. The beautiful mountain scenery. We were very lucky to have 3 days of clear blue skies and stunning snow capped peaks. 2. the rural scenery of terracing and little villages with in depth viewing of the culture and local communities 3. The fabulous Nepali food, if you like curry and spicy, this is foodie heaven. There is plenty of it and all great quality, I had no stomach problems at all which was a nice surprise. 4. The lodges were amazing, so hospitable and well catered in stunning locations 5. Rhino viewing in Chitwan, some great encounters and some beautiful bird life plus the gharial breeding programme

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Keshar was a very experienced leader of 20 years. He was calm and competent with an amazing knowledge of everything that Nepal could show us, from the culture, food, restaurant suggestions and paths through the mountains. Couldn't fault him. He is very passionate about his country and supporting a lot of community projects. Would highly recommend him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit for the trekking else you won't enjoy it. Be prepared for all weathers, pack light but need clothes for freezing to sunbathing! We had from 18degrees sunshine, to relentless rain and thunderstorms in Chitwan. Be open minded as things don't always go to plan with travel in Nepal. The roads are rough, the traffic is completely terrifying and whilst distances are short, travel times are long. We had a car accident and had to spent half an hour waiting for negotiations into who's fault and who should pay! As the Dhalai Lama says, cultivating patience and tolerance is the key to happiness...…...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a trip of a lifetime, it's cultural, physical, and spiritual all rolled into one. It opens your eyes, and exercises the body, mind and soul. Highly recommended. Not a softie trip, this is still trekking...…..but be prepared to be blown away.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Ron Hunt

    TNX191008

    Great trip fulfilled all our expectations. The trekking was hard work but the scenery made it all worth while. The guide was excellent as were all the porters and local guides. And really appreciated the comfort of the lodges and the good, varied foods they provided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sunrise views of the Annapurnas from most of the lodges, especially Himalaya Lodge in Ghandruk and Basanta Lodge in Dhampus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Prem Gurung was excellent. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly, he made sure that everyone who needed any sort of help was looked after by himself or one of the other guides/porters. Attentive and professional in everything he did. Nothing asked of him was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't need to take much in the way of protein bars. On the hard trekking days the lodges provided a substantial mid morning snack. And had no problems with runny noses, so brought home lots of packs of tissues.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    4 of the Ker and Downey Lodges didn't provide Wifi, although there was a signal in their village. Should be rectified for luxury lodges.
  • 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 November 2018
    Lisa Wright

    A beautiful country with wonderful people

    A wonderful trip - this was out first visit to Nepal, and we were definitely able to experience a lot within the time. From the bustle of Kathmandu (which while manic, was really enjoyable) to the calm of the trekking, walking through the rural villages and seeing how they live. Everyone is so friendly - we Namaste'd a lot! We spent the last night of the trek with our porters where they sang, played drums and danced - we also attempted the dancing! And did a rendition of 'Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes' and 'If You're Happy & You Know It' for them - was good to see them joining in with the moves too! It was a lovely night, full of laughs and big smiles from everyone. In Chitwan we were lucky enough to see 2 Indian one-horned rhinos when we were on the jeep safari. It does get quite busy with other jeeps following similar trails, but definitely worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waking up each morning of the trek to see the sunrise over the mountains - just stunning. On the drive back after our trek, we stopped at the Jangchub Choeling monastery - where we were fortunate enough to be there when they were just starting a ceremony. We were able to sit in with over 100 monks and listen to them chanting mantras - it was absolutely beautiful, and I felt very priviliged to be there. So if your guide asks whether you want to stop at the Tibetan refuge camp, make sure you do!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gum was fantastic. Great company, knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging on the trek. He worked hard throughout the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's a lot of steps on the trek, and some steep ascents - but have seen exodus have now rated this as a grade 3 trip, not a 2 - which seems a better fit. We took our own walking poles, but they have ones there you can use - and would recommend them for the trekking. Getting the visas at the airport was very straight forward, hardly any queues - and they had staff there to help out with the machines. We did take passport photos with us just in case needed, and would be good to have in case the machines not working. We also changed our money up at the airport - you can do this in the same hall as the visas before you go through passport control. We also changed more money up at Pokhara - all looked to have the same rates, and no commission, so rates were slightly better than the airport (by about 3 ruppees). We took way too many clothes with us for the trek. So would definitely recommend packing light, and worst case you can always wash something if you run out! You can leave luggage at the Kathmandu hotel, but also at Pokhara which you'll go back to after the trek, before going to Chitwan, so worth doing that as well. Defininitely take up the option of the early morning bird walk at Chitwan - we saw a lot of bird and other wildlife while we were out walking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book the trip - it's great!
  • 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 April 2018
    Anne Brown

    Annapurna and Chitwan in Luxury

    A wonderfully varied holiday, with city visits, trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas and a jungle safari to see the rhino.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waking up and having breakfast in the garden of the mountain lodges while watching the sun come up on the mountain tops. Bathing the elephants in the river. Trekking through mountain villages, enjoying the beautiful scenery and learning about the villagers' way of life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gum was such a professional guide, so thoughtful and attentive to the individual needs of each member of the group. We learnt so much from him about his country's customs and way of life and nothing was too much trouble for him to ensure that we had the most enjoyable holiday possible - a lovely man!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch out for leeches in the wooded areas of the mountains!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am lucky enough to have done a lot of travelling, but have never had a trekking holiday and really enjoyed the experience - maybe more to come??
  • 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
    Steve Marsh

    GREAT TRIP TO NEPAL

    My wife & I went to Nepal with Exodus in March this year & had a fantastic time! As the 'Annapurna in Luxury' group tour didn't exactly meet our needs -we wanted to do water rafting & an elephant experience in Chitwan - SHARMIL at Exodus created a personal itinerary for us. The holiday was great - superb trekking in the Annapurna region, water rafting down the SETI river , various activities in the Chitwan National Park plus a fascinating day in Kathmandu! All Exodus staff were excellent but a special mention to BIKASH - our guide for 5 days of trekking. BIKASH was an outstanding guide/walk leader - he took us on less obvious/well known routes, adjusted the pace to suit our needs (not fast but not slow - taking account of my 'dodgy knee' etc) & encouraged us when we got a bit tired. A very talented Guide/Trekking Leader that we highly recommend ! Thanks for a superb experience ! Steve & Suzanne Marsh

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trekking through villages in the Annapurna range.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above - BIKASH was an outstanding leader !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get to a reasonable level of fitness. Invest in pro biotic tablets & hand gel etc - we did so & had no health issues. The road journey to & from Chitwan is very long & busy - as the 'motorway' is not yet finished.dKW

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