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Reviews

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It’s the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you’re interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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Reviews

Bhutan March 2018

Bhutan is a beautiful country, the air is very fresh and the in the main is very clean – an antidote to Kathmandu!
This is a trip that takes in the cultural highlights of Bhutan as well as letting you see and walk in the beautiful countryside.
The people are friendly and welcoming – browsing the shops and markets is easy -if you have been to India you will know what I mean ! There is no hard sell!
There is a fair ammount of travel but this is quite relaxing and there are plenty of stops.
Food is always buffet style and becomes very monotonous – you could try asking for an a la carte menu and pay extra, otherwise it is noodles, rice, veg and, if you are not vegetarian some rather poor quality meat dishes – and you get this twice a day! My food highlight was a large bowl of scrambled eggs at the Tigers Nest! Take snacks!

Most Inspirational Moment

Too many to name one, I loved the festival, the climb to Tigers Nest Monastery and being blessed by the head Lama there, discussions with our guide Kunzang who was so knowledgable and informative about his country, the walks in the countryside, all of the Dzongs, nunnery......too much!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Kunzang was the most amazing guide I have had on an Exodus trip, he was a very gentle man, caring, considerate and very knowledgable. If we made a request he would try his best to ensure it was achieved, for example he managed to get the hotels to make dhal for the vegetarians amongst the group! Also he just looked after everyone so well. I must also say that our driver, Yeshay was excellent, and also joined in with the group.

Advice for Potential Travellers

As I said, take snacks, also, the weather was in the main bright and sunny and I know some people had taken lots of warm clothing - however it did get cold in Gantey and so you will need something...maybe layer up. Also do not forget something with long sleeves for the monasterys. In Kathmandu our guide took us to a cultural show with food on the 1st night and this was very poor value and to be avoided - he also took us to a place called the Ship on our last night and this was not brilliant! The food in the hotel is much better if you do not want to go out and there are lots of places in Thamel - research it and make a suggestion to the group!!

Suggestions

Bhutan is amazing and I would recommend a vist - the flight into the airport is not for the feint hearted!!

Beautiful Bhutan

Bhutan is a beautiful, peaceful country that is very much worth experiencing. The people, including and, in fact, especially our guide were lovely, helpful, genuine and gentle. The Tiger’s Nest is well worth the arduous trek up to and the Dzongs, nunneries and monestaries were all a privilege to see. In some ways the experience felt like going back in time.

Most Inspirational Moment

Being given a blessing by the head monk in the Tiger’s Nest monestary. Seeing how caring our guide, Kunzhang, was towards my mother. Witnessing a religious ceremony, including chanting, drumming and horn playing, in a monestary.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Excellent. Can not fault him. Went out of his way to support my mother.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be aware that the festival you attend may be crowded. Surprisingly for us, it was by no means the highlight of the trip. Note that the weather forecasts for Bhutan are not accurate: we packed far too many warm clothes. It can get a bit chilly in the evening, but during the daytime it’s often sunny and warm, even in March, when we visited. (Sadly, it was explained to us that the climate has changed in Bhutan due to global warming). Take some of your own food, especially if you have dietary requirements, as it is bland and similar wherever you go: hotels seem to think that tourists want only veg, rice, noodles and poor quality meat.

Suggestions

The restaurant in the hotel in Kathmandu is excellent: the local guide may suggest you go to a different one, but this is likely to be much inferior.

A fantastic insight into a beautiful country!

Bhutan is probably the most beautiful country I have visited. It has such a rick landscape and culture, which is mostly unspoiled by tourism.

Most Inspirational Moment

Reaching Tiger's Nest Monastery

Thoughts on Group Leader

Sangay was brilliant and a true advocate for his country - his passion for Bhutan (and Bhutanese food!) was very clear!

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take your hiking boots for the treks.

Suggestions

Go to Bhutan - very much recommended!

Open, friendly and devoutly Budhist

Ancient fortresses, monasteries, mountainous scenery and colourful festivals. Friendly, open people, happy to help.

Most Inspirational Moment

Travel during festival time. It will be the highlight of you trip, along with the walk to the Tigress nest.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Kunthay was well organised, knowledgeable and made a excellent ambassador for his country.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Bring ear plugs as there are hundreds of stray dogs that bark during the night. Driving times are relatively short by Exodus standards but roads are winding and bumpy.

Suggestions

Be prepared for delayed flights and dusty Kathmandu. Food is tasty but predictable. Good for vegetarians. Hotel rooms are very good.

The unforgettable festivals of Bhutan

This was a true trip of a lifetime – 10 days in-depth vitit to the last Shangri-La. Mountains, monasteries, dzongs and monks – and dancing monks

Most Inspirational Moment

The Paro tsechu festival was an honour to be allowed to attend - many hundreds of local Bhutanese enjoyed the music, dancing and the spectacle of this amazing week long festival - and only a couple of dozen westerners. It is an honour to be with such humble and serene people at such a joyous time in their calendar!

Thoughts on Group Leader

Kunzang Namgye was without doubt the best tour leader ever! Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, helpful and proactive, he MADE this trip so special for us by bringing his personal touches and being genuinely enthusiastic about sharing his culture with the group. He is an asset of the Bhutan Travel Service and Exodus

Advice for Potential Travellers

Beware that at Easter it can be very cold after dark at altitude - lots of layers are helpful. Also, when attending the festival, if you wear traditional Bhutanese garments (the gho for the men or the kira for the women) you will get a really enthusiastic response from all the local people and it us a great ice-breaker. The robes can be bought in Thimphu for GBP £20 and upwards. It's a great investment.

Suggestions

The food was tasty and hearty, but it becMe a bit same-same after a few days. If you are in a hotel for a few days (as we were in Park) interact with the proprietors a bit and see if you can make some suggestions. We had seen that fresh asparagus was just in season and sonasked if we could have it one evening - and the chef even asked how we wanted it cooked - which was fun (and delicious). Also, always carry a good torch/ flashlight in case the power is out - or for highlighting interesting but dark corners of dzongs/ monasteries!

FESTIVALS OF BHUTAN

Fabulous! A once in a life time and a definite ‘do before you die’.

Most Inspirational Moment

Too many to adiquitely explain! The people were the highlight. This country is still largely un spoiled by tourism, i hope it stays that way. The children have no fear of strangers and love to see thier photos on the back of your digital camera. We were welcomed so warmly and seen as a novelty which was lovely. The most powerful moment for me was being invited into a section of one of the monestaries which tourist arnt usually allowed into. It was beautifully decorated and we recieved a blessing from one of the monks before we left.The most peaceful moment was standing ontop of a mountain over looking the capital, Thimpu, surrounded by fluttering prayer flags.The most heart warming was being invited to our guides home to meet his daughter and see how Bhutanese people really live.Last but not least - arriving in Nepal to co-incide with Holi, one of the main Hindu festivals where people throw coloured paint at eachother.

Thoughts on Group Leader

He was fantastic. He allowed our itineray to be flexible and managed to meet our varied expectation and aspirations. He really made the trip worthwhile. In nepal we didnt really have a guide but we had a local rep who explained to us about the local area and how to get to the places we might want to see. He also arranged for us to do an extra guided tour of Baktapur which we paid for out of our spending money.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take clothes for varied weather conditions - it was very warm while we were there (march depature) and i ended up having to wash most of my tops to wear them again. The temples and the festival require women to wear loose fitting clothes with arms covered to below the elbow. Skirts shouldnt be above the knee. Also do not wear hats at the festival or in temples as it causes offense. We were advised not to change travellers cheques at the airport which was a disaster. Most hotels dont hold enough funds to change travellers cheques of any size. This left several people in our group without spending money for most of the trip. My advise would be take US dollars which are widely accepted. Nepalese rupees are also accepted and change travellers cheques at PARO AIRPORT as you cant change them anywhere else easily. There was no problem with using travellers cheques in Nepal. In case of emergencies it is worth taking a first aid kit which has some steralised needles in it. That way if you need to go to hospital, for what ever reason, you dont need to worry about hygiene.

Suggestions

Some people may be put off by the cost of travelling on this trip - once you visit the country you can see the value of trying to keep the numbers of tourists down and although the trip is expensive it wouldnt be anywhere near as enjoyable if thier small population was overwhelmed. Its well worth the money!