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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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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Angela Coates

    Breathtaking Bhutan

    This is a trip of a lifetime to the most beautiful place on the earth. Such beauty from the people, the environment, the culture and from the expert care of the team who show you their fantastic country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were lucky enough to go on the Thimphu Festival departure - and were even luckier to get to the Gangtey Monastery to see the festival up in the glacial valley - it was spectacular! To have been able to see the festival in Thimphu, to learn and understand more about the culture - to then be lucky enough to experience another festival high in the mountains was just a magical and beautiful occasion - we then walked through the valley back to the hotel. This was the best experience during the trip, but a trip of epic experiences, included of course was the walk to the Tigress Nest Monastery, all of the Dzong's which I adored and just learning and seeing this great country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kemey was wonderful. Patient, knowledgable, flexible and very very kind. He made the trip for all of us, he packed the days with so many activities and made sure we had everything we needed. Thank you Kemey for showing us the heart of Bhutan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The September trip was certainly not cold in any way - so don't pack too many warm clothes, instead take lots of layers as you move from high passes to tropical valleys in the same day. Change more money than you think you need at the start, there is very little opportunity to do this during the trip (or if you do the rate is very bad). Sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery - the team will take care of you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are thinking about this trip and are not sure I would urge you to book it and just go. This is a magical land, with the most friendly beautiful people - I want to go back again for more festivals and for the flowers in spring.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Glynis Howe

    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!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    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!

    What did you think of your 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.

    Do you have any 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!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bhutan is amazing and I would recommend a vist - the flight into the airport is not for the feint hearted!!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Sarah Turner

    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.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    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.

    What did you think of your group leader?

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

    Do you have any 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.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    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.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Vanessa Kanesanathan

    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.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Tiger's Nest Monastery

    What did you think of your group leader?

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

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your hiking boots for the treks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go to Bhutan - very much recommended!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Mark Hilton

    Wonderful Bhutan

    Wonderful buildings, incredible Bhuddist traditions, lovely scenery, friendly people - a really peaceful, largely unspoilt and unique country - and a photographer's paradise. The only down side is the dangerous road from Wangdue to Gantey.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Tigers Nest was just wonderful as were many of the monasteries and forts - mesmerising with the monks chanting and the haunting sound of the horns and drums. The mountain village of Gantey was also wonderful so natural and unspoilt - just lovely - and its local festival and market much nicer than the very large main Thimpu festival.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A really nice, knowledgeable and helpful guy - although safety and timekeeping weren't strengths

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take waterproofs and walking boots. And be aware that the roads are inherently dangerous with large drops in some places.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Alison Dixon

    Festivals of Bhutan

    Beautiful country Calm happy people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to Tiger's nest monastery Gangtey festival

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly,knowledgeable ,funny and kind. He gave me a hot water bottle at the hotel at Gangtey to keep me warm as there was a power cut.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small waterproof cushion to sit on at the festival. We had a wet day and I spent 4hrs sitting in a puddle of water!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The road to and from Gangtey was very unstable due to excessive rainfall. The drivers and guides were excellent and we were navigated safely but I think the road should have been closed as we were passing landslides which forced us to the very edge of a mud track that was falling away into the valleys below. I asked to get out and walk over the most unstable parts but the guide encouraged me to stay in the bus to avoid falling rock. Travelling on this road was beyond the risk I am prepared to take for sight seeing but once we were on our way it wasn't easy to turn back. I would not take this risk again.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Ross Pezzack

    Wonderful Exploration of a unique country

    A unique adventure exploring a Buddhist country who embrace their monarchy and the importance of happiness. Great monasteries, beautiful scenery, festivals, and some hikes all make this a great trip. Hotels higher quality than I expected, adequate food with pretty good beer, and a great guide who spoke excellent English. Well organized tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I woke up early in Gangtey, decided to go out to get some pictures in the mist. I walked past the monastery only to find an early morning festival and blessings. I walked in to be surrounded by local people being surrounded by dancers and people seeking a blessing by the monks. I stepped aside to not invade their personal event but the devotion and love of the locals to Buddhism was very moving, a very special moment. Tigers Nest was very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Did very well, represented his country very well. Always adaptable and trying to please us. Able to pass on knowledge of the monarchy, Buddhism and his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get more than the $50 suggested by our guide at airport, depending on u $100-200 better, u can always convert back when leaving or use it as your tip. ATMs never worked for us in small towns so bring $US, even banks sometimes do not have a money delivery so u cannot exchange. Costs are just drinks but u may want to buy local crafts (often no cards taken) so have local currency. If worried about tiger nest monastery hike (especially if u got a virus in Nepal) consider doing horseback riding half way up. I would suggest u embrace the local festivals as a religious celebration we are lucky enough to observe but not invade. If u are combining trips, the hotel in Kathmandu has relatively inexpensive fast laundry service, my quick dry clothes were slow to dry in Kathmandu.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    U may want to add another extra day in Kathmandu to explore the region. Several of us developed GI problems in Nepal so come prepared. Nepal visa on line works very well but u can do at airport.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Leonard Raphael

    Festivals of Bhutan

    A long awaited trip became a reality and the reality is now a memory. But not just a normal travel memory, moreso something out of the ordinary, as I had probably anticipated. Unusual architecture. People with a different outlook on life. Different pursuits. Simpler pleasures. Happy people. Clean air. Wholesome food - spicy if desired. A lifestyle in flux as the county and the people join the 21st. Century. A tinge of regret that what makes Bhutan unique will not last. I'm glad to have experienced this unusual place before it disappears into the "Global Village".

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    * Climbing to the Tigers Nest monastery ,,, physically challenging ... mentally and spiritually stimulating. * Witnessing the festivals at Thimpu (capital city) and Phobjikha (small village) and interacting with the people in festive mode at each event. Calm and reserved people give way to excited participants. * Being in a country where the "National Highway" is an abominable "track" and everybody (locals and tourists) enjoys it ... part of the Bhutan's famous Happiness Index.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was a quiet man with a calm personality, ideal for his situation in this unique country. He was helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and humorous, willing and able to expound an all aspects of Bhutan, the people, the way of life, the history and the cultural changes that tourism in introducing . His input at every level enhanced our experience and added to the enjoyment of our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    * Don't have expectations or preconceptions of Bhutan. The reality will in all likelihood be different. Accept the calm of the place and the people. Enjoy the uniqueness for what it is. Be part of it while it is as it is. *Try for a window seat on the left when flying in to Bhutan and the same on the right when flying out. Hope for a clear sky and you'll enjoy a magic view of the Himalayas.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I enjoyed in equal parts the atrocious road condition, the beautiful clean air (by law 65% of the country must remain at forested National Park) and the people and their attitude to life, not the mention the visual enjoyment of the unusual architecture and mountain scenery. I felt fortunate to see this unusual place before its character changes and possibly disappears, although the current generation are determined not to let this happen . I sincerely hope they're true to their word!
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Joan Hilda Shand

    Joan

    A great trip to a country opening up to Tourism.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Tigers Nest and also the Thimpu Festival.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great leader, very informative. Also wonderful driver on terrible roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of driving on rough roads.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A wonderful experience and I would highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Raymond Thornton

    Open, friendly and devoutly Budhist

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

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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

    What did you think of your group leader?

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

    Do you have any 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.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

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