- Some disappointment that the Bangladesh part of this holiday was cancelled but understand why on basis of security.
Substituted itinerary in Calcutta did not work too well over Sunday and Monday as opening times at Museum and Victoria Memorial plus Festival at Kali temple restricted visits. Additional option of Mother Theresa's House was very interesting and should be included on future trips.Could the local guide have been more 'on the ball'?
Trip notes did not indicate the amount of travelling involved to reach the Sunderbans or indeed many of the the other days.
Considered the idea of this aspect of the holiday to be an improvement for offering the opportunity of seeing wildlife but in spite of lengthy cruises there was very little to be seen. Always knew tigers were unlikely but did expect more variety. The second cruise was better as we were in narrower channels so at least we saw more birds.
Walk around village was interesting.
Certainly escaped the heat (and the mountains) in Darjeeling but can't control the weather. Hotel staff were really hospitable providing water bottles and heaters!
Both overnight and Toy train journeys were well organised and it was good to get exercise walking back along the ridge and sample momos on the way.
Easy to see that Sikkim is organised differently to other parts of India and our visit to an archery contest that we came upon was a good example of 'expect the unexpected'.
On to Bhutan which was the highlight. Although overall perhaps the holiday includes
an excess of monasteries, temples and dzongs the architecture,carving, decor and contents are stunning. Punakha and Paro along with its festival were definite highs and seeing the king was a bonus.
To walk up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery was one of our main reasons for booking this holiday and the experience really lived up to expectations. Sunshine at last with fabulous views to encourage us on the steady 3 hour climb and the reward of visiting such an interesting place.
Maybe saving the best until last though were the stunning mountains including Everest as we flew back to Kathmandu. Back to earth with a bump then, not the flight landing but seeing the devastation caused by the earthquake and learning of the corruption that is hampering use of funding for restoration. Trip notes should say passport photo is needed for Nepal visa.
Not a total wow holiday for us but well worth doing especially the Bhutan section, especially if you are prepared for long journeys even if distances do not look too far.
Published on: 08 April 2016