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Reviews for Inside the Hidden Kingdoms

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Inside the Hidden Kingdoms reviews verified by reevooReevoo

12 reviews

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Inside the Hidden KingdomsScores 8.2 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Karen

Colchester
The Tour Leader did a fantastic job, no problem was insurmountable.
The hotels were cold & no lifts.
The itinerary was very good, we are glad we took extra days in Kathmandu.
Bhutan is amazing.
A photo is needed for Sikkim, but not Nepal.
Confirmed traveller: 27 November 2016
Published on: 29 November 2016
(7 out of 10)

Martyn

Hertfordshire
We arrived from the UK in the early hours of the morning with the city tour of Kolkata starting a few hours later. We could have arrived earlier and then been more alert for the first few days.
The trip to the Sunderbuns was worth it for the birds alone, not much sign of Tigers so people must not have high expectations.
The overnight train ride was very comfortable even on the top bunk.
Darjeeling and the Himalayan Mountain Railway was a great experience the cooler climate and slightly slower pace of life in the mountains was in sharp contrast to life on the plains.
It would not be an Explore holiday without an early morning sunrise, well worth the 4am start to see the sun light up the peaks of the Himalaya.
Sikkim still retains its old kingdom feel and again has a separate feel to the rest of India, lots of driving over passes and through valleys around hairpin bends all safely negotiated by our expert driver.
Bhutan was the real highlight of the trip, clean, good roads and breathtaking scenery combine to make it a real Himalayan paradise. We will be back.
Nepal or really Katmandu is still recovering from the earthquake and there is still a lot of work to do, its busy and slightly grubby feel was in contrast to Bhutan.
My major tip would be to take several passport photos with you as we needed these for the Sikkim and Nepalese visa.
Take a mixture of cloths it often gets cold in the mountains and not all the hotels have heating.
And finally enjoy the experience.
Confirmed traveller: 25 November 2016
Published on: 27 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

David

Kilmacolm
Hotel in Darjeeling has an annex which should not be used by Explore. The carpets and lighting are dangerous and could leed to a serious accident. The rest of the accommodation in that hotel's annex was seriously poor. Look for another hotel or insist all Explore clients are in the main block.
The rest of the accommodation on the trip including the camping night was great. The views of the mountains were fabulous. Tigers Nest climb was very hard but well worth the satisfaction of having completed it.
Our Tour leader Udaya was outstanding and amongst the best we have had in all our trips. Nothing too much trouble. The other guides were good too especially in Darjeeling and Bhutan.
Confirmed traveller: 12 November 2016
Published on: 13 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Robert

Stowmarket, Suffolk
A fantastic and varied itinerary. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to see this part of India and Bhutan (and who doesn't mind some very windy, and at times rough, roads).

Late October / early November was the ideal time to see the mountains at their clearest and best. Wonderful views of Mt Everest on our flight from Bhutan to Kathmandu (request a window seat on the right hand side of the plane).

One night is not long enough for anyone wanting to see a bit of Nepal. I am staying some extra nights in Kathmandu; it is a very friendly city and easy to explore on your own.
Confirmed traveller: 11 November 2016
Published on: 12 November 2016
(8 out of 10)

Elizabeth

West Vancouver, BC
We spent about a week seeing some of the highlights of the Indian state of West Bengal including the city of Kolkata, the UNESCO World Heritage setting of the Sundarbans, Darjeeling and watching the beautiful sun rise on Mt. Kanchenjunga. Our journey overland continued on to the Indian state of Sikkim where we visited several monasteries, Kecheopeiri Lake, Rabdentse (the former 16th century capital of Sikkim) and on to Gangtok and Kalimpong. We then continued our drive adventure to Bhutan. Highlights in Bhutan included attending the Thimpu Festival, the Punakha Dzong (built in 1637), the Paro Dzong and hiking up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery.
Confirmed traveller: 18 October 2016
Published on: 31 October 2016
(7 out of 10)

Leonard

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.
Confirmed traveller: 26 March 2016
Published on: 08 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

James

Toronto
Very interesting itinerary. Bangladesh was a surprise. Bhutan was a delight. Trip was well organized with EXCELLENT guides throughout.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 27 November 2015
Published on: 06 December 2015
(9 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

My overall experience was wonderful. My highlights were Pelling in Sikkim and the monasteries in Bhutan (Tigers Nest). I also enjoyed the boat tour in Dhaka. The people were really lovely.
Confirmed traveller: 17 November 2015
Published on: 04 April 2016
(8 out of 10)

Lesley

Brighton
The tour was the most wonderful experience, it would be difficult to pick one thing above another as each experience was equally as good as the next. The local guides were fabulous so interesting and informative and so keen for you to love and enjoy their country. The tour guide was the most delightful young Nepalese man called Dowa Sherpa, he was so kind, thoughtful and helpful there was nothing he wouldn't do in order for you to have the best experiences from your trip. What more could you ask for.
The only thing that wasn't so good was the hotel in Kalimpong. All the accommodation was good but the Kalimpong Park was dirty.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 09 October 2015
Published on: 24 November 2015
(8 out of 10)

Jeanne

Eastbourne
The highlights were Sikkim and Bhutan.
The tip I would make is that the roads are awful and the suspension on the coach is nil. I have suffered from Costochondritz since returning from the trip which has left me feeling exhausted.
People need to be aware of this. I loved the trip and it has been spoilt by ill heath since my return.
Confirmed traveller: 09 October 2015
Published on: 24 November 2015