- This is a tour with a very varied itinerary. We liked the fact that all but one place had more than a single night stay. This is quite a bonus as travelling on this trip, while not generally overlong is quite tough. It was admirably ameliorated by the fact we had a roomy coach to spread out in. The one disappointment about our trip, and one which nobody can do much about is the extreme pollution and dust in Kathmandu and the very poor low level visibility throughout the trip which meant we had no more than a glimpse of the snow covered high Himalayan peaks. We realise that views of the mountains cannot be guaranteed but from what we heard during our trip and from web research it would seem that viewings are far from frequent, even in the seasons that used to reasonably provide good visibility. The whole group felt as we did that the Trip Notes must really reflect that. There is far too much talk in them of "spectacular views of the mountains" when this is now apparently rarely possible. The expectation needs toning down otherwise disappointment will become the prevailing feeling.
All that said this was a very well constructed itinerary. The only change we would suggest would be to remove the spare day at the end in Kathmandu. While the pollution there is so bad it would be far better to spend an extra day at Chitwan or even, if that would increase the price too much, an extra day at charming Batipur to chill out.
Our guide Sudarshan could not be bettered. We have made many group tours with Explore, Exodus and other companies but no guide we have had, although many were very good, could better Sudarshan. His attention to detail, proactive planning, care and attention, anticipation of needs and above all warmth were remarkable.
Highlights for us we're meeting local people, white water rafting, Chitwan, Bouddhanath Stupa, food, Durban Square in Kathmandu and Batipur.
Lowlights were lack of reasonable visibility and the pollution.
Published on: 09 March 2017