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South India Explorer QDS

Visiting: India
Trip Duration 17 Days
 

Reviews for South India Explorer

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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South India Explorer reviews verified by reevooReevoo

12 reviews

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South India ExplorerScores 8.1 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
(8 out of 10)

William

Sale
This was a full on non-stop tour covering many miles by a variety of transport types. Our guide ( Tinu Abraham) although young did everything that was needed to make my trip a real pleasure. At the beginning we all agreed to accept all the add-ons he suggested and pay for them all at the start. I'm so glad we did this or there may have been too much spare time. As it was we were busy for the vast majority of the time.
My highlights were Hampi and I would have liked another day to explore more of the old temple structures, I spent a day in Chennai at the start of the trip and I'm so glad I did. So much to see! The real highlight was India and I'll be back next year for some more.
Confirmed traveller: 22 March 2017
Published on: 26 March 2017
(8 out of 10)

John

St Margarets at Cliffe Dover
This trip takes you to see a very high percentage of everything worth seeing in southern India.
The temperature in the southernmost parts of the trip was over 40 Deg. C in the shade. Think carefully if you can tolerate this.
Confirmed traveller: 08 March 2017
Published on: 17 March 2017
(9 out of 10)

Ann

Coulsdon
One of the highlights was our time in Hampi. Such a laidback place, the accomodation was in a superb setting and the time spent exploring the temple complexes fascinating, particularly seeing the elephant from the temple having his daily bath in the river.
Panaji Goa another interesting place, the hotel was in a very good location and the staff excellent. For me having the time to explore on our own without having to worry about times was relaxing.
Kochi another highlight. Exploring the shore area around the Chinese fishing nets and the old town with all the spice warehouses and walking with a local elderly man who took us around some of the places he knew as a child and the history attached to them.

One highlight should have been the boat trip through the backwaters from Quillon to Allepey. Although the beautiful scenery and bird life was superb, the fact that we were not on a public boat (which was advertised in the itinerary), which would have been really interesting as well as mixing with local people, but sitting on plastic chairs on the top deck of a private boat in insolation was very disappointing.
The homestay was really good, the hosts excellent, as well as the food and they added to our stay in that we were shown how to dress ourselves in saris. Also the walk on the paths along the waterways a delight.
There were quite a lot of highlights - the Hope Foundation school near Pondicherry were the children welcomed us by showing the performance they had been practicing for the Republic Day celebrations.
The train journeys and the experience of seeing everyday Indian life on the move.

One disappointment was the fact that on the Nigliri mountain railway we only got to ride on the train with the diesel engine and not the whole journey with a steam engine.

In Mysore we found the time too short. The Palace is another unmissable highlight but unfortunately we were extremely rushed and had to miss properly seeing some of the rooms as we had been led to believe it was open for longer than it actually was. An extra half day would have been invaluable.

I must say is that in Madurai after we had been in the Meenakshi Temple complex we were led to what turned out to be a carpet saleshop. We had a very uncomfortable hour or so of hard sell. Carpet after carpet was thrown on the floor for us to inspect although no one was interested in buying. Very embrassassing.

Our guide Reggie I must say was excellent, he was always helpful, cheerful and went out of his way if anyone had a problem, even taking one of our party to the local hospital when he was unwell. He dealt with all hotel check ins quickly and at no hotel did we have to wait longer than 10mins before we were in our rooms.

We had specialist guides in various places and I know they have to keep to a time limit but we felt it really rushed if you were more than just a little interested. In a couple of places we went back after the tour as we felt we had not really got to grips with it, but as a general rule there was never enough time.

After having said all that, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to South India and would not hesitate to return and to recommend to friends.
Confirmed traveller: 24 February 2017
Published on: 24 March 2017
(8 out of 10)

Thomas

Exeter
Many highlights, including the carvings at Mamallapuram, Madurai Temple, the day on the Kerala waterways, the upland cool of Ooty (come prepared with warm clothes for the evening) and Mysore Palace, which is a real 'wow'.
Confirmed traveller: 22 February 2017
Published on: 25 February 2017
(10 out of 10)

Rita

Camberley
A lot was packed into the 16 days and I felt I got a good taster of the experiences that South India has to offer. There were many highlights but the stone carvings of Mamallapuram and the landscape and ruins of Hampi made a big impression on me while spotting kingfishers on the Kerala backwaters was magical.
Confirmed traveller: 18 January 2017
Published on: 03 February 2017
(9 out of 10)

Caroline

Lechlade
Very full on
Some accommodation slightly lacking in such things as hot water!!
My first week private tour excellant In all respects
Tour leader Tinu Abraham was brilliant , caring efficient always a smile and happy to help in all aspects
Long may you keep him as he is an asset to the company
Confirmed traveller: 18 January 2017
Published on: 25 January 2017
(2 out of 10)

Rajendra

Woking, Surrey
Hotels were very poor - showers didn't work, air-conditioning didn't work, hotel in Quilion seemed more of a drinking joint with bottles littered in corridors, itinerary was poorly constructed such that we didn't get much time in the hotels. Some day trains could have been equally done at night to optimise time. I dind't find the homestay added much to the experience (people running the homestay were really good and caring).

My view was that the Explore Leader was much more interested in making money on the side than showing around properly. On occassions we started earlier than required just so that he could meet his friends/relatives early (we missed out on breakfast). If this tour continues in present form, a new leader may provide tourists a better view of India.
Confirmed traveller: 27 April 2016
Published on: 12 May 2016

I am grateful to you for providing feedback, but it’s a shame you felt that some of our accommodation and homestays didn’t rate very highly. We do note in the trip notes that hot water is not always available 24 hours a day in some of the smaller properties. As this is one of our ‘simply’ range we also advise that accommodation will be basic, though we would not expect bottles in hallways and will take this up with our local agent. On this style of trip, meals, transport and optional activities aren’t included as standard. As such your Explore leaders are slightly less involved with the group overall, but are there more to facilitate the smooth running of your additional excursion arrangements. Fewer sights and activities are included on these trips, leaving you free to choose how to spend your time and your budget so you get the opportunity to plan in your own hidden extras – places you want to see and explore.

(8 out of 10)

Graham

Sheffield
Overall a good trip. It was much better to stay in places for two nights. A bit disappointed in the hotel location in Goa. Was supposed to be a beach relaxing end to a lot of travelling but ended up in the middle of Panjim well away from anything and not really knowing what to do.

We each gave £105 to the leader for expenses (entry fees etc) and tips at the beginning of the tour - which we hadn't realised was coming. We received no accounts for this sum at all - on other holidays we had had a daily tally from the leader verified by one of the group members. Would also have liked the Explore custom of leaving a daily notice on the wall of the hotel so we didn't have to keep asking questions.

Highlights? Temple at Maduri (and excellent clothes shopping at the temple bazaar). Overnight trains - one was bad (screaming baby) but the other was good fun. Our guide wasn't provided with a bed! Seemed very mean. Homestay was a good idea and I particularly liked Cochin.

Oh - also flights! Very long and tedious journeys both ways. Are there no direct flights from Goa to London or Chennai to London? Yes! Why not offer these to customers? Might be more expensive but was a real pain. We had a 24 hour journey home.

Apart from this - a good tour. South India seems much cleaner and calmer than the north and some stunning scenery. Everything went very smoothly - transport connections, hotels etc and the group was great. Food was excellent and no-one got ill - and we got to eat at reasonable times which is a big bonus to me!

Thanks. See you again soon!

Liz and Graham
Confirmed traveller: 06 April 2016
Published on: 16 April 2016
(8 out of 10)

Brenda

Brighton
The trip was very well organised, with seamless transport from place to place, enabling us to cover a huge amount in terms of places and experiences in only 17 days. The variety of experiences - from markets and schools to temples and home stays -was fascinating.
This, however, did mean that the pace was pretty hectic, staying only one night and two at the most in any one place, and that the amount of travelling did not allow much time for exercise and/or exploration, but overall, a great experience.
Confirmed traveller: 06 April 2016
Published on: 09 April 2016
(9 out of 10)

Patricia

Stratford upon Avon
The highlight was seeing so much of Southern India within 16 days and the tip I would give is that you need stamina.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 06 January 2016
Published on: 19 January 2016