Our 4th trip with Travel Local, and again from first contact with this time Rojesh in Nepal, our trip was created and tailored exactly to our needs, all trips and accommodation were wonderful. Even if sadly we never got to see the elusive tiger in Chitwan. Aside from the obvious scenery and cultural sights of Nepal, it is actually the people of Nepal which make the country so special. Rojesh allocated us THE best personal guide for the duration of our holiday. Gyanendra. He was so professional, attentive to our every need and a walking encyclopedia on all aspects of his country. His English was very good, and he had a good sense of humour. He was in short great company and nothing was too much trouble. Gyanendra is a very experienced trekking guide in the trekking season, and I would imagine a very popular one, but in the quiet season he also makes a fantastic tour guide for all the sights of Nepal. If you choose to go to Nepal, ask for Gyanendra to be your guide. A lovely man who helped give us a fabulous insight into his county.
Dealt directly from the off with Rojesh who was always prompt to respond and really helpful in creating the exact itinerary we wanted. The guide he allocated us, Gyanendra was fabulous on every level, all accommodation was wonderful as was the trip.
We opted for a night up in the hills at the monastery, but please ask them to provide more blankets, we knew it was winter, and that it would be basic accommodation and that was not an issue, but we were absolutely freezing in the night with only 1 thin duvet and no other form of heating. So maybe make clients aware before they book that trip during the colder months. Actually, the monastery buildings and stunning mountain scenery were worth seeing, but we only got to see a few very young monks and to be honest they did not leave us with any sense of having truly witnessed devout Buddhist monks. So on that score a little disappointing. I think we maybe naively thought we would gain a better insight into their lives. But we did not, I suspect the more mature and senior devout monks stay well away from the tourists. Maybe just sound out drivers how to drive for western tourists... We have travelled in India so knew Kathmandu would be chaotic. But it is the roads particularly up in the mountain passes which are especially scary with all the heavy trucks. Fortunately we asked our guide to remind our driver to slow right down and not overtake at every given opportunity regardless of the bad bends and many big trucks. Our driver was perfect after that.
Gyanendra was everything we would hope for in a personal tour guide. Very friendly, professional and smart, very knowledgeable and with good English and a lovely sense of humour, which for us is important when you are spending a lot of time in the company of a guide. Actually our driver was very good too once Gyanendra asked him to slow it all down. Our safari guide at Temple Tiger resort in Chitwan was also very good, knowledgeable and passionate about his subject.
We could not comment on trekking as we were there in the winter season doing sight seeing of the cultural sights of Kathmandu, Pokhara and a 3 day safari in Chitwan. We opted to take internal flight from Kathmandu down to the lovely lakeside city of Pokhara, and were so glad we did as the views were spectacular, and it was preferable to what would have been a very long road trip. Just a bit disappointed we never got to see the elusive tiger, which was one of the main reasons for choosing Nepal. That said the sights, people and food were fabulous and with a great guide we learnt a great deal about the people and culture of Nepal.. But if you have not visited India or similar, be prepared for the excessive amount of litter and plastic rubbish lining the streets and even in the countryside and on mountain pass roads... it is the one thing that spoils an otherwise beautiful country. The roads are terrifying if you are a nervous passenger, so be prepared and make sure you have a really good driver.