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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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739 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Kevin Adrian Fingleton

    An amazing, enthralling, full-on trip.

    This trip is not for the faint-hearted. Despite various lengths being quoted, the traveler is effectively on the road in India for 8 days, and flies home on day 9. But in the 8 days you pack in an incredible number of beautiful, memorable sights. You will (hopefully, like we did) meet a smallish group of nice, decent, funny people that you are happy to travel, eat and drink with, and who look out for one another. Transport is effective and comfortable. You'll struggle to take in the volume of sights, sounds and smells that India will provide. The food is wonderful, hotels are comfortable and all in all, it's hard to avoid the 'trip of a lifetime' cliche.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi - both the night-time 'blessing of the Ganges' ceremony, and about 7 hours later, the dawn boat ride on the Ganges to see the sun rise thru the mists and float past the cremation ghats (at a distance). And in between, the chaotic tuk tuk ride. There were many other highlights, but that one just took my breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay was truly excellent. Easy company, informed, patient at explaining the culture, history, politics and so on. He was very organised, because this trip is a mini-military-operation. It has to be, to see that many amazing things in 8 days. And he added little touches to enhance the trip (eg flowers to scatter on the Ganges). I wanted to see a step well (If I could) so I asked early on, and we got to see one in Jaipur that was not a tourist sight, by making a short detour. That was another highlight for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to get tired. But you can sleep on the bus, the hotel beds are comfortable. And you have the post-trip period back home to look forward to, looking at your (way too many) photographs. It really is full-on, but in a great way. And it seems to match the pace of the places you are seeing - it's not a place to dawdle. Finally, if you are into photography, you'll probably never be somewhere with so many photos 'waiting to be taken'. Bring less clothes - this is not a dressing up holiday - and more camera gear. Last thing, as I think of it. Pollution in Delhi is quite bad - it's just a fact of life. But you are only there for about 48 hours, and even if you get a short term sore throat you recover quickly once you exit the city. It's worth it, I think.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first ever trip to India. I utterly loved it, from beginning to end. If you want a chill out holiday, look elsewhere. If you want a safe, well-organised, short sharp trip around some of the key parts of India, this is the one for you. Enjoy
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Vicky Campbell

    Our outstanding tour leader made this trip special

    This was our first visit to India. The itinerary is excellent and provides a varied experience as shown in other reviews. Each day brought new sights, sounds and encounters, some of which will stay with us for ever. Although this is classed as a leisurely trip it is quite “full on” and tiring at times but the long travel days and early starts are necessary in order to cover the ground. Most of the hotels were good with helpful staff and safe, comfortable accommodation. All were well- located. We enjoyed the food ( some evening meals were eaten in the hotels, others in local restaurants).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many of the places we visited obviously left a lasting impression. However, in terms of being inspirational, I think our encounters with local people were exactly that. We were privileged to have a number of opportunities to share some time with people who live very different lives, surely one of the reasons for travelling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh is absolutely first class. He is experienced and professional and from day one, showed that he genuinely wants everyone to gain from this trip. His love for the people of the country and his desire to show us as much as possible made the whole trip very special. Every day brought something extra which was not in the itinerary, nor could it be. Suresh was always on the look out for anything which would enable us to experience the real India. He would stop the bus, quickly check something out and usually would urge us to get off the bus. Our stop at a village where rope is made and our wedding encounter are examples of such diversions. Suresh is knowledgable and readily explained any issues raised by the group, some based on what we saw and at other times, historical matters. Most days, he would talk about where we were going whilst travelling on the bus so we were always prepared for the day. The bus driver, Mohan, was excellent. He was safe and confident and we were able to relax with him at the wheel. The assistant, Manu was also excellent and we were very well looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our “ bus” was comfortable. Some people did use their neck cushions on the longer travel days. There is a constant supply of drinking water on board so you can refill your bottle whenever you want to.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We enjoyed the company of our fellow travellers. The camaraderie was well established quite early on, partly due to the time spent together on the bus. In retrospect, we think this trip represents great value for money. We feel that by doing this trip, we have made useful contributions to local communities ; much of this is down to the positive way that Exodus operates but Suresh facilitated so much more.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jan Flynn

    Wow! What an amazing adventure!

    Mongolia is a stunningly beautiful country. Miles and miles of vast open vistas, dotted with the occasional ger and nomad herds of animals. The Gobi desert was fascinating, including a visit to the place where the first dinosaur eggs were discovered! We visited many interesting and fabulous places, including several beautiful Buddhist temples. Wherever we went, the people were charming and very hospitable. The Eagle Festival was a spectacle I will never forget, with 120 eagle hunters competing to win the honour of being the champion. Dressed in their finest traditional clothing, riding their sturdy horses at speed, they called their massive golden eagles down from the rocky hillside to land on their arm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The spectacular Eagle Festival The peacefulness of the temples The wildlife throughout the trip Visiting nomad families and finding out more about their way of life The stars at night including the milky way Staying in gers in the middle of nowhere

    What did you think of your group leader?

    MG made the trip a great success. She worked tirelessly to ensure that the trip ran smoothly, her knowledge of her country, it's history and culture, was fantastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would highly recommend this trip. You have to go with an open mind, there are very few tarmac roads, so it's a bumpy ride! But the scenery is spectacular. Packaging for the trip is tricky, the temperature ranged from +28 to -8. So you need everything from shorts to a down jacket and pack lots of layers too.......whilst also trying to pack lightly for the internal flights. Take a good camera and binoculars!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Sarah osborn

    Great trip

    Great trip, and worth a visit to experience Bhutan and the festivals

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Tigers nest

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the price as in Bhutan everything is included except drinks etc. and money needed for souvenirs. I only spent £80 in Bhutan on drinks etc. its generally £2-3 for a beer. If you have time, and willing to pay a bit more for a few nights accommodation its worth coming out early and spending a few days in Kathmandu, which is always a great place to visit. The hotel I stayed in was very central and walking district to Thamel and Durbar square.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Chris Goddard

    Eagle Festival

    Advice given by Exodus regarding the transfer in Beijing was inadequate. Much more detail is needed. Many lost souls were wandering the airport for some time. Perhaps a step-by-step description ? Chinese airport personnel were generaly rude, and less than helpful. The whole trip was generally fine. Exodus were advisied that one of us was gluten-free, but this information was not given to the tour guide beforehand, which Exodus stated it had been. Probably did not make a huge difference in the end as Gluten free food is largely unknown in Mongolia (not entirely unexpected).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Eagle festival was stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Namja (??) did an excellent job in leading the tour. He was very well versed in local history, and very keen to help and assist when required. Thouroughly reccommend this guide/group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Gluten free travellers - take plenty of food ! Make sure you understand the intricacies of Beijing airport transfer - in advance !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Laura and Gavin Jones

    Beautiful Bhutan

    This trip provides a fascinating insight into a little known destination. We loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight of the trip was the trek to the Tiger's Nest Monastery. It looks unreachable (and strangely familiar from the famous photos) and then suddenly you are standing outside! The Thimpu Festival was also spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kemey was organised, articulate and incredibly eager to do anything he could to make us comfortable. We were given a very warm welcome.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The day that we visited the Thimpu Festival it rained. This is apparently not unusual. We were therefore sitting out in the rain for about 3.5 hours. It helped to have a good waterproof, something to wrap around your legs to keep them dry (poncho) and a sit mat so that we were not sitting directly on wet concrete. The temperature varies throughout the trip - it helps to have layers. We travelled in October and it was warmer than we expected.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jeremy Reed

    Excellent trip.

    Just returned from.this Mongolia trip. It was a wonderful holiday. Mongolia is vast and fascinating. The holiday was made more enjoyable and informative by our guide MG. The Eagle Festival was unbelievable. 120 eagle hunters with their beautiful Golden Eagles.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Eagle Festival

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader MG was amazing. Knowledgeable and well organised. Took all the stress of travelling. Well done MG.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more money. The Ger camps sell beer and wine. Plus you need c $100 per person for tips and incidental paid for by the group leader. Plus you need to tip the group leader at the end of the trip.
  • Reviewed October 2019

    Sudden plan to Ethiopia

    I didn't know much about Ethiopia. We suddenly make plan to visit Ethiopia and in this trip we come to about its culture and history. This trip is quite nice, sometime such sudden plans give you lot of happiness and fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Simien Mountains hiking
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda Howard

    Mongolias great.

    Mongolia has been recommended to me by various travelers over the years, also to include the Nadaam Festival....they were right. If you are looking for something different....this is it. The vastness and the ever changing terrain in the Gobi is fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing sand dunes in the Gobi desert in the rain! The desert was fascinating, different to others I have seen. The opening ceremony of the Nadaam festival was superb, it was so well done, it was worthy of an Olympic opening ceremony. The kids racing the horses..wow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very good, he took his job seriously, occasional language misunderstandings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Apart from not getting our suitcases twice, maybe flights with a longer transit time between them, if possible, it was a mad panic for us to make it so was not surprising the luggage didn’t.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Amanda Hayes

    Spectacular scenery and costumes

    A very well planned and varied itinerary that takes you up to the high altitude gradually. A lot of travelling but the spectacular scenery takes your mind off the long journeys. Good attention to health and safety throughout. The Inti Raymi festival events are a modern interpretation of the traditional Inca rituals but nonetheless wonderful to witness. The costumes and the infectious energy of the local people enjoying the festival in Cusco the day before was a great experience. It was a wonderful 'trip of a lifetime' experience and I am pleased to recommend it to other travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many moments were deeply memorable: the first sight of Machu Picchu is as breathtaking as the pictures. Our guides were delighted that the sun shone but a bit of misty cloud would have been my ideal atmospheric visual experience. The site is pristine thanks to llamas that graze and keep the grass neat and it was not over-crowded with visitors. Out homestay was a delight in so many ways: local food and traditions and a really warm and honest welcome to the family home. The Inti Raymi festivities as already mentioned. The sites that presented the Inca agricultural innovations - some of these were optional as part of the Sacred Valley tour: salt pans and agricultural laboratory terracing and I strongly recommend this additional trip. On the last morning we went to the Larco Museum. It is not included in the trip, but I think that all of the group got taxis there. It is an excellent museum with fascinating objects, well displayed and described in Spanish and English. It also has a good restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very well organised and took great care with health and safety. Unlike some other Exodus trips that I have been on there were a lot of additional guides. It may be a Government tourism policy to employ local people but their skills and knowledge was variable from excellent at the Santa Catolina convent, to charming but poor at Machu Picchu. The number of additional people who were part of the planned programme (not the optional ones) also added to the cost of tips etc. which was well above the Exodus suggested kitty so maybe Exodus should review their estimate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Trip Notes are for all the Exodus Peru trips so read with care and do your own research about what to take e.g. we did not have porters but I gave the children's clothes I had brought with me to the family on Amantani island, which was fine. There are a number of extra, optional activities to suit different interests. We were pleased with the choices we made but some people who did other things reported that they were disappointed because the description of what they were going to see did not match the reality. I recommend reading up in advance or with a non-listed option ensure that you get details so as to minimise the chance of disappointment. The tipping kitty only went to the male porters and not to the female chambermaids.