Guides and tours Nepal –Bhutan and Tibet
Keshav, Ram and your good self were all excellent and very attentive guides in and around K’mandu. The tours were all well-paced and nicely spread out over the different days in K’mandu. We especially enjoyed the traditional dinner that you very kindly treated us to as your guests. Chitwan was very good but I would suggest that if a client is very keen on safari’s that you arrange an early morning jeep safari rather than the afternoon one when most of the wildlife is likely to be asleep. The morning elephant safari was very enjoyable. The guide attached to the hotel was OK but not nearly as good as the one who led the jeep safari. Pokhara was a nice peaceful place and a good town to have a “rest day” in. I’m not sure that Ram was planning to take us up to the Peace Pagoda until I asked him to (due to the very steep and rough road to get there – see “Transport” below) but you should make sure that this is always included, as the views from up there are excellent – also a great place to have lunch with a view after climbing the last steps up to the top.
In Bhutan. Our guide and driver were very good and again made our stay there very enjoyable – we never felt rushed anywhere. They were always happy to stop when we asked them to and the guide was very informative at all of the sites we visited. The highlight was, of course, the hike up to the Tiger’s Nest and he was always mindful to help us get to the monastery (and back down again) at our own pace – we got there in 2½ hours, which we were very pleased with!! As all of the meals are included on this part of the trip it is important that the guide asks about anything clients don’t like to eat (which he did; but also explains more about the local dishes that we might not have been able to try if each hotel/restaurant only had the usual buffet-style meals. The guide tended to “disappear” at mealtimes (especially lunch) so we not able to ask him for any specific dishes. However, as there were relatively few tourists whilst we were there, we were able to order several of our meals from the menu and enjoyed sampling the local spicier dishes such as emma datse! Due to a change in flight times we had an extra day in Bhutan which was a good thing in terms of enjoying our time there at a more leisurely pace.
In Tibet: Here our guide was OK but not very attentive; nor was he as informative and knowledgeable as I would have expected him to be. We were there at the end of the Chinese New Year so a large number of places, especially restaurants, were closed. He had clearly not done much research, if any, to find out which ones were open and did not ask us what kind of food we liked or disliked. He found one restaurant near our hotel that was open and that was it – we found other, better restaurants ourselves. Interestingly we were apparently 2 of only 10 “foreigners” staying in Lhasa at that time. The places we visited were all very interesting but we felt that we were being “hurried” around most of them for his personal convenience, not ours.
I returned from a tour of Nepal and Bhutan at the weekend which was organised by Achut and his team. We had to postpone our original date from last year, just avoiding the earthquake so it's been a long-awaited and anticipated trip. The whole 2 weeks was a totally nourishing and wonderful experience, no time for late starts as there was so much wonder to see. Achut and his team were amazing and made sure we were met at all ports, ensuring our safe travel onwards and return. We were also picked up promptly each morning from our hotels. The guides were really knowledgeable especially our guide in Bhutan, who not only looked after us but gently helped me all the way down from the café at the Tiger's nest as I had an injured ankle throughout the tour. The attention to detail was brilliant and although the hotel in Nepal experienced power cuts while we were there, the staff went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible in the circumstances. We were also treated to an amazing meal in Kathmandu on the last night, with some fab dancing and a wonderful atmosphere to send us on our way. The whole trip was so reasonably priced too and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Manakamara Treks to all my friends and family. Namaste :)
My sixteen year old son and myself have just returned from a tour in Nepal and Bhutan organized by Manakamana Trek and Expedition based in Kathmandu. I was very happy with the service we received from Achut and his various staff. First off, in the months leading up to our trip, my son and I had numerous questions. Achut always answered promptly and fully. There was never any pressure. He has a very relaxed style. Upon arrival to Kathmandu, there was a car waiting for us with my name on a sign. Everytime we arrived anywhere, there was always someone there to meet us. Absolutely all aspects of this trip ran smoothly. The various tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. Manakamana provides very good service at a very reasonable price. The hotels we stayed in were all reasonable and adequate but if you would like a little more luxury, just let Achut know and he will arrange it. It will cost a little more but would still be far cheaper than tour organizations based in North America. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending Manakamana Treks & Expedition.