I am woefully behind in my trip reports and may never catch up. We returned September 21, 2014 from a 13 day trip to India and Nepal. It was the "Taj Mahal Express with Nepal Extension" group tour organized by Friendly Planet Travel via a Groupon. They were friendly, responsive, and good to deal with. Yes, there was a bit of shopping (we aren't shoppers beyond the one item we get to remind us of each trip), but where we didn't want to shop and it wasn't on the itinerary, we bowed out and went to visit something we wanted to see instead, which worked perfectly. The guide had no problem with this and even facilitated it for us. We will use Friendly Planet again with no hesitation and are looking at their Thailand trips.
Of course, our group was terrific - we made several friends we will keep in touch with in the future - and that makes all the difference in a group tour. We usually travel independently, but tend to book a group tour if we are going where neither of us feels comfortable driving (we aren't terribly good at public transportation (funny stories for another day) and usually find it slows us down, but we are getting better at it.) We thoroughly enjoyed this trip.
Here is a link to my pictures on flicker.
Fair warning: the Flicker file contains 626 of over 9,000 photos taken and (I hope) they reflect the vibrant culture and majesty of monuments along with “everyday life” photos and some shots of our wonderful group (and us) thrown in for good measure.
This may not qualify as a trip report, but I hope it is helpful and fun all the same.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
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