India and Nepal 2014


Nov 27th, 2014, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 108
India and Nepal 2014

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!
castlevisitor is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2014, 11:21 PM
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Funny - I tagged India also, but it appears to have dropped the tag in editing. Does anyone know how to add the India tag after posting?
castlevisitor is offline  
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Jan 6th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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I am looking at the Friendly Planet Best of India and Nepal trip for next year. Was there a significant savings by using a Groupon over their regular price for this trip? How were the hotels? We did the Best of Cambodia and Vietnam last year and were very pleased.
ladyrep is offline  
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Jan 7th, 2015, 12:30 AM
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Thanks for sharing.

I particularly enjoyed the majority of the Nepal photographs. But the ones of the cremations at Pashupatinath reminded me of why I didn't really like the place. I found it more like a voyeuristic tourist theme park that I got ripped off 1,000 rupees in order to witness what should really be private family affairs. And some of those Sadhus were truly weird!

Boudhanath is an amazing place, especially if you stay in one of the monastery guest houses, and soak up the atmosphere at dawn and dusk. Great places to eat too.

We stayed at Bhaktapur for a week for Bisket Jatra (Nepali New Year), and those temples and the square you're photographed at were full to bursting point with excited locals (and us) for the tug-of-war of the chariot...

500 fully clad riot police there too, which was was a bit unnerving.
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Jan 25th, 2015, 12:14 AM
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I remember the Groupon being $300 lower than the regular cost. The hotels were very nice. Good breakfasts, clean, well-appointed, excellent service.

I also felt I was intruding on a private family funeral even though Pashupatinath appeared to be well visited by many families along with those mourning. I agree the riot police in Nepal is a bit unnerving - there was tight security due to the SAARC conference at our hotel. Sounds like your trip was great also.
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Jan 25th, 2015, 07:27 PM
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Thank for of you for sharing your photos. We, all, do take many of the same pictures but they are all so very good. India and Nepal...what could be more interesting? Time to go back.
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