Geoffrey Hermsen review 30 Nov 2016
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Using Responsible Travel seemed like a good idea. I used them to go to the Sudan and had a very good time. Reasonable cost and the itinerary kept to. as
opposed to going with their agent for the most expensive trip of a lifetime with rip off holiday provider. From the start, the itinerary said to take a towel,
water purifying tablets, thermal long johns, down jackets etc. In Nepal/Bhutan it was thin t shirts as it was so hot and only a light sweater for the mornings
and night in Tibet. My suitcase bulged with unnecessary clutter. The itinerary stated 3* tourist hotels. In fact I had 2 good hotels, the others being back
packers/trekkers hotels in Nepal and Pilgrims hotel in Tibet. The hotel in Tibet was a joke. 3 1/2 flights of stairs to my room and 8 flights of steps to the cold
consevatory on the roof for a lousy breakfast. I was told a small group, but I was on my own. Everywhere in Nepal and Tibet, the entrance fees to temples
and monasteries were 10 to 15 US dollars. In total all the fees combined were some 100 US dollars. The holiday provider said to give good tips to the guides
and drivers. I believe this was to pay their wages! The only guide with good English was the one in Bhutan. Whilst in Nepal and Tibet, the guides tried to
skip the itinerary. When I complained, this was completed at great speed. The usual day being 9.30 to 4.00 Whilst travelling to Bhutan and Tibet from
Kathmandu, I wasted 4 days of the holiday mostly in and out of the airports and a few hours in actual flight. From the itinerary, going to Pokhara from
Kathmandu. I was told I would have a good English speaking driver/guide with safe driving. He was so safe, he neaver went faster tha 50Km/hr. Every driver
overtook him. We spoke less than 10 minutes in 2 days because he could not communicate due to lack of English understanding. I was told the journey
would be 6 hours. In fact it was 8 hours 20 minute going and 9 hours 25 minutes return. This added 2 more lost days, making a total of 6 days lost out of a
total of 14. Which means an actual 8 day holiday. As for evening entertainment, there was none. I was left on my own.All the time he was clearing his throat
and spitting. As far as I am concerned. Responsible Travel have not undertaken due diligence regarding the holiday provider. A word of warning, which was
not advised. In going into Bhutan. Don`t take cigarettes or luxury items in otherwise you get charged 200% duty on top of the original price. I took a pack of 200 cigarettes in and it cost 75 US dollars just to have an expensive smoke. I could continue with a litany of grumbles regarding this trip. So if anyone wants
more, let me know. If you don`t want to walk around with a pound sign on your forehead, then go with someone else.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Go with another company for this trip
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Not in Nepal or Tibet. Bhutan, because of the costs, it actually helps the people.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
I have travelled the world for some 50 plus years. If I had known about this trip I would have gone with someone else.
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you very much for your kind feedback. We were sorry to hear you felt time was wasted during your holiday. We had provided you with the full itinerary prior to commencing the tour and the tour operated as per this itinerary. We were surprised that you did waste time on holiday in and out of the airport. It was already mentioned about how many times in the airport during the tour, I hope the itinerary spoke about it. Prior to booking trip, during long correspondence and speaking on telephone it was a guaranteed trip and we have confirmed the tour will be run for a single person without taking additional charges.
Weather is going to change globally and it is our beyond control, we advise to bring tour gears according to season because it can be tentative temperature at that time of month. If you did not bring enough gears according to season and feeling cold on tour, it would not be good for you.
We always give high priority for safety management. The travelling from Kathmandu to Pokahra with a private car, our driver took you slowly on the mountain way because of safety, if he drove fast and it had been occurred accident or something, it would be very bad. If we travel slowly the destination can be reached definitely but if we travel in rush, it cannot say.
We asked you always about tour and hotels, you told us always wonderful. However we respect your exclusive words and we believed that your feedback guided us, where we need to make corrections for making tours better in days to come. We assure you of our best service at all times and always used our all efforts to make our service smooth and pleasant.