5 independent reviews for Punjab holiday, mountains & mystics

Reviews for Punjab holiday, mountains & mystics

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review 17 Oct 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

visiting Golden Temple Travelling on Toy train to Shimla using local buses

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Good level of general fittness needed. Don't visit India if all you want to do is change it

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

use of local guides, tipping Kitty so made sure staff were tipped correctly for that country use of local transport

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

excellent

review 30 Nov 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The golden temple at Amritsar and the border ceremony at Waga on the Pakistan India Border. Plus Mcleod Ganj and Naddi up from Dharamsala.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware that the hike to Chamba from Khajjiar involves a final climb partway up the mountain to get to the accommodation.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Only 8 of us and we are all very environment minded. I was more distressed to see the local people throwing paper out of the toy train window and some of the towns littered with trash. If only Responsible Travel could do more to educate the local population to recycle the trash as much as possible. We ate at local small cafes and restaurants and stayed in small local hotels, used cycle rickshaws and tuk tuks. Actually used all forms of transport so I think the local businesses did benefit. Pehaps in Dharamsala since it is all about Tibet it might have been nice to stay at a Tibetan guest house.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! I love India; the people are so friendly and so colourful, the temples are wonderful. The entire spectrum is there to be enjoyed.

review 27 Nov 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar at night when it wasn't busy.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check who your guide will be in advance and whether or not he or she has done the trip before. Our guide had never done this trip or even been to the places we visited before. Also ask if there are local guides available and if you will be able to book them yourself if not. Also if going in autumn or winter from October note that it can get very cold and the hotels have no heating. The guide also has a habit of trying to get us to eat outside in near freezing conditions which should be resisted. There are two one day treks on the trip. The trip notes are a little confusing and suggest that there is only one (although this has been reported to the tour operator so they might change it). On the second day your main luggage goes on ahead to the hotel you will stay in the following day so you need to have a day pack that is big enough for an overnight stop but small enough for you to carry with you on the trek.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The use of local transport - trains and buses minimized impact on the environment but this did mean we had several very long days on trains and buses

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was a little disappointing. Despite being called Mountain & Mystics we had the opportunity to learn relatively little about either because the tour leader had little knowledge and we didn't have local guides. This was a shame because the itinerary was interesting.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your comments on the trip and in particular on your leader. We select a variety of leaders who are both locals and westerners, but most importantly the qualities that we look for in our Leaders are a passion for the country that they are leading and a desire to share this with their travelers. We take great pride in our recruitment and training program that we use to train all of our leaders. Once a leader is recruited they undergo an intensive week of training covering all of the technical aspects of leading and this is followed by a 3 week training trip when they shadow an experienced leader to learn about different styles of leadership, and to meet the local operators and guides along the way. We believe that this combination of formal classroom learning and practical on the road training allows our leaders too observe and understand group dynamics and customer service as well as the administrative aspects of the job. It is always hard when a leader is leading a trip for the first time but I assure you we have very detailed notes for the leader, great local operators along the way, and have other leaders spend time running through the finer details of the trip before they start.

review 31 Oct 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Staying with a family.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack light as you do have to carry your bags around and you WILL shop!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - we travelled on local buses and used local-run hotels and taxis / rickshaws etc.

review 31 Dec 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part was a hike we took up to a water-based community just outside of Vinales. The hike was lovely, the views were amazing and the watercommunity was unique.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you take plenty of money - and a VISA card.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Any other comments?

Our guide - Natalia - made the holiday. She was fun and bubbly and informative.

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