Mike and I had a great time in Nepal. From getting off the plane in Kathmandu, to meeting Rashmila and getting us to Holy Himalaya and then getting all the information and the transfers set up from the drivers to the bus to the hotels. Everything connected perfectly.
Everyone was great at Holy Himalaya. Ram and his staff at Hotel Kantipur were all so nice and informational. The people there at the front desk were kind and helpful. The breakfast buffets were the best. Thank you for the really nice rooms. The view of the Annapurna Range from the rooftop was spectacular.
Of course, Dhiren, was the highlight of our trip. His warm and outgoing personality made us feel at home. His positive energy was heart-felt and special. His true love of the mountains, the people and his wealth of knowledge of the culture and land was inspiring and very enjoyable. His laugh is infectious. A funny guy. We enjoyed Renuka’s quiet personality as well. Though Mike got sick on the first day of the trek was unfortunate, Dhiren took good care of him and of me (as I was the slowest trekker possible). It’s something I’ve never done before and I know I couldn’t have made it to the top without him. I was happy to make it to our first destination at Tikedungha. Another spectacular view. The 2nd day was long as expected but we had unexpected weather as the rains never seemed to stop. But we had an opportunity to stop into a village to wait for the rain to slow down. They fed us a little and seemed to be celebrating a 7th year of a child so everyone was happy. Then it started to snow. As you probably already know that we took an extra day at Ghorepani due to Mike’s dehydration and exhaustion but that’s ok. We needed the extra day. We were lucky the weather changed and we got to see the end of the sunrise at the top of Poon Hill. Blue skies and sunshine. Beautiful. The next day, we’re off to Tadapani. The steps were slick, wet, icy, snowy, and muddy but we made it. Again, more rain and fog. But the people and the food were great. Mike was starting to feel better by then. Once we got to Ghandruk it started to thunder and lightning but we still had fun. We went to the little museum there and then tried on costumes. I will send you pictures. We loved the view from our window though we were still very cold. All and all, it was truly an adventure.
It was sad to say goodbye to Dhiren and Renuka, though. We found out later that Rashmila had been communicating to Dhiren during our entire trek, checking up on how sick Mike was. She called Dhiren several times. We’re glad your team kept a close eye on us. We really appreciated that.
Ram (and the front desk receptionists) recommended a few places to see while we were in Pokhara and they found a really nice driver to take us around Devi Falls, the bat cave, Mehendra Cave, and the Mountaineers Museum. We did the little boat ride on Phewa Lake, did another hike up to Sarangkot and did some shopping later. It’s a beautiful place.
The lunches that were arranged between Kathmandu to Pokhara and then to Chitwan (at the bus transfer area)…were also very good. As we traveled on to Chitwan, our Nature Guide, Sisir, was great, too. We loved the river boat ride on the Rupti River but didn’t see any crocs. Absolutely fell in love with all the elephants and petted the baby elephant and of course riding an elephant was so exciting. What an experience!! The people at the Tiger Resort were all so nice and the food was great. We enjoyed the Tharu dancing and performance, too.
I actually enjoyed the bus ride as we watched the busy traffic along the way and viewed the mountainous and landscaped areas. As we traveled on back to Kathmandu, we met up again with Rashmila at the bus station, making sure we had a ride and that we were good to go. We then met our Kathmandu Tour Guide, Krishna, who too, was very warm and gracious. I liked our driver, too but I forgot his name. He was always smiling. Krishna was very knowledgeable and informative and made us feel very comfortable. We enjoyed the sight-seeing. We had fun taking the rickshaw back to our hotel, too. Krishna accompanied us in another rickshaw and made sure we got to our hotel safely. A true gentleman with a warm soul. Another great guy.
We were blessed to meet so many nice people along our journey. Thank you so much for taking care of us.
Your Travel Company and the people that make it successful will truly be recommended to both Mike and my friends for future travel. Mike plans to go back to Nepal and trek Dhaulagiri mountain with Dhiren sometime next year in March.
Sometimes Mike and I felt a little lost but glad your team was there to help us out. Everything was very well organized and felt we were in trustful hands.
Posted By: Dione S. Nepal Ghorepani Poon Hill Trekking, 28 Jan-15 Feb, 2013, Renton, WA, USA
Thank you so much for arranging our tour of Sikkim. What a lovely area and what a great tour. Our guide Suren Subba was knowledgable, accommodating, and flexible. When we arrived in Gangtok on Diwali, Suren made sure that we saw the festivities. Your services were especially good. When we left the States, we had no doubts that the trip would be good because you had been so thorough and responsive. The hotels, meals, touring, all great. We will recommend you to friends and hope to travel with you again. Thanks. Barbara
Posted By: Barbara Wilcox Sikkim tour, Chicago
I found Highland Asia Travel through random search on the Web. Reviewing their site I did not see any red flags, and contacted them. I was immediately impressed with swift response, professionalism, pleasant manners, and immaculate accuracy in all correspondence from Postak Shrestha. Planning my field biology class to Nepal, I outlined my interests, and in one day was provided with suggested itinerary. I reviewed it, totally modified it in accordance with some new ideas, and in two days was offered a new, fully customized itinerary fitting my needs and my plans. During all that pre-trip process I always had all my questions answered immediately; never felt any pressure to finalize my decision, or to purchase the service. After making my mind, and confirming all details, I followed clear instructions about preparation and paperwork, and concluded all formalities (including payment) in easy, transparent and smooth way.
Upon arrival to Kathmandu (after midnight) with my students we were met by our guide (Prem Pahari) and local office manager (David Raj); accompanied to the hotel, and next morning our journey started. Upon completion of the 12 day trip across the country I have to admit that in terms of arrangements this experience far exceeded my expectations. Everything was implemented exactly as planned, always on time, and always with full attention to our needs from everybody involved in assisting us. All housing accommodations were as promised or above of expected; all vehicles used were in perfect shape; all drivers were totally professional and operated in accordance with safety standards and common sense. Food was amazing. I was very much impressed with the professionalism of all our guides. Main guide for the whole trip -- Prem Pahari was always professional, always friendly; very knowledgeable, always ready to share his knowledge, but never pretending to dominate the situation (on our trip we saw enough other guides with different groups often commenting too loud, or too much, or in a too invasive way). Prem was extremely efficient in handling all logistics, and all our needs from paperwork with permits to adjustments in accommodation or itinerary based on my spontaneous reconsideration (it often happens when one works with students). Field guides in Chitwan National Park (Prakash Basnet and Ram) impressed me very much with their knowledge of wildlife, nice friendly and tactful manners, and with total professional honesty (if they were not sure about identification of birds they never pretended to know everything). At the end of the trip we met with the local manager (David Raj), and had a chance to discuss our impressions, as well as potential opportunities for the future. Bottom line: my experience with Highland Asia Travel and all members of its staff both in USA and Nepal in November 2012 was nothing but positive. I recommend this company to everybody (including professors travelling with students) without any reservations, and I already planning future trips with them. On behalf of myself and all my students I express our sincere gratitude to everybody assisting us on this trip in our acquaintance with amazing Nepal, its incredible nature, overwhelming culture, and wonderful hospitable people. Thank you very much!
Posted By: Dr. Sergei Polozov Math & Science Dept Chair, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon, USA www.sergeipolozov.com
Now we are back at home in Australia and settling back into our routine. We have such wonderful memories of Sikkim. Yes the itinerary had to be changed, you cannot control nature. But from the very start, we knew we were in good hands with Randeep organising alternatives for us. The places we saw and also the hotels we stayed in were exceptional especially Denzong Regency in Gangtok, where we stayed for 4 nights. We cannot report any faults at all.
We also want to say how much we enjoyed having Suren our guide and Nema our driver, they were again both very special people. Suren very knowledgeable and Nema always looked after us when driving. They both looked out for our welfare all the time and were exceptional.
Posted By: Lucia and Russell M., Brisbane, Australia. Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour, Oct 2012
It was a great trip indeed. Dawa and Tashi took good care of us. We have appreciated the scenery, the dzongs, temples, chorines, stupas and so on. But most of all we have enjoyed the people and the attitude of the population. So concerned with nature and the environment.
There was 1 very embarrassing moment, though. When we went for the hot stone bath, we thought it was included in the programme and we had hardly any money on us. So when the guide told us how much we had to pay, we could not as we did not have enough money with us. The driver had to lend the amount. We think you should make it clear what is included and what is not, so that guests do not have to feel as if they are taking advantage of people. However, this was a minor problem. We did not experience any big problems, on the contrary.
Thank you very much for the organization. It was a most interesting experience.
Posted By: Chantal V. H., Belgium A Complete Journey of Bhutan from West to East, Oct-Nov, 2012