What were the highlights of your tour?
The Taj Mahal and meeting the locals in Nimaj.
Do you feel you got under the skin of a country?
Yes. The length of the tour and the different places you visit give you a great insight into the history and culture of India – an excellent way to explore the country.
What did you think of your tour leader?
The tour leader was extremely friendly and a very good organiser.
Do you feel your holiday benefited the local people?
Yes, very much so. All of the specialist tour guides were local people and we were also taken too many different local businesses to give us the opportunity to purchased art, craft, silks, carpets…etc.
Do you feel the tour was value for money?
Yes, it was a fantastic way to discover India and I would say that it was good value for money
What was it like travelling in a group?
I have travelled as part of a group tour previously and the experience can vary depending on the dynamic of your group. This was the best group I have ever travelled with and everybody gelled extremely well together. There was a mix of people from UK, Australia, New Zealand and USA so all English speaking which is an advantage.
What was the food and the places you ate like?
Quality of food varied from place to place but I would say that on the whole, the food was good. It definitely helps if you like curries or spicy food as many dishes are locally produced and very reasonably priced. Be careful to ask for the price of drinks before you buy however, as several places appeared to inflate the price of beer for tourists!
What were the local people like?
We were very luck to experience the local life in Nimaj when we went for a walk around in the evening and again the next morning. The local people were very friendly with lots of happy, smiling kids running around and tagging along as we made our way through the narrow roads and alleyways. We were even invited into some of the local’s houses which provided a unique opportunity to see first hand, how they live.
What advice would you give to other travellers?
I think our tour leader best summed this up by saying ‘expect the unexpected’ as anything and everything is possible in India. From a personal point of view, I would say to other travellers that you need to keep an open mind, for this is probably the most diverse country in the world.
You will experience the splendour and wealth of the many palaces and forts one minute and then bear witness to the extreme poverty and despair experienced by other locals, the next minute. You need to be aware of this before you travel. Also, several of us suffered stomach upsets so take some medication and a couple of spare packs of toilet tissue wherever you go!
Research the country and the area of travel before you go. Take plenty of bottled water out with you on each part of the tour and ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place, should you need it. Never give money to the beggars as this only encourages more people to do the same. Build in some extra budget for tipping as this is very much a part of the culture and is expected.
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