Sarah McFadyen review 5 Feb 2016
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The trekking. The scenery was stunning, the people are so friendly and helpful. The guide and porter provided by the operator were excellent.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
If you are particularly interested in the volunteering aspect, we would recommend that you contact the company in advance and ask them to confirm what you are going to be doing. They never gave us a straight answer when we tried to tie them down and find out what we would be doing. We would suggest that if you want to do volunteering, don't go with this operator but find someone that can guarantee the volunteering aspect of the trip. Also, we were told there would be a tour of Kathmandu. We were very much looking forward to a local guide showing us round, so we planned nothing else for the day. However, the guide didn't meet us till after 11am, and only walked us to the Monkey Temple and back, and that was the end of the tour. Very disappointing. We could have done this ourselves, and because of the timing of this walk, we missed our opportunity to visit Durbar Square.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, but not as much as it should have benefitted local people. Coming on vacation to Nepal at this time is important to put money back in to help them rebuild. However, the main reason we chose this vacation was for the opportunity to spend 2-3 days helping to rebuild somewhere that had been destroyed in the earthquake. This aspect of the vacation was removed by the local tour company, but they were not honest and upfront about this. They evaded the question whenever we asked, and, when we got to the days we were supposed to be volunteering, and they were unable to evade the question any longer, they gave us an ad hoc visit to a greatly damaged village that they stay in and took us to a school that had already been repaired in an unplanned visit, and it was quite embarrassing when the principal turned and asked us why we were there, as we didn't know either. Extremely disappointed that we were unable to do some volunteering work as we would not have chosen this vacation otherwise. It may have been because of the fuel crisis as we were informed that building materials were not able to be brought into the country, but if the company had been upfront about this, we would have requested to extend the trekking portion of our vacation and seen more of this stunning country.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
We'd have to split our rating into 2 parts. From the start of the vacation up to the end of the trekking was 5 star. The greeting and logistics were well organised, including having to deal with the fuel crisis. However, after returning to Kathmandu, we would have to rate this portion of the vacation with 1 star (if 0 stars is not an option). We appreciate that there are difficulties tour companies must have been facing at this time, but we are a couple who appreciate honesty and are also flexible, but this honesty was not forthcoming, as much as we tried to obtain open and honest answers from the company. During the trekking portion of this vacation, we were fairly certain we were going to rebook with this operator, but by the end of the vacation, we would absolutely not, and would not recommend them to other travelers due to their lack of openness and honesty. We loved Nepal so much though, that we have already rebooked to go back with another company.
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you very much for your kind feedback .We believed that tour report from our valued clients will help us in making more effective on our service and always we try to maintain the best standard.
It is very pleasure to inform you that Rebuild Nepal Program has designed for travelers in helping to local people; especially it supports to quake victims communities. So, 2-3 days will take you in areas/ schools which greatly impacted by earthquake of April 25th, 2015. It gives an opportunity to share the feeling of quake victims and experience of how impacted by quake. What things should be aware and how can we safe by natural calamities, which technical things do not forget to metalize in the period of restoration houses. Main principle of visiting places to grow up the cooperative feelings and they get the useful information from visitors.
According to program, we took our respected client Sarah McFadyen in karkithok village, situated northern part of Kathmandu where over 45 houses destroyed by earthquake and over 300 local people are impacted. Then we went to school. The class has bringing in the operation after some part repaired and other parts are under maintenance that it observed and then she returned back to Kathmandu.
We celebrated lighting festival together. She wished to visit Swyambhunanth Temple which it was optional program. We went Swyambhunath Temple by walking which it took about 25 minutes from the hotel. To visit Kathmandu Durbar-square very short distance from hotel, if she showed interest, it would be organized definitely because our main aim is to make happy for all our valued customers. It was a difficult time to operate tour on time due to fuel crisis because of border blocked, but all travelers were traveling with us that were able to organize on time and all went smoothly.
Finally we assure you of our best service at all times.