Has anyone been on Northern India and Nepal tour?



  • Monkeys? We saw more monkeys than carter has liver pills or whatever that saying was. They are everywhere. On our trip to Bandhavgarh National Park, our vehicle had to stop for some slow traffic. There were monkeys everywhere off the side of the road. I opened the window to take some pictures and got the scolding of my life from the driver. Apparently, the monkeys have been known to jump into the vehicles and cause all sorts of problems. Don’t open your windows for the monkeys.

    No more monkey pictures or this post will get flagged into oblivion.

  • We went to India not with Tauck but to visit my sister and her husband who worked for the US Embassy. On landing at Delhi airport we could smell the smoke before landing.

    One morning we were leaving early with my sister's driver to the train station to go to a lodge called Tiger Top and as Sealord mentioned it was not a pleasant ride. I asked what the carts were for and her driver said that they picked up the dead bodies every morning and would take them to a grave with no markings. These graves were for the poor people.

    They lived in New Delhi on the Embassy grounds where a lot of diplomats lived and it was gated. However, each time we would leave there were a lot of kids outside the gate begging and it was just a horrible sight. Some of them were missing arms and crying for help. Also, each evening we were invited to parties where the embassies would fly in Maine Lobsters or in the case of the French embassy fine wines. It was the only trip where I cried and lost weight

  • I had one flight engineer (second officer) who liked to ride the trains in third class … quite a kick riding with all the animals.

    Sealord On my Portrait tour, there was an Indian physician in the group who was traveling solo. There were 5 solos on our tour and 4 of us hung out together all the time...the 5th solo....well, lets just say we allowed that person to remain solo :D

    Tauck no longer includes a train ride due to the chaoticness (if that's a word). After we finished the official tour in Mumbai, the physician agreed to give us an Indian train experience....It was hilarious, chaotic and so much FUN. There is no way I think Tauck would be able to manage that experience with a group. It was only 4 of us and it was hectic and he spoke the language and understood the process.

    The train ride, the lunch at the Taj hotel, seeing the dabbawalas (lunch box men), and seeing a wedding party was the best part of the Mumbai portion of the trip. For my next trip I will hire a guide for a day trip to Elephanta Island. As much as I enjoyed Dehli and will gladly take part in all of the walking tours again, I can simply pass on a repeat of Mumbai.

  • When we did Spotlight on India, there was a train ride to Khajaraho and I think there is on this tour now. The station was chaotic, porters with suitcases on their heads and rats running across the tracts. The TD told us not to eat the food offered on the train.

  • edited October 2022

    The website itineraries for several tours are out of date.

    e.g. The itinerary for the Jewels of the Nile tour, Day 2, says,

    "Drive to nearby Giza this morning for a guided tour of its storied pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, that have stood as defining symbols of Egypt for millennia. Here, take a camel ride if you so choose, before viewing the most instantly recognizable statue in the world, crafted in limestone with the body of a lion and the head of a king – the Great Sphinx has been mysteriously reclining atop its Giza plateau for more than 3,000 years, guarding still the unanswered secret of who built it and why. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and spend the rest of day exploring Cairo as you like."

    The completed 2022 tours and eGreen Book for upcoming tours say you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (which happens to be the Palm) followed by a visit to nearby Saqqara.

  • Our tour in 2017 had us fly from Agra to Khajuraho. The current itinerary shows a train trip. I don't remember any surprise, but all Tauck tours hint at a surprise.

  • I pulled up the itinerary map from our trip in 2017 and compared it to the current trip and there are some differences.

    The trip we took in 2017

    The current itinerary

  • Obviously I haven’t taken the tour but I do remember the comments about the tour when it was new, some were quite negative about the amount of driving along roads that were in a bad conditions etc and I know the tour has been modified in some way. Khajaraho was taken off the original regular Portrait and Spotlight tour purely because the train time table changed and it made it impossible to get there in time to catch the train. Our tour almost missed the train, our tour director was stressed about it, the road traffic was terrible on the way. By the way, the hotel there is a step down form the other hotels but it is very near the temples. Think karma sutra carved all over them.
    Cathy,be on the lookout for elephants being led along the roads as transport. I found the bus rides one of the most fascinating parts of the India tour. I recommend not using the time for sleeping or you will miss a lot. Some of my best photos of life were taken from the bus and they came out really well from my iPhone.

  • We are on this tour now. We took the train from Agra. It was excellent. There is no elephant encounter. This tour has been extraordinary.

  • ChrisW12...thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the tour.

  • When I talked about elephants, when we were traveling along a busy road, I think it was the journey to the train, we passed through a town where there were people using elephants as transport for themselves and goods.

  • British...good advice about not sleeping during coach travel...there is so much life to see just passing by. We witnessed a lot of life in India and particularly village life during the drive from Kerala to the airport to continue on to Mumbai.

    I remember there was a lot of coach travel during the Baltics and Russia tour. I was tempted to sleep; however, the Tauck guide was incredible. She was American and had majored in Russian history. She kept everyone's interest during those long rides. I received an education in Russian history from her.

  • edited October 2022

    . . . . I recommend not using the time for sleeping or you will miss a lot. Some of my best photos of life were taken from the bus and they came out really well from my iPhone.

    British...good advice about not sleeping during coach travel...

    Same for many trips where you have early starts and long bus rides. On Ultimate Alps and Dolomites I got some great shots from the bus window- of castle ruins, quaint towns and of course the majestic mountains. I had to research after I got home to find out what I saw because it was "quiet time" on the bus- after seeing so many eye lids our TD realized it was a lost cause to keep up the commentary! :o It was a fun challenge when we go home to identify the places I photographed. Using our route, timestamp of my photos, and Google Maps, I found all the key sites!

    This only works if the bus has Wifi or you have 4/5G cell service in the area (or you saved the map), but I often follow the bus progress on my iPad using Google Maps. It allowed me to be the first on our tour to spot the Duomo and Leaning Tower as we approached and passed Pisa- I knew exactly where to look! :D

  • Best wishes to the both of you as you start your adventure. Stay safe and well.

  • edited October 2022

    Travel heals and mends the soul. Have a grand time. You will, and I look forward to hearing all about it.

  • Enjoy your trip!

  • Enjoy your trip Cathy, stay well.

  • cathyandsteve - I've been thinking of you and glad you checked in. I hope you can get some rest on your flight(s). I look forward to your posts.

  • Happy ✈️🇮🇳

  • cathyandsteve
    . . .I did get a wheel chair when we arrived nyc… the leg is screaming what are you doing but I figure this trip will either heal me or kill me! I am tired but will have 15 hours to sleep!

    You might want to get up and slowly walk the aisles a bit during the flight.

  • Cathy - Sorry for the hiccups, but happy that you successfully made it, with your bags. Let the fun begin!

  • Cathy - Have a great time, take care of the leg

  • Glad you has a safe and (almost) uneventful arrival....hopefully you'll be able to rest well and be refreshed for whatever activities you have planned for your free day.

  • Oh my goodness Cathy. You must be exhausted. I can't believe they couldn't somehow find you a wheelchair, how awful. So happy you and your luggage made it to the Hotel. Wishing you smooth sailing in the days ahead.

  • Have a fantastic time.

  • Cathy, glad to hear you arrived. Which airline and airport did you use? Hope your leg has recovered from it’s marathon ready for your site seeing.

  • Cathy, Happy to hear you arrived safely! Enjoy your trip.

  • edited October 2022

    Have a great time Cathy! We've been home for a few days now....with our flight leaving at 4:30am from Mumbai, we were up for about 20 hours before we even boarded. And then another 3 to Doha, layover, 16 to LAX, layover, 1 to Tucson. We just loved the Q suites on Qatar though, and I'll try to fly them every chance I get now!

    As I said earlier, this tour was just fantastic. Out of the 6 we've taken, I think it was the best, and that included China and Vietnam/Thailand/Cambodia, which rank really high with us as well.

    As the TD probably told you at the first meeting, this is not a vacation, it's an adventure. And it was. You will need a vacation to recover from this tour. Haha. I hope you enjoy every minute of this tour, it's an experience of a lifetime.

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