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Rajasthan – an exploration

Udaipur, a place we visit
Udaipur, a place we visit

In November this year we’re planning a three week exploratory trip to the desert state of Rajasthan, India. This will be used to develop a fixed Angel Holidays tour for the future. We’ll visit some unusual locations, some used for documentary making, and have experiences beyond that of ordinary tourism. If you like adventure and are a flexible traveller you may want to join this trip.

Unlike a usual tour, the specific itinerary will not be available until shortly before departure. However, starting in Delhi our route will take us past the ancient traders’ town of Mandawa, colourful Birkener on the edge of the desert, the evocative citadel of Jaisalmer on the far west of the Thar desert, the ‘blue city’ of Jodpur, the romantic lake city of Udaipur and Agra home of the Taj Mahal. This itinerary is flexible and we may add some other locations on the way.

Without a specific itinerary or duration for each stay, this may be better suited to previous Angel Holidays’ travellers who know what to expect from our less superficial way of travel. Others are welcome too if they have an adventurous spirit. In some locations we’ll enlist the help of local guides, in others you’ll be given free time to relax and explore.

There will be varied accommodation; from rudimentary (but clean) guest houses to old palaces, comfortable hotels and a nights’ camping in the desert. Expect a few surprises too that you usually see with the ‘Angel travel experience.’

The trip cost will be competitive; around £1,490 for three weeks which includes all accommodation and transport. Return flights to Delhi are not included but start at around £390 – which we help you find. This is a wonderful opportunity for a comprehensive, authentic experience of the region, at a competitive price.

Needless to say, you need to be a flexible and positive traveller. All you need is to book your return flights to Delhi and we’ll pick you up from the airport and do the rest.

If you would like to join our mail list for further information, please email us on the ‘How to book’ page of this website. This promises to be a really fabulous experience. We look forward to hearing from you.

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David Beckham, Holiday to Nepal

Becks on holiday in Nepal
Becks on holiday in Nepal

David Beckham visited Nepal today and played football in Bhaktapur, an old town 10 miles from Kathmandu. Despite being a remote part of the world, some young people did recognise the name and the kids loved playing football with him. David’s visit to Nepal, was watched by those on holiday to Nepal too, much to their delight.

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Our 2015 journey

Holiday to Nepal
Holiday to Nepal

After savouring the delights of the jungle, we have now moved on, via the old Tibetan trading post of Bandipur and to Pokhara – up in the Annapurna region of the Himalaya. Those willing from our group went on a half day trek today into the lower Himalaya. Tomorrow, on our holiday to Nepal, an adventurous few from our group will be paragliding on the warm thermals over the Himalaya – whilst others will be shopping, dinning, enjoying spas or meditating. The weather is pleasantly warm here in Pokhara!

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73 seconds that changed everything

An old man sits in one of Kathmandu’s ancient squares trying to sell Nepalese flags. Yet no one is coming.

An elderly man waits
An elderly man waits

Behind him, among the crowds of colourfully dressed people; the rickshaw drivers, traders bent heavy carrying loads, monks and religious devotees, incense and bells; a set of steps lead upwards to what is known, rather crudely, as the ‘Hippy temple.’ This, in the 1960’s, marked the end of the Hippy Trail and on the temple’s upper reaches, flaxen haired foreigners would have sat smoking ganja. Yet today the steps lead to nothing. A earthquake lasting just seventy three seconds took it away.  The steps look upwards to Kathmandu’s clear blue sky.

However, the overwhelming number of temples, not just here but across Nepal, still remain. This beautiful palace square, like others in the neighbouring UNESCO city of Patan for example, have remained largely intact. Walking through, is still the same as ever; an experience as if stepping back in time. The ancient pagoda architecture, in this country cut off from the rest of the world until the late 1950’s, remains. Coming here now, without many tourists, you can be forgiven for feeling like a Victorian explorer – perhaps there has never been a better time to visit.

There has been devastation in areas. The earthquake’s epicentre was 80kms from Kathmandu. Villages have seen awful damage as well as the city of Bhaktapur. The earthquake has struck four out of Nepal’s fourteen districts, but the world’s press has been less discriminate. Its generalistic approach suggesting earthquake has conquered all of Nepal has caused even more damage to its tourist industry. Traveller areas such as the jungle in Chitwan, Lumbini the birthplace of the Bhudda and the lakeside town Pokhara have seen no damage at all. A majority of ancient monuments are intact, roads are clear; hotels, restaurants open, but few travellers are coming.

Most traveller services in the country such as hotels, transport, restaurants and excursions are run by small family businesses, not multinational chains. For them, hardly damaged by the earthquake, the generalistic approach of the world’s press could not have been more devastating. And today the press shows little interest in Nepal. We contacted the travel editors of the Guardian and Telegraph for example, but neither expressed interest.

The truth is that visitors who come here now will have a unique experience.

The press has devastated the tourist industry
The press has devastated the tourist industry

In some areas they’ll see evidence of earthquake damage, not on a television screen but for themselves; something few witness in a lifetime. This is a very friendly country too, whose citizens still address each other as ‘brother or sister.’  In the aftermath of the earthquake not one single shop was looted, this tells you something about the decency of the people of Nepal. Pioneering travellers coming today can expect a terrific welcome.

Yet for now the old man still sits in Kathmandu square trying to sell his flags. The sun shines, the ancient architecture stands majestic around him. Yet few visitors are coming.

Angel Holidays will be taking a group to Nepal this October to give them this unique experience of Nepal. By visiting you will also be helping Nepal’s tourist industry. If you might like to join the adventure; visiting ancient cities, the jungle, the birthplace of the Buddha and staying Pokhara in full view of the Himalaya, please contact us. To crown the trip, you’ll also have the chance to fly around Everest.

A special thanks

Angel Holidays would like to thank previous ‘Angel travellers’ who have given generously in time and money to help the people of Nepal. There’s been events such as marathons and garden parties to raise money, as well as generous donations. Your help has been delivered directly to those in need. We’d also like to thank the selfless work of Pabitra, our first organiser with Angel Holidays, who’s delivered blankets, medicine and shelters to remote villages from donations from Angel Travellers.

Thank you for your affection to Angel Holidays and to Nepal.  For those booked on our October trip this year, and for those thinking of coming, a very warm welcome awaits. Angel Holidays.

Photos:

an old man selling flags in Kathmandu’s Durbar Sqaure.

Patan city three months after the earthquake

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New Tours with Angel Holidays

New Holiday
New Holiday

We’re excited to announce that Angel Holidays will be operating its first tour to Bangkok, Laos & Cambodia on 14th November this year (2015). We’ll be experiencing exciting cities, jungle river trips to some remote corners of the world, as well as the exotic – it’ll also be a lot of fun.  As with all our Angel tours there’ll be free time to explore too. If you’d like to know more, already the trip is half subscribed, please contact us with your email address and we can send full information. Note too, our second exciting tour to Peru will take place in August 2016 and we’re developing a new trip into India’s Rajasthan (a desert state) for 2016; hopefully we might see you on one of our future adventures! This photo is a glimpse of one of our locations in Laos.

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Holi – holiday to Nepal

Holiday to Nepal
Holiday to Nepal

In a few days Nepal will come alive with a celebration of Holi – known as the festival of colour: this celebrates the coming of Spring. Here is a picture of what it’s like, where a Sadhu (a holy man) participates – even the Sadhus in Nepal are a very friendly bunch – and like to laugh. Hindu calenders are Luna and Holi will coincide with the full moon.  Coloured powders made from turmeric to tie dye – purples, yellows, oranges, blues and so on, are thrown over everything and everyone. Driving your motorbike through Kathmandu is a game where you ride as quickly and as irrationally as possible to avoid children throwing colour over you. They’ve got clever this year and set up road blocks where they wait excitedly around corners.  Such are the delights of a holiday in Nepal.

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Holiday to Nepal – Valentines

Holiday to Nepal Valentine
Holiday to Nepal Valentine

No matter who you are friendly with, we’d like to wish you a very happy Valentines day from Nepal. We’d like to announce our new tours too. Firstly there’s the combined Bangkok/Laos & Cambodia adventure – the first one planned for November this year, as well as our second tour to Peru in August 2016. An inaugural trip to the desert state of Rajasthan is planned in 2016 too. So please let us know if you might be interested in any of these.  For those booked on our holiday to Nepal this October, get ready for a wonderful and very colourful trip! If you’re thinking of coming, why not take the plunge and follow in the footsteps of many of our enthralled previous travellers! Our holiday to Nepal is one of the most unique holidays you’ll experience.

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New year – holiday to Nepal

Holiday to Nepal
Holiday to Nepal

New year in Nepal is officially in April where the country is 57 years ahead of the Gregorian Calender so it will be 2072 (did you know the name ‘Gregorian’ comes from Pope Gregory who invented it?) However new year Western style will also be celebrated on the 31st plus we have several other new years including a Buddhist one. Nepal is always a little different. Wherever you are we wish you a nice celebration and a good new year.   Parties involve dancing and costumes. Here are some ladies from last year up in the Himalaya.  Happy holiday in Nepal!

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A Merry Christmas

Holiday to Nepal
Holiday to Nepal

We’d like to wish all our followers a very merry Christmas; especially those who enjoyed our holiday to Nepal in years past, and those who will be on a Nepal holiday with us in 2015!  In November 2015 we will hopefully operate our first trip to Rajasthan too, (open to all previous Angel travellers, please contact us if you might be interested) and our second trip to Peru will take place in August 2016 (a long way off but already we have lots of enquiries).  Basil Pao (Michael Palin’s photographer on all his BBC trips) will be joining the Angel team in 2016 so we’re looking forward to that too.  The Nepalese will be dancing as we celebrate the Christmas spirit too. Bless you all. Angel Holidays.

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Christmas comes to Nepal

Despite it being a largely Hindu and Buddhist nation, Nepal – fondly known locally as the acronym: ‘Never Ending Peace And Love’ has

Christmas in Nepal
Christmas in Nepal

entered the Christmas spirit. Over the next two weeks there’s carol services and good cheer, all without the shopping! It’s traditional. Many may not know what Christmas really means, but they will celebrate its spirit – Never Ending Peace & Love. People will call out ‘Merry Christmas!’ and that’s good enough. From up here in the Himalaya, with carol singers, people in good cheer and not one Turkey in the whole country, people don’t even know what a turkeys is, we wish you good preparations for Christmas in your country. Our Easter holiday 2015 to Nepal is already sold out, so we’re looking forward to taking a nice group around this friendly country! For those who came before – we miss you and hope you miss Nepal. Here’s a local choir singing, celebrating Christmas. It goes to show,  Christmas is for everyone.

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