Travel Tips


Overview – Tour to Nepal

The former Kingdom of Nepal is a fascinating and exotic country to visit, the only country in Asia never to be colonised – its unique and often mysterious culture remains intact. Mountains dominate the landscape: of the world’s ten highest peaks, nine – including Mt Everest – are located within its borders. Isolated from the world until modern times, to the north lies the Tibetan plateau and China, and the east, south and west: India.

Elevation plays a major role in the climate. In the higher mountain ranges such as Pokhara temperatures can be cooler (22 degrees), and in the Terai (jungle region) and Kathmandu Valley the climate warmer – all areas are recommended on your tour to Nepal. Nepal’s indigenous population consists of two major groups; the Indo-Nepalese and Tibeto Nepalese: all wonderfully welcoming people.

The principal locations of Nepal are Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara. Hinduism and Buddhism are the over-riding religions and Nepali is the official language. English is also widely spoken in developed areas. The currency is the Nepalese rupee. The population 27 million.

As Nepal has never been colonised it has developed a self-contained culture and society. Modern facilities are available in Kathmandu – the city has embraced tourism – however the country has retained its pagoda temples, ancient architecture and unique religious practices.

The Nepalese are renowned for their smiling faces, humbleness and good nature – they also have a great sense of humour! From remote villages, to magnificent landscapes and a fascinating culture: we promise to make your visit to Nepal breath-taking.

You can eat very reasonably in Nepal; under $5 gets you a good quality meal in most tourist class restaurants. On any tour to Nepal you can enjoy a fascinating mix of Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and Western restaurants – choosing where to eat in some fascinating little places is a great part of any Nepal tour! Vegetarians are catered for.



The best itinerary for any tour of Nepal which encompasses its unique culture and wonderful landscapes is to begin in Kathmandu, travel to Bhaktapur which is less than 20km away, and then move out of Kathmandu Valley heading south to visit Chitwan National Reserve. After time there you can travel north west and again back towards the Annapurna range of the Himalaya at the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara.  Some travellers on a Nepal tour may also like to visit Lumbini – the birth place of the Buddha which can be fitted in between Chitwan and Pokhara – although bear in mind that this adds a lot more driving to your Nepal tour as the road between Lumbini and Pokhara is a difficult one. You must consider driving times as roads are seldom straight, they wind through the mountains with average speeds of less than 30 miles an hour.



Best time to visit Nepal

The best time to visit Nepal is either March into April or October into November which does not give you much of a window! Of course, you can visit year-round but the weather pattern is quite dramatic. For example, late November into mid-March it can be very cool especially in December and January. Those who like to trek into the Himalaya will find it almost impossible in these months. Even late November depending on how high you go can be minus 10 to 20 degrees and quite dangerous. Those who would like to walk to Everest base camp will find May the best and ‘high’ season or early October. Conversely, June to September is the warmer – but wetter – season particularly from July. It tends to be a case of heavy showers then the sunshine reappears again. The later in the summer you go, for example from June onwards it can get quite humid. Note too, that skies tend to be white as the cloud hangs overhead, rather than blue at this time of year.



Video link

Nepal – with Angel Holidays – YouTube



Highlights Of a Nepal Tour

A tour to Nepal has many highlights and gives you a taste of the exotic! Here are just a few of them.


Fly over Everest. In Kathmandu you can arrange an aircraft flight over Mount Everest and the Himalaya. This forty-five-minute flight is dramatic and best experienced early morning – after 9am there is heavy cloud cover.


Old Kathmandu. The city’s exotic Durbar square – Durbar meaning palace. Some of the buildings here are several hundreds of years old and offer a glimpse of old Kathmandu and a wonderful insight into is exotic culture.


The Living Goddess. Combined this with a visit to the Kumari Palace the home of the Living Goddess.


Sacred Cremations. Perhaps, not for everyone, but still a memorable experience on any Nepal tour is Pashupatinath, the sacred place of cremations along a tributary of the Ganges.


A City lost in time. Bhaktapur is on any Nepal tour highlights. Visiting here is like stepping back in time with its ancient pagodas, cobbled stoned streets and medieval culture.


The jungle. Chitwan is another exotic experience, with so many elephants around it offers a really exciting touch to your tour. If you visit Pokhara – and many do – you could also experience a helicopter ride to Annapurna Base camp. Whilst expensive, it really is an experience.



You can easily find comfortable tourist class accommodation across Nepal. Kathmandu has anything from cheap backpack rooms, to several 3 to 4 star hotels and a smaller number of 5 stars hotels. In old cities, such as Bhaktapur, the small guest houses, converted from ancient houses give you a great experience – watch out for the low ceilings! In Chitwan, near the jungle, it is best to stay in a jungle lodge as part of the exotic experience. Nearby the park there are many to choose from. In Pokhara, there is a huge choice of hotels – again from the ‘backpack’ variety to comfortable hotels with pools. You are spoilt for choice.


Clients Review:


Gareth Irvine – Gareth is a member of Facebook

I just wanted to give me thoughts on the October 2009 trip, to assist anyone who might be thinking of booking with Angel Holidays. This was a really fabulous, unique experience. Don’t expect a corporate, faceless plod around the tourist spots of Nepal on this trip. What you get from Steve and his team is a very personal, insightful trip into which the heart and soul of everyone involved is poured, particularly Steve’s. From the cultural insights we gained in Kathmandu Valley, actually spending time with real Nepali people in their homes, and learning about the politics and spiritual landscape of the country, to the exotic wonders of the jungle, with elephant rides and rhino safari this trip is… there’s no other word for it… magical. I was expecting a great trip but nothing like what I got. I met people who I hope to always stay in touch with, I learnt a huge amount, and I have incredible memories. Nepal is somewhere I’d love to go back to and hope to as soon as possible. The main thing about this trip is the personal touch. Steve is there with you literally every step of the way, and its clear that he gets as much out of the trip as everyone else does. Our group formed a fantastic bond while we were away, and much of this was down to the atmosphere of care and friendship that came from Steve. That’s it really. No, I’m not a stooge or a paid reviewer. Just a punter who had the trip of a lifetime.


Carys Williams – Carys is a member of Facebook

Even after months at home, my head is still reeling from the experience of this holiday. From being greeted at the airport to a wall of heat and roads of hell, to the tranquillity of the Annapurna range, it was a sensory, kaleidoscopic adventure of colours, sounds, smells that I will never forget. I met some fabulous people, saw some amazing things, did things I never thought I would ever do: taking part in an intimate domestic Hindu ceremony for one, standing on an elephant for another. The list is, quite frankly, endless. None of the above could have happened without the legend that is Steve Carver. He guides with humour and passion throughout and it is clear that his heart and soul has been poured into the project (as, indeed, it has with everyone he works with). The banter was legendary; the guides, genius. I loved every single second of the trip. I have bored all my friends and relatives with my stories and photographs and cannot recommend this trip highly enough. If you don’t go, I promise you will regret it.



Alison Henshaw – Alison is a member of Facebook

My trip to Nepal has been the highlight of my year. From busy cities and towns, to the jungle and the white topped mountains of the Himalaya, the scenery was definitely spectacular, it was also the people that made the trip. Everywhere we went there was a local guide. In Kathmandu we had a professor as a tour guide. It was amazing. Add to that elephants, a rickshaw ride, wild monkeys and sunrise over the Himalaya and you’ve got not just a holiday but a life affirming experience too.



Sharon Pike – Sharon is a member of Facebook

I have recently returned from a holiday of a life time with Angel Holidays. The whole journey from start to finish was extremely well thought out and put together by Steve, who by the way travelled with us and made us all feel very special. From the expertise local knowledge of the professor on our first day’s sightseeing, to the wonderful experience of having a local girl with us the entire time to share her perspectives. The other exciting opportunity was the jungle, the gentle elephants, in search of rhino and most of all washing elephants in the river, or was that them washing us!! The scenery was fantastic, out of this world at times. It was lovely to all work together as a team, getting up at 4.30am one morning to watch sunrise over the Himalaya was well worth it. I could write loads and loads more on this wonderful trip, from the Everest flight to the crocodile river trip, and Steve’s attention to detail and fun sense of humour to ensure we all had a good time made the whole journey of a lifetime even more enjoyable. I hope you all take the opportunity to experience this trip and if you wish to know more I am happy to talk to anyone who is thinking of going, I am so pleased I did.


Kim Hughes

Having travelled in Nepal recently with Angel Holidays this was the experience of travelling with a company who went that bit further to please and make the journey special. There were little surprises all along the way. Whilst you may be greeted with a set of papers detailing the itinerary of your holiday by other companies, we were given a book (bound and hand-made from local paper) containing such information, as a present from the company. In addition, we had the opportunity to add much needed funds to a local charity, and had the opportunity to see where the money was being spent. Angel Holidays were that special.


Ken & Judith Wise – Mr and Mrs Wise are members of Facebook

The trip was distinctive because it was packed with real contact with the local inhabitants. Visiting villages, temples, mountain lodges, we were able to talk, drink, and even dance with Nepali people. This is a holiday for people who want to see what is really going on. Angel Holidays have made a special effort to employ Nepali people who are very approachable and able to explain everything. We were joined by a university professor and a national poet among others, who took us into their own lives and helped us understand what it means to live in Nepal. It is not a holiday you will forget easily. We were always active in a vividly colourful culture. We were able to soak up the Himalayan landscape and were increasingly bonded as a travelling group by the input we had to make ourselves. We found much to amuse and interest us and we made a lot of friends.



Susanne Corry – Susanne is a member of Facebook

I used Angel Holidays as recommended to me by a couple of friends and I am so glad I did. My expectations were exceeded. The guides and organiser were outstanding : knowledgeable, friendly, safety-conscious, and had great sense of humour. Accommodation provided was of a high standard, clean and comfortable. The meals were excellent everywhere we went. The large group (26) was well managed and the information, entertainment and activities provided helped us all to get to know each other well. A friendly and personal touch was shown throughout the trip by Steve and his team which made my experience that much richer and unforgettable. Overall this was a wonderful trip with lasting memories. Anyone looking for an adventure in Nepal or elsewhere would be well advised to travel with Angel Holidays. Susanne Corry, Bath.


Paul Higinson – Paul and partner joined our Nepal trip

Wow….what a moving trip, we were taken on a ‘Journey that Changes Lives’, in short the best holiday we have ever had. Our host Steve Carver and his Nepalese team made it feel like we were being shown around by good friends….this is what touring holidays should be like. If you want to learn more about the real Nepal and learn more about yourself then this trip is perfect for you. The trip promised an insight into the real Nepal and far exceeded our expectations, we were treated to an insight into the amazing people of Nepal, their culture and how they live their life. We were led by well informed local guides, educated on the culture of Nepal by Surendra the passionate Professor from Kathmandu University and guided every step of the way. We visited the ancient cities and temples of Nepal and were privileged to visit the houses of local people, the burial ceremonies at the holy river and were humbled by the work of the nuns at the Old Peoples Home that our trip had helped to sponsor. We saw the rare one horned Rhinos of Asia, we paddled down the jungle river in a dugout canoe watching crocodiles and birdlife before cocktails at the river edge. We climbed in the foothills and saw the looming Himalaya mountains as the first sunlight of the day crossed their snow capped peaks. The list of experiences and memories is endless, thank you Angel Holidays, put us down for Peru in 2012 !


Paul Coathup – Paul and his wife joined our Nepal, India, Peru and Laos Cambodia trips

So we decided that we wanted to go to Nepal – we searched the net and then found the Angel Holidays website. We read the holiday description and you know how some things just feel right – this was exactly that feeling. There was just one niggling concern, we’ve been independent travellers for years and this was an “escorted group” holiday, the last thing that we wanted was to be herded around following a flag! We emailed Steve, he said that this was definitely not one of those tours, so we took a chance and loved every minute of it! The group gelled really well, the website seemed to act as a filter to produce like minded people who love to travel in the real sense of the word. Steve’s role is closer to one of a host than a guide, a host who has an intimate knowledge of Nepal and someone who takes real pleasure in passing on his knowledge and love of Nepal to others. The sights are superb, this is a truly beautiful and amazing country, we saw so much during our two weeks. Accompanying us on the journey were Pabi, a Nepalese lady who has a smile to die for. If you love travel, if you have a genuine interest in other cultures and you want to see Nepal….book this holiday!



Nigel Burton – Nigel joined our India tour

I have just returned from my 3rd adventure with Angel holidays, I got hooked on their style of holiday on my first trip with Steve to Nepal. Steve manages to make his trips adventures with the risks removed he gets you to places other tourists don’t get to see and to really experience local life through meeting local people and sometimes even eating in their homes with them. You will not stay in tourist hotels but in really interesting places. I have experienced a monastery stay in Nepal, a four hundred year old house in Lima on our Peru tour, a Bishop’s house in Peru and on my most recent trip to Rajasthan we stayed in 3 palaces, a one man tent in the desert, and a couple of Havelis On the three trips I have done with Steve to Nepal, Peru and India we have travelled on Buses, trains, tuk tuks, rickshaws, elephants, horse-carts, camels, camel carts, landrovers, boats, foot, bicycles, pick ups and small aeroplanes. Steve is more of a host than a tour leader and you will get free time when you will be able to explore on your own but Steve is always full of helpful advice and help with ideas and great at fixing things for you. I have had three memorable trips and no doubt will be back for more in the future and I have made some great friends along the way.



When is the best time to visit Vietnam?

If you are touring the whole of the country the best month to visit Vietnam is April.   Climate differences between north and south vary dramatically, with the north experiencing quite cold (and often misty) weather November through to March. May onwards can be too hot and July to December in the south is humid with heavy showers.


Vietnam, Hoi An and Google


celebrating hoi an 6003111515652096 2x - Angel Holidays Tour Operator
Hoi An on Google

Those using Google today will see a symbol of Hoi An, an ancient town in the middle of Viet Nam, that Angel Holiday travellers visit. We’re running our trip to Viet Nam again next April if you might like to register interest.

The symbol on Google, illustrates the heart of the old centre, where each night hundreds of small lanterns are lit, illuminating the town in a sea of red, gold, green, blue and purple.

The name Hoi An means “peaceful meeting place” and was traditionally a town used for trading between Europeans and Asia.  Silks, ceramics, spices, gold, silver and tea were bought here.  It’s perfectly placed for global trading, along a beautiful jungle river, and just a few miles from the sea.

Hoi An is a UNESCO site and Angel Holidays travellers will spend several nights here – there are some lovely beaches too.

We stay at the very comfortable, Hoi An Ancient Resort & Spa (see below). Contact Bridget via this website if you might like to go.

hoi an hotel - Angel Holidays Tour Operator
Our hotel, Hoi An




Bangkok, Laos and Cambodia


slide 55 - Angel Holidays Tour Operator
Laos, one of many great views

For those coming to on this wonderful tour, we hope you are looking forward to the tropical weather. Daytime it will be 26-30 degrees, and at night; a pleasant 24, where light shirts are all that’s needed. As with all Angel trips, we take you to each region when the weather is perfect.

Much of your travel will be by boat on this holiday: you’ll travel towards China in a convoy of six seater boats, fitted with Peugeot 505 car seats for example, to make you more comfortable (that night you’ll sleep in stilted jungle lodges along the river).

On another river trip, we’ll take you by a large traditional boat and you’ll travel over the largest lake in Asia; eventually sailing through narrow riverways into the heart of Cambodia – a challenging and exciting journey: we never know what quite to expect.

And throughout the trip – warm sunshine. It leaves one to ponder, what to do with you coat you wear to your UK airport?

We hope you are getting excited….


Nepal Tour on Radio

Nepal: and for those leaving the UK for quite another world up here in the Himalaya, you might like to listen to this radio programme featuring our trip by a former traveller.  It gives you a taste of what to expect.  Bring a light pullover/fleece top for the late evenings as it can drop below 16 degrees sometimes. We wish you a pleasant flight and hope you enjoy the show.



Laos and Cambodia – our last tour with a bang

slide 55 - Angel Holidays Tour OperatorThis year will be the last public tour of Laos and Cambodia run by Angel Holidays; it’s an exceptional experience and takes a lot to organise.  One of the highlights is Luang Prabang on the Mekong.  There’s a bamboo bridge here, that gets washed away each year by the monsoon; only to be hand built again by locals.

This simple walking bridge links the town to a wonderful jungle hamlet on the other side of the river. Our guests often use this at night, to reach an intimate and shrouded open air restaurant, under the trees, candle lit, and elevated on platforms by the river’s edge. Here you can eat wonderful food amongst sounds from the jungle.   Here’s a photograph taken of the river at sunset.



Tour Vietnam – the food

For those coming with us to Vietnam, the food will make an interesting addition on our tour.  We’ve made the trip B&B on several nights, allowing you to go out and explore, rather than being stuck with hotel food (not that it’s bad either).

Vietnam is much more than noodles, rice and chicken, hot pots or clay pots: and it’s not just the food either but knowing how to eat it. You may be given a set of several dishes and sauces, together with leaves to wrap it in, certain sauces to add to a broth, or other sauces that should be kept separate for dipping only.  You’ll need to ask our guide.

To get  you started here’s an overview of some of the dishes.


Nepal: you’ll see Deshain, but what is it?

Nepal: and for those joining our tour this year, you’ll also witness Deshain, the most important event in the Nepalese calender. Put simply, this is a festival that marks the coming together of families, the beginning of the new year, all combined in a Nepalese Christmas.

Nepal has been locked away from the outside world until 1959, which means many of its practices are unusual – the sacrificing of animals for example – particularly buffalos – is part of Deshain. Brothers bless sisters (and if they don’t have one they hire one from a neighbour), children sing, and elders play music. This is joyous coming-together.

It’s a colourful time of celebration too. Make-shift bamboo swings are put up for children in the mountains along the Himalaya, candles are lit across cities, and in a modern exuberance – there’s even fireworks too. Elephants are blessed with tikas (red vermilion powder on their foreheads) as well as dogs, ducks and even birds. People of course, too.

We hope our visitors will enjoy this event.


Saigon street food

VIETNAM: and for those coming with us next April, you might like to watch this short video in which the late Anthony Bourdain, visits the ‘Lunch Lady’ a very simple food stall in central Saigon. Lunch here – a grouping of 4 to 7 plastic plates – costs just £3.

It’s rudimentary, local and simple. So simple in fact, there’s no choice. You simply show up, sit down and the food of the day is brought to your plastic table. Sitting on your plastic chair; no more elevated from the ground than a child first attending nursery school, amongst the back streets of the city, over hung with trees and some litter, you may ponder your choice. Don’t expect anything fancy, but just honest, tasty food. [This text has been taken from the Angel Holidays guide that accompanies this tour].


Tour of India, Rajasthan

For those coming with us to India this November, you might like to see this old video with the charismatic Keith Floyd.  This will give a real flavour of what to expect with the sumptuous Rajasthani food.


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