Nepal customer reviews
We are very proud of the feedback that we get from our trips and are pleased to share reviews from past travellers. These are kept as up to date as possible. Please have a read through to get a real sense of the kind of experience that you might have on a family trip to Nepal.
O’Connor Family (with children aged 9 and 11)
Travelled Autumn Half Term 2023
Hi Liddy. Overall, we had a very good time and I am glad that we went and experienced this part of the world with our kids. That being said, traveling in Nepal with kids is not for the faint of heart! Getting around in Kathmandu with the kids was scary with the erratic traffic/motorbikes, lack of sidewalks and crosswalks, and narrow roads. White water rafting and the safari day at Tigerland, as well as the momo-making class with Dolma were great and the highlights of the trip. Thank you very much for organizing this trip for us. I would recommend your agency to other families looking to plan a trip.
Cheng-Ajlani Family (with children aged 10 & 12)
Travelled March 2023
Hi Liddy. We just returned from Nepal and it was everything we wished it to be. Thank you for being flexible with us when we navigated complicated COVID-related delays and then jumping right in again to help us make this trip a reality 3 years later. Your partners on the ground were phenomenal and were super easy to get in touch with via WhatsApp whenever we had to confirm a pickup time etc. Rafting and the glamping campsite were an ABSOLUTE highlight of the trip. Loved every second. While rustic, we LOVED every bit of the glamping campsite. We were expecting actual tents on the river bank but were so pleasantly surprised by the actual structures surrounding a tent, which worked out well for us as it HAILED AND STORMED that night. We were grateful for that unexpected blessing 🙂
I wanted to let you know that many of our friends have inquired about our trip after seeing social media pictures and I’ve sent your contact and Stubborn Mule website to a good handful of friends already. I hope this brings some follow-up business for you!
Thanks again, this was a great trip all around. I hope to be able to work with you and your team again soon!
Whitaker Family (with a child aged 12)
Travelled Autumn Half Term 2022
Hi Charlotte. We had such a great trip – thanks so much for organising the itinerary. Honestly, it was pitched just right for me and J who is now 12. Normally I would have some constructive feedback but really can’t find fault. The communication was excellent and the guides were very charismatic and good fun. Really useful to have a working mobile as I gave it to the locals for Whatsapp which helped with pick-up times and drivers etc. The river camp was much better than anticipated, a gorgeous riverside glamping site with tree houses and a local village. My son loved the rafting and small touches like a packed lunch from the rafting company made for a really special time. The homestay in Chitwan was a perfect exposure to the culture and people couldn’t have gone out of their way to be any more kind. So big thanks again. J is asking to go back next year for a longer trek so watch this space…!
Lines Family (with child aged 13)
Travelled Easter 2022
Dear Liddy. We had a fantastic time in Nepal, thank you. Getting back to work is a bit of a shock to the system! Having waited so long to go it seems odd to be talking about it in the past tense. Our main memory of the trip will be the whole blend of extraordinarily rich culture, stunning scenery and friendly people. It was vibrant without being quite as manic as India and there was no hassle at all. We enjoyed making momos and Rabbi and his family cooked us a delicious meal to eat with them, which was much appreciated.
We have lost track of all the temples we visited. Raj our guide endeavoured to educate us on both Hinduism and Buddhism, some of which sunk in but there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to understanding the complexities of both religions/philosophies. What did stand out was Boudanath Stupa which was a real highlight. Seeing the Tibetan pilgrims in their national dress felt timeless.
We were not particularly lucky with the weather. It was hot and humid (hitting 40C in Chitwan). We got a good view of some of the high peaks from Tadapani but otherwise, the humidity meant the mountains were usually hidden behind clouds, so we did not get to enjoy the views from Nagarkot or Poon Hill. The latter a disappointment given the climb required to get there before dawn! Despite that, the trekking was a major highlight, particularly as the Rhododendrons were in full bloom. Raj was knowledgeable about flora as well as fauna so it ended up being quite a botanical trek!
As expected the tea houses were basic but that was absolutely fine. Raj was keen that we should stay in tea houses run by contacts of his, which we were happy to do as they were old and authentic. He tweaked the itinerary a bit, so for example we stayed at a guest house at the bottom of Ulleri steps on day one, rather than trying to get to Ulleri that night….
Chitwan was excellent and the staff at the safari lodge bent over backward to be as friendly and helpful as possible. The safari was excellent and we saw several one-horned rhino, some at very close quarters! The tigers remained elusive, which was not a surprise. The canoe trip down the river was fun and we did float passed one croc.
Bhaktapur was a revelation as well. The feel of the ancient city and the overwhelming number of ancient buildings was amazing. The guesthouse was a great place to finish the trip. With the benefit of hindsight, my only regret is that we should have had 2 nights at Chitwan and 2 nights at the Bhaktapur guesthouse…
Overall we had a wonderful time but we know we barely scratched the surface. We will have to return to Nepal again in the future to see more of both the wonderful mountains and the medieval cities.
Very many thanks for all your patience over the two and a half years it has taken to bring this family adventure to fruition.
Family C (with a child aged 7)
Travelled Easter 2022
Hi Charlotte. Thanks for your email, we had a wonderful trip, and really enjoyed our time in Nepal. It really struck us that everywhere we went we were told they’d seen less than half a dozen western tourists in the last few years, and clearly are in desperate need of the tourist dollar returning asap. Lots of happy memories. I’m very happy to be an advocate for Nepal.
A quick rundown that might be handy:
– Our guide and driver in Kathmandu were great, the sights were fascinating, and we got a good insight into all sorts of daily life for Nepalis there.
– Pokhara – Nice hotel, nothing fancy, but perfectly good. Location was great, nice places to walk to for drinks and dinner. All good. We loved the Momo making, and learnt loads from the Tibetan lady teaching us, and couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
– Trekking – wonderful. The guide and porters were fantastic. Couldn’t have asked for the guide to be better with our son, who instantly declared him as his new best friend, and they spent most of the time walking together, and playing ball at the lodges.
– Bandipur – a long drive, but well worth it. Lovely old property and a nice chance to unwind and chill a bit after the trek. Nice places to eat and meet locals, and the family room is highly recommended.
Rafting – so much fun. Really enjoyed it, and absolutely no problems with a little one, probably only grade 1-2 rapids in a handful of places, otherwise a gentle river cruise. The campsite was great, but for the bug/spider/snake phobic might just be a little too much. It really was very wild nature!
– Chitwan – beautiful. What wonderful accommodation, and really enjoyed the new year celebrations there too. They were considerate too – putting us as far from the celebration as possible so we could choose to be involved in it or not. The guide we had for the trip was excellent, adding loads of local understanding and flavour in a range of activities – going and playing with baby goats in a local’s garden was our son’s highlight, for us the safari and seeing Rhino, Ghirial and even a Tiger was ours! The lodge seemed to have a planned schedule for their visitors so they would get a range of experiences, and we were delighted that they accommodated our ask for an extra game drive. For seasoned safari travellers, it’s not the morning and sundown safari they might be used to, as Chitwan needs you out by sundown, but they demonstrated real flexibility, so worth chatting through the itinerary at the start and asking for any changes you might want. Great service, facilities and accommodation, couldn’t recommend highly enough.
Cowley Family (with children aged 9 and 12)
Travelled Christmas 2019
Hi Helene – Nepal was truly stunning and we were very well looked after by your agents. Everything worked like clockwork apart from the weather on Christmas day. Fog closed Pokhara Airport so we travelled by car instead. 7 hours rather than 25 minutes, but hey that happens sometimes! We cut short our trek by a night as we didn’t expect the weather to be so cold. However still covered the distance. The children really enjoyed it though! Chitwan was very special and we were lucky to see a rhino up close and personal. Any suggestions about a summer and another Christmas adventure, we are all ears.
Family L (with children aged 13 and 15)
Travelled October Half Term 2019
Dear Helene – All the arrangements went smoothly and our drivers were all really helpful. Thanks for all the planning. Our favourite hotel was the one in Kathmandu. The people were lovely the room layout was perfect and it was great to have the square right on our doorstep. Our guides were great, especially Dipa in Kathmandu and Indre the trekking guide.
We loved the trekking… The first and third Tea Houses were our favourites and the third day of walking – Ghorepani to Ghandruk – the most beautiful.
The children were a bit nonplussed by Bandipur but it was a lovely place. The hotel had something of Fawlty Towers about it but the people were lovely and roped us in to their Diwali celebrations.
The rafting was brilliant and were particularly impressed with the meals they rustled up. Not sure we were as organised packing wise as for trekking but we had a great time.
We saw two rhinos in Chitwan and loved Tigerland. Our guide was great… I was terrified on the river safari but no-one else was and we saw lots of both types of crocodile. It was the perfect time of day for it and we also saw some beautiful birds.
Bristoll Family (with child aged 12)
Travelled Easter 2019
Hi Liddy – Just a quick email to firstly thank you for all your help in making our recent trip such a memorable one. I know that M has spoken to you but we thought we would just confirm in writing our feedback. Overall excellent, great value for money, would definitely recommend to others, in fact already have and will be using your services again.
Kathmandu – All excellent, the 2-day was itinerary was perfect we saw all the things we wanted. The hotel was excellent, if we ever returned we would probably look for a hotel located in Thamel to be in the thick of things.
The journey to Bhaktapur was made even better by our guide Dilip taking us to the festival of colour celebrations at a local village. An absolute amazing experience, we were treated like local celebrities and invited into a local house and offered drinks and food.
Dhulikel – the lodge resort was good, excellent views. A large group was staying whilst we were there so the A La Carte menu was not available which was ok for 2 days. The Homestay visit was great as was the cycling, wouldn’t recommend cycling for any younger than A, so 12, simply because parts of the journey were on very busy roads.
Flight to Pokhara was good, hotel excellent. (Got an upgrade to a suite, which A loved!) Day trip in Pokhara very informative. Trekking was amazing, we changed the itinerary slightly, fantastic views, very special.
Bandipur – Great hotel, good for some R&R after trekking.
Rafting – Was a highlight, especially the camping, great time, brilliant guide. Very professional outfit.
Chitwan – what can we say… fantastic on every level. The morning boat trip with the full buffet breakfast on the bank of the river watching Rhino’s will stay in our memories for a long time.
Feeney Family (with children aged 13 and 14)
Travelled February 2019
Hi Charlotte – We had a wonderful holiday. It all worked very smoothly and we were very impressed with the service from your colleagues in Nepal… we were very happy with all the staff, with particular mention going to Yubraj, the trekking guide, who greatly enhanced the boys experience trekking, and our Nepalese driver, who drove very carefully at all times and was a reassuring presence throughout… Thank you for your help in organising what has been a fantastic holiday.
Arlidge Family (with children aged 7 and 9)
Travelled Christmas / New Year 2018/19
Hi Kelly – We had a great trip thanks. We’d specially like to commend our guide at the beginning of our trip, Deepa. She was fantastic with the boys, we couldn’t have had anyone better. I would highly recommend her. Thanks for your help. We wouldn’t have been brave enough to go without your organisation!
We enjoyed the whole trip and didn’t have any real issues. The bikes at the Chitwan were too big for the boys, adults only really, and it was the wrong season for elephant washing but we enjoyed the ride.
We’re feeling much more intrepid now having gone! I would recommend Nepal to anyone. I’m probably biased but travelling there with kids was incredibly easy for us. We’re looking forward to going back in a couple of years and trekking properly!
Bromhead Family (with children aged 13 and 14)
Travelled Christmas 2018 – Nepal with 3 days in Oman
Hi Charlotte – We had a wonderful holiday – hard to believe that a week ago we were watching the desert sunset at Wahiba Sands ! It all worked very smoothly and we were very impressed with the service in Nepal.
…we were very happy with the experienced professional guide and service, although a little more information in advance (e.g. they did supply wet suits, sandals were the most appropriate shoes to wear etc) would have been helpful…
I have just submitted the review sent by RT, which presumably will come to you. As I said in the review we were very happy with all the staff, with particular mention going to Yubraj, the trekking guide, who greatly enhanced the boys experience trekking, and our Nepalese driver, who drove very carefully at all times and was a reassuring presence throughout.
Combining Barauli Homestay and Tiger Tops worked really well (best to do the homestay first) – I had not realised when we made the plan quite how close they are geographically. But one night at Tiger Tops was certainly enough to get all the elephant experiences. This included an early morning elephant ride in the mist on the day of departure. The staff there could not have been more helpful including the owner, Kristjan, and the food was fantastic…
Thank you for your help in organising what has been a fantastic holiday.
Fawcett Family (with children aged 6, 7 and 9)
Travelled Easter 2018
Hi Helene. We had an amazing holiday and thank you for your help arranging it all. The arrangements worked really smoothly and the different drivers/guides/hotels worked seamlessly. It was also really good having the little local mobile phone that RMT gave us, with Arjoo at the end of the line. She sorted out a couple of minor things for us very quickly so that worked really well. The holiday had a great mixture of relaxing / walking / sightseeing / meeting local people, and it was a really good balance of activities from the children’s perspective as well as for us.
The hotels were really good. Our favourites were the Old Inn Bandipur, Country Lodge Hotel (Nargokot?) and Traditional Comfort Hotel. All well judged to be comfortable without being OTT.
There were only 2 negatives: we had 4 days at the Chitwan Homestay but this was too long, as most of the activities were very short in duration. We really enjoyed the jeep safari but there was a lot of hanging around at the Community Lodge in between activities. The other thing, minor, was that the afternoon internal flight was very delayed (apparently the afternoon flights almost always are). These things didn’t detract much from the holiday but I thought I’d mention them.
Best wishes and thanks again.
Jones Family (with children aged 8 and 10)
Travelled Christmas/New Year 2018
Returning to Nepal after 24 years with our children aged 8 and 10 (who’d neither flown nor been outside of Europe!), we were hoping that those backpacking experiences weren’t remembered through rose-tinted glasses and that all the many arrangements made by Stubborn Mule would go smoothly. They must have instructed their local colleagues well since throughout our trip the staff, vehicles and accommodation were all great.
Starting in Kathmandu, we had two fantastic days in this crazy, dusty city – with a lovely guide who knew so much about the Hindu/Buddhist religions and all the sites we visited. Our children found her very engaging too and it was a great couple of days spent with her.
Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Kathmandu Durbar square, Patan Durbur square and Bhaktapur were a vibrant mix of colour, noise and incredible sculptures, and although the 2015 earthquake had damaged some of the historic buildings and destroyed others, the Nepalese are working hard to restore them and it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the area.
In Kathmandu we stayed at the Traditional Comfort Hotel at the start and end of our trip, which is a lovely and welcoming hotel in a quieter area than Thamel, but only about 15-20 mins walk away. There’s also a fab bakery just as you come out of the lane to the hotel, useful for lunch snacks or just a tasty sweet treat! Away from the city our first trek was in the Kathmandu valley, which was a nice trekking introduction for the children and took us about 4-5hrs each day at a gentle pace (being quite warm with an average altitude of 1700m ensured we weren’t rushing up the hills). On the first day we walked from the ancient Changu Narayan temple to Nagarkot Farmhouse (strangely run but in a beautiful setting and providing excellent food). The second day took us through terraced fields with great panoramic views for much of the day until we descended down to the bustling Dhulikhel. On both days our guide was always looking out for the children on the steeper sections and helped out as much as he could with any lunch & accommodation arrangements.
After that we flew to Pokhara, which avoided a long day on the road and rewarded us with superb mountain views on the 25-minute flight. A half day guided tour of the local sights was enjoyable, especially the World Peace Pagoda and the visitor centre display at the Tibetan refugee camp. After a relaxing day to ourselves in Pokhara we met up again with our guide and were introduced to two porters for our second trek. The 3-day trek was quite easy going for the mountain views gained – staying at Australia camp instead of the prettier but slightly lower Pothana rewarded us with stunning sunset and sunrise views of the Annurpurnas and Machapuchare. The accommodation was basic as expected but comfortable and the walking was very enjoyable, with the children having a lot of fun with our guide/porters. It was also impossible to tire of the views or the Himalayan vultures endlessly circling up through the valleys.
Cities, mountains and finally jungle. After finishing the trek, the journey from Pokhara to Chitwan was pleasantly broken up by staying at the Old Inn at the lovely hilltop town of Bandipur. We wished we could have spent longer here, both at the Old Inn and exploring and relaxing in the town. But then Chitwan rounded off our incredible trip completely. We stayed for 3 nights in a comfortable riverside lodge at the Jungle Villa Resort and were kept busy with riverside bird spotting walks, an elephant ride, cultural dance show, village walking tour, a short dug-out canoe trip and visit to a crocodile conservation/breeding centre, a couple of informative talks on the National Park and the elephants and a jeep tour. We were amazed at the amount of bird species that the resort guides helped us spot. It was also great just watching the crocodiles, deer and sometimes rhino from one of several viewing areas at the resort, either during the daytime or another sunset photo opportunity. The food at the resort was buffet style, with the Nepalese food usually winning over the western style food, and the staff and management genuinely seemed to be doing the best for their guests. For us we were also lucky enough to spot two of the illusive Bengal tiger on the jeep safari – Wow!
Highlights of the trip:
So many, but the noise, colour & smell of the cities, the Himalayan scenery (especially the Annapurnas at sunrise & sunset from Australia Camp), Chitwan for the diverse bird and animal life, and not forgetting the smiles and warmth of all the Nepalese people we met.
– We should have booked flights earlier so we could have avoided flying Oman air via Muscat. On the outbound and return journey they were delayed that we missed our connecting flights (The kids handled it well considering it resulted in 6hr delay on the way and 12hr delay on the return journey, with complete chaos each time at Muscat airport trying to get onto other “full” flights!!!).
– Entry visas were easy to process at Kathmandu airport
– Water: we each used a “Water to go” 75cl filtered bottle, which we used for 90% of our drinking water and avoided using or buying any bottled water: In Nepal as well as a lot of the world, recycling (especially plastic) is practically non-existent.
– We enjoyed an extra day in Pokhara, and over the Christmas/New Year period there is a festival with the Lakeside road closed to traffic, and night and day there was lots going on to see or just wandering amongst the locals, their families, backpackers and other tourists all combined to create a great atmosphere.
– Breaking up the drive from Pokhara to Chitwan by staying overnight at the hilltop town of Bandipur. We wished we’d had a whole day or more to wander and relax here.
– We were pleased we’d booked internal flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Chitwan to Kathmandu – saving both time and avoiding two long, bumpy car journeys.
– Binoculars for Chitwan!
– We visited Nepal during December/January and the night temperatures on the treks and even in Chitwan were chilly, so take plenty of warm clothes and don’t be afraid to ask for extra blankets!
Family C (mum with children aged 8 and 9)
Travelled Easter 2017
Helene – we had an absolutely brilliant time in Nepal thanks so, so much. All the guides were great, drivers safe and reliable, and accommodation was fab. It was just amazing to go through the trip without having to worry about things at all as everyone was so lovely and reliable and all ran so smoothly.
Re Kathmandu the Traditional Comfort Hotel was lovely, staff all super friendly and helpful and roof terrace was a great place to chill out. We found it an easy walk to the Thamel district and easily got rickshaws back both times we went which the boys loved. The Garden of Dreams is on the way between the hotel and the Thamel district and is great fun for a tranquil chill out, some chipmunk spotting and tea and cake particularly at the end of one’s trip so do recommend it to others.
The Panauti homestay was great fun and our host and his family were really really welcoming. It was lovely to have a wander round the town.
Flight to Pokhara was brilliant with amazing views.
Hotel Bouganvillea in Pokhara was again very welcoming and a great location if a little soulless. Guide was great although I would say Devi’s Falls isn’t very interesting – far more fun to wander round the town.
The Ts’al Sakya Monastery was an absolutely great place to visit – the staff gave us a real welcome and insight into the monks’ lives and the student monks were really friendly. Was also nice as the young monks seemed really happy and were clearly getting a great education. I mucked up as I hadn’t taken mineral water there, nor iodine (despite your trip notes my fault…)… no bottled water was available and the boys had to have the drinking water of the monastery and both ended up with dodgy tums – easily dealt with but worth noting so others are a bit more prepared than me. The food is basic but it is such a great place to stay we absolutely loved it – the highlight for the boys was that when we left our room unattended monkeys tried to break in to steal our snacks – we had been pre warned and so had locked our room other travellers hadn’t so the monkeys had a feast.
The trekking was absolutely brilliant and very easy (boys could probably have managed a bit more). The tea house accommodation was lovely and Bikram and our porters couldn’t have done more for us. It was so amazing the boys are set on doing the full circuit when they are old enough (but they have said I am not allowed to join them….)
Bandipur is beautiful and we loved the old inn – it really is an ideal setting with loads of wooden carving, great places to sit and hidden nooks and crannies for boys to explore – although the staff were not quite as friendly as elsewhere.
The rafting was great if a little terrifying in places and definitely recommend the camping overnight. Our rafting guide was really good, fun and accommodating and food they prepared etc was brilliant. May perhaps be better to go with a bigger rafting company as we were the only ones who camped and the only family in the raft (were only six of us in the boat in total) whereas other companies seemed to have bigger groups with more families – but that said I couldn’t fault the rafting company we went with in any other way.
The drive to Chitwan was hellish in that we were stuck in traffic so we were essentially in the car from 9am until 5pm. I think there are long-term road works, which means that this is a regular problem. However the car was comfortable and safe, our driver made sure we stopped if needed and seemed to know the places with nice food / toilets and by this time the boys were wiped out so seemed thankful to sit and gaze at the amazing traffic of Nepal.
The Barauli Community homestay was great fun. We loved the fishing. The jeep safari was a big highlight and our guide Tek knew so much about the animals, bird, plants trees etc and was also great at spotting things – definitely ask for him if possible. We declined the elephants and instead did an ox cart ride round the village but I would have preferred to do an extra jeep safari instead as it was the driving in the park itself that we loved. I would suggest trying to arrange that beforehand as it did seem a little chaotic when I tried to arrange that when we were there and we didn’t manage it. The boat trip down the river was just fabulous and we got close up views of crocodiles (although we were told that often people don’t see that much on the boat trip – however would still recommend it). We also loved going for a cycle round the village and I loved walking round the village as you get a real insight into village life.
The drive back to Kathmandu was again very long – all day – as even though there wasn’t a traffic jam on that occasion it is a much longer distance. It may be worth flying back as if you got stuck in traffic as well (as some others did) then it really would be way too long a journey for kids. We left at 5.30am as others we had seen stuck in traffic had left at 7am however I think if you are travelling on a day with traffic jams then no matter what time you left you would be stuck for many hours during a journey that already takes all day.
The Neydo Monastery has a lovely hotel and the food is amazing however it didn’t give such an insight into monastic life and we didn’t have as much interaction with the monks as we did at the first monastery so I am definitely glad we went to both. It is more like staying in a modern hotel that is next to a monastery but the food is definitely worth it. It is a lovely easy walk to Pharping across a range of fields so would definitely recommend doing that (walk would take an adult about 25 minutes – it took us about an hour each way but that was with a lot of dawdling) – there isn’t that much to actually see in Pharping but is still interesting to wander round and the walk alone is worth it.
All in all the trip was amazing and a few people have asked for your details after hearing about it.
Highlight for the boys? The fact that I let them drink coca cola for the first time ever! Highlights for me are too many to mention.
Browne Family (with one child aged 16)
Travelled Easter 2016
Thanks so much for arranging an amazing trek. We had a superb time and are pleased to report that we all managed to make it to Everest Base Camp. I found it quite hard and was very pleased that I’d spent lots of time in the gym beforehand. However the boys found it a breeze and both waltzed up and had to wait for me quite a lot. Sundeep was brilliant though, and wouldn’t let them race too far ahead so I wasn’t left too far behind.
The teahouses were better than I remember from 20 years ago and we even had hot water a couple of times. I thought I was going to lose lots of weight but with massive portions of stir-fried rice, porridge and noodles every day, somehow that didn’t happen!
We also loved Kathmandu – it was terrible to see the pictures and hear about the devastation after the earthquake but everyone we met were desperate for the tourists to come back.
Walton Family (with three children aged 7, 5 and 3)
Travelled Easter 2014
We had a great time in Nepal. The service was excellent and our mountain guide was a star. Thank you.
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