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active 16 hours ago

Mads Mathiasen

A veteran in the adventure travel business Mads has organized and led trips in Turkey, Morocco, Tibet, India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Australia and Sri Lanka but Nepal remains his true love, where he spends his time trekking, biking and guiding people through Kathmandu’s narrow alleys.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Anywhere off the beaten path in the Himalayas"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Born in Denmark with an unbroken lineage to the Vikings, Mads wasn’t the most likely person to become a mountain man of the Himalayas. After high school he spent a year traveling South Africa, then continued to Asia and fell in love with Nepal. What was to be a one-year trip turned into a new life and adopted home. He began his career as a mountain bike and hiking guide in the Kathmandu valley and the years flew by. Soon he found himself guiding and arranging trips across the Himalayas from Ladakh to Bhutan reveling in meeting local people and learning about their cultures."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"There are so many I don't know where to begin..."

Featured trips & expertise

Early morning in Chitwan National Park

Best of Chitwan - 5 Days

While Nepal is known as a country of hills and mountains, many visitors are pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Terai, the lowlands bordering India. The Chitwan National Park is a jewel on the Terai. It has run a very successful one-horned rhinoceros breeding program, and visitors on safari are almost guaranteed to spot one of the spectacular animals, as well as other wildlife. This tour gives you time to fully explore the highlights of Chitwan, while staying in some luxurious--as well as unique--accommodation.

Putha Churen Himal and Dhaulagiri Himal

Dhorpatan Trek - 11-Day Itinerary

The Dhorpatan trek is a seriously off-the-beaten-path experience that isn’t too challenging. The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies a day’s drive west of Pokhara in the shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri. Trekking here will give you the chance to spot some rare wildlife as well as views of Nepal’s Western Himalaya that few travelers experience.

Return to Langtang - 8-Day Trek

The Langtang Valley has long been a favorite trek due to its expansive views, interesting Tamang culture, relatively gentle pace and accessibility from Kathmandu. The 2015 earthquake and subsequent landslide had an enormous effect on the region, but aid and reconstruction have recently reopened this valley to trekking again. Not only is it still a beautiful trek, your visit will also provide vital support for local livelihoods.

Nar Ghedi Monastery

Nar Phu Valley Trek - 9 Days

The Nar Phu Valley trek is a real Himalayan wilderness experience that is as unforgettable as it is spectacular. Tucked between the more visited Annapurna and Manaslu regions, Nar Phu is a true hidden gem that offers trekkers a rare opportunity to explore unspoiled valleys that feature a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture.

Photo by Mads Matthiessen

Balthali Village Trek via Namo Buddha and Panauti

This three-day trek starts just a short drive from Kathmandu city, on the edge of the valley rim. It passes through small farming villages, where you can experience the lifestyle of local people, along with lush green forests, ancient temples and terraced farmland. Add to this the stunning snowy peaks visible in the distance, and this is the perfect introduction to trekking in the Himalayas!

Recent trip reviews for Mads

5 day pikey peak trek, Nepal - Nov 15 - Nov 19, 2017

Traveler: Max F. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Wow! Where do I begin?

My wife and I were a little short of time, having only around 8 days in Nepal but not wanting to miss out on the full Nepal experience; namely trekking, Himalayan views and the fascinating culture that the country has to offer.

Mads was immediately able to assist and his expertise and quick response time made it very easy to quickly establish how we could maximise our short time in Nepal. His obvious knowledge and experience was a reassurance in itself that we would... read more

Wow! Where do I begin?

My wife and I were a little short of time, having only around 8 days in Nepal but not wanting to miss out on the full Nepal experience; namely trekking, Himalayan views and the fascinating culture that the country has to offer.

Mads was immediately able to assist and his expertise and quick response time made it very easy to quickly establish how we could maximise our short time in Nepal. His obvious knowledge and experience was a reassurance in itself that we would be making the most of our limited time.

Under Mad's recommendation, we opted for the 5 day Solu Trek and this did not disappoint. It combined our request for Sherpa culture, Buddhist monasteries and of course, the humbling views of Mount Everest itself.

Amanda provided us with a very warm and friendly welcome when we arrived and took the time to answer all of our queries and concerns as well as making sure we were well equipped and happy with every detail of the trip.

Our guide Tendu was absolutely amazing. His insight into his homeland, his courtesy and his professionalism were first class. His attentiveness to our absolute well being (along with his patience) made the whole experience very special, not to mention him being a thoroughly nice guy.

Our porter Mingmar was also a gent in every way and his service was also of the highest order.

Overall we had an unforgettable experience of Nepal with Himalayan Trails, Mads and his team are obviously doing something right. We got to see a very special and relatively less touristy area of Nepal that offered us everything we could have hoped for and more. Thank you so much to the team for a lifetime of special memories.

Gokyo ri trek - the best of khumbu, Nepal - Oct 28 - Nov 13, 2017

Traveler: David S. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

We had a fantastic time on our trek to Gokyo Ri and over Renjo La. From the time we landed in Kathmandu we felt safe and very well cared for. Naresh was a wonderfully thoughtful guide and we couldn't have asked for a better experience trekking through the mountains with him. The views of Mt. Everest and the other 8,000m peaks from Renjo La were even better than advertised. The lodges in Lungden and Thame were especially comfortable and welcoming, with the best Sherpa stew and momos in the region.

Nar, phu and annapurna circuit with tilicho, Nepal - Nov 2 - Nov 20, 2017

Traveler: Janet T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Mads was very responsive when I was in the process of booking my trip. My guide and porter, Chhiri and Suppa (sp?) were a 10/10 and I will most definitely request their services in the future. Chhiri's knowledge of the mountains were above and beyond expectations; he was able to provide the most amazing and memorable trek and I cannot thank him enough for my experience.

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Nov 6 - Nov 25, 2017

Traveler: Peng S. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Everything about this trip, from planning to the actual trip itself, was wonderful.

Mads was extremely responsive to my every questions. I gave him the date range and what I wanted to do, and he planned everything else for me.

Our guide for the trip, Chhepal, was very experienced, knowledgeable, caring, and fun to hangout with (especially important since our trip was 20 days long). He took care of all the details, from airport check-in, finding a capable porter for our entire trip, to... read more

Everything about this trip, from planning to the actual trip itself, was wonderful.

Mads was extremely responsive to my every questions. I gave him the date range and what I wanted to do, and he planned everything else for me.

Our guide for the trip, Chhepal, was very experienced, knowledgeable, caring, and fun to hangout with (especially important since our trip was 20 days long). He took care of all the details, from airport check-in, finding a capable porter for our entire trip, to finding tea houses every night, so we didn't have to fight the crowd or worry about anything. During the trip, I developed diarrhea. Chhepal had a medicine box with all the necessary medicine to help me recover. Even though we lost a day to resting, he was able to rearrange our trip schedule so we ended up visiting all of the places on our original itinerary.

Towards the end of the trip, after speaking with other travelers we met on the trek and hearing their horror stories, from terrible guides and porters to getting lost in glacier crossings, we have a new appreciation for the services offered by Kim Kim, Himalayan trails, and our guide and porter. I will definitely use Kim Kim again for my future trips and Mads for my future Nepal treks.

Honeymoon, Nepal - Nov 6 - Nov 17, 2017

Traveler: Sean D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

We loved our trip! It was a great balance between tea houses and camping in remote areas. The views were spectacular and our guide, Gelu, adjusted our itinerary to suit our hiking speed (faster than initially planned for). The porters were knowledgeable and helpful the entire way and everyone seemed to be having a genuinely good time which put us at ease and made things even better!

2 weeks in november, Nepal - Nov 4 - Nov 18, 2017

Traveler: Liz R. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Everything was perfect using Kim Kim. We had 3 guides in different parts of our trip plus a trip to Tiger Tops at Chitwan elephant camp. Rajeev was our first guide and we were impressed with how thorough his knowledge of the village and history was. Suman was our guide through our trekking stage and he went above and beyond. It was during this part of the trip that my husband wasn’t feeling very well to handle the full trekking days. Suman adjusted our plans and made sure my husband’s health... read more

Everything was perfect using Kim Kim. We had 3 guides in different parts of our trip plus a trip to Tiger Tops at Chitwan elephant camp. Rajeev was our first guide and we were impressed with how thorough his knowledge of the village and history was. Suman was our guide through our trekking stage and he went above and beyond. It was during this part of the trip that my husband wasn’t feeling very well to handle the full trekking days. Suman adjusted our plans and made sure my husband’s health was of primary concern. For this I am extremely grateful. Our last guide was Pratikshya and it was wonderful to see a woman guide in this male dominated field. There are some things that just need a woman’s touch and she provided that plus very detailed knowledge of the villages we went to.

Our time in Chitwan was priceless with Tiger Tops. Their values regarding the wildlife and how they particularly took care of the elephants was outstanding. Our personal guide/assistant was Bhim and he made sure we got to take part in all aspects of elephant maintenance and care. They took excellent care of us and the animals. Cannot say enough of how much this portion on the trip meant to me personally.

Keep up the good work!

2 weeks in november, Nepal - Nov 4 - Nov 18, 2017

Traveler: Fred R. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Thanks for helping to make our trip to Nepal an amazing trip of a lifetime!

Three passes trek, Nepal - Oct 20 - Nov 10, 2017

Traveler: Klaus W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

My experience was highly positive. I enjoyed the unique high country of Nepal immensely as well as the people I met both with Himalayan Trails and those along the trek. I was impressed with the wide range of ages represented by the trekkers and at times dismayed with the sheer numbers. The highlights for me were the climb of Chukhung Che and the trek over Kongma La pass and the Khumba glacier. Enjoying the trek with my son and brother was particularly gratifying and motivating. A highlight... read more

My experience was highly positive. I enjoyed the unique high country of Nepal immensely as well as the people I met both with Himalayan Trails and those along the trek. I was impressed with the wide range of ages represented by the trekkers and at times dismayed with the sheer numbers. The highlights for me were the climb of Chukhung Che and the trek over Kongma La pass and the Khumba glacier. Enjoying the trek with my son and brother was particularly gratifying and motivating. A highlight was meeting up again with Peter in Dzongla after he had to go back down to Pheriche from Chukhung. My son and I had little trouble with the treks or the altitude, which I ascribe to the great pacing set by our guide Ngawong. The porters Lhakpa and Dorjee were helpful, cheerful and worked hard to carry our "too much stuff".

The only slightly negative commentary on the trek was the time duration after going over Renjo pass. Its length was constrained by our return flight to the states (which had already been delayed by one day by China Southern). In my estimation the trek could be shortened by 2-3 days still leaving time for shopping/sightseeing in Kathmandu, if desired. We ended up staying three nights in Namche on the way back and 3 days in Kathmandu. Admittedly it gave us time to relax and hang out but we had already been gone >3 weeks and were ready to go home.

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Oct 19 - Nov 7, 2017

Traveler: Christine W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Kamchha was a very good guide, very knowledgeable. Unfortunately he had to leave the trek a few days early because of a medical issue, which is understandable, but then he was replaced by someone who didn't speak English. I had a difficult time at the airport trying to fly out of Lukla back to Kathmandu. The Nepal Himalayas are absolutely amazing, incredible scenery all around. I don't know how they choose what places to stay at though and I wish there was a better price breakdown for... read more

Kamchha was a very good guide, very knowledgeable. Unfortunately he had to leave the trek a few days early because of a medical issue, which is understandable, but then he was replaced by someone who didn't speak English. I had a difficult time at the airport trying to fly out of Lukla back to Kathmandu. The Nepal Himalayas are absolutely amazing, incredible scenery all around. I don't know how they choose what places to stay at though and I wish there was a better price breakdown for each day. Had to sleep in a tent in freezing temperatures because it was not booked in advance.

Really liked Aditya, who helped pick me up from the airport twice, and speaks good English and is super nice and diligent.

Needed more info on what to expect with the weather and what clothing to bring
Would have liked a breakdown on prices as compared to other companies/guides, I paid quite a deal more than other people did
Otherwise he was very helpful and the trip was awesome

Three passes trek, Nepal - Oct 20 - Nov 10, 2017

Traveler: Peter W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The trip was very well organized and we were in good hands. The trek did seem longer than it needed to be... we had a lot of free time on our hands.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Peter, thanks for your review and for trekking with us! I am glad you had a good trek and enjoyed it. You may have had a bit of free time on your hands but as you also saw in your own group, sometime part of the group struggle with acclimatisation and we need to build in time for everyone to acclimatise well and even for someone to have an off day, so that a long trek like this becomes possible to do for everyone in the group. Many people even build in more time than you had to explore... read more

Hello Peter, thanks for your review and for trekking with us! I am glad you had a good trek and enjoyed it. You may have had a bit of free time on your hands but as you also saw in your own group, sometime part of the group struggle with acclimatisation and we need to build in time for everyone to acclimatise well and even for someone to have an off day, so that a long trek like this becomes possible to do for everyone in the group. Many people even build in more time than you had to explore up high and I don't think any of the time up there could be consider wasted as there are so many little peaks to climb or valleys to explore. Thanks again for trekking with us and we hope to see you back in Nepal sometime. Thanks, Mads

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Oct 16 - Oct 30, 2017

Traveler: Joel K. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our guide was amazing and everything was very simple to set up

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Joel, thanks for your positive review and photos, looks like you had amazingly clear weather. Thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you in Nepal again in the future. Thanks, Mads

Family hiking trip in himalayas, Nepal - Oct 22 - Oct 31, 2017

Traveler: Bard L. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

No trip halfway around the world could ever be perfect. If you want perfect, maybe go to Monaco, not Nepal. I started working online with Kimkim in the early spring of 2017 to book a trip for my family to Nepal with no prior knowledge of where to go or how to get it done. The Kimkim website first impressed me with the large number of trekking options available. It was a bit overwhelming to the Nepal novice, but as I exchanged information with Mads at Kimkim, he patiently helped me come up... read more

No trip halfway around the world could ever be perfect. If you want perfect, maybe go to Monaco, not Nepal. I started working online with Kimkim in the early spring of 2017 to book a trip for my family to Nepal with no prior knowledge of where to go or how to get it done. The Kimkim website first impressed me with the large number of trekking options available. It was a bit overwhelming to the Nepal novice, but as I exchanged information with Mads at Kimkim, he patiently helped me come up with an itinerary. My family of 5 wanted to combine trekking and sightseeing during our trip. All of us are in reasonably good physical condition, but we came with no real experience with hardcore trekking, mountain climbing, high altitude activities, etc. Kimkim built a trip plan that took all of this into account, along with our preferences for lodging along the way.

We just got back from our trip and all of us agree that Kimkim delivered on everything we asked for. To start with, the guides assigned to our family were outstanding. These were some very smart, impressive people. They taught us a lot about Nepal and made a huge difference in overall experience. Every step of the way, the local people assigned to my family were attentive, patient and friendly. We really couldn’t have asked for more.

I’ll be honest, the trekking was close to the limits of what we could handle, but that is not a complaint. We expected hiking around Nepal to be physically demanding and strenuous and it most certainly was. If you’re not in good physical condition, you need to be very thoughtful about signing up for this type of activity. The trekking route we took in the Khumbu region was physically challenging, often dangerous and busy with other people (and animals) headed in both directions. We loved every minute of it. A fascinating, beautiful place. My aching knees (get trekking poles) and altitude-induced headaches were a small price to pay for the experience. At the end of our 5 day trekking schedule, we were tired, sore, cold and sorry that it was over. I would have gladly gone on for another 5 days (assuming my knees held up). Great, great, great experience.

Back in Kathmandu, our guide took us to more amazing places than I can remember to wrap up our trip. It really was an almost perfect combination of trekking and cultural experience. I give Kimkim full credit for putting it all together for us.

It seems trivial to bitch about anything after such a great experience, but if you need proof I’m not an employee of the company, here is our list of grievances:
- We weren’t fully prepared for the possibility of flight delays getting out of Kathmandu into the mountains. It’s not that Kimkim didn’t warn us, we just didn’t pay much attention. We spent the better part of a day waiting for a flight because of bad weather. That was not fun. If I had it to do over again, I would either add another day or two to the trip to allow for this possibility or talk to Kimkim about hiring a helicopter to ensure you’ll get to your destination on time. Lesson learned.
- There’s no heat and often no hot water in the sleeping rooms, even in the more upscale lodges we booked. You realize pretty quickly that this is not unusual for Nepal. Bring the warm clothes Kimkim suggests and you’ll be fine. It wasn’t a big deal for me, but other members of the family were a bit more put off by this. You won’t always be comfortable, so just be prepared (thermal underwear helps a lot).
- Electricity is not easy to deliver to many places in Nepal, so it is generally dimly lit and downright dark in most of the place you’ll go. Bring your own lighting for reading if you think this will bother you.
- If a lodge advertises they have Wi-Fi Internet service, it doesn’t mean much. They may not have it at all or it may not be working when you arrive. You may go for several days without being able to contact friends and family back home. Just be prepared for this and unplug from the grid for a few days. Character-building. 
- Walking around Kathmandu is stressful. Some fun-loving Nepali decided it would be fun to run his motorcycle up the back of my leg a few times to mess with the tourist. I was not amused, but I kept myself under control (barely) and let him pass. You’ll need to be prepared for the chaos and traffic jams in Kathmandu and embrace them as part of the overall experience. There’s no avoiding it and it’s not a reason to stay in your hotel. Just get your game face on.

A few other comments: The food was great, we didn’t get sick, the people were generally very friendly and courteous, the airport is a bit of a hot mess and the prices are all cheap to very reasonable.

If you’re thinking of going to Nepal for the first time, all I can suggest is get yourself in good shape, practice being patient, bring all the cash you think you’ll need with you (don’t rely on ATM machines, credit cards generally worked fine) and use Kimkim to book your trip. They did a fantastic job for us and we can recommend them without any reservations.

Great trip and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thank you Mads, Pasang, Rajive and Raj. I hope to book another trip with you someday in the future.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Bard, thanks you so much for taking the time to give such a detailed review, this will really help other travelers coming prepare and know what to expect. Really happy it all worked out, as you say there are of course things like flights beyond our control and yes I probably should have offered you to fly a heli going up as well but I believe you had that offer made to you while waiting in the airport, we certainly had it prepared in case the flight didn't end up going.

I think your... read more

Hi Bard, thanks you so much for taking the time to give such a detailed review, this will really help other travelers coming prepare and know what to expect. Really happy it all worked out, as you say there are of course things like flights beyond our control and yes I probably should have offered you to fly a heli going up as well but I believe you had that offer made to you while waiting in the airport, we certainly had it prepared in case the flight didn't end up going.

I think your thoughts on the trekking is very correct, no matter how fit you are, the 3 first days are always really hard, then your body finds a rhythm and even though you are sore you still would like to go on trekking.

Thanks again for traveling with us and taking the time to do this review, we would love to see you in the Himalayas again, maybe Bhutan next time? Kind regards, Mads

Gokyo lakes +ebc, Nepal - Oct 8 - Oct 27, 2017

Traveler: christine N. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our guide, Naresh, was brilliant... Nothing was too much trouble and everyone else wanted him to be their guide. He knew where to get the best pictures and was always helpful, his English is really good and he was easy to understand. He always looked out for me and made sure I was okay and always made me eat lots of food.
I wouldn’t have wanted any other guide and would definitely want him to be my guide again if he would have me of course.

The trip Mads planned was exactly what I asked for... read more

Our guide, Naresh, was brilliant... Nothing was too much trouble and everyone else wanted him to be their guide. He knew where to get the best pictures and was always helpful, his English is really good and he was easy to understand. He always looked out for me and made sure I was okay and always made me eat lots of food.
I wouldn’t have wanted any other guide and would definitely want him to be my guide again if he would have me of course.

The trip Mads planned was exactly what I asked for with great views of Everest throughout but trying to stay away from the crowds. Mads always answered any questions in a timely manor and gave additional information.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Christine, thank you so much for your kind words about Naresh and yours truly! I am so glad you had a good trek and it was the right match for you in terms of views and getting away from the crowds. I am sure Naresh will be more than happy to trek with you again, so please do let us know when you are ready to start planning the next one and thanks for traveling with us! Mads

Trip to bhutan, Bhutan - Oct 2 - Oct 8, 2017

Traveler: Lynne N. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our guide Sangay went out of his way to provide us with the additional activities that we requested. This included visiting the Faculty of Traditional Medicine in Thiumpu, walking accross a suspension bridge, purchasing certain meditation items and some of Bhutan’s products (honey). This he managed despite our very full and busy schedule. The flight times were out of the control of the tour operators. The time of our booking was late due to a previous tour falling through and this restricted... read more

Our guide Sangay went out of his way to provide us with the additional activities that we requested. This included visiting the Faculty of Traditional Medicine in Thiumpu, walking accross a suspension bridge, purchasing certain meditation items and some of Bhutan’s products (honey). This he managed despite our very full and busy schedule. The flight times were out of the control of the tour operators. The time of our booking was late due to a previous tour falling through and this restricted the available flights at the optimal times. The flight times to and from Bhutan restricted the time and activities possible on the first and last day. This was disappointing because the other days were full of interesting and enjoyable activities and left us longing for more time.

Mads managed to put together a tour which packed in a lot despite the late notice. He was very responsive to requests and extremely prompt and thorough with communication and information.
Mads choice of accommodation suited us perfectly. He also organised, at very short notice, to swap a vesper for a Royal Enfield motorcycle when one of our group expressed a desire to ride one! I would not hesitate to use Mads again for a trip/holiday or to recommend him to others (which I have already done)

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your lovely review Lynne, it was great meeting all of you in Kathmandu! You time in Bhutan was a bit short but it is also good to leave something to come back for another time :-) Glad we could make this happen for you at the last minute it as and that you had a good time both in Bhutan and Nepal. Thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you in the Himalayas again soon. Mads.

Solu and khumbu trek, Nepal - Oct 1 - Oct 13, 2017

Traveler: Alejandra H. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The team of Himalayan trails was very helpful on planning, booking and solving problems that arouse in our trip. The few things that could have been better were may be, due to misunderstanding with our guide, but nothing really important! We appreciate so much that they did their best to make our trip possible and successful.

Mads was always very helpful! He answered our questions soon giving us good options and confidence.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for taking the time to write a trip review Ale. It is great that you had such a good time trekking with Martin and we will be looking forward to see you again when he is a bit older for some more trekking. Thanks for traveling with us. Mads

Ghandruk trek - scenic 3-4 day trek through the annapurna foothills, Nepal - Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2017

Traveler: Elizabeth M. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

We didn't need any cold weather clothes or sleeping bags; it was actually very warm. Maybe providing average temperature ranges for the time period when we were going would have been more helpful.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks you for your feedback Elizabeth, it was very nice meeting you in Kathmandu after your trip. Thanks you for traveling with us and we hope to see you in Nepal again. Thanks, Mads

Upper mustang, Nepal - Sep 3 - Sep 16, 2017

Traveler: Lisa D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our return trip to Nepal (after 30 + years) in September 2017 was unforgettable. We are so pleased to have found Kim Kim and to have worked with Mads. He was consistently patient and able to adjust our trip plan to our ultimate satisfaction. In Kathmandu, we were well taken care of by the guides and associates of Himalayan Trails, namely, Surendra, Pushpa, Raj and Rajiv. Our all day tour of Kathmandu with Rajiv was incredibly educational and literally life changing. We came across so many... read more

Our return trip to Nepal (after 30 + years) in September 2017 was unforgettable. We are so pleased to have found Kim Kim and to have worked with Mads. He was consistently patient and able to adjust our trip plan to our ultimate satisfaction. In Kathmandu, we were well taken care of by the guides and associates of Himalayan Trails, namely, Surendra, Pushpa, Raj and Rajiv. Our all day tour of Kathmandu with Rajiv was incredibly educational and literally life changing. We came across so many incredible people and places that we hold that as the first memorable day, of many, of the trip!

Our next adventures involved getting to, and traveling in, Upper and Lower Mustang. Having travelled and lived in Asia we understand the need to be patient, adjust expectations and go with the flow. Because of this attitude and our confidence in, and respect for, our Sherpa guides, Mingma and his 21 year old son Dorje, we were able to relax and enjoy the adventures of traveling in a remote and dramatically beautiful region. Some of our favorite parts of returning to the Himalayas were simply waking up in Mustang everyday, enjoying the high altitude scenery, learning about the people and places, including Mingma and Dorje (with whom we readily felt akin), eating the delicious Tibetan food (most often in the kitchen!) and visiting the Gompas (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) during the Full Moon Ceremonies! Tears of joy filled my eyes at the beauty and devotion intrinsic in the intricate and colorful sand mandalas, the heartfelt chanting of the monks young and old, and the conversations we had with them while standing in the ancient structures while surrounded by sacred statues of a living tradition.

We finished the trip off with a few days in the Terai, down at Chitwan, enjoying the elephants, rhinos, gharials, hog deer, and birds galore!
A wonderful trip. We recommend Mads, Himalayan Trails and Kim Kim whole-heartedly.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Lisa thanks you so much, all the wonderful photos and the kind words! It was a pleasure to help you plan this and I know our entire team enjoyed hosting you in Nepal. Mustang is such a special place, so it is great to hear how much you appreciated being there.

Once we get over the main rush of the season, I will make sure you pass on your feedback to everyone involved in your trip and we hope to see you in Nepal or at least the Himalayas soon. Thanks, Mads

Mountain biking in the lower mustang region, Nepal - Jun 19 - Jul 5, 2017

Traveler: Mark L. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Well, perfect is hard to achieve! Overall, the trip was once in a lifetime and an epic experience. The one critique we had was regarding the stay in Yara. Though we liked the austere tea houses along the way, Yara felt different. Not sure what the difference was from the others. One thing--the guest house was run by a teenage girl--the parent owners were on vacation, perhaps. She wasn't very helpful. They village vibe seemed much more unfriendly than all the rest. We understand that... read more

Well, perfect is hard to achieve! Overall, the trip was once in a lifetime and an epic experience. The one critique we had was regarding the stay in Yara. Though we liked the austere tea houses along the way, Yara felt different. Not sure what the difference was from the others. One thing--the guest house was run by a teenage girl--the parent owners were on vacation, perhaps. She wasn't very helpful. They village vibe seemed much more unfriendly than all the rest. We understand that the Yara stop is likely because of the distance to the next logical stop AND we understand that village conditions are NOT in your control. We were happy to get on our bikes and leave that village. We are not overly concerned with that situation--but that is my one kindly written critique!

There are many positives. Here are a few: Dawa is a very good guide and aided the ability to feel comfortable in a FAR away place. :) The stay in Lo Manthang was excellent--the guest house, the owner, the food, the hospitality were excellent.

An accommodations critique: .after staying in guest houses that we thought were comfortable...they Mum's Garden stay seems "expensive"--if that makes sense. Mum's Garden seems somewhat excessive compared to the other accommodations--VERY nice, but perhaps a cheaper stay makes the overall expense for us better? Again...this is NOT a complaint, just an insight. Last thing: the accommodations a Maison du Kathmandu are worth praising. The value for that place is very good--the owners, the food, the location...we thought, were excellent. It's a little paradise!

Overall...a trip of a lifetime.

thanks.

Mark

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback, great to have been able to give you a trip of a life time. Shame the feeling in the Yara tea house wasn't as great as in the other places but as you say it is hard for us to control. Glad you enjoyed the company of Dawa he is one of my own favorite travel companions on foot and by bike :-) Hope we will see you again in the Himalayas one day.

Thanks,

Mads.

Pikey peak: a short trek with a great view of everest, Nepal - Mar 19 - Mar 28, 2017

Traveler: Chelsea W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Absolutely more than perfect!! 11/10 stars!! Mads, Amanda, Suman, Suson, Everyone(!) from Himalayan Trails was beyond knowledgeable, accommodating, patient and incredibly friendly. I'm a frequent domestic and international traveler and I honestly cannot speak more highly of our experience booking and in-country with Himalayan Trails/KimKim, the best trip yet!!

Again, 11/10 stars!! He was incredibly responsive and he has a TOP NOTCH team in country. It was very apparent that they sincerely... read more

Absolutely more than perfect!! 11/10 stars!! Mads, Amanda, Suman, Suson, Everyone(!) from Himalayan Trails was beyond knowledgeable, accommodating, patient and incredibly friendly. I'm a frequent domestic and international traveler and I honestly cannot speak more highly of our experience booking and in-country with Himalayan Trails/KimKim, the best trip yet!!

Again, 11/10 stars!! He was incredibly responsive and he has a TOP NOTCH team in country. It was very apparent that they sincerely cared about us and our experience. Amanda took the time to meet with us with Suman (our trekking guide) before our trekking portion of the trip and then again after our trek with our city guide to make sure everything went well and that we were comfortable, etc. Every associate was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and accommodating for my numerous cultural questions and my partner's specific site interests. It was like traveling with new friends vs. stuffy 'tour guides', we shared laughs and jokes with everyone we encountered and felt like we really saw a bit of true Nepal-not just the 'touristy' side. Absolutely incredible.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Chelsea, thank you so much for your kind words and great feedback. I have sent it to the entire team and everyone is very happy that we have been able to give you a trip that you are happy with and will hopefully remember for a long time.

We hope to see you again in Nepal some day and help you seen even more of the Himalayas.

Kind regards, Mads.

Short trek in nepal, Nepal - Apr 29 - May 3, 2017

Traveler: Erin M. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I know you can't give a detailed breakdown of the price, but it would have been nice to know a bit more about how the price per person was generated in an overall sense. Like our accommodation total, our food total, the guide and porter's accommodation/food/salary total, and any fees.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Erin, thanks for your positive feedback. In the case of you short budget trek, transport and the guide and porter (salary,food, insurance, accommodation) and your accommodation are the things that add up. Of course your food also make up a fair component. Thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you back in Nepal some day. Mads

Three passes trek , Nepal - Apr 3 - Apr 21, 2017

Traveler: Christian W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I made a very good experience with kimkim.com. All my contacts were very friendly and helpful. I specially liked the quick and uncomplicated way to book a trip.

Mads answered all my questions and gave me always a good advice. He motivated me to go for the longer trek. I am very happy that I listened to him. I had a great time and made one of my best treks ever!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Christian, thanks for your review and feedback, I am really happy you had a great trek with Naresh on this epic long trek. Hope to see you back in Nepal sometime in the future. Cheers, Mads

Ghandruk trek - scenic 3-4 day trek through the annapurna foothills, Nepal - Apr 26 - Apr 29, 2017

Traveler: Peter A. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I can't say enough about Himalaya Trails. A custom trek to fit our short time. Great guide and porter, who were attentive, accommodating, helpful and friendly. And when our flight from Pokhara was cancelled because of weather, Himalaya Trails went above and beyond with quick on-the-ball travel rearrangements to make sure we made our flight home from Kathmandu the next day. A big thanks to them!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Peter, great to hear we succeeded in putting together a great little trek for you and Alice and making the flight home is of course always good! :-) Thanks for traveling with us and we hope so see you in Nepal again soon. Thanks, Mads

Cultural tour with festivals (bisket & sindure jatra), Nepal - Apr 10 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Michael F. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The two initial days walking around with Rajeev in Patan, his home town, were truly wonderful and a great introduction to the urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley. The two monuments and the cremation ghats were a nice taste of Kathmandu before going to Bhakhtapur, where our little hotel was perfect and the couple who own it incredibly warm and welcoming. Pokara was a great respite from the dust of the Kathmandu valley, and we enjoyed particularly the Gurkha museum and the Tibetan monastery... read more

The two initial days walking around with Rajeev in Patan, his home town, were truly wonderful and a great introduction to the urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley. The two monuments and the cremation ghats were a nice taste of Kathmandu before going to Bhakhtapur, where our little hotel was perfect and the couple who own it incredibly warm and welcoming. Pokara was a great respite from the dust of the Kathmandu valley, and we enjoyed particularly the Gurkha museum and the Tibetan monastery on the outskirts. The day back in Kathmandu was great both the Darbar monuments and especially the bazaar area.

Mads is amazing, attention to every detail, incredible fast planning ahead of time, and great connections to people on the ground: Amanda, Rajeev, and Dipesh.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your feedback Michael, I am so glad you and Susann had such a good time in Nepal and that what we put together for you hit the mark. Thanks again for traveling with us and we hope to see you in Nepal again sometime in the future. Thanks, Mads

Cultural tour with festivals (bisket & sindure jatra), Nepal - Apr 10 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Susann W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

We were so pleased with how quickly you were able to put together the kind of itinerary and services to both meet our requests and to make the trip work smoothly.

I do shy away from using 'perfect' loosely but must say it was as close to perfect as things usually come.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Susann, it was a pleasure to put this together for you and Michael and I am glad you liked it. I know Rajeev really enjoyed traveling with you and showing you around. We all hope to see you again in Nepal sometime soon. Thanks, Mads.

Everest base camp trek, Nepal - Apr 2 - Apr 17, 2017

Traveler: Stephanie D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our guide Dawa Sherpa was tremendous, can't imagine the trip without him. He speaks great english, was very friendly and knowledgable, and was an excellent manager of our expectations. He also helped out with photos / videos for the trip which was an excellent value add. I genuinely would give him the highest rating possible and would recommend him to anyone else in an instant. He made the trip for us!

Mads provided timely responses to all of our questions and was extremely helpful. Overall his customer service was excellent.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Stephanie, thank you for taking the time to give us this great feedback, I will make sure to pass on your praise to Dawa he deserves every little bit of it and I am really happy you enjoyed his company! Thank you for traveling with us! Mads

Mountain bike nepal, Nepal - Feb 11 - Feb 19, 2017

Traveler: david b. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I was met at the Kathmandu airport by Raj as promised. He had a cab waiting for me, and I was taken quickly to my hotel. After I settled in, Raj introduced me to Dawa who was to be my guide for the trip.

Dawa proved to be an excellent guide. He was courteous and knowledgeable. Also, Dawa was very patient with me, as uphill riding is not my strong point. The next morning, our first ride was through parts of Kathmandu and up to the Shivapuri National park. I was able to see parts of... read more

I was met at the Kathmandu airport by Raj as promised. He had a cab waiting for me, and I was taken quickly to my hotel. After I settled in, Raj introduced me to Dawa who was to be my guide for the trip.

Dawa proved to be an excellent guide. He was courteous and knowledgeable. Also, Dawa was very patient with me, as uphill riding is not my strong point. The next morning, our first ride was through parts of Kathmandu and up to the Shivapuri National park. I was able to see parts of the Nepalese culture that most tourists don't see. The ride in Shivapuri was fantastic, and I actually saw some monkeys among the trees. That night we stayed in the Shivapuri retreat where we had a nice meal of Dal Bhat with tea.

The next morning, we rode back into the Shivapuri forest, and hit some awesome mountain biking trails, making our way to Bodinath. We spent time at the Stupa until the car came and picked us up to catch our flight to Pokarrah. On the following day, we flew from Pokarrah to Jomsom for the center piece of the trip...Mountain Biking the Lower Mustang region. Once we got to Jomsom, we rode our bikes up the Kali Gandaki river to the village of Kagbeni. We stayed in a tea house in Kagbeni for 2 nights and for two days rode bikes on through some amazing high desert terrain.

After the stay in Kagbeni, we turned our bikes down the river course to back to Jomsom. One night in Jomsom, and then back on our bikes to Kalopani. Riding down the river course took us through several small villages that reflect the real Nepal. Truly a great experience. After leaving Kalopani, there was one more big ride to a point some 25 km down stream where we were met by a Jeep to take us back to Pokarrah.

Through this entire trip, everything was well planned out and prepared. The hotels, the flights, the ground transportation, nothing was overlooked. I was well taken care of. My guides, Dawa and Tendu were superb, and basically just good people to be around. The coordination and professionalism of all of the guys who handled my trip made it a great success. I will be going back to Nepal, and I will use this crew again. Many thanks to Dawa, Tendu, Raj, and Mads!!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks David, it was a pleasure to show you some of the trails Nepal have to offer. Do get in touch when you want to come and see some more. Cheers, Mads.

Balthali village trek , Nepal - Feb 15 - Feb 19, 2017

Traveler: Julia T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The trip was well planned! Only thing is i wished that the porter and guide where treated more as guests than employees of the hotel. In our night at dhulikhel, the employees said that our guide & porter could only eat when they ate. While we had hot shower and luxuriously a heater, our guide and porter only had cold water. The disparity was not nice to witness

Mads was patient in answering my questions, proactive, had suggestions to my problems.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Julia, thanks for your kind words and for traveling with us. I appreciate your concern for our crew, I have spoken to Suman and he said the Dal Bhat he ended up getting with the staff was very good but we will speak to the hotel and make sure the guide and porter do have the option to join you the traveler at meal times. Thanks again for traveling with us and hopefully we will see you again in Nepal.

New adventure, Nepal - Mar 1 - Mar 31, 2017

Traveler: Christian T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Immediate responses. Professional and knowledgeable. Listened to my wishes and added advice.

A pro. Friendly. Trustworthy.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your kind words Christian, so glad you loved your trek and your Kathmandu tours. Hope to see you in Kathmandu next time. Cheers, Mads.

Nature and wildlife tour, Nepal - Nov 19 - Nov 30, 2016

Traveler: Daniela D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The organization was superb. We do these kind of trips a lot and I can honestly say that we have never had one as well organized as this one. At every step, the drivers or guides were always ready for us and every aspect happened like clockwork. We live in Germany where you expect that kind of organization, but to enjoy it in Nepal hardly seemed possible. Our congratulations on a job well done! Also, the guides were all fantastic - friendly and knowledgeable. Most national parks in the world... read more

The organization was superb. We do these kind of trips a lot and I can honestly say that we have never had one as well organized as this one. At every step, the drivers or guides were always ready for us and every aspect happened like clockwork. We live in Germany where you expect that kind of organization, but to enjoy it in Nepal hardly seemed possible. Our congratulations on a job well done! Also, the guides were all fantastic - friendly and knowledgeable. Most national parks in the world have guides who know the big animals and birds of prey, but our guides in Chitwan knew every bird and butterfly as well.

We discussed the trip and made changes to his original concept several times but he never tried to force us into his plan and cheerily re-worked the itinerary until we were happy with it.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Daniela and Berry, it was a delight arranging this trip for you and I am so happy you enjoyed it! Matching German clockwork is not easy and I would be lying if I said we always pull it off, but I am really glad we managed to do so for you.
Thanks for traveling with us and next time I think we should try to get you out to Bardia National park in West Nepal. Happy New Year! Thanks, Mads.

Agata’s nar phu and kathmandu explorer, Nepal - Oct 28 - Nov 12, 2016

Traveler: agata o. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

This was our first time in Nepal and we fell in love with it. Our little adventure was perfect. Our guides, Chhiri and Birbol were amazing.
We truly felt like a little team over the few days we spent together in the mountains. The trek was out of this world. Staying in the little villages of Nar and Phu valley was a special experience, experience that we will never forget.

Our retreat in Pokhara was such a treat, so were the last couple days in Kathmandu.

Before the trip, Mads... read more

This was our first time in Nepal and we fell in love with it. Our little adventure was perfect. Our guides, Chhiri and Birbol were amazing.
We truly felt like a little team over the few days we spent together in the mountains. The trek was out of this world. Staying in the little villages of Nar and Phu valley was a special experience, experience that we will never forget.

Our retreat in Pokhara was such a treat, so were the last couple days in Kathmandu.

Before the trip, Mads demonstrated so much patience with us with our constant questions and changes to the plans but it all came out absolutely perfect. We couldn't have asked for a better experience :)

Thank you Mads, Chhiri, Birbol and the rest of Kimkim team for making our Nepalese experience so special!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Agata, thanks for your kind words, it was a pleasure to put this trek and your stay in Pokhara and Kathmandu together for you. I am really glad you enjoyed Chhiri's company his is such a good guy with a lot of experience, glad you hit is off and had a good time on the trek. thanks for taking the time to provide this lovely feedback and hopefully we will see you in Nepal again. Kind regards, Mads.

Manaslu and the tsum valley, Nepal - Oct 2 - Oct 22, 2016

Traveler: Rohan D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Early notice that Tsum valley was closed eas very helpful, so that we had the right passes to go to Nar-Phu. Guide was excellent, very attentive, spoke fluent English, and accommodated our changes tho the itinerary.

Really responsive to our pre-trip questions and the face tho face meetings were also really helpful.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Rohan, glad all went well and the Nar-Phu was a good alternative to the Tsum valley. Good that you had a good time with Gelu and that everything was flexible enough for you. Hope to see you in Nepal again some day. Thanks, Mads.

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Sep 6 - Oct 1, 2016

Traveler: Michael F. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Very easy to book, great system to ask questions and get answers. The system flows creating a great overall experience.

Mads and team were fantastic and made us feel taken care of from start to finish. We had obstacles come up which required adjusting our itinerary , Mads and team were able to accommodate and offer alternative recommendations that fit what we wanted.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Michael, I am just back from trekking as well. Super happy you enjoyed your trek with us! It was no sweet to make the adjustments for you, just glad we could make it all work so you had the best possible holiday. Hope you see you in Nepal again sometime. Cheers, Mads.

Khopra danda community trek, Nepal - May 21 - Jun 1, 2016

Traveler: Natalie C. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Had a wonderful experience. The trip was everything we could have asked for.

Alex Buri, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Glad to hear, Natalie. Great that you were able to do the Khopra trek... one of my favorite in Nepal!

Custom family trek, Nepal - Apr 11 - Apr 16, 2016

Traveler: Melinda B. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Sherpas were extremely kind, patient and helpful. Trail was perfectly adapted for our group age (family travelers). The view and landscape was stunning. Teahouses were welcoming and friendly.

Reactive, helpful and super professional. Before traveling, Mads exactly understood our needs and expectations, and suggested the best trek for our family. On site, we had weather condition that needed our trek to be changed. It was rescheduled and re-planned for us to enjoy as much as possible without... read more

Sherpas were extremely kind, patient and helpful. Trail was perfectly adapted for our group age (family travelers). The view and landscape was stunning. Teahouses were welcoming and friendly.

Reactive, helpful and super professional. Before traveling, Mads exactly understood our needs and expectations, and suggested the best trek for our family. On site, we had weather condition that needed our trek to be changed. It was rescheduled and re-planned for us to enjoy as much as possible without missing trek length. At all time, he was reachable through kimkim conversation, and he was liaising with his people on site (office with Angkit and our guide Pasang) who took really good care of us.

Joost Schreve, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Melinda,
I am very happy to hear that you and your family had such a great trip to Nepal! We look forward to helping you with your future trips.
Happy travels,
Joost