Specialists
Reviews for socialtours
Traveler Photos

socialtours

socialtours specializes in custom soft adventure tours that are tailored to your liking, that go beyond the surface of things to immerse you in the experience of Nepal. Our trips promote and preserve Nepal’s rich cultural and ecological diversity while minimizing the impact on the environment and maximizing the contribution to the local economy.

Featured trips & expertise

Monks during prayer time - Rene Jungsnickel
Kathmandu Inside Out - 7 Days

This trip gives a very good feel of Kathmandu Valley and includes all the highlights during a week-long trip. Cultural highlights, local food, and hikes ensure that you will get a taste for all the great things Kathmandu has to offer. It also highlights some of the events that happen in the city, giving a feel for the modern side of the valley.

Catch the sunrise for Nagarkot, a hill station on the rim of Kathmandu Valley
Highlights of Kathmandu and Pokhara - 7 Days

Looking to explore the cultural, more relaxing side of Nepal? Showcasing dazzling temples and world heritage squares, placid lakes and serene mountains, this week-long itinerary takes in the classic sights of Nepal as well as the more off-the-beaten path experiences, including Nepal’s famous lake town, Pokhara.

A Week in Kathmandu Valley

Here’s a trip plan that gives you a taste of what Nepal has to offer within a week: a short trek with great views of the Himalaya combined with a visit to the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Patan. You'll stay within striking distance of Kathmandu.

Himalayan views from Nagarkot on the edge of Kathmandu Valley
Nagarkot Trek & Kathmandu Tour - 5 Days

One of the most popular short treks in Nepal, this route to Nagarkot is ideal for beginners of all ages. You'll make your way through oak, pine, and rhododendron forests and learn about village life while taking in views of the Kathmandu Valley and snow-capped Himalayan peaks in Nagarkot. Wake up to a sunrise view over Mount Everest before enjoying more time in Kathmandu.

Traveler Interview: Kid-Friendly Trek in Nepal

Kimkim traveler Clare Immens likes to instill a sense of adventure in her three children—so taking her young daughter Elsie on a multi-day trek in Nepal was a no-brainer. From card games in tea houses to making friends with baby animals along the way, read on to learn about their experience hiking through the Annapurna foothills on the Ghandruk Trek.

View of Pokhara & Phewa Lake from Sarangkot
Annapurna Yoga & Luxury Trek - 11 Days

Embark on special yoga spirit trek in the Annapurna foothills of Nepal's sacred Himalayan Mountains. Led by an experienced international yoga instructor, this trek focuses on energizing yoga, meditation, and breathing to revitalize your inner self. With overnight stays in luxury Ker & Downey Lodges, this trip is an ideal introduction to trekking in Nepal.

Recent Trip Reviews for socialtours

Ann

Trekking in nepal, Nepal - Oct 8 - Oct 18, 2018

Traveler: Ann B. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Great guide, great porter, great trip!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Ann for taking the time to review . Am sure to transfer this information to the team!

Brent

Kathmandu inside out, Nepal - Oct 2 - Oct 13, 2018

Traveler: Brent G. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

This worked out great!

We got to have input into where we went and what we did and it was easy. I worked on line with Anura before the trip to set our schedule and work out what we wanted to see.

When we arrived they meet us at the airport and every thing worked really well. My wife's suitcase as delayed and they helped with getting it sorted and getting us back out to the airport to pick it up.

The best:
1. This was not a group tour. We did not ride a round on a bus and get herded from... read more

This worked out great!

We got to have input into where we went and what we did and it was easy. I worked on line with Anura before the trip to set our schedule and work out what we wanted to see.

When we arrived they meet us at the airport and every thing worked really well. My wife's suitcase as delayed and they helped with getting it sorted and getting us back out to the airport to pick it up.

The best:
1. This was not a group tour. We did not ride a round on a bus and get herded from place to place. This was very individual (my wife and myself).

2. We felt cared for and looked after. We knew that if we needed help we had a local resource. Travel in Nepal is wonderful but very a different experience. Just knowing that we had someone working for us was wonderful.

3. The value was great. Transportation (including in county flights), hotels and many of the meals, were all included.

4. We really liked the approach of Social Tours. They want to show you the real Nepal and believe they can be socially responsible as well.

Highly recommended.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Brent,

Was a total joy having you in Nepal, and personally I really had fun chatting, getting feedback, and making slight tweaks in your itinerary. Like I mentioned, you are the perfect fit for our kind of services - personal, flexible and deep in immersion - and I am glad that it worked out!

I hope to see you back in Nepal, or get an opportunity to tailor another trip for you in another part of the world! It will be a complete joy!

Thanks for taking the time to write a review! Its a great moral booster for me, the team, and an assurance that we are on the right track!

Jill

Everest panorama trek, Nepal - Oct 6 - Oct 11, 2018

Traveler: Jill S. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

We spent 6 days hiking around Annapurna with Sabin and it was an absolutely incredible experience! I take home memories and friendships that I expect to last a lifetime.
This was my first trekking experience and I have never had to challenge myself so much. But it was worth every painful step. The area and sights and views are absolutely stunning! My experiences meeting people from all over the world along the way will stay with me forever.
Sabin was an amazing guide!!! I don't think the... read more

We spent 6 days hiking around Annapurna with Sabin and it was an absolutely incredible experience! I take home memories and friendships that I expect to last a lifetime.
This was my first trekking experience and I have never had to challenge myself so much. But it was worth every painful step. The area and sights and views are absolutely stunning! My experiences meeting people from all over the world along the way will stay with me forever.
Sabin was an amazing guide!!! I don't think the experience would have been the same without him. His knowledge of the area and people seem unparalleled which made everything go smoothly and made me feel very comfortable visiting a place where I knew nothing of the language and customs. He went above and beyond in making our experience memorable, such as entertaining us with and teaching us card tricks, making lots of jokes, and serenading us with songs on the guitar. He was so much fun to be around and I look forward to our continued friendship! I cannot say enough good things about him and I hope to come back and it trek with him again!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jill, so happy that the experience was wonderful for you.. as custom tailoring experts, this is exactly what we expect to deliver and it's always a joy to know it was successful. Will make sure to tell Sabin how much you enjoyed trekking with him.

Hope to see you in Nepal again at some point in time

valerie

Kathmandu inside out - 7 days, Nepal - Aug 24 - Sep 2, 2018

Traveler: valerie l. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

I had a very good time in Nepal thanks to the Social tours team (Anura & Raj), everything went smoothly and they were very flexible with my plans even dealing with changes to fit my preferences once in Nepal. This tour included the key cultural highlights of the Kathmandu valley as well as a trek from Pokhara. All guides provided were very knowledgeable and left me some free time to explore by myself as well. My only suggestion is to make sure you have the direct contact details of your... read more

I had a very good time in Nepal thanks to the Social tours team (Anura & Raj), everything went smoothly and they were very flexible with my plans even dealing with changes to fit my preferences once in Nepal. This tour included the key cultural highlights of the Kathmandu valley as well as a trek from Pokhara. All guides provided were very knowledgeable and left me some free time to explore by myself as well. My only suggestion is to make sure you have the direct contact details of your guides to keep them posted on your arrival time outside of working hours, as this has been required during my trip due to my flight to Pokhara being delayed early morning. Luckily we could reschedule the trek to the following day. I could not recommend Social tours enough, thanks again for the amazing experience! :)

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Valerie, thanks a ton for your review. Glad it all went well, even though there were small changes required. Quite common in Nepal to be able to make last minute fine tuning of trips, and am glad it went on ok. Great suggestion on the giving the direct contacts of the guides, so you can communicate directly. Will start implementing that for sure.

Drisana

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Aug 10 - Aug 15, 2018

Traveler: Drisana L. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

It was great to have a personalised tour and the fact they ensured I was able to access it by providing a Nepalese Sign Language Interpreter. I enjoyed my time in Bhaktpur the most.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Drisana for the lovely review.. we were so stoked to handle your trip and I am so glad it went well and you enjoyed Bhaktapur so much. Hopefully we shall see you in Nepal again..

Daniel

Holiday nepal, Nepal - Jul 10 - Jul 20, 2018

Traveler: Daniel E. - Local specialist: Anura Rai

Anura was amazing!

She's the best!

Anura Rai, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much Daniel :)

Experience nepal, Nepal - Oct 25 - Oct 31, 2017

Traveler: Heather D. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

My friend and I had the BEST experience with booking through kimkim, as well as, working with Raj to plan out our adventure. We had many questions before and after arriving to our destination and Raj and team were so helpful throughout the entire experience. We gave an idea of things we would be interested in doing while in Nepal and Raj, Anura and team planned it out flawlessly. Our only complaint is that we didn't stay longer to experience more of what Nepal has to offer. We had no worries... read more

My friend and I had the BEST experience with booking through kimkim, as well as, working with Raj to plan out our adventure. We had many questions before and after arriving to our destination and Raj and team were so helpful throughout the entire experience. We gave an idea of things we would be interested in doing while in Nepal and Raj, Anura and team planned it out flawlessly. Our only complaint is that we didn't stay longer to experience more of what Nepal has to offer. We had no worries traveling while in the hands of this team. They transported us where we needed to go and we had a guide at each destination. We spent a day visiting the local temples, a couple days trekking through the mountains ending with camping out at a beach resort as we prepared for a white water rafting trip. But our last destination was one of my favorite stops, the city of Bhaktapur. We toured the city from sunup to sundown with our guide. I feel like we had a behind the scenes look at the culture and lifestyle and loved every minute of it. The guide was superb, the places he took us were amazing- I couldn't have asked for a better experience! Thank you Raj and team! This entire trip was definitely a memorable one thank to your team and I am definitely looking forward to visiting again one day!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Heather, what a nice review and we are all so glad that you appreciated the support we provided and enjoyed the experience we designed.

Am sure to send this review for the entire team to read, as without everyone working together, it would never have happened as we envisaged it to be.

We cannot wait to have you back here in Nepal. It will be an absolute pleasure!

Paul

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Apr 11 - May 2, 2018

Traveler: Paul W. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

After a week back in the Netherlands I look back after a huge experience in the Himalayas.
Supported by a special team with Raj and Anura, who provided me with information from the booking of the trip, I was received in Kathamandu with a greeting dinner and an afternoon where I got all the explanation and what my responsibilities are during the 19-day trek . Especially because I am no longer one of the youngest (69 years), Raj has gone into great depths about pulling at high altitudes. The... read more

After a week back in the Netherlands I look back after a huge experience in the Himalayas.
Supported by a special team with Raj and Anura, who provided me with information from the booking of the trip, I was received in Kathamandu with a greeting dinner and an afternoon where I got all the explanation and what my responsibilities are during the 19-day trek . Especially because I am no longer one of the youngest (69 years), Raj has gone into great depths about pulling at high altitudes. The meeting with Indra my guide was very cordial and familiar. This all supported fine for the coming trek. Planned was a 19 days trek over the 3 passes, but after the stage from Namche to Thame I got a headache, necessarily a day waited but from Thame to Lumden happened exactly the same. Switched to drink a lot of water and use Diamox and of course I had to wait another day, I was rid of the headache and I could bridge the first pass Renjo La. Great view my first goal was achieved, but I also realized that I was against my physical limit and in consultation with my guide we changed the program and left Everest BC behind and opted for Ama Dablam base camp and Dingboche attempt to see the Makalu. Unfortunately, it got worse in the last week and was hardly visible.
My advice if you like my age and you want something seen from the Himalaya Asia choose Raj and Anura, everything is negotiable and the team is very correct and when you have Indra as guide your are a happy man.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Paul, it was a real pleasure to design and conduct this trip for you, and me and Anura and the rest of the team took great joy in seeing your enthusiasm, and your easy going nature.

I am sorry that altitude made it a bit more complicated up in the mountains, but glad that you adjusted to it, and re-designed the itinerary up in the field and fit it to your requirements.

Flexibility is the essence of travel, in our opinion, and that makes great experiences and I am glad it did for you!

Thanks and hopefully we will see you again in the Nepal mountains!

Long

Best of nepal, Nepal - Apr 25 - Apr 30, 2018

Traveler: Long W. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

We wanted a hassle-free trip and Raj and his team had certainly delivered. Everything was executed as communicated ahead of time with positive surprises threw in here and there. One certainly has to pay for this kind of service but it's nice that the result is as advertised. We had a short and easy trip and would really love to go back to Nepal to explore her natural beauty in the future.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Long, thanks for the wonderful review. Its always a joy to know that our service has gone beyond expectations, specially with the little surprises... this is exactly the slot where we want to fit in, and very happy to know that its right there.

Will send your review to each member of the team who have been instrumental in delivering this experience to you!

Hope to see you back in Nepal someday!

Kathmandu valley & pokhara - 9-day tour, Nepal - Feb 14 - Feb 27, 2018

Traveler: Rachel T. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

We had the best time on our honeymoon to Nepal, completely planned by Raj at his team at Socialtours. From our first interaction on KimKim, we knew we had found something special in Raj--he listened to us regarding our budget, activity level and timing. We loved that once we arrived in Nepal, everything was taken care of for us. They booked all our ground transportation, in-country flights and tour guides. All we had to do was show up with our passports. Raj and Socialtours were excellent... read more

We had the best time on our honeymoon to Nepal, completely planned by Raj at his team at Socialtours. From our first interaction on KimKim, we knew we had found something special in Raj--he listened to us regarding our budget, activity level and timing. We loved that once we arrived in Nepal, everything was taken care of for us. They booked all our ground transportation, in-country flights and tour guides. All we had to do was show up with our passports. Raj and Socialtours were excellent with communication via KimKim and I could not thank them more for taking away all the stress of planning a vacation to an unfamiliar country and making it so fun! Highlights included a 4-day trek in the Himalaya with our wonderful guides Kancha and Badal, "Cook Like a Local" class at Socialtours, mountain flight to see the Himalaya, Jeep safari ride in Chitwan, tours of Bhaktupur and Kathmandu. Thank you Raj and Socialtours for a trip of a lifetime!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Rachel and Chris, thanks for the wonderful review. I am so glad it worked out so well. Well, except the cycling bit, and I apologise for the problems in the equipment. Did not help that Chris is extra extra tall! :-)

Our entire ethos revolves around quality of delivery, and trying our best to exceed expectations, and when we hear such good reviews, it really makes our day! We just got back from our Team Retreat and this review is just like an icing on that retreat. I will share it with the team!

Trekking in nepal - a guide to the best trekking areas, best time to go, and tips on how to organize your trek, Nepal - Dec 13 - Dec 16, 2017

Traveler: Niharika H. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

The trek was amazing! What was even more amazing was my guide. I was quite ill on the first day - but Parbati was so understanding and patient with me from the outset and made sure I was at ease. On the second and third days, she pushed me to do better than I thought I could and I really appreciated this. The greatest part was that towards the end she was less of my guide and more of my friend whilst still maintaining a professional and courteous relationship. Hats off to her and the Social tours team for providing such an incredible experience for me!!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much for such a wonderful review. We are also very very happy that the experience was so wonderful for you. The highlights you mentioned is exactly what we constantly strive to achieve and every time we hear that it is such a good match, it's a great joy!

Thanks again.

Kim

Experience nepal, Nepal - Oct 25 - Oct 31, 2017

Traveler: Kim M. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

We wouldn't have changed a thing, except maybe that I lost the sole of my shoe five minutes into hiking!! Ha No but seriously, everything was perfect. Raj, Anura and team really put together a trip that included a little bit of everything, which truly gave us a clear taste and feel of Nepal. They were able to put together a full and comprehensive trip for us within our week timeframe, and I couldn't be more grateful!! We love Nepal!!! And I'll definitely be using KimKim for future trip... read more

We wouldn't have changed a thing, except maybe that I lost the sole of my shoe five minutes into hiking!! Ha No but seriously, everything was perfect. Raj, Anura and team really put together a trip that included a little bit of everything, which truly gave us a clear taste and feel of Nepal. They were able to put together a full and comprehensive trip for us within our week timeframe, and I couldn't be more grateful!! We love Nepal!!! And I'll definitely be using KimKim for future trip planning!!!

Raj was always responsive and even downloaded a Marco Polo app so that we could communicate better, since our timezones were so different, which was very helpful. He was great from the beginning on and was very patient will all my million questions and worries. He was really great!!!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for the wonderful review. We had such a joy developing your trip, and learnt about MarcoPolo too.. Now a feature on our phones. Hope to see you in Nepal again.

Sapna

Short treks in the everest region - 7 and 10 day itineraries, Nepal - Oct 10 - Oct 16, 2017

Traveler: Sapna K. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

It was definitely an amazing trip. Except for Day 4, the continuous trek, which could have been split. We walked/hiked/climbed down for almost 12 hours that day and it is quite possible that the time extends considering most of us are not professional climbers. Rest everything was really very good. I thank social tours for our guide Robin who was so courteous and well mannered throughout. Thank you Team kimkim for making this happen for me. Cheers!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Sapna for a wonderful review. I heard about the day as well from Robin and I think the time it took to walk down on the uneven loose grit did eat a lot on the time. I apologise for this and breaking this day could be done too, as we did have the extra day planned in for contingencies like these.

Glad the rest of it went well!

Sandra

Short treks in the everest region - 7 and 10 day itineraries, Nepal - Oct 10 - Oct 16, 2017

Traveler: Sandra F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Guide and porter were both great. Very friendly, calm and understanding.
The trek itself was ok as well but the 3rd was just too much.
As we already knew beforehand that it will be a long day, we couldn't really enjoy the view at the peak because we had the feeling that we need to rush in order to get all the distance covered within daylight. Although we hurried, we did not manage to arrive Junbesi by daylight. The last 2 hours we were trekking in the dark. Further the trek on this day was... read more

Guide and porter were both great. Very friendly, calm and understanding.
The trek itself was ok as well but the 3rd was just too much.
As we already knew beforehand that it will be a long day, we couldn't really enjoy the view at the peak because we had the feeling that we need to rush in order to get all the distance covered within daylight. Although we hurried, we did not manage to arrive Junbesi by daylight. The last 2 hours we were trekking in the dark. Further the trek on this day was really hard and there were several Situations where i was really scared to death. The Trek was full with stones, it was tight and slippery and next to some really high cliffs. I spent 4 hours of the day Just praying to survive. I know this might sound a bit dramatic but I was really facing big fears. Our Guide was really helpful and supported us best possible. I would split the 3rd day and only walk till Lunch. There is No need for a full restday in Junbesi, if the day before is devided into 2 days..

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Sandra, thanks for taking the time for the feedback and review. Glad you enjoyed the trek and its good feedback that the third day was a bit long. As you mentioned, this was known, and the difference really comes when people eventually walk. I guess some of the slippery and stony parts delayed the walk quite a bit, as the going would have been slow.

I apologise for this, and we could have made the change dynamically on the trek itself. The reason we try to reach Junbesi is that the free day... read more

Sandra, thanks for taking the time for the feedback and review. Glad you enjoyed the trek and its good feedback that the third day was a bit long. As you mentioned, this was known, and the difference really comes when people eventually walk. I guess some of the slippery and stony parts delayed the walk quite a bit, as the going would have been slow.

I apologise for this, and we could have made the change dynamically on the trek itself. The reason we try to reach Junbesi is that the free day allows for some small walks to the monastery which some travellers really like. Agreed that we can do away with this when that interest is not there!

Thanks for the feedback. All noted and will go into implementing in the trek briefings so we can make appropriate changes according to trekkers interests!

Poonhill & mohare | family trek, Nepal - Oct 14 - Oct 19, 2017

Traveler: Sarah S. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

The guide and porter were fantastic and we had an amazing time. Raj did a good job responding to our questions. Anura Rai, however, was absolutely horrible at communicating really all details for the trip. The bulk communication we received from her was VERY last minute...we were already at the airport enroute.

Raj was good but we were very disappointed with the lack of information provided by Anura.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Sarah,

Many thanks for taking the time to make the review. I apologise on behalf of Anura and the team at the delays in communications. This was not intentional, I can assure you, and the slight rush and short nature or the trip, also resulted in us not being able to meet you personally and communicate directly, which is of course the best way to ensure a good briefing. This helps a lot of course.

Will note this and have to thank you as fast and accurate communications is key to the success... read more

Sarah,

Many thanks for taking the time to make the review. I apologise on behalf of Anura and the team at the delays in communications. This was not intentional, I can assure you, and the slight rush and short nature or the trip, also resulted in us not being able to meet you personally and communicate directly, which is of course the best way to ensure a good briefing. This helps a lot of course.

Will note this and have to thank you as fast and accurate communications is key to the success in a service industry. Thanks for the review that ensures that we keep this in focus. We will ensure we improve from every feedback that we get.

Great that the trek was fantastic. We heard the same from our guide too! This makes us happy.

Mark

Annapurna dhaulagiri panorama trek sept 11-14, Nepal - Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2017

Traveler: Mark F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

The planning and booking of the trip were top notch.

Having read up a little bit about KimKim before hand it seems like a great tool to allow clients like my sister Renee and myself as well as others from around the world to connect with outfits like yours. It gives a chance to see and experience Nepal, its people, and its culture with the guidance of a great local guide and support staff.

Raj, and the rest of his staff were great and extremely helpful. They went out of their way to... read more

The planning and booking of the trip were top notch.

Having read up a little bit about KimKim before hand it seems like a great tool to allow clients like my sister Renee and myself as well as others from around the world to connect with outfits like yours. It gives a chance to see and experience Nepal, its people, and its culture with the guidance of a great local guide and support staff.

Raj, and the rest of his staff were great and extremely helpful. They went out of their way to help us with all of our questions before and during our stay in Nepal. I would gladly recommend them to friends and family who are looking to do similar treks in Nepal in the future.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Mark, thanks for the review... and so happy that it worked out so well for Renee and you. Also very happy to have portals like KimKim where we can connect. Gives us a great opportunity to present our expertise and showcase our country in a slightly different light!

Annapurna dhaulagiri panorama trek sept 11-14, Nepal - Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2017

Traveler: Renee F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Our trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area (9/10-15) was just the getaway my brother Mark and I wanted/needed. It was very well organized, simple and peaceful. Our guide (Arjun Kulung) and porter (Bazdowz- sp?) were lovely- very personable and gracious. They made everything easy for us. Arjun’s knowledge of the area and the tea house proprietors/community members was fantastic. They both provided a perfect first impression of Nepal. I would recommend them and this trek without... read more

Our trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area (9/10-15) was just the getaway my brother Mark and I wanted/needed. It was very well organized, simple and peaceful. Our guide (Arjun Kulung) and porter (Bazdowz- sp?) were lovely- very personable and gracious. They made everything easy for us. Arjun’s knowledge of the area and the tea house proprietors/community members was fantastic. They both provided a perfect first impression of Nepal. I would recommend them and this trek without hesitation to friends interested in discovering Nepal. Sharing a meal with Anura our last night in Kathmandu was also great. All of the staff we interacted with (drivers in addition to the three named above) helped to make us feel very welcomed in Nepal.

Timely, informative responses to our emails; patience when we needed time to get organized on our end after prices were provided. The only thing I might have liked more directed information about was the need for waterproof boots (to keep leeches out!). I had listened to my friend who had lived in Nepal a few years ago and done more or less the same trek before. She said, one could do it in trainers. Maybe she'd gone at a drier time of year!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Renee, thanks a ton for taking the time to write this review. Always very important to receive reviews for us, as we constantly learn.

As we did beyond the wonderful experience you had to ensure that we concentrate and force you on better footwear. This year has been a bit rainy and the leeches have stayed longer, thats true.. however, waterproof boots also do not keep them off, as they can enter via the shoelace holes, from the top etc... Gaiters are the only way to keep them off... or... read more

Renee, thanks a ton for taking the time to write this review. Always very important to receive reviews for us, as we constantly learn.

As we did beyond the wonderful experience you had to ensure that we concentrate and force you on better footwear. This year has been a bit rainy and the leeches have stayed longer, thats true.. however, waterproof boots also do not keep them off, as they can enter via the shoelace holes, from the top etc... Gaiters are the only way to keep them off... or soaking the socks in salt water...

We will learn from this no doubts to add in more information on the gear list!

The rest flowed well it looks like, and I will definitely transfer this review for all the team to read and treasure. This is what we work for! The team all work together to make each trip exceptional, and when we do succeed, its a real joy!

Hope to see you again in Nepal!

Robin

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Apr 16 - Apr 25, 2017

Traveler: Robin B. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Raj and the team Social Tours couldn't have been more helpful. It was an expensive trip but we saved a lot of time that we would have otherwise spent finding out about places and organizing trips. The 4 guides who took care of us were very knowledgeable and specialized in their work.
Raj is very knowledgeable with a lot of contacts and is highly respected within the Nepalese tourist industry.
Anura is intelligent and sparkly, and a tremendous asset to Social Tours.
Social Tours helped make... read more

Raj and the team Social Tours couldn't have been more helpful. It was an expensive trip but we saved a lot of time that we would have otherwise spent finding out about places and organizing trips. The 4 guides who took care of us were very knowledgeable and specialized in their work.
Raj is very knowledgeable with a lot of contacts and is highly respected within the Nepalese tourist industry.
Anura is intelligent and sparkly, and a tremendous asset to Social Tours.
Social Tours helped make this our trip of a lifetime!!!

There was only one night where the accommodation was noisy, poky and uninviting, but all our other accommodation was exceptional

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Robin, thanks a ton for taking the time to review the trip and also for coming to Nepal. We do take feedback quite seriously and use it to improve on our services. I am sorry that the accomodation at Bhaktapur was a bit cramped, but its a heritage house thats 700 years old and we like to support them because of their dedication to restoration of ancient traditional living styles. I agree that this would not fit easy with every traveller, and its unfortunate it was not a fit in this case. Glad... read more

Robin, thanks a ton for taking the time to review the trip and also for coming to Nepal. We do take feedback quite seriously and use it to improve on our services. I am sorry that the accomodation at Bhaktapur was a bit cramped, but its a heritage house thats 700 years old and we like to support them because of their dedication to restoration of ancient traditional living styles. I agree that this would not fit easy with every traveller, and its unfortunate it was not a fit in this case. Glad you loved the heritage property in Patan, the hotel in Nagarkot and the one at the Shivapuri Hills.

It is also a joy to hear that the trip was a great one to remember over the years. Glad also the human assets we have are good and were a good match. This is what we like to hear obviously.

I agree it was a bit expensive, but we did everything possible to give you the best that was possible, and it tends to add up eventually.

Overall, very happy that you consider it a trip of a lifetime and hope we shall see you and Elle back in Nepal sometime!

Kym and joris trip to nepal, Nepal - Apr 7 - Apr 22, 2017

Traveler: Kym d. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Raj planned a great trip for us. He took our interests & priorities into account really well.

In Pokhara, the local restaurant we visited for lunch was not really nice. Also it was a shame that the manager of the permaculture coffee farm we visited wasn't home when we went there So we didn't gain much insight into the process.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kym and Joris, thanks for the feedback. Malika reports that the local restaurant you were taken too had unfortunately mixed up the orders and brought you the wrong food. Apologies there. Sometimes in Nepal, local restaurants are a bit complacent that way.

Suriya the Farmer is a bit of a celebrity and typically in Nepal, things never happened too planned, as you might have noticed, and this is what happened up there. While Malika had informed him previously about your trip, he got called to... read more

Kym and Joris, thanks for the feedback. Malika reports that the local restaurant you were taken too had unfortunately mixed up the orders and brought you the wrong food. Apologies there. Sometimes in Nepal, local restaurants are a bit complacent that way.

Suriya the Farmer is a bit of a celebrity and typically in Nepal, things never happened too planned, as you might have noticed, and this is what happened up there. While Malika had informed him previously about your trip, he got called to a water supply meeting and was not available when you went up there. Unfortunately no one can explain it better than him about the area, and with the subject matter specialist not here, I am sorry this dampened the experience at the permaculture farm a bit.

Thanks for appreciating our understanding of your priorities and interests in developing your trip. This is something we really try hard to do, and when that happens its a real joy!

10 day nepal trip, Nepal - Apr 13 - Apr 22, 2017

Traveler: Ruth S. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

I have never really been much of a "tour" traveler. I can't thank Raj's team at Social Tours for all the high level of detail planning and caliber of guides, drivers and information by his group. Amazing!

Responsive, well planned, all of Raj's staff were beyond excellent and professional. We now consider them friends.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Ruth, read this review and the one you posted on the conversation... Am so happy! This is what we aim for, and while we cannot always reach this exceeding of expectations, when we do, and we get these reviews, its the pat on the back that we work for. Thank you, and cannot wait to see you again in Nepal!

Best of the kathmandu valley in 2 days, Nepal - Feb 15 - Feb 17, 2017

Traveler: Shrikrishna D. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

It was a last minute thought about trip, however the tour got planned by Raj of Social tour through kimkim so well that it gave feel of well planned one. The tailor made trip of four day was planned perfectly with A/C car , excellent guide Mr Sushil and versatile driver Suman. It was extremely pocket friendly despite mountain view flight thrown in the package by Raj. Exposure to genuine singing bowls was a mesmerising experience among other events.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Deshpande, thanks for taking the time to make this review. Truly means a lot that it met your expectations and looks like from the sound of it, we went a bit beyond as well. Will definitely transfer your appreciation to Sushil and Suman. Both are excellent assets and truly valued.

Hope to see you in our neck of the woods again at some point!

Trekking over christmas at the edge of kathmandu, Nepal - Dec 26 - Dec 28, 2016

Traveler: Linda F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

hi there: Our guide and porters were excellent! The first night accommodation was 1 star and that's being generous. I was under the impression that it was going to be a 3 star. Apparently our family of 7 cost $20 USD total to stay there, which is no surprise, as camping would have been more glamorous. I don't know why the tour company went so cheap on us, obviously to save money, but it wasn't fair, given we weren't told we were going to be in a 1 star of less, and if I had known this, I... read more

hi there: Our guide and porters were excellent! The first night accommodation was 1 star and that's being generous. I was under the impression that it was going to be a 3 star. Apparently our family of 7 cost $20 USD total to stay there, which is no surprise, as camping would have been more glamorous. I don't know why the tour company went so cheap on us, obviously to save money, but it wasn't fair, given we weren't told we were going to be in a 1 star of less, and if I had known this, I would not have booked with this company, as all the others who I inquired with were all going to put us in 3 star for the same price. The second night accommodation was HORRIBLE and would be given a negative 3 star rating! My family all said (and that's our 5 kids) that it was the WORST place we had ever stayed. There was vomit filling the bathroom sink when we arrived and no one cleaned it until I complained. The kitchen facilities were SO dirty, I refused to have food cooked in it for dinner, and instead bought chocolate bars down the street for my kids to eat. The food for that night was supposed to be included. We ended up paying for it ourselves. Breakfast left us no option but to eat white toast and have a few hard boiled eggs each. It was so disappointing. The beds had dirty sheets on all beds, and the toilet did not flush. There was no running water in the sink for brushing our teeth or cleaning up. Like the first night, our sleep was freezing cold, like we were camping outside. Windows were broken, or didn't shut properly. We could see our breath while eating our breakfast and dinner on both nights. For the price we payed to do this trip, we were ripped off. The third night was the only night that was acceptable with a proper three star hotel. Honestly, if the trip company we were introduced to through your sight told us we would be in 1 or negative star ratings for the first two nights, we would have gone with another company. As I said, the guides were excellent, helpful and very personable, and the last night of our stay was great, but the first two nights really left me no choice but to NOT recommend this company to any of my many, many expat friends. We were NOT satisfied, and very uncomfortable in our stay for the first two nights, and feared for food poisoning, catching a disease from the uncleanliness of the second place, with the vomit, other body fluids present, dirty bed sheets, as well as general uncleanliness. (cigarette burns in carpet, non functioning toilet ( already soiled when we got there) and non functioning water taps in our bathroom sink. Please understand as diplomats, a 3 star rating is a minimum, and if we had wanted to stay in a hovel, we would not have gone with this company in the first place. Though they get an A + on service on a personal level, the accommodations on the first two nights were completely , and utterly NOT acceptable and the second night, completely disgusting in all respects.

Raj was amazing. He hosted us lunch at the office, gave us t-shirts, took us to an outlet store to buy gear and arranged safe transportation, gave us his best guide ( wonderful!) and great porters, the first two nights accommodations were - first - 1 star and second night, - negative 3 star rating, as in "we wanted to leave, but were stranded" and no choice but to stay. I felt like I was a hostage.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Linda,

Sorry to hear that your experience was so terrible in the first two nights. I can assure you that this was not our intention at all and the effort we made to give your family the first trek experience you wanted in Nepal that was soft, short and easy was entirely genuine.

The fact that the accommodations at chisopani and jarsingpauwa are basic is normal. The reason you have great guides and crew is because they can manage hygiene and expectations in situations like this.... read more

Linda,

Sorry to hear that your experience was so terrible in the first two nights. I can assure you that this was not our intention at all and the effort we made to give your family the first trek experience you wanted in Nepal that was soft, short and easy was entirely genuine.

The fact that the accommodations at chisopani and jarsingpauwa are basic is normal. The reason you have great guides and crew is because they can manage hygiene and expectations in situations like this.

This is also why we offset the two days accomodation with a proper hotel on night three.

We had also made a suggestion of a proper full 3star accomodation trek which included nagarkot, dhulikhel and bhaktalur which you turned down because of the price and interest in more walking.

Regardless, i am very sorry this happened. We never like to have disappointed travelers, but sometimes the expectation vs reality divide in Nepal can be challenging.

I still hope you had a good first experience of what multi day trekking can be like in Nepal, regardless of the accommodation problems. No matter where you feel in Nepal, full 3star accommodation treks are difficult in nepal, and most places will always offer basic accommodation, simple. Trekking eventually in Nepal will never be about the accommodation, but the experience in the mountains.

My apologies for the bad accommodations.

View mt everest, Nepal - Nov 30 - Dec 6, 2016

Traveler: Natasha A. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Raj was extremely helpful from the very first day. He was very approachable. He was also very hospitable after we arrived in Nepal. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our trip and will definitely be recommending both Raj (Social Tours) and Kimkim to future travellers.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Natasha and Mizna, thanks so much for the wonderful review. So glad you had a great trip and Robin also confirmed that you were blessed with real good weather. Sorry you could not make it to the farewell that we wanted to offer you. Thank you very much for taking the time.

6 days of trekking and culture, Nepal - Nov 1 - Nov 6, 2016

Traveler: kayla b. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

I had to follow up a pick up time and itinerary several times. The first guide was late, thought I was being transferred to a different hotel, because he had his bike we walked for a decent while before being able to get a taxi which would take us and the bike.

The cycle tour was quite good. But the ending was disappointing being a festival there was no pizza and a drink. We found a place to have a drink and I was left to pay for my own taxi back to the hotel.

The following day the... read more

I had to follow up a pick up time and itinerary several times. The first guide was late, thought I was being transferred to a different hotel, because he had his bike we walked for a decent while before being able to get a taxi which would take us and the bike.

The cycle tour was quite good. But the ending was disappointing being a festival there was no pizza and a drink. We found a place to have a drink and I was left to pay for my own taxi back to the hotel.

The following day the monkey temple and the monastery were great. The monk was very illuminating and spoke very well. It was disappointing however that we could only talk for an hour and the monastery and library closed 15 minutes after finishing our discussion with the monk.

The welcome dinner was very nice and the social tours consultant (the young girl) she was very friendly and nice to talk to.

I enjoyed my time with Juman over the next few days hiking. The villages and scenary were nice even if majority of the time we were walking on the road.

I was disappointed that the hiking times were advertised 3.5-4.5 hours every day when the first day I walked for 2 hours and 10 minutes only and was eating lunch by 10am in an effort to stall time. On the second day we walked to Bhaktapur and again I was there much earlier then expected.

Juman was great company and the local guide in Bhaptapur had a lot of knowledge of the area.

Getting back to Kathmandu was very unorganised. I had to insist that the Peacock guest house organise and pay for the taxi back to Kathmandu as I was having trouble with my bank cards so couldn't get money out of the ATM's.

I was supposed to stop off at the coffee plantation on the way back which never happened, and the taxi driver asked for money when I arrived at the hotel implying that he hadn't been paid. He called the Peacock guest house and thank fully they sorted it out for me.

I thought that a transfer to the airport was included on the final day but this was not.

Whilst I liked the accommodation and it was very nice compared to the hostels I had been staying in, it was apparent that there was lots of other options (cheaper options) in the areas where I stayed which would have drastically reduced the amount which I paid for the trip, and I was disappointed that despite my request that this wasn't looked into.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kayla, am sorry to hear that some of the experiences we developed were not quite what you expected. I can assure you however that from our side, we have made every effort to ensure that it does match your expectations, in fact, exceed it.

Some of the errors have been pure misunderstandings which should not happen. I agree, and the feedback you have provided will ensure that we avoid these errors in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback. I must assure you that... read more

Kayla, am sorry to hear that some of the experiences we developed were not quite what you expected. I can assure you however that from our side, we have made every effort to ensure that it does match your expectations, in fact, exceed it.

Some of the errors have been pure misunderstandings which should not happen. I agree, and the feedback you have provided will ensure that we avoid these errors in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback. I must assure you that we do take peoples dream trips very seriously, and nothing that we did was done frivolously, but sometimes, situations make us have to adjust programs. Usually these adjustments enhance the trips even more, but unfortunately in this case, was not so! I regret that, as I feel bad that you did not have a fulfilling experience. That is never our intention!

Family trip to nepal - ktm, trekking and chitwan, Nepal - Oct 23 - Nov 5, 2016

Traveler: l m. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Social Tours couldn't have been better - we'd recommend them to anyone. They pulled together a fantastic trip and were very accommodating of requests we made whilst out there. The guides were great, too.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Glad you loved the trip and the people behind the work. Thats what we really treasure - the people, who make all this happen. Thanks for appreciating that!

We really enjoyed having you here!

Anita

Everest region monsoon trek, Nepal - Jul 6 - Jul 22, 2016

Traveler: Anita P. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Kimkim made this such an easy trip to book. I could log into kimkim and ask questions about anything and everything whenever they came to mind. Things related to trekking or Nepal in general. Kimkim would respond within 24 hours with great information. They were attentive to catering the trekking to what I wanted to do and see, kimkim worked with my budget and time frame to make sure I was getting the best deal possible.

Raj and everyone at social tours was super welcoming! They went out of... read more

Kimkim made this such an easy trip to book. I could log into kimkim and ask questions about anything and everything whenever they came to mind. Things related to trekking or Nepal in general. Kimkim would respond within 24 hours with great information. They were attentive to catering the trekking to what I wanted to do and see, kimkim worked with my budget and time frame to make sure I was getting the best deal possible.

Raj and everyone at social tours was super welcoming! They went out of their way to make sure things ran smoothly and that I was properly prepared for the trek. They checked in with me during the trek to make sure everything was ok. Once back in Kathmandu they were still very helpful and made sure I had everything I needed. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Raj and his team to other travellers looking to come to Nepal. Even if you just wanted to stay in Kathmandu, these guy have so many options for things to go and see and they really put the effort in to making sure you feel welcome and have an awesome stay in Nepal.

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Anita, sorry it took a while before I could respond as I was travelling. Thanks for the wonderful feedback and such a beautiful testimonial and recommendation. We love it that you appreciate our style of service. Hope to see you back here in Nepal of course, and another opportunity to showcase a different region in Nepal. Nepal is awfully addictive and we are quite sure you will come back one day!

3-day kathmandu valley tour, Nepal - Jul 9 - Jul 15, 2016

Traveler: Luke S. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Day 1: really great. Nice walk up to a very cool hotel. Got away from the city and really got a feel for the country side.

Day 2: hike back down to Bhaktapur was ok. The second half of the hike was on a main road with lots of traffic, so not that enjoyable. I would have been better if we could have walked in more rural setting like the day before. We ended up catching a bus to get to the hotel. The hotel was noisy, and not very modern bathroom. I would have changed the... read more

Day 1: really great. Nice walk up to a very cool hotel. Got away from the city and really got a feel for the country side.

Day 2: hike back down to Bhaktapur was ok. The second half of the hike was on a main road with lots of traffic, so not that enjoyable. I would have been better if we could have walked in more rural setting like the day before. We ended up catching a bus to get to the hotel. The hotel was noisy, and not very modern bathroom. I would have changed the hotel.

Day 3: very intense day. Early morning tour of Bhaktapor. Then move to Patan and tour and lunch and shopping there. Then Kharma Cafe, and finally goodbye dinner. Probably too many moves around on this day. Maybe would have been better to do Bhaktapor tour previous afternoon. Plus Kharma Cafe was not that interesting. I appreciate the concept of sustainable, local business, but driving 20 minutes there and 20 back for a coffee did not add significant value to the day...

I'm pleased with the support and service. I had no idea what to expect as I had never visited Nepal, so had some different thoughts in my head around what to expect. Organization and service was good, but now that I have a better idea of the urban Nepal, I would ask for some different options and focus things differently....

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Luke, for taking the time to send in this thoughtful review. Glad you liked it overall. Appreciate your honesty in giving us the constructive criticism for improvements. As you wrote, perhaps the third day was a bit too intense, starting a bit too early and it was packed...

I guess I was too excited to try and get you to see as much as possible.

The walk to Bhaktapur down from Nagarkot has three options, one that is more like you wanted, but is far longer - and the other thats... read more

Thanks Luke, for taking the time to send in this thoughtful review. Glad you liked it overall. Appreciate your honesty in giving us the constructive criticism for improvements. As you wrote, perhaps the third day was a bit too intense, starting a bit too early and it was packed...

I guess I was too excited to try and get you to see as much as possible.

The walk to Bhaktapur down from Nagarkot has three options, one that is more like you wanted, but is far longer - and the other thats the one you did and did not appreciate the walk on the road bit that is there at the bottom of the hill - and a third one that hikes all the way to Dhulikhel where you get picked up. I guess it is a bit complicated to guage the exact one that clients want, and on hindsight, which is always easier, I guess I should have scheduled in the third, which would be more to your liking... and more of a nature walk.

Thanks for all this. It is truly appreciated. We hope to see you in Nepal again!

6-day cultural tour kathmandu - pokhara, Nepal - Jul 1 - Jul 6, 2016

Traveler: Ana R. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Namaste to all at Social Tours,
Thank you very much for all doing your best on this very special trip. My cousins and I are leaving Nepal with the highest opinion of its people due to your infallible attentions, flexibility and enthusiasm.
All of our tour guides were extremely nice and helpful.

We will do our best to recommend your services and hope to be back in the future

Raj was amazing.
We didn't get to meet him while we were there but we was incredibly helpful throughout the whole planning process and left us in very good hands!

Raj Gyawali, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for the wonderful review Ana, truly appreciate it... Sorry was busy when you were here, but was following every day and keeping tabs on how the trip was progressing.. and was happy each day it went well... Glad it was a good trip! Hope to see you in Nepal again, and meet you someday!

Nick

Khopra danda trek, Nepal - Mar 3 - Mar 11, 2016

Traveler: Nick L. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Did a great job booking a trekking tour on very short notice. Everything went very smoothly and Alex and Raj were very responsive. In hindsight, I would have appreciated a more detailed price breakdown, but I didn't think to ask for that while booking.

Social Tours did a great job of getting me settled into my hotel in Kathmandu, and the trekking guide that they had hired did a wonderful job of making sure I was safe and that all my needs were taken care of during the trek.

Alex Buri, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Nick, it was a pleasure helping you plan your trip. Glad to hear you had a great time and everything worked out on short notice. Good feedback on the price breakdown, and happy to explain more next time :)