Hot answers tagged

32

Yes, seriously, although the US$65 "royalty" is actually included in the US$200 "daily package fee". However, that's the group rate (3 or more people), you get socked another $40/30 per person if you're traveling solo/duo, and another $50/night/person if you're visiting when it's neither midwinter nor monsoon (March-May, Sep-Nov). Bhutan explicitly wants ...


21

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mecca Non-Muslims are strictly prohibited from entering the city of Mecca. Road signs to guide non-Muslims are provided. The minimum penalty is deportation from the country. Documentation will be checked upon entry and anyone not showing proof of being Muslim will be refused entry. As a solitary exception, the Mecca bus ...


20

Only Muslims are allowed to travel to Makkah according to the current rules of Saudi Arabia. Is that an Islamic rule? No. Makkah during the prophet Mohammed's time had non Muslims, they were never kicked out. This rule shows up after that, not sure when exactly but the point is, it's not an Islamic rule. Can you still visit, simple answer is: YES. There ...


17

I'm from Christchurch (although I live in Sydney at present). Yes, certainly. The museum has reopened and has some stuff about the city. However, in the 'container mall' known as re:Start, there's an information center with a lot of info on the history. It's coordinated by the museum and the exhibit/place is called Quake City. It has an interactive ...


13

Officially or even semi officially no. The plant is still owned by TEPCO so arranging it with them would probably give you a better access and safer tour if they choose to allow it. However, there are other options if you choose to consider them. There is a boat tour that approaches the plant from sea or a Fairewinds virtual tour. Or finally you can try ...


13

For starters it is not a "minimum spend", rather it is the base rate per day for tours. It covers your government taxes, accommodation, three meals, guide services and transport. If you are doing some more specialized like white water rafting, climbing, etc there is a supplement. If you are wanting to stay in upscale hotels there is a supplement. The ...


12

Yes, there are walking tours, with guides, in the countryside, but I am not sure those are what you want. Mostly they are meant to show people the local nature reserve and do relatively few miles with a lot of (Dutch language) explanations. There are also loads of unguided walks, from a single kilometer to multi-day walks that take up to over a week to ...


11

I went there solo for 5 days in 2007, as part of a backpacking trip, and it's like this: You contact a tour agent ("operator") and explain that you just want to see the sights for N days. (Many of their tourists hire porters for serious mountaineering.) You will be quoted the minimum rate of $200/day or whatever. If the rate is different or the reply ...


10

There really isn't a "travel agency" price anymore. Travel agencies get a commission (small) for everything they sell at retail prices. They don't buy cheap and add on profit margins. Travel agents can avail themselves to industry pricing sometimes, but that is only for themselves and usually is dependent on how much they sold for that company the year ...


10

Unless you're an Indian, Bangladeshi or Maldivian citizen, you are unable to enter Bhutan without going through a Bhutanese tour agent - either directly or via a tour agent in your own country. You will not receive a visa otherwise. These tour agents are the ones that effectively "ensure" that you will meet the minimum spend as per Bhutanese tourist ...


9

Since you presumably won't have a car, you might be particularly interested in the so-called “NS-wandelingen”. Those are one or two-day walks signposted by the national railway company and designed to be easily accessible by public transport or to link two railway stations. There is a list on eropuit.nl (one of the sites mentioned by Willeke). In the ...


6

Those tips seem way too high. To put those figures in perspective, legal minimum wage in Haryana (state next to Delhi and one of the richest in India) is 5,800 rupees/month, and there are plenty of unskilled workers (live-in maids etc) getting paid much less than that. If you tip somebody Rs. 1500/day for a month, he's making almost 10x that! I'd revise ...


6

If you enjoy being deported and detained, then by all means try to sneak into Makkah. Deportation for non-muslims caught in Makkah and Medina results in a lifetime ban from the country. The signs are clearly marked; for example - for those coming from the East (Riyadh): Makkah (the city) is entirely off-limits. It includes the buildings (and other ...


4

The only way a non-muslim can legally go to Mecca is with special permission of the government, which you might get if, for example, you were needed to do some skilled work that you were uniquely qualified for. Breaking the law in KSA is not a good idea.


4

Actually it seems that the ticket distribution moved to Members of Congress only to combat White House Ticket scalping going back to Clinton era. And then under George W. Bush under the claim that tours are free so noone should profit from it: ''The White House welcomes large numbers of visitors, consistent with previous administrations,'' said the ...


4

Yes, companies exist (or, at least, existed recently) which provide guided outdoor rock climbing trips departing from Bangkok. Two examples from a May 7, 2014, post on expatlifeinthailand.com (cached here): Bouldering just outside Bangkok with Proclimber Thailand A small purist bouldering club with a very small (and hot) wall hidden in the ...


3

I lived in India for 6 months. Those numbers are way too high as jpatokal mentioned. My usual way is to tipping is if I feel that the person deserves the tips, I'd tip. I don't really tip taxi drivers. My local friends told me that tipping culture has damaged the country where taxi drivers only take foreigners because they tip and local people don't. ...


3

The Dublin Winterfell tour is €55. They give out free cloaks and you even get to meet the real direwolves from seasons 1 and 2. See www.gameofthronestours.com.


3

I asked here and got this answer: Hieronder rusthen Lijk den Here lies the body of Egte Vrouwe Van de Heer the wife of Mister Godefridus Weijerman Godefridus Weijerman gen. Susanna Geertruijda named Susanna Geertruijda Pfeiffer in de kraam van eene Pfeiffer while giving birth to a Doode Soon Overleden dead son [she] died den 28 Maart Ao 1715[?] ...


3

Sounds like you're being pretty prudent already. Additional measures I can think of are try to pay with a credit card if you can, make sure your travel insurance covers a situation like that, and check that the business is a registered agent. There's usually an agency that overseas travel agents, you can always query for their standing. A single bad review ...


2

The primary reason for doing it on your own is usually lower cost and more flexibility. The primary reason of doing it with a guided tour is the local knowledge that your guide can share with you. So a traveler needs to decide, do they want to save money and just go look at it, or do they want to come away with an insiders understanding of it. And no, ...


2

I found the Nibduck website, which shows different tours worldwide and lets you contact the tour operator directly. Also found Tour Radar which is a similar but bigger company.


2

I'm late to the party but for anyone reading this later: Driving to Matamata from Auckland is fairly quick (approx 2 hours) and finding the Information Centre is an easy way to visit Hobbiton. There are brochures and helpful staff in the centre that will ensure you get to try the Hobbit beer and buy a replica ring :). Related website: ...


2

What a great question! I have given 'free walking tours' in London for a long time. Also in England (e.g., Yorkshire). Also in France. And from time-to-time I guide a 'free tour' on the Route Napoléon which involves either cars or motorcycles and lasts several days. They are all heavily oriented to history and/or literature. I have also guided free ...


2

I had good experiences with Vietnamese run tour companies, by: Checking for recommendations both in guidebooks and recent online reviews. Both because online reviews can be faked, businesses that were reputable 4 years ago can be taken over, but it's very difficult to turn a formerly-reputable business into a rip-off tourist trap without incurring the ...


2

My wife and I visited Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay last year and used a travel agent (and house/room rental B&B) through AirBnB. It was the many positive reviews, pictures on Facebook, etc., that provided confidence.


2

From personal experience (I lived in Vietnam for 2 years and travelled extensively) I would say avoid the Vietnamese run tour companies like the plague....The good local ones are few and far between... Your best bet is to either plan to travel independently, and when you want to go to somewhere like Ha Long Bay, organize the trip either through the ...


2

Spehro is quite correct. It will be a combination of cost and allocation. The tours companies will try and of course do the best deals they can with the airline, part of this, in many cases, is a firm commitment to a number of seats on a given flight. If the tour company cannot meet this commitment the airline will shuffle things to get the best yield on ...


2

So as an update I successfully got tickets. After a few more weeks of watching their site... tickets seem to go up at around 8:30am CDT and seem to be gone, on average, at around 10:30am CDT. The tickets for Nov 23 were available on Oct 24 (a Saturday) but the tickets for Nov 24 weren't available on Oct 25 (a Sunday) but rather on Oct 26 (a Monday). In ...


2

You should probably look at the FAQ to answer your question: It looks like there are no available tour times. Why am I unable to book a reservation online? Reservations are available at a first-come, first-served basis 30 days in advance on a rolling calendar. Can I book a reservation for more than four months from now? No. Reservations ...



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