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Rakesh A

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Rakesh A

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Jan122013

Tour/Activity

Wellington's Lord of the Rings Half Day Tour

Wellington, New Zealand

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

If you're the type of person who gets excited by the thought of Elijah having stood the same ground as you, you may enjoy this tour. You're shown pics of LOTR scenes, and asked you to use your imagination. Save your money - visit the Weta Workshop and Rivendell on your own dime, and Hobbiton up north.

Oct052012

Tour/Activity

Wieliczka Salt Mine Half-Day Trip from Krakow

Krakow, Poland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Didn't really know what to make of it beforehand, but it was really interesting. The service included transport to/from a hotel *near* our own hotel (we had to walk there). They also drop you back in the main city centre/square if you want as well.

If you've got a couple of days in Krakow, I'd suggest going to check this site out - and the weather is the same underground all year round!

Oct052012

Tour/Activity

Communism Tour in a Genuine Trabant Automobile from Krakow

Krakow, Poland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This was great fun! Our guide was well spoken, and very knowledgeable about both the communist history, as well as Poland's current climate.

Two highlights were the visit to the "milky bar", and the furnished apartment. I'd recommend this tour to anyone who's after something a little different, but still informative and educational!

As the tour guide is also the car driver, if you book the tour - it'll most likely be just yourselves and the guide (so you're not really mixing with other tourists). I think however that if you are a large group of travellers, you can hire a number of cars to take the tour together.

Do it if you have the time!

Oct042012

Tour/Activity

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Half-Day Trip from Krakow

Krakow, Poland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Well...what can you say? This is the reason we came to visit Krakow. I won't describe the sights - as there is plenty of other information online, and in books about it. I'll comment just on the tour: they pick you up in the morning (8:30?), and got us back by about 3 or 4. We were given a guided tour for a couple of hours through the smaller Auschwitz compound, given a quick 15 minute break late-ish for grabbing a bite to eat (there are a couple of kiosks here to get chocolates, hotdogs, and drinks). After this, we went to the Aushwitz-Birkenau camp, and spent some time seeing this area. The tour is well done, and recommend it to anyone wanting to visit these places.

Oct022012

Tour/Activity

Munich Oktoberfest Tickets and Tour

Munich, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Great! Our guide was friendly, and knowledgeable! After meeting at the station, you take a train and quick walk to the Oktoberfest entrance. You then walk around the grounds and are shown a couple of interesting sights, and get to ride the ferris wheel! You're then taught the official Hofbrau drinking song, and led into the tent. Our guide was great, and though could knock off at midday, stayed another couple of hours. Word of advice: Try and keep a bit of change on you. Yes, you get 2 free beers included with the tour, and some chicken - but for every free beer - you are expected to tip 2 euro. Each beer you buy after that is 9 euro of your own cash + the 2 euro tip! This tour is a great way to meet other people to go drinking with and generally spend the day with! Your reservation at the table ends at 5PM - at which point you need to move. Your options are 1) to try and find another table within the same tent (if you leave the tent, you're unlikely to get into another tent anywhere), or 2) leave the tent, and go on a few rides, get some random snacks, and enjoy the rest of the fair! Do it!

Oct012012

Tour/Activity

Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Day Tour from Munich

Munich, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

You see two castles, but unfortunately cannot photograph the interior of either (for reasons of copyright protection). You can photograph the outside however, and the guide through each castle is good! When you get to Neuschwanstein, you can have lunch (and are suggested to go to Mullers for a very quickly brought out meal). You then have 3 options to get up to the top: horse (~5 euros - but slow), walking (difficult since it's 30 minutes uphill), or shuttle bus (1 euro each way!). We took the shuttle up (quickest), which gave us some time to go see the view from Mary's Bridge (which is the photo everyone takes of the castle). After the tour, we walked down in about 15 minutes (easy walk). You also stop in a small town between the 2 castles - Oberammergau. This is your scheduled souvenir and toilet break. I wasn't super impressed with the town, but whatever! If I had my time again, I would have tried to do the whole romantic rd, but for those who are short on time - this is fantastic , and a must see!

Sep112011

Tour/Activity

Aboriginal Cultural Tjapukai by Night Tour including Buffet Dinner

Cairns, Northern Beaches, Palm Cove, Australia

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

They tell you to come quite a bit earlier than the actual start time. Why? Because they leave you in their souvenir and crafts shop where out of sheer boredom you end up buying something. Not to mention that it is all ridiculously overpriced! The show itself was OK. If they ask for an audience participant - put your hand up, as they give you a little prize/token of appreciation!

Overall - the show was ok, and they do try to make it interactive. The food was not traditional aboriginal food (though not bad. Stuff like pasta, meat, prawns, veggies, etc). Aboriginal culture is so amazing, but I feel they could have done it all a little better. In summary: It's okay to kill some time if you're in the area. It is also important to get a taste of some of the native culture - so it's better than nothing!

Apr202011

Tour/Activity

Phuket to Phi Phi Islands by Speedboat

Phuket, Thailand

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Good tour, got to visit a few islands (except the James Bond one), do a bit of snorkeling - with plenty of fish, and have a nice buffet lunch.

You can bring your camera - no worries! It can be left on the boat whilst you go for a swim, and no one will steal it.

Guides were good. I'd recommend it as a worthy day trip!

Apr192011

Tour/Activity

Phuket Fantasea Show and Dinner

Phuket, Thailand

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Pretty good. Nice buffet - though if you pay extra you can get into the seafood section which is another room (we didn't see this until after we ate!).

Quite an extensive and well built complex - some sort of "disneyland meets pokemon" - without the rides.

The show itself was great. Though you're made to surrender your camera when going into the theatre - it is worth taking your camera as there are various interesting things you can take snaps off for the couple of hours you have before the show starts.

Recommended!

Jan292011

Tour/Activity

Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance

Rotorua, New Zealand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Fantastic experience. Our driver was highly entertaining, the mock village was surreal, and the food was ample. The Maori culture is really brought alive, and you feel very much like you're in Polynesia. Would recommend this to anyone!

Jan292011

Tour/Activity

Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour

Rotorua, New Zealand

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The morning is great - as you get to visit the mud and thermal pools as well as see the geyser. The afternoon is somewhat average - you visit the green and blue lakes (not as impressive as you might think), and the buried village (which is again nothing special). I would recommend the half day tour, and do something a bit more useful with your afternoon!

Jan282011

Tour/Activity

Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves Tour

Waitomo, New Zealand

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Great fun, and our guides were great. There is a small abseiling component, and even a flying fox. Though touted as a 'rafting' tour - there is only a few minutes of this, and you're more floating slowly than going through rapids. It is in fact more of a caving experience. Don't let that turn you off though - it was great one, and one of the highlights of the tour!

Jan272011

Tour/Activity

Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour from Bay of Islands

Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

This was o.k. More for older people, and the kauri forest we visited wasn't that impressive (though we heard of far more impressive ones from other travelers we met). The place we stop at for brekky and afternoon tea was also pretty average.

All in all, it was a somewhat underwhelming tour, though the lighthouse itself was pretty cool.

Sep122010

Tour/Activity

Versailles Small-Group Tour from Paris with Audio Guide

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Our guide was fantastic, and we had a great day. Touring both the palace, the gardens, and the private get aways of napolean, and of course marie antoinette's hamlet - it was a pretty good all round tour. Definitely recommend this tour to anyone.

Sep012010

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review
Uffizi guide was good. Accademia (~1 hour long) itself was somewhat unimpressive (apart from David himself). The main benefit of these tours would be the line skipping.

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