Eastravel

Reviews of Eastravel

Overall company rating
4 99%
Reviews submitted: 64
Reviews accepted: 64
Reviews rejected: 0
Excellent
62
Good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

A wonderfully varied experience of Myanmar

By Colin and Jill on 4 Mar 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Best of Burmese days >

Dear Dorothy

I just thought it would be good to get back to you to say how much we enjoyed the holiday and to give you some feedback on Mandalay Travel, the hotels and Burma Boating.

Overall assessment

We had one of our best holidays. We felt that yourselves, Mandalay Travel (ie guides), SY Dalai boat crew were all very attentive to our desires and very flexible even at the last minute. All the arrangements were seamless and professional with the one exception regarding with how Burma Boating dealt with the net pricing issue. Obviously the problems with the SY Jubilaeum was something that happens, however I hear from the skipper of SY Dalai (not to be quoted) that this boat is over-worked and under-maintained and that this problem is not uncommon.

The ballooning, hill trek, Ayerwaddy trip and train trips are definitely worthwhile parts of the itinerary.

All was superb.

Mandalay Travel

Phyu Phyu was a delight to deal with. The guide in Mandalay (Nyeung Thun?) was exceptional and Mo in Yangon very good too. Both had considerably better English than we were expecting. The guide in Inle (Than Zing?) was the weakest. His English was not the best, came across lazy and had an unfortunate smell. Otherwise good.

Hotels

The Governor’s Residence was the best but was probably the most expensive. Inle Heritage was a very special experience (thanks for the recommendation). The Aureum Palace was good but questionable in terms of the morality of the owner. The weakest property was the Mandalay Hills Resort which showed no character in its rooms, public facilities or cuisine. Difficult to believe that there is not a better property in Mandalay. The luxury of the boat was impassable.

Burma Boating

Obviously as you know our heart was set on the classic cruising experience. We have had a fibreglass yacht for 15 years and wanted something different and hence were disappointed with the change. That said the experience with SY Dalai could not have been better. The yacht was such a good sailing machine in light winds meaning that we could go under sail everywhere when the more classic yachts would have been under motor. Bruno, the skipper, was such a nice guy with a great story to tell if you were interested, which we were. The chef was second to none, a fact to which you had alluded. The result was still not quite what we had wanted but the result was fantastic and we could not help but recommend this boat and crew. The experience in the Mergui is obviously expensive but a very good addition to the holiday.


Conclusion

A personal thank you to you for all your hard work. At one point we might have seemed like the clients from hell, particularly when Jill had her operation and then her Aunt seemed on death´s door. Both are recovering well. Thanks for your patience.

All the best

Colin & Jill


Rating for tour operator Excellent

Dear Dorothy

I just thought it would be good to get back to you to say how much we enjoyed the holiday and to give you some feedback on Mandalay Travel, the hotels and Burma Boating.

Overall assessment

We had one of our best holidays. We felt that yourselves, Mandalay Travel (ie guides), SY Dalai boat crew were all very attentive to our desires and very flexible even at the last minute. All the arrangements were seamless and professional with the one exception regarding with how Burma Boating dealt with the net pricing issue. Obviously the problems with the SY Jubilaeum was something that happens, however I hear from the skipper of SY Dalai (not to be quoted) that this boat is over-worked and under-maintained and that this problem is not uncommon.

The ballooning, hill trek, Ayerwaddy trip and train trips are definitely worthwhile parts of the itinerary.

All was superb.

Mandalay Travel

Phyu Phyu was a delight to deal with. The guide in Mandalay (Nyeung Thun?) was exceptional and Mo in Yangon very good too. Both had considerably better English than we were expecting. The guide in Inle (Than Zing?) was the weakest. His English was not the best, came across lazy and had an unfortunate smell. Otherwise good.

Hotels

The Governor’s Residence was the best but was probably the most expensive. Inle Heritage was a very special experience (thanks for the recommendation). The Aureum Palace was good but questionable in terms of the morality of the owner. The weakest property was the Mandalay Hills Resort which showed no character in its rooms, public facilities or cuisine. Difficult to believe that there is not a better property in Mandalay. The luxury of the boat was impassable.

Burma Boating

Obviously as you know our heart was set on the classic cruising experience. We have had a fibreglass yacht for 15 years and wanted something different and hence were disappointed with the change. That said the experience with SY Dalai could not have been better. The yacht was such a good sailing machine in light winds meaning that we could go under sail everywhere when the more classic yachts would have been under motor. Bruno, the skipper, was such a nice guy with a great story to tell if you were interested, which we were. The chef was second to none, a fact to which you had alluded. The result was still not quite what we had wanted but the result was fantastic and we could not help but recommend this boat and crew. The experience in the Mergui is obviously expensive but a very good addition to the holiday.


Conclusion

A personal thank you to you for all your hard work. At one point we might have seemed like the clients from hell, particularly when Jill had her operation and then her Aunt seemed on death´s door. Both are recovering well. Thanks for your patience.

All the best

Colin & Jill


Fantastic holiday in Myanmar

By Happy holiday on 27 Feb 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about Best of Burmese days >

We really enjoyed it. All the guides were fantastic. The organisation was superb.unfortunately we can find Nothing to complain about! and would recommend the holiday t anyone. Every flight we took and every hotel we took knew we sew vebgetarian. How did they all know this on the other side of the world?

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Cathy was really helpful and put up with changes in our plans

Fantastic

By Rebecca on 23 Feb 2017

Rating for this holiday Good

We enjoyed our holiday and we are really pleased with the great advice and service we receivedo I would recommend this to my friends and family.

Rating for tour operator Good

Great service & fantastic knowledge

Good Times

By Good Times on 10 Feb 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent

Enjoyed our holiday , we travelled around Thailand and went to Vietnam, stayed in some great hotels and the travel times and transfers were well organised

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Organised our trip extremely well , flights, internal transfers and accommodation were all sorted and we had a hassle free trip. I would definitely recommend East Coast Travel to anyone.

A fabulous experience perfectly organised

By Sandy Cadiz-Smith on 17 Jan 2017

Rating for this holiday Excellent
Find more about North to South Vietnam tour >

We visited Phan Thiet and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Khao Lak in Phuket. Eastravel recommended all three of the areas and the hotels which were all fantastic. The transfers in Vietnam were included and worked perfectly, which made it totally hassle-free. We had a wonderful time exploring these two beautiful countries.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Eastravel recommended three areas and hotels in Thailand and Vietnam. There choices were all fantastic and made for a great holiday. In the planning stages they discussed options with us at length to make sure we were getting exactly what we were looking for, which we did. A pleasure to deal with, I will certainly be booking my next holiday East with them.

Incredible India

By Top Cat on 5 Dec 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

A fabulous tour to Incredible India. The country overwhelmed our senses. Fantastic architecture, interesting history, huge contrasts, marvellous hotels, top quality service, lovely people.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

East Travel made all our internal arrangements. Very flexible, great balance of travel and stays. Great and varied itinerary. Chose wonderful hotels. Excellent local agents. Nothing was a problem.

By Top Cat on 5 Dec 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

A fabulous tour to Incredible India. The country overwhelmed our senses. Fantastic architecture, interesting history, huge contrasts, marvellous hotels, top quality service, lovely people.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

East Travel made all our internal arrangements. Very flexible, great balance of travel and stays. Great and varied itinerary. Chose wonderful hotels. Excellent local agents. Nothing was a problem.

Touring southern India

By Laxi on 24 Nov 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

We have just returned from a 16-day touring holiday of southern India starting our adventure in Bangalore. We then travelled to Mysore, Nagarhole, Ooty, Cochin, the backwaters at Allepey and finished on the beach in Kovalam. We covered some 1,400 Kms and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We experienced everything from the Maharaja's palace in Mysore to tiger spotting in Nagarhole, to Ooty a beautiful hill station, tea plantations, a silk sari factory and at the end a lovely hotel in Kovalam to relax in before coming home. The food was wonderful and the local people quite delightful. All in all a great experience.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

We have been using Eastravel for a number of years now and have always been very pleased with the service that Dorothy and her team provide. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they always go the extra mile to ensure our holidays run smoothly. We would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Everything we could have wanted for our honeymoon

By Chris on 12 Oct 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

Using Eastravel as our agent was the best decision we made. Not only did they come in at around £2,000 cheaper than Thomas Cook and Thomson, they also facilitated private tours in Java and Bali, private transfers to each and every destination as well as selecting the very best hotels regardless of budget. This was a special trip for us, what with it being our honeymoon, and for that we will always be grateful for their efforts.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

Panorama we're great from the outset. Literally. It was hard to miss them in their very bright shirts at the airport! We had one particular guide called Agus who went to great lengths to show us everything there was to see in Yogyakarta including introducing us to friends of his who had suggestions of places to see and things to do in our spare time. Although we told people we were going to Bali for our honeymoon, it was the stint in Java that has resonated most with us as it was just such a pleasure and a surprise to be immersed in a drastically different culture - I don't think it would've been as hard-hitting if it hadn't been for Agus' knowledge of the area and his passion for Javanese culture and values.

Amazing african adventure.

By Pablovious on 4 Oct 2016

Rating for this holiday Excellent

In and out of Africa
I decided many years ago that I would love to go on Safari to shoot some wildlife, big game hunter me. So armed with my Canon for my 50th birthday I went in and out of Africa. Booking was made through East Travel (Ipswich) and they came up with a plan that should work, using Somak Safari, and this is my story.
My wife and I set off from LHR with Kenya Airways for the 8 hour direct flight to Nairobi. Kenya Airways are not the most polite or helpful and the food is dire, but hey, that’s not why we are going. An ill passenger had us diverted to Cairo and when I saw all the fuel being dumped into the desert I was a tad concerned. 3 hours of delay for the poor passenger and we were off again.
Nairobi was, well hot, hotter than expected. We met up easily with our guide and driver Yusef a 12th generation Kenyan with distinctly Asian looks and colouring, now I thought that was weird! What a lovely man. We went first on a 4 hour drive to Aberdares County Club for an overnight. Colonial in its styling the staff were fabulous. Hot water bottles in the beds and a great room and food. There was also the ‘Kumars’, who were a group on tour and caused a little annoyance when after dinner they did Bollywood to a ghetto blaster disturbing the sounds of African evensong. Morning prayers were an amusing sight and even the staff struggled to keep a straight face.
Yusef arrived on time and at 7 we were off, 4 more hours on the road to our first lodge proper. We were to stay in a tent for 2 nights in the wilds of Africa at Samburu. First though the spectacular sight of sunrise with an Acacia tree in the foreground. We were nervous, the roads were awful, police checkpoints and speed humps everywhere. The tent was a tent, big enough for 12 but with its double bed and ensuite shower room and toilet it became quite luxurious. We did our first game drive that afternoon after a few hours by the pool and by now my wife and I were enjoying singing ‘riding along in our army truck’ (look it up on you-tube, from Trumpton or Camberwick Green when I were a lad), interspersed with “Sorry, sorry” as another big bump spoiled the perpetual massage. We saw animals, big animals, lots of them and close up too! Dinner was prepared and we bedded down for the night at about 8.30. Here the electricity was from a generator with strict hours of available light and hot water was twice a day from a boiler heated by a wood fire beneath! You couldn’t make it up and it was heavenly, views were spectacular and again the staff were just so friendly. Yusef was teaching us to speak a few words so we could get into the swing of it all. The next day a 7.00 morning drive and I surprised Yusef with an untaught phrase ‘Simama Hapa’ (stop here). It was a hilarious reaction and so throughout our stay we got random phrases from the waiters to surprise Yusef. Another great drive and we had 3 of the big 5 conquered (only the Rhino and Leopard escaping my shutter). A pm drive and another great dinner ready for our 6.30 start.
Off we went to Serena Mountain Lodge, near the Presidents weekend pad so roads were a little better. Serena had a watering hole so look out for random wildlife. The staff were not good, the rooms tiny and the porter was very intimidating regarding a larger than normal tip! They did have a special though, a sheep’s head chained to a plinth for the wild cat to come and take away. My neighbours have meaner and bigger looking tabbies, pathetic. You can’t be held accountable for the lack of wildlife and here there was a lack of it but I was seriously disappointed and told Yusef to tell the porter who took my bag the next morning to see the big guy for his share of the tip! I would not book another Safari that included Serena as it is a waste of a day with rude staff. The one wow was we saw an eagle owl and some yank said “did you see an owl? What did it look like?”. I replied, casual like “Wings, feathers, head that goes all the way round!” Turns out he wrote the book “Birds of Africa”, took him years and he was just over to do book revisions!!
More humpity bumpity and off to Lake Nakuru crossing the Great Rift Valley enroute. Pictures do not do this place justice, the immense enormity of it simply cant be captured. Another fabulous lunch on the veranda with jaw dropping views of the park. Here we got Black and White Rhino (even if we did have to run the risk of the wardens by going out of bounds for whitey!) as well as the rest of the Gazelle, Impala, Zebra, Water buffalo, Monkeys, Flamingo (who appear to be emigrating to Lake Victoria as the water has changed as the Lake expands) a host of different birds including various Heron and Pelicans. After lunch we drove to Lake Naivasha, more a small sea than a lake as I understand it! Into a boat with Yusef no. 2 and off to see more and more. Get up close(ish) n personal with the Hippos and across the lake to see the Sea Eagles fish, stranded Wilderbeast and a Hummingbird! $40 for an hour and a half of high quality viewing and knowledge. Then overnight in Naivasha Sopa Lodge. This really is a posh gaff and a half, with security to take you and collect you from your room in case of a stray hippo. In the morning you have Giraffe grazing on the trees in your back garden!!
On we go to the Mara, be very warned that there really is an end of the road! The tarmac just stops for no logical reason and you have 2 hours of a full body massage at 50mph! Trust me its worth it. 2 nights in an ensuite tent that truly is better than the last with your patio in complete privacy overlooking a family of Hippo!! Lunch on the second day was hilarious when, due to their noise, I said “Bloody Hippo”. Just think about the bizarre nature of the phrase and simply being able to utter it in truth. Anyway more safari, Cheetah stalking, saw a kill (2 Cheetah lunch on a Gazelle) more Lion, Elephant etc etc. On our last morning Yusef parked up and threw us out into the bush. He had only organised as a surprise, a bush breakfast, with our very own chef, waiter and game warden! How totally amazeballs!!
Now for a well earned rest and back to Nairobi, Precision Air to Zanzibar, yep the plane was precision, precisely 3 hours late and lost precisely half the luggage of all the passengers!! Ja Ja our taxi and guide recovered our bag by lunchtime!! Blue bay beach resort is a little out of the way, but its paradise on legs, reception staff bit grumpy, well they are inside all day, every one else is awesome, we were Jambo’d out! The Indian ocean is the most beautiful colour and the temperature of a warm bath 24/7 no exaggeration. The sand has the softest, whitest sand and the beach boys are not annoying if you can stand up to them (Hapana!) Take and pay for a tour of Stone town and Spice world, I promise on your own you will miss sooo much. It is dear but you get the works.
The above really truly is just a summary. This holiday was worth every single penny and so much more. Well done East Travel, Somak Safari and above all the animals and people of Kenya and Zanzibar and especially the wonderful Yusef and Ja Ja. Thankyou for a wonderful unforgettable 2 weeks and 1400 photos !!
PS we did arrive home on time but a bag lighter!!
Kwaheri.

Rating for tour operator Excellent

See above