Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Lhasa Tibet - Tours - Minimal Services Requirements


HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  141
DATE:  February 25, 2004
TITLE: 
Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Lhasa Tibet - Tours - Minimal Services Requirements
TIP: Tours - Minimal Services Requirements
LOCATION: Lhasa, Tibet

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Hobo TRAVEL TIPS -  Lhasa Tibet - Tours - Minimal Services Requirements
Issue 141 Hobotraveler.com – February 25, 2004
http://www.hobotraveler.com
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 7
Write Andy a HoboTraveler.com
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READ ONLINE: Is this scramble in Outlook?
Hotmail.com... or TROUBLE opening links.
Read the letter online and open the links easily.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo141insert.shtml

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~ HOBO TRAVEL QUOTES
      How I feel today...
~ HOBO PHOTO GALLERY
~ HOBO DAILY TRAVEL LOG
       A daily web diary of my travels.
      http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html
~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
     Location of Hobo and opinions
       Lhasa, Tibet
~ HOBOGUIDE.COM (Go this way)
       TIBET SELF-HELP TOUR
       Katmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet
 ~ TODAY’S TIP
        TOURS - MINIMAL SERVICES REQUIREMENTS
        What are the minimal services you should require
        of a tour or tour guide?
  ~ EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL
       Scott’s Bike Trip Around World
~ TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”
~ HOBO QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
~ HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks

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~ HOBO TRAVEL QUOTES
How I feel today, or a start down
the proverbial travelers path.

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving
- Lao-tzu (sixth century BC)

~ BACKPACKER JARGON

Dorm
- A large room with from 3-40 bed where you hear snoring and
people steal your guidebook or camera. The worst part about a
Hostel that robs you of privacy and guarantees the owner a large
profit, to be used as only the last option that only makes sense in
Europe and USA. It is absolutely ridiculously risky when a room
can be found for fewer than five dollars, but a great place to
meet people or someone’s daughter for a private room companion.
 
~ HOBO SLANG

Belly robber
 - A boarding boss who tries to save money on food.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/hobo.php

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~ HOBO PHOTO GALLERY

A lot of photos - The world unedited...
Right Click - Open in New Window.

KATMANDU, NEPAL PHOTOS
Tours Salesman - Tibet Peace Guesthouse
Typical Tourist Street in Katmandu, Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu01_01.shtml
Music - Tibet Peace - Street Food - Foot Fetish
Thai Massage Kathmandu, Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu01_02.shtml
Tour Company - Snake Charmers - Eagles
Tourist Center Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu01_03.shtml
Embroidery - Architecture - Backpack Factory - Katmandu Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu02_01.shtml
Backpack Factory - Solar Heated Water
Katmandu, Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu02_02.shtml
Popcorn Peanuts Orange Juice American Flag T-shirts
Kathmandu, Nepal Katmandu Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu02_03.shtml
Backpack - Typical Nepal Hat - Hot Water
Import Export Cargo - Kathmandu Katmandu Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandu03.shtml
Kathmandu Backpack Factory Kathmandu Nepal Katmandu
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandufactory01.shtml
Katmandu Backpack Factory Gear Kathmandu Nepal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141kathmandufactory02.shtml

DAY ONE OF TOUR - KATMANDU NEPAL TO LHASA TIBET
Trip from Katmandu Nepal to cross the border and stayed
the night in Zhangmu, Tibet - Just across the border

DAY ONE TOUR - Fields - Breakfast - Mustard
Kids stopping bus - Katmandu to Border
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday01c_01.shtml
DAY ONE TOUR - Crossing the border
The night in hotel at Zhangmu, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday01c_02.shtml
DAY ONE TOUR - Misc. - Converter - Toilets
Bungy Jump - Katmandu to Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday01m.shtml

DAY TWO - KATMANDU NEPAL TO LHASA TIBET
Waking up in Zhangmu and drive to Latse, Tibet

DAY TWO TOUR - Leave Zhangmu - Breakfast
Toilet - Snow Capped Mountains Tibet Tour
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_01.shtml
DAY TWO TOUR - Drive through snow passes
Toilet - Man on Pony - Yaks - Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_02.shtml
DAY TWO TOUR - Very high pass - Prayer Flags
Snow - Signing and leaving Flags - Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_03.shtml
DAY TWO TOUR - Very high pass - Culturally
significant village close to Everest - Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_04.shtml
DAY TWO TOUR - Culturally significant village close
to Everest - 5220 Meter Gyatsola Pass Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_05.shtml
DAY TWO TOUR - Checkpoint - Dancing by fire and
typical Music Instrument - Invited to Home - Latse Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday02_06.shtml

DAY THREE - KATMANDU NEPAL TO LHASA TIBET
Drive from Latse, Tibet to Shigatze, Tibet
and the Hotel Everest Friendship Hotel
(Terrible Hotel)

DAY THREE TOUR - High Pass - Hotel with No water
Shigatse Tibet - Washing Machines Bikes
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday03_01.shtml
DAY THREE - FOUR TOUR - Stupa - Monastery
Xhigatze, Tibet or What I do not know
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday03_02.shtml
 
DAY FOUR AND DAY FIVE ARE GARBLED TOGETHER
Drive from Xigatse to Gyantse and more Buddhist Monasteries

DAY FIVE
Drive from Gyantze to Lhasa, Tibet

TOUR - KATMANDU NEPAL TO LHASA TIBET

DAY FOUR TOUR - Panchen Lama's Tashilhumpu
Monastery - Xigatse, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday03_03.shtml
DAY FOUR TOUR - Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday03_04.shtml
DAY FOUR TOUR - Paid Shower - After pushing
guide for information - Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday03_05.shtml
DAY FOUR TOUR - Gyantse, Tibet Hotel
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_01.shtml
Significant culture city - Plus Misc
Terrible Wu Tse Hotel in Gyantse, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_01_01.shtml
Monastery in Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_02.shtml
Walls falling down in Expensive or First Class
Hotel and Castle or Fortress in Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_02_01.shtml
Sitting around with old lady and the beggars outside
of Monastery in Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_03.shtml
Goat - Babies Butt Hanging out of Hole... Castle Tibet - Beggars
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_04.shtml
Tractor - Fortress or Castle - Toilet in the Terrible
Wu Tse Hotel in Gyantse, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday04_05.shtml
Yamdrock Lake on the way to Lhasa, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday05_01.shtml
Yamdrock Lake on the way to Lhasa, Tibet
Mt Kamala 4852 Meters - Buddha
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday05_02.shtml
Stone Buddha - Snowland Hotel and Bankak Shol Hotels
in Lhasa, Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday05_03.shtml
Banak Shol Hotel and Rickshaw Path in Lhasa Tibet
http://www.hobotraveler.com/141tibetday05_04.shtml
 
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~ HOBO DAILY TRAVEL LOG
       A daily web diary of my travels.
      http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html

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~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)

TIBET, CHINA
The roof of the world.

Jeff and me traveled by 4-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser
on a tour from Katmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet. We are going plane
next to Beijing to connect with the Tran-Siberian Railway to travel
across Russia and ending in Finland.

Jeff is a friend I met in Oaxaca, Mexico about five years ago
and we have me subsequently in San Jose, Costa Rica, Quito,
Ecuador and now have hooked up in Varanasi, India.

I am happy to say we just arrived in Lhasa, Tibet after some of the
worst Hotel living conditions in my seven plus years of travel.

To travel from into Tibet you must be with a tour group, which
always rings of corruption when they require a certain method
of travel and can control free enterprise, competition, and price.

Nonetheless my present travel partner and every planning,
ever reading, and ever prioritizing partner Jeff chose the best tour
for the money, while unfortunately some other members of our tour
group that paid for the first class treatment got the screwing of
their lives for their Euros.

So Jeff chose the best possible priced tour that would get us from
point A to point B with the least amount of pain, and we got more
or less what we expected. The tour operators in Kathmandu though
are either ignorant of the conditions of the Tibet side of the tour or
are just lying crooks.

I so glad I do not depend on tours sales to fund my newsletters or travels
or I would be tempted to keep my mouth shut…

Hehehe - Note that some of the photos are obnoxious!

Well, life is good now that I am back in the 5 Dollars a night hotel
of my choice and off the invisible leash of a tour guide.

ADVERSITY TEACHES HARD LESSONS

This tour was a great example of reason I do not go on tours very
often, and is the impetus for the today tip on tours and guides.

But Tibet is a wonderful place and at least 10 times richer than
I expected full of warm people and happy faces. More modern
convenience than I usually encountered in places like South America,
but still a wide-open place for the tourist who wishes to avoid
other tourist. This is winter, but they do appear to have the entire
tourist infrastructure needed for a "keep your hands clean tour" that
most of you want.

I believe that Tibet is full during the summer months with tourist and
and the best time to visit is just before and after summer.
There has been a major quality level jump in the type of
traveler as we left the drugs and spiritual fanatics travelers of India and
Nepal behind, although the Free Tibet people are still with us.

ADVENTURE TOURS

I looked up at a sign in Lhasa yesterday that advertised
Tibet Adventure Tours, or some other noise.

I do not want to mislead you, or maybe you start searching the internet,
reading about Tibet,  or some one tells you of great adventure in Tibet.
I do not want you to think for a moment that I was on some
“Adventure Tour.” I have been riding around in 4-Wheel Drive,
Toyota Land Cruiser, with a Stereo, warm, quiet, and the driver stopped
whenever we wished to allow us to go behind the pile of rocks…
for the necessities of life.

But if you call sleeping in a room with no heat at 40 Degree
Fahrenheit and having a tour guide try to convince you that an
unacceptable toilet is acceptable and that not showering is
normal, then I was on an adventure, but for me, this was a trip
through Gods Country and as always there only seems to be God
up there and a few poor farmers too poor to leave, that have no
idea they should.

But as for me this place make me grateful for all I have, and I
think the Chinese should be thanked for bringing this place
out of the dark ages and religious fiefdom.

We are not going to look for the cheapest transportation to
Beijing, China for the start of our Trans-Siberian Railway trip.

I be Hobo!
I be Freezing!
I be Tibet.

Today's go this way is on:
TIBET SELF-HELP TOUR
Katmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet

Today’s tip is on:
TOURS - MINIMAL SERVICES REQUIREMENTS
What are the minimal services you should require
of a tour or tour guide?

Just another day in Paradise!
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X
Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
http://www.hobotraveler.com
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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~ HOBO ECONOMICS 101
My daily cost is about $15
Hey? I just gave you 20 Minutes of entertainment
at my expense. How about a buck? A Dollar?
A Euro? A Pound?
This letter is free, but I need your help. I have run
away from home! I be Hobo.

TRAVEL INSURANCE - Insure And Go!
http://www.insureandgo.com

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~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY!

TIBET SELF-HELP TOUR
Katmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet

This is about taking a tour from Katmandu, Nepal
to Lhasa, Tibet

I suppose it is the wrong time of year…
It is just too cold in February of 2004.

Tibet is one of the best cultural destination I have visited, and would
consider the people inhabiting the mountains regions unique.
They are separated and in most ways sheltered from the world
that created a race of proud people without the normal influences
of the MTV and politically correct generation people. They have
their own style, they have their own manner of living, and they
do as they please up on the roof of the world called Tibet.

Entering Tibet from Nepal has to be one of the best tours
a person could have to see the Himalayas and to discover
the people that live in this harsh world of mountains and snow.
You will see donkey carts, women with Yak hair insulated skirts,
snow capped mountains, cold mountain streams, and sit in
a restaurant about a stove burning dung to heat the room.
I felt like I was in an old western movie in the mountains
searching for gold.

I would recommend you travel one-way to Lhasa, Tibet
from Katmandu, Nepal and return by airplane.

TOURS

The underdeveloped country in my opinion suffer from a
minimalism of anything, and just cannot do it right sometimes.
So we suffered at the hands of our tour company as they allowed
us to be tortured by the climate and there just lack of caring for
other people, but this is standard operating procedure for
75 percent of the world.

YOU MUST PRETEND YOU HAVE NO GUIDE
This is one tour where the guide is just there with you,
and you should be prepared to fend for yourself and
demand some service.

It was five days of…

Five days of motions sickness because of very rough roads
cut out of the sides of mountains.

Traveling very quickly up to over 5000 meters in altitude that
resulted in members of the group having altitude sickness
with symptoms of headaches and possible worst results and
missing some of the sights.

Freezing because none of the hotels had heat. They appeared
to be completely closed for the season, and only opened to
earn easy money by not providing adequate services.
Having a guide that does nothing, but talk with the drivers, and
the main part of the tour was to take us to Monasteries, but
provide historical or factual information. I missed out on seeing
the Tibet side of Mount Everest because the guide did not stop.

I used the wide-open spaces for my toilet because it seems perfect
compared to the Hotels.

THE PERFECT TOUR WOULD BE…
It would be the perfect to go slow and stay in small villages Hobo trip,
but the Chinese Government presently makes this impossible by
only granting 20-25 Day Visas, which essentially says,
“You can visit, but you cannot look around.”

It could be also be called,
“The Mountain Monastery Tour,”
or how why I now want to read the book,
“Seven Years in Tibet,”

This I believe is the background or conceptual making
of the book “The Razor’s Edge” by Somerset Maugham. They
made a movie of this book, which I have watched in excess of
25 times and is my favorite movie. The Tibet landscape, the
Monks, Monasteries, the Mountain people, and the small
children enthused me to watch the movie yet another time.

You will be inundated with these words, and all the other
members of the tour group will assume you care, so to
protect yourself from the “I read the guidebook too much”
people best to attempt to manage these terms.

Look up and try to understand in the Encyclopedia or ask
your friends for the significance of:

Dalai Lama
Buddhism
Tibet
Portala
Free Tibet
Richard Gere
Dharmasala, India
Stupa

But also ask yourself?
“How did these people live 50 years ago?
“How did these people earn a living or survive 50 years ago?
“Is it better or worst?”

Try not to buy the “Free Tibet” crap, hook, line, and sinker
without trying also to see what the Chinese have done for
Tibet since they took over.

I have fully documented the trip from Katmandu to Lhasa
both with over 500 photos and a daily log of my feelings
and thoughts. The photos are above in the gallery.

Read the travelogue from:
February 19-25 of 2004
BROKE URL http://www.hobotraveler.com/2004_02_01_archive.html
OR
http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html

By the way, you will get the clear and distinct feeling that I am
happy that the Chinese are running these desolate mountains
in the middle of nowhere, and they are lucky the Dalai Lama
has ran, because I believe this place was a horrible place to
live before the Chinese.

Yes, it is beautiful, but it is still an inhospitable place to live.
Be a gambler, take the tour.

Just another day in Paradise!

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
     X
Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
http://www.hobotraveler.com
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
-------------------------------------------------------------

~ TODAY’S TRAVEL TIPS

TOURS - MINIMAL SERVICES REQUIREMENTS
What are the minimal services you should require
of a tour or tour guide?

The tours and the travel agents seem to conspire to say that all
guides and tours are professional and quality. I have a little
experience traveling and when I pay the big Hobo bucks for
a tour, I do know what I want.

A guide has their hands full when a traveler has more experience
in surviving and traveling than the guide.

This tip is the result of a tour I took that left from
Katmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet and is not about expecting a lot,
it is about expecting the
“MINIMUMS”

I was required by the Chinese government to book a tour
to enter Tibet as a visa requirement. I did not want or need
a guide.

Here is a list of my personal requirements from a tour
compiled while on the trip. You can use this list to ask
your travel agent or the tour company questions before you pay.

LIST OF SERVICES I WANT FROM A TOUR

DAILY PLANS UPDATE
Whether at night or in the morning the guide should tell the group
where, why, what and how we are doing things for the day so
people can anticipate their or coordinate with their other needs.

Example why important:
We had an itinerary of where and what we would visit daily in Tibet.
They changed or skipped some of the attractions. I wanted to see
the Tibet side of Mount Everest, but because I was not aware
we would be passing the view I missed the sight.

HEAT, SHELTER, FOOD, SHOWERS
The guide needed to explain to the group how these can be best
attained or the exact level these will be provided or delayed.

Example why important:
We arrived across the Nepal / Tibet border and checked into
a room. There was no information as to if there was or was
not a shower in what appeared to be a 3-Star Hotel, and would
seemed normal. The tour guide just left and the desk people did
not speak English, so the group walked around until they found
a toilet, but no shower. There were washbasins in each of the
rooms, but there was no water provided to have a sponge bath.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING?
It would be best if everyone had a checklist of the things that
would be helpful or needed to bring, but in the event there is
language problems the guide should go over with all members
what they assume or think you should have with you on the tour.
A tour company is there to be the solution to problems and
should be prepared for the un-prepared tourist.

Example why important:
Here was the extreme situation. We traveled to over 5000
Meters with the tour and some members got very sick and
missed parts of the tour laying in bed with headache and symptoms
of altitude sickness. There are preventative medicines that
a person can take for altitude sickness.

Many of the group did not have sleeping bags and were not
able to sleep because of cold.

MONEY MANAGEMENT
A tour guide should provide opportunities to extract cash from
Bank Machines, ATM’s, or Money Exchanges will be and
the member will have adequate cash for entering tourist attractions,
food, or other miscellaneous things like breakfast.

Example why important:
We crossed a country border from Nepal to Tibet. There were
people hawking and pushing us in the street to exchange money
and I did, but upon getting on the other side the rate was better.
The guide is there for guidance... yes or no?

It is better to spend all your local currency in one country and
extract money from the bank machine in the next country. But in the event
there are no bank machines in the next cities, there is a huge
need to know this. The tour guide provided no information or
guidance. In the event you did not know that the admission to
a museum was not included in the tour you could find yourself
having to borrow money from other tour members.

CONTACTING THE GUIDE
The guide should make it clear how they can be contacted
at all times and where they are sleeping in the event of an
emergency.

Example why important:
One of the members was in bed as to what appeared to be
altitude sickness. The guide, the drivers, and the vehicles left
us stranded. If the person had become in need of a doctor or
immediate medical care we would have been without means
to transport easily and no knowledge of the language or city.

WRITTEN ITINERARY WITH TOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
When the guide speaks a different language this become very
important and easier for the guide. In the even that you buy a
tour from a broker of tickets that provides information, but does
not actually perform the tour there are inconsistencies.

Example why important:
It appeared that every tour agent in Katmandu sold this tour to
Tibet, but upon leaving and comparing of itineraries they were
differences in what would be provided or not provided. The tours
sales agents in Katmandu were sending all purchasers of the
tours to the same tour guide, but the guide had no itinerary that
would have been, or could have been considered the master
itinerary, therefore member we left reading their itineraries and
in wonder of why or why not events happened.

The contact information in the event of a car accident, theft,
or the guide become sick and we need to contact the manager
of the company personally. We had the contact information of
the companies we purchased the tours from, but not the resulting
actual tour company and address. Plus in the event we wished to
demand a refund as a few of the member wished to do, if possible.

Note that refunds in under-developed countries happen about
zero percent of the time. When they have the money you do not
get it back.

SAFETY EXPLAINED
A tour company should provide information on dangers and
solutions to anticipated problems.

Example why important:
(I am in Tibet presently writing this and half the group has a headache,
and one German man is very sick. He did not go with us to the
Monastery because of he severity. It could be because of altitude
sickness, food or water, or possibly motion sickness because the
road is terribly bumpy. The altitude sickness can be very dangerous.)

Hot Water was served to all the rooms as a cultural standard in
Tibet for tea. There was no advice or information as to whether it was
advisable for the foreigners to drink this water.

REGULAR TIME SCHEDULES
Same travel times, same dinner time, breakfast or updates so
the group can anticipate, and prioritize.

Example why important:
There was a two hour change in time from Nepal to Tibet and
we all needed to adjust our clocks, although some had, and
other did not have clocks, and there were variances. Waking
up suddenly two hour later makes you need an alarm clock
when maybe in the past you did not.

A regular leaving time, breakfast time helps all the members
to have breakfast, with no confusion.

ASK FOR QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS FROM TOUR MEMBERS.
This is o the group does not have to aggressive or arrogant in
pursuing answers to problems.

Example why important:
The guide was not available in the morning at breakfast and we
had to aggressively ask her questions and demand answers.
This was because the tour was attempting to coerce the members
into accepting unacceptable situations by keeping us in the dark
as to what to expect, know, or anticipate. There was an attitude of
"follow, accept, and do not ask questions." This leads to members
of the group becoming very angry, and insecure.

TRANSPORTATION OR INFORMATION ON TRANSPORT
Provide choices or alternative for the groups as to how to travel
around the cities or areas when there is free time.

Example why important:
We arrive to a large city along the route. The tour company took us
to an isolated hotel location that made it almost impossible to
eat at any restaurant except for the “Make Money” restaurant of the tour.
Tours will keep or arrange the situation so the members of the tour
cannot walk around or learn about the city on their own. This is to
keep you from learning anything but what they wish you to learn
about the city or country. The less you know and see the easier
your are to manage. You came to see the country, not the inside
of the restaurant or resort owned by the tour company.

But more importantly three members of the group needed to go
to the bank machine for money. We had just arrived in a foreign
country, we do not speak the language, there are no taxis around,
and if they did, they would not speak the language. We had to in
the end demand that the driver take us to the bank machines, and
this often elevated to the level that we had to physically intimidate
the tour company to demand basic services.

COMMUNICATION WITH WORLD
Provide information for people on how to use telephone, Internet,
or anyway of necessity communications or make aware when
these will not be available.

Example why important:
Hey when the wife, children, parents, or family is worried they
need a call, or email of possible for reassurance. I am predominantly
an email person and in the second largest city in Tibet I was not
able to use the Internet because the tour had isolated us, not provided
means of transportation, and the guide became unavailable for
questions, while none of the hotel staff spoke English.

WAKE UP CALLS
The guide should either call the room, or knock on the door to
insure that all members of the tour are up and getting ready to depart.

Example why important:
Members of our group missed breakfast a few times, or arrived late.
If the group were a larger group we would have spent half our
time waiting for the members that had trouble with time to arrive
for departure.

CHECK OUT OR SEE IF FACILITIES ARE UP TO STANDARDS
Check out the facilities such as Hotel, Car, Restaurant before
we enter to be sure adequate and no problems.

Example why important:
We entered on the trip from Nepal to Tibet hotels that had no
running water and were closed. The one hotel had all the water
turned off, the door was locked, and we searched for help.
This was actually the tour trying to provide substandard facilities
and not a checking problem and I would have called inadequate.

The final rooms entered by the first class tour member were not
cleaned and one of the staff started to make a bed that was
already used by another person. We in the end again had to
demand service from the guide and tour company.

In the one hotel the common toilet that the cheaper paying
members of the group including Jeff and me had the water
off and was being used. It was impossible to walk in the toilet
and I finally ended up finding a corner of the Hotel grounds
to use.
(Oops, maybe it was a strategic location choice!)

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT?
AND NOT THE ABOVE!

History, facts, and culture of the area.

What to buy? Where to go? And laughing and comparing
pictures of the trip with the group.

Calling home, writing and e-mail, or buying some postcards.

This is my list of minimal requirements for tours. People of
the western world often assume that common manners and
services would be provided as standard. When you are
traveling in an under-developed country it is not just the country
infrastructure and economy that is underdeveloped, it is also
the culture and social skills. It is often easy to see that going
on a Hobo budget these service cannot be provided, and I am
expecting the local standard of living, but for those you that paid
the big dollars can and should expect western services when
you are paying western prices.

Demands service for your money, but more important get
these things in writing and have them explained before you
embark on that tour of your dreams that you saved for all
your life. There is a myth among tourist that "First Class"
services are not always available. If you are paying first class
prices you need to demand first class treatment.

Fortunately Jeff and Me as experienced travelers with over
100 countries under are belts knew how to deal with more
difficult cultural problems and abuses and stopped a lot of the
problems before they happened. But this also create situations
where we was performing the guides jobs, and the other
members in their "middle class guilt" thought and naivety
questioned our methods. We have learned some very hard
and difficult lessons about other cultures along the way and we
refused to repeat those lessons. I hope by writing this tip you
can learn to anticipate and waylay problems for your
dream tours.

I purchased the tour with only one goal, to arrive in Lhasa, Tibet
because you must by China law enter Tibet by a tour group,
and did not for one minute anticipate adequate services, and
prepared for these problems. But for the people that paid
three times my fee they learned a very difficult and expensive
lesson about cultures and tours.

The most important function of a guide if for safety.
Ask yourself when choosing a guide?
“Would you trust your children to be cared for by your guide?”

My guesstimate is that only about 25 percent of the tours even
come close to my minimal standards above, so buyers beware.
You can see why I do not take tours very often, and why I do
not accept tour companies as advertisers.

What are the normal requirements to be a guide in another
country? Hehehe

They speak English... a little.

Just another day in Paradise!
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X
Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
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~ EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL

SCOTTS BIKE TRIP AROUND THE WORLD
Archives of Scotts Story
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TODAY’S TIP FROM THE
“Peanut Gallery”
Fun tips - Here's a little tip from me, to you,
as an experienced traveler.

If your tour guide has a better room than yours
there may be a problem.

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~ HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks


National Parks?

Have you ever noticed that the un-livable places
they make into "National Parks."
Just because it is beautiful, does not mean it is
a good place to live.

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