Testimonials - Karakoram Highway to Kyrgyzstan
Karakoram Highway to Kyrgyzstan
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Karakoram Highway to Kyrgyzstan cycling holidays...
Showing 1 to 38 of 38 Testimonials
Mark Jolly, London, UK
I had been thinking of riding the Karakoram Highway for years and now I’ve done it with redspokes my only regret is that I didn’t do it with them before. Pakistan was fantastic in every way, China interesting in more ways than one and Kyrgystan a wonderful end to the tour. The local guides in each country were great and Craig, our redspokes guide, was better than the perfect person for the job. The trip was everything I was hoping for, and more.
Jose Antonio Barroso, Mexico City, Mexico
"It's hard to think of any other itinerary that could be as beautiful and culturally diverse as the KKH-Kyrgyzstan. Route is very well designed, and the support by the local agents is great. I found the tour to have a good value for what we paid; I was expecting a lot more camping. Congratulations for the social projects and for involving us as your customers; travelling (as life) should..."
Colm Faherty, Dublin Ireland
Another excellent redspokes trip though a fascinating part of the world that is definitely off the beaten track. Extremely friendly people in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan and fantastic countries to cycle in. A couple of border crossings so expect some paperwork.......
Heather Wickham, Hamilton, New Zealand
This trip was a bucket list item for me, and it meet all my expectations. It was the first time I had ever joined a tour group and because of my experiences on this tour I would have no hesitation in joining another tour group. The scenery was magnificent, food and accommodation great and our tour guide "the best". Also, the local guides enhanced the different country experiences. :-)
Diana & Gerben, Utrecht, Netherlands
Our second trip with redspokes was just great, again. The stunning landscapes and brilliant cycling on- and offroad and the good cooperation with the local guides made this another unforgettable trip. Despite the fact that we were refused a visa for China, Redspokes gave us the opportunity to go to Pakistan with the tour and helped us out organizing our trip back to Islamabad.
Keep up the good work, redspokes!
Ged Browne, London, England, UK
This was a brilliant trip from start to finish. One of the real pleasures was the contrast in scenery and cultures in the 3 countries along the way. The cycling was challenging, but never too much, and the backup from the support teams and our guide, Carl, contributed greatly to this. A special mention for Carl from me- after my MTB developed gear-shifter problems, he went out of his way to nurse it along and provide an ingenious work-around. Cycling apart, the group were a great bunch of well-travelled, interesting people and I am keen to repeat the experience.
Bob Harrison, Weymouth, England, UK
It was a superb trip. It was well organised with a UK tour leader who has an infectious friendly enthusiasm and was well supported by local guides and an effective local support organisation. All responded appropriately when the need to amend itineraries and adapt to local circumstances arose. The group was the best that I have ever travelled with. The mountain scenery is probably the best that I have seen anywhere. The biking was never less than very good and often excellent.
The trip was also fantastic value for money.
Sandra Groenewold, Wijk bij Duurstede, The Netherlands
Pakistan was wonderful. We read so many negative things about Pakistan in the news, but nothing is true about that in the Hunza valley. People are really nice and always willing to talk or take a picture, men and women. We visited the school redspokes supports and it was nice to see that with a little help so many beautiful things happen. Out guides were lovely. China was different, the people were different, but enjoyed it. In Kyrgyzstan we had a wonderful support group. We only had a few days there, I would like to stay much longer, but everything comes to an end. I want to thank our great guide Aiden for his flexibility with the tour changes and the fun we had as a group.
Wendy Holland, Whangarei, New Zealand
My second trip with redspokes and it didn't disappoint. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be absolutely blown away by northern Pakistan - I just loved it - for me it was a garden of eden ; I had no idea how bountiful and rich it was - not to mention the sky filled with mountains. Loved the people, their openness, friendliness and hospitality - loved the fact that we visited 2 amazing schools and a sewing centre supported by Redspokes - this is one of the big reasons why I love redspokes - NORTHERN PAKISTAN YOU MUST GO!!.
Relished the opportunity to step into China especially cycling over a mountain pass where I was very challenged by the altitude and an amazing authentic yurt experience and then Kyrgyzstan what a beautiful country - our time was too short there YOU MUST GO - I would go back to northern Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan in a heart beat!. We had a fantastic group and guides and UK cycle guide, the cheeky and humour-filled Aidan - alright guv - thank you everyone for your friendship, care and support. Till next time redspokes, Arohanui
Lien De Brouckere, Washington, USA
My first adventure cycling tour -- better than I could have imagined! Stunning scenery in Pakistan, which we enjoyed on bumpy off-roads through hospitable villages and on the pristine tarmac of the KKH. Next some cold days in China, and then warm greetings, gorgeous horses and more mountains in Kyrgyzstan. I was nervous in the beginning as a newbie to mountain biking, but thanks to the supportive and fun group, I came away a much better rider at the end!
Michael Burgener, Ottawa, Canada
This was an excellent tour with many great memories. I particularly liked the rides to/from Chirah and Shimshal. Ideally we would have ridden up to Shimshal instead of just down (no loss for me since I had an injured hand that day and would not have been able to ride up). I realize it would be a fairly challenging climb up. Giles is a very competent guide and a saint. He managed difficult situations with great skill, applied first aid, as was needed from time to time (I was a beneficiary) and handled changes in itinerary well, keeping us up to date. I'd be happy to go on any tour led by Giles.
David Grist, Leeds, England
Brilliant trip! The accommodation was a lot better than expected for the areas we visited. Would have rated the redspokes guide Giles along with the Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan guides higher if there was a category above excellent, thanks for a great trip. Its difficult to select the highlights, so many but would probably pick the Hunza valley for the mountain scenery and the lake crossing, pity the tunnel will be finished next year and rob the pleasure for future travellers, thanks again!
Pat and Keith Green, Dudley, EnglandWe thoroughly enjoyed the KKH Tour. Our guide Giles was excellent and did very well sorting out unforeseen problems, Our local guides in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan were also very pleasant and helpful, as were the local people.
The scenery in all three countries was spectacular and the cycling was very varied. Rough rocky tracks on narrow cliff roads leading to local villages, to straight, wide tarmac roads with little or no traffic. We cycled with a great group of people and stayed in some comfortable places, especially the homes stays in Kyrgyzstan.
Richard Searle, Hornsby NSW AustraliaGreat trip, I particularly recommend a Pakistan only trip if this is run in future. The parts of the country we visited are frendly, have great scenary, and an established tourist industry that just needs its customers to return
Celia Parker, London,EnglandThe warm welcome and stunning scenery in Pakistan was unforgettable.
Mike Wood, Surrey
I really enjoyed the trip, my first to such remote locations. The support team was excellent, always there with a friendly smile and an offer of a cup of tea. Although it was disappointing that the Chinese border was closed for ten days, those of us with mountain bikes were kept well exercised. The generosity and friendliness of the people in the Hunza valley was a real bonus. The contrast between landscapes in the three countries was also a highlight.
Harry Lyons, London
The support teams, especially in Pakistan where we spent most time, were wonderful - personable, knowledgeable, generous, hard-working and efficient at sorting out local problems. Tour leader, "Dermot the Great", personified the three e's - energy, enthusiasm and efficiency and managed the difficult task of balancing the needs of the group with the needs of individuals. Highly recommended to cyclists of all types.
Corina Naughton, Dublin, Ireland
"This is one of the few trips that deserve the title a '˜trip of a life time'. Prepare to be challenged mentally and physically and to have preconceived views on culture and society turned on its head. It is one of the few tours I have taken that allows you to interact with local communities in a positive way for both them and you and not just in the usual '˜buy a coca-cola' way."
Dave Griffiths, Nottingham, UK
The KKH trip was everything, and more, that I'd hoped for - although the roads were worse than I'd expected!! The added bonus of traveling with Red Spokes, certainly on this tour, is the opportunity to see first hand some of the work in the local community which is sponsored by Red Spokes' charitable trust. This made the trip so much more than just a cycle tour.
Hannah MacDonald, Liverpool, England
I can't stay away! Once again a trip that I cannot fault, a fantastic group of people, and a truly dramatic route taking in three countries. This trip was both rewarding and spectacular and so much more as well. I just wanted to carry on. The support and organisation of Dermot and the team was as ever unsurpassable, and i think, makes these trips the truly unique experience that they are. Already planning my next adventure, with redspokes of course!
Hannah Sammut, Liverpool, UK
"The trip was an adventure of a life time. Wonderful memories and met some wonderful people. Thank you Red Spokes for all the organisation and preparation that allowed me to get to these places.Thank you also for giving us the opportunity to visit the communities that you have helped and be greeted with the warmth, generosity, pride and love of the people of the GilGet-Balkistan area, a very humbling experience. I hope I will at some point be able to go on another trip, but if not I wish you all the very best for your future adventures. "
Donald and Mary, Edinburgh, Scotland
This is our sixth trip with redspokes. For exciting adventure travel, in out of the way places and few other tourists we haven't found any other company offering such diversity of experience. Yes it can be challenging and difficult at times but that is all part of the journey. As ever the opportunity to meet local people and gain some understanding of their lives was inspiring. To see three very different countries in one trip was amazing. The back up of Dermot and his local teams is always excellent and this time was no exception. The birds are singing and the flowers are dancing when we think about this trip!!
Rob Eagle , Somerset, England
A wonderful trip with excellent organisation, in a fascinating part of the world. The biking days were quite doable for an average cyclist, and the occasional rest days were interesting and usually energetic.The leader and the group members were very diverse and great company. VERY VERY many thanks.
Stuart Williams, Worcestershire, UK
ANOTHER trip of a lifetime with redspokes! A great group of people and travelling a route I have wanted to ride for years. I found the whole experience unique and rewarding.
Simon Barrett, Edinburgh, UK
"Groups can be hit or miss but I think we all hit it off on our 2 day bus journey between Islamabad and Gilgit. In fact this was a great start to the adventure and made me feel that we were truly travelling the Karakorum Highway. Flying this part of it would have felt like cheating. The scenery throughout was incredible and although I have seen many photos of the region the landscape exceeded all my expectations. I particularly remember stopping for some time just south of Passu to take photos of the group with the Passu Cathedrals as a back drop. The view was stunning. After a while we remounted our bikes and set off again, only to be forced to stop again within 100m as we swung round the next bend in the road and the immense Passu Glacier came into view. We were all gobsmacked and whooped with joy and amazement. Another memorable feature of the trip was the wonderful hospitality of the people in Pakistan. Twice we were feted in villages that we visited and even the most hardened of us were moved by the speeches and gestures of welcome. In both Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan our guides were very special people; filled with warmth, energy and a desire to make our trip a success. "
Siobhan Macauley, Belfast, Ireland
For many years i had wanted to cycle across the Karakorum Highway and this trip exceeded all my expectations! I thought reaching the Khunjarab Pass (which was amazing) would be the highlight of my trip, but my everlasting memories will be of the warmth and friendliness of the people in Chira and the camaraderie and support of the others on the tour especially when cycling/facilities were challenging!
Tom Carolan, Westmeath, Ireland
In short, it was mind blowing - so many things to experience, to see and to savour.I loved Pakistan. From the first day, when we flew in a little plane around the high mountains of the Karakoram range, to the murderous slopes of the Khunjerab, there was always something to wonder at. Mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and icy rivers formed the daily backdrop for our cycling, but most of all, the local people were just so friendly and welcoming. Schoolkids cheered us on, offering high fives as we passed. Our guide, Arman and his team worked well beyond the call of duty to help us on our way.The opportunity to see Raka Poshi up close - that for me was the best moment of the trip. To stand in front of a mountain that rises vertically for almost 6,000 metres in front of you is, quite simply, a never to be forgotten experience. China had beautiful scenery also, especially round Lake Kara Kol, and the descent to this lake was probably the single most enjoyable hour of cycling of the entire trip. Kyrgyzstan was desperately poor economically, but the people were just great.The border crossing was epic and memorable - the cold war revisited. There was enough variety here to keep us all interested, from the yurts of the nomadic horsemen to the home stays in the houses of the locals. The food was also excellent and Bishkek turned out to be an appropriate setting to end the adventure. I would heartily recommend the trip - especially if you like doing something a little different. As the brochure said, "if you are looking for one of the world's great rides, then this is definitely it". I couldn't have put it better myself.
Jane Evans, Huggingtown, Co Killkenny, Ireland
An amazing experience - I would recommend this trip. The scenery was breathtaking - I particularly loved Pakistan, the people were so friendly and our guides so hospitable. We had a great group of cyclists and redspokes really looked after us well... This was my first redspokes tour but it will not be my last... thanks!
Nick Tompsett, Kent, England, UK
I've been on two tours with redspokes now - Laos & KKH - Kyrgyzstan. Both were spectacular and also excellent value for the price paid - particularly in comparison with trips I have done with other companies.Organisation and support on both tours has been very good - any hiccups were due entirely to local problems and quickly and adroitly overcome by Dermot (leader on both tours).Red Spokes offer to put you in contact with their clients to obtain an 'unbiased' endorsement of any trip you may be considering. But I fail to understand how any but the most mal-adjusted client could be anything but favourably biased.
Rose Mary Owen, Poulton, England, UK
This was an adventure for mind and body. Three very different countries and cultures, fascinating and thought provoking. The mountain climbs, especially the Kunjerab pass, tested my physical strength and the achievement gave deep satisfaction. The sheer beauty of the landscapes was awesome and the gentle, welcoming interest of the people we met along the way provided a memorable sense of encounter. Then there was this whole other dimension of the group and the wonderful mix of fun, support, solidarity and space - companionship at its best. Finally there is Dermot. He has an exceptional sense of adventure, a genuine interest in people and endless resourcefulness that dares to push new boundaries brings all this together and provides a unique experience. Go redspokes!
Trevor Taylor, Shropshire, England, UK
Having toured extensively previously, both with organised groups and independently, my first redspokes trip was a unique and unforgettable experience - a top trip in top company following the road less travelled. It is redspokes' particular combination of adventurous cycling in unexpected destinations and mixing with local people that makes them stand out and makes you feel that you are really on a journey of discovery. And Dermot's unfailing calm and optimism in the face of any logistical difficulties keeps the group's spirits high and the whole show moving on.
Rita Gough, Preston, England, UK
I have memories that will last me a life time - Travelling to remote places by bicycle is such a great way of meeting ordinary people and gaining a real understanding of how they live. Despite language barriers this type of travel highlights that humour, kindness and interest in each other are universal features of humanity. It's a good for the soul! This was a fantastic group of travelling companions - everyone looked out for each other & great company of like minded people. I think this must have been a difficult tour to run with all the border crossings but throughout I was confident that we were in safe hands.
Simon Clayton, Norwich, England, UK
Three countries in 3 weeks starting in Pakistan. My expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. Breath taking scenery, unbelievably friendly locals, excellent tour organisation and a great bunch of cyclists to travel with. Dermot was an inspiration to us all. His enthusiasm was contagious, his interest in the local community was inspiring andhis watchful eye always adjusting details to suit our needs. A great tour by a great company.
Cathy Sheehan, Auckland, New Zealand
When I heard the wildest people from the 2005 redspokes Laos tour would be cycling from Karakoram to Kyrgyzstan in 2007, it was impossible to turn down, even though I knew some of the cycling would probably be too tough for me - but that's what the bus is for. Pakistan was a revelation - the hospitality and goodwill were outstanding. The taste of Uighur culture on the edge of China was fascinating, and mysterious mountainous Kyrgyzstan was as spectacular as I imagined. Imagine seeing yaks, camels, ibex and eagles from your bike, but rarely spotting another tourist. An outstanding experience - great crew of guides, drivers and cooks, wonderful company, music and fun - and all with the magic touch of Dermot who pulls the whole thing together and seemingly effortlessly makes sure everyone has a great time.
Steve Owen, Poulton, England, UK
redspokes goes beyond providing exciting and rewarding cycling through breathtaking landscapes and fascinating countries - it takes you right inside exotic cultures and communities. I've travelled with Red Spokes through South East Asia, Pakistan, China and Kyrgyzstan and a consistent theme has been Dermot's use of local hand-picked guides to ensure that there are opportunities to delve deeper and get to really good understand of the countries you visit. The tours seek to provide everyone with opportunities. If you want to explore, to cycle hard, enjoy shared experiences, be affected by rather than just see a country ,redspokes has room for you- just bring your sense of adventure........... and fun.
Stephen Phillips, Norfolk, England, UK
Being my first cycle tour abroad I could be forgiven for feeling a bit apprehensive, however the relaxed approach of Red Spokes soon put me at ease. If you ever want a first cycle tour abroad go with Red Spokes, In fact, if you ever want a cycle tour, go with Red Spokes!
Andy Riley, Leeds, England, UKThe cycling on this tour is superb. Tough uphills and excillerating downhills among some of the most spectacularscenery on the planet. Mix this with great company and slik organisationfrom the wildly enthusiastic Scot and tour leader, Dermot McWard, and you have exactly the right recipe for 21 great days out, all in a row.
Robert Forster, Norwich, England, UKIt wasn't just the stunning scenery that made this tour, but Dermot,s endless enthusiasm for the country and its people. Thanks for a great trip!
Showing 1 to 38 of 38 Testimonials