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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed February 2019
    Deirdre and Dave Harris

    An amazing trip!

    This was an outstanding and memorable trip which taught us so much about the history, culture and geography of Vietnam. Travelling from north to south, the itinerary was exceedingly well planned and varied - from the variety of accommodation and modes of transport to the experience of both city and rural life. As members of the generation which remembers the Vietnam War on the TV screeens for a decade, it was a profound experience to visit those places where momentous events took place, heightening our awareness of both the suffering, resilience and achievements of the Vietnamese people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was enjoyable and there were many memorable activities. We particularly liked the tranquillity of Ho Chi Minh’s site in Hanoi, spending the night on the boat on a misty Halong Bay, the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture, cycling through the paddy fields from Hue, visiting the ruins of the My Son valley, sailing on the Mekong Delta and staying in the island homestay. There were opportunities to reflect on the troubled history of the country at Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, the War Remnant Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and the Cu Chi tunnels.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vuong Truong, known to us as V, was an outstanding leader. He was very knowledgeable about the history and the culture of his country and imparted this in a very positive and entertaining way. We travelled in a lovely group of 9 and V’s manner, sense of humour and awareness of people’s needs helped us to bond together from the outset. V’s enthusiasm and positivity were infectious and we had many a laugh. He was always very professional, all arrangements went smoothly and he was good at making minor adjustments to suit individual needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts and a full itinerary. Make the most of the optional activities offered. The overnight journey on the train from Hanoi to Hue should be regarded as an interesting experience!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We appreciated Exodus’s commitment to responsible tourism, particularly supporting local employment eg the use of local guides and opportunities to support cottage industries and reducing the use of plastic by always having water available on the buses. We would strongly recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    JUDITH GROOME

    A FANTASTIC TRIP

    A fantastic experience. Vietnam is a fascinating country and with this trip you travel from North to South and experience the wealth of the country's geography, history, culture and food. Our trip was enhanced by a really great tour leader (Phuong Le) who was attentive from the start to each and every one of us and made sure that everything ran seamlessly. She had a lovely sense of humour, spoke English proficiently and went out of her way to tell us about all aspects of Vietnam so that we had a great understanding of the history and culture. We had a great group and right from the start we felt at ease with everybody. Lots of laughs and jokes were shared and we are still in touch using a WhatsApp group! The trip is very full on. You move from Hanoi in the north to the wonderful Halong Bay, then you're on an overnight train down to Hue in central Vietnam exploring the Forbidden Purple City and the next day cycling amongst the paddy fields. Then you're in Hoi An with its waterfront beautifully lit with hundreds of lanterns. Here we had time to relax, get the washing done, have a massage, do a cooking course, get some clothes made. The last part of the trip is based in Ho Chi Minh city and it is here were I became much more aware of the violent history of Vietnam, visiting the War Remnant museum (shocking) and then the Cu Chi tunnels. The next day we were on a boat weaving amongst the maze of waterways in the Mekong delta where we stayed overnight in a homestay. The food in Vietnam is fabulous. As I don't eat meat, Phuong went out of her way to ensure that I always had a veggie or fish alternative when we visited restaurants as a group. I have done quite a few Exodus trips but this is one of the best and is very high up in the ranking!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few: Halong Bay with its monumental limestone karsts and then visiting the Wow cave. The trip in the countryside Hoi An with its beautiful lanterns along the waterfront Saigon with its modern buildings lit up at night and the preparations for New Year.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phuong Le is the best. She was extremely efficient and made everything appear to happen like clockwork. She was attentive to everyone in the group and nothing was too much trouble for her. She was passionate about making us aware of Vietnamese culture, language, history, customs and food and her talks on the bus when we were travelling from place to place were interesting and gave us insights into everything Vietnamese. She went out of her way to ensure that we were individually catered for throughout the trip (eg dietary needs) and even helped us by booking taxis for us on our onward journeys, even though we weren't travelling with Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go along and enjoy yourself!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vietnam will be with you for a while after you've come back. You'll want to read up about all the things you've learned.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Jeff Craddock

    A brilliant trip

    Our first visit to Vietnam; what an amazing trip. We had a fantastic tour leader (Phuong Le). It was clear from our introduction that she was determined to take good care of us, make sure that we had a great time, and she was going to Introduce us to the unique life and culture of Vietnam. The trip broke down to a number of very different elements. We loved it all, and would recommend this trip without hesitation

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the estate where he lived and worked. A great feeling of serenity and peace in this place; the respect which is afforded to this towering figure of the twentieth century

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic, and key to making this trip so good. Great empathy with the group. Clearly loved her country and culture. Gave us great insights into life in modern day Vietnam

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Edina Engelsman

    A fantastic, inspiring and diverse holiday!

    A fantastic holiday with lots of variety, things to do and see with some free time to explore parts of a city yourself. Our guide Khoa was excellent and thanks to him I feel I understand a bit more about the history of Vietnam! Delicious food everywhere!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the variety and had several special moments on this trip. Waking up on Christmas morning on Halong Bay with the sun shining and amazing views was just one of them. Walking around the lake and the backstreets in Hanoi early morning after just getting of the plane. So much to see! I would also recommend the optional visit to the Woman's museum in Hanoi. We enjoyed the overnight train journey to Hue. Really enjoyed the cycle ride in Hue despite the heavy rain and the optional cycle ride in Hoi Ann, which had a lot of surprises, including a ferry ride, going on the river in a basket, eating local snacks. The local guide was very enthusiastic! We left around 2.15 and did not get back to the hotel until 6 pm! Walking around in beautiful Hoi An with all the lights.The acrobatics show on New Year's Eve in Ho Chi Min was amazing. Then afterwards to experience the whole city buzzing for New Year's Eve, which according to our guide, was nothing compared to the crowds at the Vietnamese New Year celebrations! Following our guide through the throngs of people and mopeds to the river for an amazing fireworks display! I found the visit to The Cu Chi tunnels very interesting. It was worth getting their early with a 7 am start after New Year's Eve. The War museum in HCMC was very well put together, although at some point I had to walk out as there was so much suffering displayed. Also loved visiting the Mekong Delta. And of course not to forget the delicious food we had everywhere!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khoa was an excellent guide. He was very organized, committed, knowledgeable, flexible and had a fun sense of humour. He made sure that everyone was looked after. He did an amazing job at New Year's Eve in Ho Chi Min to guide those ,who wanted to, through the crowds of people and mopeds to get to the river for an amazing fire works display. He also took us to some really nice restaurants and always had some dishes to recommend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled as a family with 2 teenage sons who loved the holiday despites some early starts!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Looking back the only suggestion I have to Exodus is that I would have preferred one night less in Hue and Hoi An and spend those in the hills north west of Hanoi.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Carol Sutton

    An amazing experience

    Vietnam is a beautiful country with wonderful gentle people. This holiday gives an insight into the ways of the people who live in the modern world but respect the ways of the old world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the day to day activities of the Vietnamese people going about their daily lives, the traffic, the scooters, the noise. The abundance of fruit, vegetables and flowers on display at the markets, Also kayaking in the lagoon at Halong bay as dusk was falling and everyone else had left, we watched the monkeys scurrying along the cliffs and it was silent and magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was a lovely patient man who was obviously very proud of his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do all the optional trips offered to you, or get out and about on your own in the free time parts of this trip. It feels very safe in Vietnam so don't spend any time in your hotel room unless you are asleep!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nothing to add, the trip was as described in the brochure/website and met all our expectations and more.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Ian Munro

    Vietnam Adventure beginning 17 November 2018

    This was a fantastic trip, which covered a lot of distance and a wide variety of sights, activities and modes of transport. Our excellent leader, Cong Nguyen, managed the whole trip exceptionally well, ensuring that we had sufficient free time to allow us to relax from the busy schedule of travelling and activities. He was also knowledgeable and genuinely enthusiastic about the history and culture of Vietnam. We learned a lot from him. The standard of accommodation throughout the fortnight was excellent and the friendliness of the Vietnamese people was so welcoming. We even learned how to cross the street - a task which turned out to be a lot less dangerous than it first appeared (well, OK, a little less dangerous!) Finally, everything you ever heard about the fantastic food is correct!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Night time on the boat in Halong Bay, with lights all around us from other vessels. The beauty of Hoi An Getting away from the popular tourist sights and seeing some of the real Vietnam The quality and abundance of the fruit, herbs and vegetables The feeling of bustle, dynamism and progress in the country in general

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was extremely efficient and personable. Our group was the maximum size of 16 and he managed to cater well for everyone's needs and expectations. His knowledge and enthusiasm for his country were clear for all to see and we really enjoyed the insights that he gave us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cash machines are much more available than we had expected and quite a number of establishments are happy to take cards. Wifi is widely available. If you like coffee, you'll love it in Vietnam! We found the trip notes to be very accurate , so it's worth studying those along with other feedback comments on this website. The pace of the trip is stated to be 'leisurely/moderate'. While that is undoubtedly correct in terms of the physical activity undertaken, bear in mind that there is a lot of travelling and some fairly long days. Having said that, our leader was adept and giving us free time to relax and the accommodation was always comfortable and pleasant.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We learned a lot more about the French and US wars, the civil war and the subsequent conflict with Cambodia. This country suffered a lot over a period of around 50 years and is making a great job of recovery. Given the enormous damage caused by bombing and use of defoliant chemicals in particular, it is inspiring to see how the Vietnamese have chosen to put the past behind them and to look to the future. Visitors from the US should not be nervous about coming on this trip but should perhaps be ready for some unpleasant revelations.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Anna Cottle

    Vietnam Adventure trip review

    Fantastic trip. First time that I have been on a holiday alone. I had absolutely no need to worry. Exodus were able to give ages and sexes of other travellers on certain dates when I was booking. I was so lucky with my group, a fantastic mix of ages, some couples, friends and other lone travellers. Everyone got on so well and we all mixed with each other and no one was ever left out. Our group leader Ngoc made the trip as he was a local guide with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that he was always willing to share with the group. He was very attentive to the groups needs and always willing to please. He also had a great sense of humour to keep us all amused. This is a full on trip and it is all go for the 2 weeks but I can't see how else would have seen what we did. There was free time in the afternoons which you can spend alone or with others. Lots of shopping opportunities. I made the most of any extra activities, cycle and boat trips which were great fun. Such fantastic scenery. All flat ground and at a leisurely pace. I would suggest a bit of practice in the Uk first just to get your confidence as the Vietnamese roads can be busy and unexpected to say the least! A must do activity though. I also went on a cooking class where we cooked what we ate, saw the water puppet show in Saigon and saw an acrobatic show as well. All amazing. My advice: Pack light. There were at least 3 opportunities to have washing done cheaply and it came back ironed and smelling fresh. Take clothes that can cope with creases and wick away, travel clothes were my lifeline. It was soooooo hot and humid and I went in the "cooler" month. You sweat as soon as you get out of the hotel so I would rinse clothes in the bathroom too. Take swimwear as we had 3 tiny pools overall on the trip. Take comfortable shoes and sandals. No need to dress up really smart in Vietnam. Be cool and comfortable Make sure you leave space in your case when you leave home as you have to live out of your suitcase and everything gets messed around and difficult to fit back. We all found this. Plus you will buy things that you want to bring home. I took a mixture of Vietnamese dong and American dollars but the Dong was much more useful day to day. Credit cards weren't excepted everywhere. Western toilets everywhere. Take loo roll and hand sanitiser out in your day bag. I spent far to long wondering whether to book this trip, would I like, would I be left on my own, would everyone in the group be nice. I had absolutely no need to worry. I had so much fun, met a fantastic group of people, ate wonderful food and had the most amazing experiences. I would definately recommend this trip to any of my friends and family.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip. Experiencing a different country, new foods, people and cultures. Amazing scenary. We visited some fantastic temples and I learnt a lot of history along the way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Ngoc made the trip as he was a local guide with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that he was always willing to share with the group. He was very attentive to the groups needs and always willing to please. He also had a great sense of humour to keep us all amused.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Fantastic trip. First time that I have been on a holiday alone. I had absolutely no need to worry. Exodus were able to give ages and sexes of other travellers on certain dates when I was booking. I was so lucky with my group, a fantastic mix of ages, some couples, friends and other lone travellers. Everyone got on so well and we all mixed with each other and no one was ever left out This is a full on trip and it is all go for the 2 weeks but I can't see how else would have seen what we did. There was free time in the afternoons which you can spend alone or with others. Lots of shopping opportunities. I made the most of any extra activities, cycle and boat trips which were great fun. Such fantastic scenery. All flat ground and at a leisurely pace. I would suggest a bit of practice in the Uk first just to get your confidence as the Vietnamese roads can be busy and unexpected to say the least! A must do activity though. I also went on a cooking class where we cooked what we ate, saw the water puppet show in Saigon and saw an acrobatic show as well. All amazing. My advice: Pack light. There were at least 3 opportunities to have washing done cheaply and it came back ironed and smelling fresh. Take clothes that can cope with creases and wick away, travel clothes were my lifeline. It was soooooo hot and humid and I went in the "cooler" month. You sweat as soon as you get out of the hotel so I would rinse clothes in the bathroom too. Take swimwear as we had 3 tiny pools overall on the trip. Take comfortable shoes and sandals. No need to dress up really smart in Vietnam. Be cool and comfortable Make sure you leave space in your case when you leave home as you have to live out of your suitcase and everything gets messed around and difficult to fit back. We all found this. Plus you will buy things that you want to bring home. I took a mixture of Vietnamese dong and American dollars but the Dong was much more useful day to day. Credit cards weren't excepted everywhere. Western toilets everywhere. Take loo roll and hand sanitiser out in your day bag. I spent far

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I spent far to long wondering whether to book this trip, would I like, would I be left on my own, would everyone in the group be nice. I had absolutely no need to worry. I had so much fun, met a fantastic group of people, ate wonderful food and had the most amazing experiences. I would definately recommend this trip to any of my friends and family.
  • Reviewed December 2018

    Vietnam Adventure

    I have not been on a group tour in over 35 years and was anxious how it would be traveling with 16 other individuals and a tour guide. I am quite independent when I travel. I was also the only American in a group of 16 people, the others being from England, Scotland and Wales. My fears were put to rest almost immediately. These people all became friends over the two week period - a very cohesive, easy going and adventurous group. Our tour guide, Cong, was amazing - very organized and on top of every little detail, making sure every one of us knew exactly what the day’s schedule would be. Exodus is a very conscious tour company and Cong, whenever possible, made sure our activities supported the people of Vietnam in cities and the rural areas. I learned and saw so much, and though it was at a bit faster pace than I might have gone on my own, it worked. What an amazing country. Each place we visited was different and offered unique insights into the Vietnamese culture. I would highly recommend this tour and Cong, our guide, gets an A+.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On our bike ride when we were in Hoi An visiting with the veteran from the war with Cambodia. Hearing his story, listening to him sing and watching the awe that our bicycle guide had on his face as he listened to him sing was very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was excellent. As said previously, he was extremely organized and kept a close check on each member of the group, making sure we were all doing okay. His attitude was always positive and he gave us insight into the Vietnamese people and culture. His love of his country and his people was evident in all he did and said. He made sure that whenever possible we visited and ate at places that supported the more needy in Vietnam. As I stated, I am used to traveling on my own and pretty independent. At times this may have been a bit difficult for him, but I felt I had enough time on my own and he worked with me allowing me the freedom at times I needed. A wonderful kind and caring guide.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I enjoyed my trip immensely, but I have a couple of issues with some things that occurred prior to my trip. I booked through an agent in the US, as she had helped me with flight information and other details of my trip (I spent 2 l/2 weeks on my own before meeting up with the tour). As a result of that, I had difficulty getting the information I needed from Exodus. One woman in the California office was actually somewhat abrubt and somewhat rude when I tried asking for information (not Sarah). In trying to get information about the necessary Visa’s required, as an American I was offered little information. When I asked I was told to check online as things change all the time. That is fine but I think it really should be emphasized that a Visa might be necessary and it is important to check and see if one is required. That detail is not one that can just be included in with the tons of other information we read online. Some extra notification is necessary prior to the trip. As a result of all that occurred prior to the trip, I was worried about how my experience on the tour would be. I have to say that the tour itself was great. I believe there may be quite a difference in how things are handled in England and the US as most travelers are from the British Isles. I found it quite frustrating and now as an experienced traveler with Exodus, I believe that is not what you want your customers to feel prior to travel.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Asa Marin

    A trip to remember

    This trip was truly an amazing adventure, from start to finish. The itinerary is very diverse, so no 2 days are the same. In my opinion I got to know Vietnam´s history, landscape and culture both through the itinerary and our knowledgeable guide, Bon. It´s been nearly 3 months since I came back from the tour but Vietnam is still in my heart and I would very much like to go back. If not for the beautiful country...then for the delicious food. I would recommend to book the 5 days extension to Cambodia after the trip, the beautiful temples in Siem Riep took my breath away and the gruesome history was informative. Truely a trip to remember.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had an amazing thunderstorm on Halong Bay that showed the mountains in a mythical way and gave me goose bumps. I loved the bike ride in Hue and Bon always made sure we could communicate with the locals, who were extremely friendly.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bon was amazing. He was so knowledgeable about the history and so good in telling us stories about every day life and get us to interact with the local. He e.g. arranged for us to have a lunch with a family in Hue, in their home and that was one of the highlight of the trip, for sure. He was very helpful with everything and went above and beyond the call of duty.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get massage...many massages. It helps you to get the jet lag out and well...it´s just really lovely :) Good idea to bring a sleeping bag linen for the night on the train...and not to expect a great sleep that night. And well...don´t think too much about it, if you want to go to Vietnam than this is the tour!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Sue Holmes

    Simply Fantastic !

    A memorable experience with a great group of people. Vietnam is a wonderful country with a rich and diverse culture. We travelled from North to South on planes, trains, boats and bicycles and it was great fun. Vietnam offers everything from busy cities, stunning scenery, relaxing boat trips, fantastic food and friendly people. What more could one want?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hue and the Mekong Delta.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Trung was great; knowledgeable, funny and kind. He was passionate about his Country and made sure that we saw as much as possible on our travels. An excellent guide and a lovely man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vietnam is changing fast and the old ways are beginning to disappear. I would go sooner rather than later. Go with an open mind and have fun.
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