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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chrissie Carey

    Vietnam

    The trip was great and our leader, Lam, was exceptional. With the assistance of his exceptional team he made the trip a very special one. His attention to detail and safety is without fault. A ***** Star experience on wheels! Thank you Exodus and Lam & his team for making this a lasting memory!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling to the top of the pass and Hulong Bay

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lam is an absolute asset to Exodus. I have never met anyone with such dedication. He was always smiling and no request was too much. I felt safe and cared for at all times. What an amazing man. Even arranged a birthday cake for a group member's birthday......now that is what I call dedication!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of sunscreen and keep on taking in liquids!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lam and his team is AMAZING!!!!!!🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Laurene Tubb

    Another exciting adventure with Exodus

    Another exciting adventure with Exodus. Our trip was at the end of April/beginning of May and it was very hot !!!! I'm told June/July is even hotter. Phew !!!! Despite this I loved every minute of it. It was a very busy trip but extremely well organised. I very much liked the additional drink stops as it was so very hot. Home made chilled lime was just the thing. I also very much liked Lam pre-booking the meals and us all going together. He found some wonderful places and we had delicious fresh food. There just isn't time to find somewhere yourself. This really worked well. We were lucky to be with a super group of people. Everyone happy and smiling and enjoying every moment..................well................except a few of the group who did get a bit sore. Please do get yourself some chamois butter and padded pants. It works a treat. It worked well having all the cycling in the beginning. The train was much better than I had expected and I slept like a log !!! Whale Island and Halong Bay were real treats and I would have loved more time there. But, overall, the trip was perfect for timing as it kept us within the 15 day Visa limit and we saw and did so much. Despite being informed in writing by Exodus that our big holdalls/suitcase stays with us all the time......this was not the case. You do need to have a rucksack or flat pack bag big enough for the one and two night stays (Whale Island and Halong Bay). In fact......it works very well to just take small luggage. Much easier to do once you get your head around it. I found the cycling easy compared with other trips I've done but I do feel it is right to be called a Level 3. Everyone cycles slightly differently and there is always a bit of a mix of abilities........which makes for a good group cycle I think.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved feeling at one with the rural landscape and the villages............although it was exciting to see the hustle and bustle of the cities too.........especially with all their motor scooters. I love their driving system and felt very comfortable when cycling amidst it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lam. Well......what can I say.......such a lovely young man and always happy and smiling. He is the most organised leader I have come across but at no time did you feel you were being organised. He and his crew looked after us extremely well. He anticipated everything and made us feel special. Not always easy to do when you have one group after another after another. I do hope he wins Leader of the Year. He deserves it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do go. It's such fun..............and what an experience !!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alison Bourne

    An amazing trip

    We have just returned from the Cycle Vietnam holiday and had a wonderful time. We were slightly apprehensive having never done a group holiday or cycling holiday before, and I was worried that we might not be able to keep up. However, the tour was so well planned and organised that we were fine. The tour is graded a 3, and that felt right to us. It was challenging at times to us as recreational, 50 something cyclists, but not impossible. Our group consisted of 12 people - two couples, 4 lone men and 4 lone women, and that worked really well. We all got on and had a great time together. Our tour leader, Son, was incredible. He ensured we all had a good time and kept reminding us that we were on holiday and there to enjoy ourselves. He also arranged stops for us in little out-of-the-way places, which we would never have seen otherwise. The heat was gruelling - high 30s but with humidity it felt like low 40s. Someone in our group was from Puerto Rico and he found it too hot, so it wasn't just us Brits! The support truck and bus were there is you needed it - some people chose to only cycle in the morning and get on the bus for the afternoons, and that was fine. The only time I had to give up was on a 10km climb where the heat got to me after 8kms. I was picked up by the support truck which was always there if needed. Also, although the bus usually met us every 20kms with water and fresh lemon juice, on very hot uphills the stops were 10kms apart and at one point 5kms. Cycling through the small hill villages is incredible, all the children shout out to you and some of them want to touch you. Everyone was amazingly friendly. Our only regret is that it was often quite difficult to stop to take photos. As well as the cycling itself, we got to go snorkelling on Whale Island which was lovely. There is no air conditioning in Whale Island so be prepared for hot nights there. However it was stunning. Snorkels and flippers are provided but my husband took his own snorkel and mask. The trip to Halong Bay was also incredible, staying out on the boat overnight under a full moon took some beating. Our group had the boat to ourselves, and the staff on board couldn't have been more helpful. They also made great cocktails! I hadn't realised before we got there that you're not allowed to swim there, which I was a bit disappointed about until I saw the size of the jellyfish and then was relieved! We kayaked in the bay which was really good fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all amazing but for me, the ability to cycle in areas we would never have gone to on a bus or car trip was so special, coupled with the friendliness of the people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Son was incredible, as were the support team. He spent time encouraging us, telling us the history of Vietnam, negotiating for us with local people, and showing us the hidden side of Vietnam. He was also brilliant about sorting out things like getting our laundry done locally rather than using the hotel laundry, and arranging for us to order pizza delivered to the train for the overnight journey

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the humidity. It hadn't occurred to me that on non-cycling days we might get through 3 changes of clothes in a few hours! Don't eat the food on the overnight train. As well as it not looking very appetising you have to go to the dining car which is the only place on the train where smoking is allowed. It's not pleasant!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thoroughly recommend this trip if you are a competent cyclist, you don't have to be amazing but you probably do need to have a fair level of fitness.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Sharon Burton

    A fantastic journey through Vietnam

    This has to be a trip of a lifetime. Cycling through a country that is unspoilt, dramatic countryside, mountains, lakes, coast, busy, manic towns and cities where the traffic stops for no-one. It is a country like no other and needs to be experienced to be believed. Be prepared to never come up for air. The people are so friendly and helpful and the food so delicious. Our group bonded well which made for the trip and our support team looked after us well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Whale Island and being blown away by its remoteness and uniqueness Cycling up the Hai Van Pass. Cycling 30km down a mountain pass where the temperature ranged from feeling like being in a fridge to feeling like being in a sauna. Finally, Halong Bay Cruise. Cycling through the craziness and mayhem of towns and cities but being expertly guided through safely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tong was good fun, very knowledgeable and knew his stuff. He was also very fit and cracked the whip every day. He was also very motivating and inspirational and kept us on our toes. He also looked after our health and safety implicitly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days in the saddle, intense heat and to get very sweaty. Please try and get fit before you travel as it would be a shame to miss even 1 hour of cycling. The scenery is so varied, the towns are manically busy so be prepared for some hairy moments but the guides ensure you are safely taken through the craziness of it all. It has to be seen to be believed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You will not be disappointed with this trip if you go with eyes wide open. It certainly exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect the cycling to be so difficult and I am a fit person so it helps to even do some cycling before you go. Be prepared to see a lot of rubbish as the country doesn’t seem to have got its head around recycling yet and it’s a shame to see the countryside and coastal areas littered with rubbish. However, that is a minor criticism in what is a beautiful country. My memories will live with me forever from this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Adams

    Cycling Vietnam

    This was a brilliant holiday which exceeded all my expectations. So well looked after by our leader, Toan Dao, this was a chance to see the real Vietnam. There were so many other activities included in the trip as well as the cycling and the accommodation was faultless. Great group of fellow travellers who felt like old friends by the end of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling the Hai Van pass

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it. You won't be disappointed.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Mabel Plesse

    Amazing Adventure!

    This is a great cycling adventure and a wonderful way to visit Vietnam! In addition to cycling through beautiful cities, villages, mountains and ocean landscapes, other memorable experiences included a wonderful relaxing overnight on Whale Island eco-lodge, overnight on a sleeper train, cruise and kayak in scenic Ha long Bay. Our enthusiastic tour leader Tung did an excellent job leading and keeping our group safe. I appreciated all the behind the scene logistics traveling from Saigon to Hanoi and seamless coordination of all activities on the tour. The support team driver Nhan and mechanic Trieu also did a fantastic job keeping us hydrated and fueled with fresh fruits and local snacks. We had a fantastic group of cyclists that made the trip even more enjoyable. The Vietnamese people were very friendly and inviting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling Hoi Van Pass. Visiting the beautiful city of Hoi An. Cruising and kayak on Halong Bay. Island stay at an eco-lodge.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tung was excellent. He kept the group safe and took great care of accommodating everyones need. He prepped us well with the days activities. It was also nice he shared his personal history and experiences with our group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Would totally recommend the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not only did our mechanic Trieu help support the maintenance of our bikes, but he did an excellent job taking care of our refueling needs. His friendliness, helpfulness (wetting our personal towels, filling our water bottles, ...) and pride in supporting our cycling group shined especially in the way he lined up our bikes in the beginning and end of the day as well as the rest stops. Impressive!!!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Beatrice Chachel

    Want to bike through Vietnam - choose Exodus

    Our experience booking a trip with Exodus was great. From the time of booking the trip to our return flight, after our trip, was working out perfectly. Thanks to a wonderful, amazing tour guide, mechanic, truck- and bus driver we had a well organized trip. Not once did we have to wait for a connection. The hotels were wonderful, the bikes we had, were in perfect shape and the mechanic, on a lay-over day, changed all our chains. Lunches we ate were supporting smaller restaurants in many rural settings. We highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    While riding along the street, many kids would come out of their houses and call out "hello"! Kids riding their bikes home from school would great us with a friendly "hello".

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chi, our group leader, was amazing, helpful, genuine, caring, organized, engaging, knowledgeable, punctual and many more wonderful characteristics. He was not only a great group leader, but you could see that the support team (mechanic, bus driver and truck driver) respected him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the ride from Saigon to Hanoi. Not the other way around
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Chris Leadbeater

    What a fantastic experience - absolutely world class from Exodus

    Other reviewers say it all, but i would add the following. What a great group we had, 10 Brits and 8 kiwis - as one of our number said, we quickly became like family. Our tour leader, Linh Vo was outstanding and was always working hard to keep us safe, fed and entertained, but it was his willingness to go above and beyond to help members of our group that had some serious challenges to deal with that marks him out as an exceptional tour leader. we were blessed with a superb support team (Y, Vu and Tanag - we salute you) and all four guys worked seamlessly to deliver a unique and truly memorable experience. Vietnam is wonderful - the people, the food, the scenery and the traffic in Saigon !! But it was made 100# better because of what we learned and where Linh selected for us to eat some truly wonderful grub. We cant recommend this highly enough - quite simply the best holiday we have ever had and a list or fabulous memories too long to list here. Thanks to our wonderful group, to Linh and his team and to Exodus for creating life long memories

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    30k downhill from Dalat and then 10k up the Hai Van pass a couple, of days later. Oh yes, and whale Island of course - fabulous

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional - a truly superb ambassador for his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it - live the moment, live every single experience, savour the food, meet the friendly, warm and welcoming people and remember - the safest way to cross the road in Saigon is to just walk slowly across and keeping your fingers crossed and your eyes closed :-)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you - we want to do it all again
  • Reviewed March 2019
    John Wynsma

    Fantastic Cycling Trip

    This was a fantastic cycling holiday and excellent way to see a good part of Vietnam and experience its culture from the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, to historical cities such as Hoi An and Hue, as well as local villages and varying countryside. The trip is well balanced between biking (8 of 14 days), other activities (i.e. exploring the Cu Chi tunnels, caving, snorkeling, touring historic sites, shopping, etc.) and rest days at some idyllic locations (Whale Island, Ha Long Bay). The biking is rated as moderate and geared for biking enthusiasts or generally fit people as its mostly flat, some undulating sections, some "upulating" sections as our guide liked to characterize the predominantly uphill sections, a few tough climbs and a couple of super fun descents! The first few days on cycling is outside Ho Chi Minh, a bit busy and not too interesting (although the destinations were great). Thereafter the cycling becomes much more interesting and really fun! The trip is extremely well organized - I can't say enough good things about our guide Son and the rest of the team. Our group of 17 was diverse but bonded quickly, were very supportive of one another (even to those who spread the Canadian cold around...) and enjoyed a lot of laughs and Tiger beer together, and even some singalongs with "Kennaoke" and his ukulele! The food and accommodation exceeded our expectations, and the Vietnamese people are extremely friendly and hospitable. Fantastic trip, don't hesitate to do this one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking, its a toss up between the joy of the 5000 foot descent from Dalat and the 2000 foot climb of the Hai Van Pass (wasn't smiling nearing as much but great sense of accomplishment). Culturally, riding through the countryside with its lush rice paddies, water buffalo, hard working locals and many friendly children saying "hello" as you passed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Son, was awesome. Well organized, very informative on Vietnamese history, culture and the environment (kudos here), communication skills were excellent (more understandable than most Brits...yikes, going to be in trouble for that comment!), very safety conscious, enthusiastic and encouraging, and able to keep the group focused and on schedule. Son and his family hosted dinner on the final evening of the trip, everyone from our group attended, and it was a magical evening, amazing food, lots of shared memories, laughs and hugs! The entire team supporting Son was also excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Do some training beforehand, you'll enjoy the rides more and you'll want to experience the satisfaction of climbing the Hai Van pass. 2. Try all the food, its mostly great, just beware of the little red chilies! 3. Be prepared to barter in the markets and recognize you are getting fake products (make good gifts!) 4. Don't drink the water, stick to beer! Tiger is "go to" beer but the rest are good too, and inexpensive! 5. Buy some tailor made clothing in Hoi An at Yaly's or another reputable place. Its great quality, good value. I bought a number of Egyptian cotton dress shirts (and promptly threw out my older off the shelf ones when I got home) and my wife bought a few jumpsuits that she is eagerly waiting to display once the snow melts!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    First trip with Exodus, very impressed, highly highly recommended!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    John Grant

    Cycling Vietnam

    A great trip really well organised from start to finish, fantastic to see so many places in one holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the people of Vietnam, fantastic people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent group leader who kept everything together and on time. Great knowledge of Vietnam and its history a really interesting man with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some practice in and take Cycling padded pants. Get your drinks before you get on the overnight train as they ran out of beer very quickly.