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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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed February 2019
    Romaine and David Byers

    South India Explored

    A thoroughly enjoyable trip which went according to plan with excellent leader Sam Benjamin and with excellent safe driver. Sam went out of his way to show us all the little "incidentals" which make the trip, such as tile making , rubber tapping, rice plantation and spice plantations. The quality of the hotels was excellent. The only real problem we all faced was the slow service at restaurants, whether at hotels or elsewhere, where some people had finished their meal before others had even been served - but realise that this is a problem outside anyone's control.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The train trips were thoroughly enjoyable and sociable. Engaging manner of local people with our group. The beautiful Hindu temples - too numerous to mention. The houseboat stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was very knowledgeable, engaging and ensured the group was always satisfied, and happy and attentive to our needs. We would thoroughly recommend him as a group leader and it was interesting that he was prepared to learn from us as well as us from him. He was prepared to engage in topics on the bus when we asked him if these were of general interest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Water - there was plenty of water to drink on the bus from a water cooler. Hotels supplied bottled but we tried to limit using these because of plastic disposal. We were advised that cleaning teeth with tap water was OK. Food - we found the food a little too spicy and found we had to ask for less spice when this was possible.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Deborah-Jane Lear

    Absolutely fantastic, this really is a holiday I shall never forget!

    An excellent itinerary, a great variety of architecture, religions, culture, scenery and food all in one holiday. Fantastic!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is very difficult to choose as there were a lot of wonderful sights and experiences during the trip. Visiting Brihadishwara Temple, built in the 10th century, which involved absolutely amazing craftmanship. It was great to revisit it in the morning when it was quiet and just enjoy the view. Meenakshi Amman temple is amazing too, the opulence of Mysore Palace- staggering!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam, our group leader, was excellent. He is very knowledgeable about the area and India in general. He also had a very good sense of humour which we all enjoyed. He had excellent social skills, circulating amongst the group and chatting easily with us all regularly. He always kept us informed about the itinerary for the day. Every meal time he helped those who needed advice about the menu, he always made sure that everyone had their food before he started eating. He was also punctual and endlessly patient. He did a great job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled over 2000 kilometres during the tour, there is lots to see, things of interest en route and regular stops, in order to do this, it does mean you are on a coach a lot. When we were travelling we were on the road by 8.00 each morning. Much of this trip is in the tropics, it is hot, humid and dusty, make sure you have water, there was some on the bus everyday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am very impressed by the Exodus Travels, the thought and preparation that goes into the itinerary to give customers the best experience possible. I also like teh company's ethics of trying to support the local people through tourism rather than multinational companies.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Paul Sullivan

    AIS: South India Explored

    This trip is a great way to cover a steady stream of varying, contrasting and engaging sights spread across southern India, in lush landscapes, undulating hills, ornate temples and impressive palaces to name but a few.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one single thing for me, purely the sheer range of places visited, almost every day bringing something new and enjoyable. If pushed to choose, it'd probably be between the cruise around the Kerala backwaters (a fantastic way to see another side of the country and people's lives there), and the village visit from Mahabalipuram on a festival day (again, a special way to see how much the event brought to the people there and how they celebrated it)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukose is a highly competent tour leader and guide, as we've come to expect, yet someone who also brings a freshness and vitality to each place we visited, ensuring we got the most from every day, including extra visits and activities which we all very much appreciated. His depth of knowledge and willingness to impart same to the group were two more areas he scores very highly on. Combined with this, his hugely positive attitude, enthusiasm, sense of humour and cheeky grin make him an outstanding ambassador for his country and patently reflect well on his employers and Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A superb way to see a huge amount of the southern part of the country, in an itinerary I could find no parallel for with other operators. If you want to experience the essence of the region, this is certainly a trip deserving serious consideration.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Standard of accommodation was on the whole very good, with well-appointed rooms in hotels of very standing, which is not always the case on such trips, and something quite important on a 3-week trip covering a lot of ground.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jerry Dawson

    Comprehensive exploration of the sights of South India

    If you have three weeks to spare and want to see the highlights of South India, this is the trip for you. Comprehensive coverage of the main temples, palaces, hill stations and other attractions of the region. Although the trip packs in all the sights, it did not feel rushed and there is enough time left free to explore on your own. South India seems much less frenetic than the north and the food is amazing! There is a lot of driving but the bus is air conditioned and spacious and from time to time the group travels by train, which is a fascinating experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In terms of sights, the highlights for me were driving through the tea plantations near Ooty and Periyar, exploring the streets of former French colony Pondicherry, having lunch during a small cyclone in the "Rick Stein" beachfront restaurant in Mahabalipuram, exploring the various flower and vegetable markets, the waterfront at Kovalam, and the overnight houseboat trip in the Kerala Backwaters near Alleppey. The real highlight for me, however, was the food - Indian food all day from breakfast (puris and iddlys) through to dinner - including the several stops at roadside restaurants for thalis at lunchtime, the wonderful seafood in Mahabalipuram and Kovalam, and the cooking demonstration (with active participation) in Thekkady/ Periyar.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh P.K. did a great job. He had a kind and caring personality and was very open with information about India and its customs, religions and culture. All the trip logistics worked out well - which is quite an achievement for India!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some very long journeys on the bus so do bring a book to read. Although western food is available at all the hotels and most restaurants, it will add greatly to the enjoyment of the trip if you throw caution to the wind and eat the local food - lot of amazing veg and non-veg options! If you want a cold beer with dinner, call ahead to the restaurant to make sure there are beers in the fridge (many restaurants seem to serve beer at room temperature!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked more time in Pondicherry with a more comprehensive city walking tour to include information about life during the 300 years of French occupation; and also time to see the main sights in Chennai.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Mindy Grantham

    Great trip! Covered a lot of ground

    I was already traveling in India and made a fairly last minute decision to join this tour. I’m very glad I did. We had a small group which made it easy to move around, see things, hear the guides, and have a more personal experience. The guide (Santo) was great! He’s very personable, knowledgeable, and tries to make sure that we have a local experience to the extent possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being at Periyar and having the guide start telling our group to be quiet and move quickly as we started running through the forest in order to get to the place where an elephant was spotted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was wonderful. He’s super nice (all of the time even when there’s a difficult member of the group), he explains things well so we all understand in advance what to expect, he makes sure the trip is seamless for us (even though I’m sure there’s always issues) and he tries to give us local experiences too, which really makes the difference. I highly recommend him! I’d do another trip of his.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Mindy Grantham

    Great trip! Covered a lot of ground

    I was already traveling in India and made a fairly last minute decision to join this tour. I’m very glad I did. We had a small group which made it easy to move around, see things, hear the guides, and have a more personal experience. The guide (Santo) was great! He’s very personable, knowledgeable, and tries to make sure that we have a local experience to the extent possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being at Periyar and having the guide start telling our group to be quiet and move quickly as we started running through the forest in order to get to the place where an elephant was spotted.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was wonderful. He’s super nice (all of the time even when there’s a difficult member of the group), he explains things well so we all understand in advance what to expect, he makes sure the trip is seamless for us (even though I’m sure there’s always issues) and he tries to give us local experiences too, which really makes the difference. I highly recommend him! I’d do another trip of his.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Stephen Sinnhuber

    Another interesting trip but a bit too much bus riding!

    This was our 6th Exodus trip and we have always really enjoyed them. Travelling with like-minded people. The trip involves some very interesting sights. Of course, it is the usual temples and palaces but the world heritage temples are incredible. The backwaters overnight trip is a highlight and relaxing after the rigours of bus journeys. Normally I give Exodus trips 5 stars as they have always been excellent. This one I give 3 stars simply because there is just too much bus riding. There are several 5 hour plus rides that always seem to take even longer. It was exhausting despite the fact we are just sitting in a bus! All the trips we have done have involved long bus rides but this one seemed to have even more or maybe its because it was 3 weeks. So looked forward to incredible temples and palaces but be prepared for long bus rides to get to them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the World Heritage temples. They are truly a marvel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Lukose Thomas, was excellent. He took great care of us and always ensured things were running smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take music, headphones, podcasts etc for the bus journeys. It helps pass the time. I even started to learn Spanish using an app, we spent so much time on a bus! The bus journeys are necessary in order to get to the different sights but they are long and numerous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very interesting trip in terms of the sights you see. Just be ready for the bus rides in between. I think they could be broken up a bit more to at least see some local culture on the way. This did happen on some of the later rides towards eth end of the trip and really helped break up the journey. More nature could be added as well as the trip is very urban. If you haven't been to India at all we also did the Exodus Rajasthan trip 4 years ago and of the two trips, I would recommend that over this one as a first India experience.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mandy and John Tory

    South India Explored

    A busy and very interesting trip. Great company, well organised and good itinerary. We loved southern India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...... Little train to Ooty. Lunch stops at roadside cafes. Overnight train to Chennai. Bird sanctuary at Vedantangal. Walking near elephants in Periyar National Park, and the boat trip on the same lake. Cooking evening with Sheril, in Periyar. The huge number and variety of temples. The houseboat in the backwaters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh was a good leader. Very well organised, friendly to all of the group with fascinating insights into local life and customs, with little held back. He embellished the trip with additions to the itinerary which were well received. He and his crew managed to break up the long drives with well planned stops - for chai and toilet purposes - as well as to observe local life and to try local produce.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack fairly light but you will not have to do much suitcase carrying. Have appropriate clothes for temple visits but more casual wear is better for the beach side stops. Swimwear! We had little problem with the change in diet but stuck to bottled water. Take your own drinking bottle to refill on the bus and reduce plastic waste. Learn to like beer as there may not be much choice! If female, practise squatting!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go with an open mind and a generous spirit.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Caroline Bradley

    Explore Southern India

    A fantastic opportunity to see the many different sides to India by travelling through 3 states and seeing the landscape, architecture, having the history explained and tasting the food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The architecture, culture and devotion of the Indian people to their religious beliefs & practices.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader made the long coach trips fun and interesting by getting us all involved in various topics we wanted to discuss and explore about India culture and history. He was frank, open and honest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a full on trip, the weather is hot and the humidity is high! So it can be exhausting, therefore you need to be "really up for it" to get the most out of the trip. Drink plenty of fluids, if you are not use to eating spicy food daily, then don't do it on the trip! There are plenty of alternatives Wear plenty of sun cream and DEET. Take things in your stride, keep your expectations low and you will be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. Go with a child's mind and heart; full of wonder, interest and excitement, don't prejudge and always look on the bright side and make the most of everything and you should enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Eric Aldridge

    South India trip

    As described in the trip notes the pace is leisurely. For us there was little walking and activity with some 2000+ miles in the bus albeit with plenty of fascinating traffic and sights to see. The people, as always, very friendly. The food interesting and every variation of curry. Highlights were walking and boat trip in Periyar NP together with the houseboat and waterways. Plenty of different temples and palaces to explore and the local guides clarified the details in carvings and exhibits. Our group was only 5 so there was plenty of space on the bus, organisation and communication was 'easy' with no delays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing was inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Everything went to plan and apart from one small communication error with the transfer bus at Bangalore all events and timings work well. With a small group it was relatively easy to 'control', communicate and I think we all enjoyed each others companionship. Everyone arrived on time and there were no delays. Our guide often gave insight Into India's developing culture, politics and history. He responded well to any questions. In general he was humourous though some days he was quiet and less communicative. He was very good to those who were not feeling so well and ensured they had all the necessary medication and care to recover as quickly as possible. Overall he was a very good guide and kept the group interest by unscheduled stops to view village life, brick making works, and various workshops. He was aided in this by our driver who was always looking for unexpected events at the roadside. Any changes to the itinerary were discussed/agreed with the group beforehand.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect the unexpected. Be ready at the agreed time to avoid delays and frustrating the rest of the group. Read the trip notes. Generally these are okay. (NB Hairdryers are not provided at hotels). India has an anti-plastic policy and now have 'plastic police' checking the number of carrier bags and bottles carried on the bus. Our driver was fined for too many plastic bags. It may be better to bring your own water bottle rather than refilling flimsy plastic bottles. Bottles were filled from the supplies issued from bulk supplies on the bus or complementary hotel bottles and never a problem. Although Kerala and south India is cleaner than the north expect to see plenty of litter (including on the beach at Mahabalipuram-awful) and this is a cultural. challenge and hence the plastic policy. The suggested walk from Dodabetta Peak to the botanical garden is along a busy road and I would not recommend it. Generally walking in towns is difficult as there are rarely footpaths and pedestrians mingle with traffic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have enjoyed more walking and we really enjoyed the opportunities in the botanical garden, Periyar, bird sanctuary and Kovalam. The houseboat gave another opportunity to wander along the waterside paths. In the towns there wasn't. much pleasure strolling with the traffic except we enjoyed the banter with the stallholders/shops. Our guide arranged a few 'strolls' through villages, festival areas but generally we travelled by bus for dinner if we didn't use the hotel.
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