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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 November 2018
    Emma Sayer

    A great way to see all the great things in China

    Have low expectations and be positive was the motto of our guide. My own expectations were exceeded! We got to see so many great things

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pandas! I booked this trip over any other because we go to visit the panda breeding centre. They are the most cuddliest and most adorable creatures. Whilst we were there we watched one get a bucket stuck on its head to one falling out of a tree. Yangshou with its Karst mountains! I love the countryside and this place was just stunning. We had rain most days we were there but the mist rolling across the mountains is just beautiful. A nice break from the busy crowds of the city too. The great Wall - Just wow! Even more breath taking in real life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was very efficient and organised. He told us what we needed to know and what was happening a few days before it happened. He made us aware of optional extras that we could partake it. The motto of the trip was to have low expectations and to be positive. Dragon would often give us the worst case scenario and prepare us for the worst which meant we were never disappointed or surprised. And most things actually proved to be okay or to exceed our new expectations. Dragon was very helpful and supportive. My luggage got misplaced on a different coach and after a few phone calls managed to get it back quickly and without fuss. There was also a problem with my passport number. The office had pre booked my train tickets with my old passport number and so wouldn't pass the security check but after the first incident, Dragon managed to sort extra tickets so this wasn't a problem further along the road. Although not forth coming with information, Dragon knew alot and would give you all the information that he could give. No problems with translation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't drink the water. You don't need to cover your legs for temples and things. We were supplied with bike helmets for our bike ride and had the option to hire some at other places. So no need to take your own. Don't flush the loo roll. Walk the steps up to the great wall. It's tough but if only a few of you do it you get that section of the wall to yourself for a good hour before you see everyone else that comes via the cable cars. Great opportunity for solo photos too. Practise with chopsticks before you come - its great fun to learn before you come and sometimes forks can be hard to find. Good trainers will get you through this trip! Lots of walking. Don't upgrade on the boat. We saved £50 and got to eat with the locals. We couldn't speak to them directly but I enjoyed watching how they used their chopsticks. If you only pay for one extra activity, do the night show at the Li River, Worlds largest natural theatre. Breathtakingly beautiful! Make sure exodus send you the exodus luggage tags - helps porters know that your luggage is all the same. Take an extra SD card, your going to need it!! One your packed, take half the clothes and double your spending money!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to go to China just once and see as much as possible, this is the trip to do it. If your a solo person this is the trip for you. A large group of 16 means you never feel lonely but you can still do things on your own if you want too.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    David Sarsiat

    CHINA ADVENTURE

    We enjoyed our experience in China and came home with a better understanding of the Chinese people and culture. Unfortunately, when we continued our trip to Hong Kong we discovered that someone had taken most of our Hong Kong money (equivalent to $500 Canadian). We keep these funds locked in safe deposit boxes, so not sure how this could have happened. We would like others who go on this trip to keep any cash with them at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking in the countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very organized and factual.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your valuables with you. Do not trust the safe deposit boxes.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sandra Woodward

    Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise

    We have just returned from this busy and full on trip. As other reviews have said 'China is big!' We saw and experienced so much - from the different styles of food, transport and sites. Our guide was informative and shared lots of information regarding Chinese culture and history as well as the amazing development that has occurred during the last 20 years.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising just how far China has come and how far it plans to go. This is awe inspiring rather than inspirational. The infrastructure projects, buildings, size of cities, numbers of travellers/ tourists/people. Reading about it can't really prepare you for the reality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was extremely good at managing expectations and ensuring the whole group navigated the busy schedule. He was professional, funnyGo patient and very good at helping us make the most of the opportunities available. This included where to stand on the boat to get the best view, upgrading our dining option on the Yangtze cruise to avoid the scrum in the dining room. We enjoyed hearing his anecdotes of growing up and life in China.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the crowds but don't let them put you off as the Chinese were always friendly, helpful and good natured. Take mosquito repellent and wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking but it is all manageable. Use the 'farmers' to carry your bag on to the cruise boat there are a lot of steep steps down to the river. Have an open mind and be willing to go with the flow. Foot massages were great (especially the ones on the cruise). Enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We met lots of interesting travlleling companions and the group size of 16 worked well with a mix of couples and singles, so there were always people to hang out with if you wanted to. Go for it - you won't be disappointed
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sue Shaw

    China and Yangtze

    Great trip ,great guide.so much going on!!! One of the best of 10 trips I have been on with exodus.Thank you Chris .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just loved the cycling 🚴‍♀️ trip to moon 🌒 Hill ,paddy fields,, noodles drying in the sun ,watching the river and rafts going by ,what’s not to love.So relaxing 😌 xx

    What did you think of your group leader?

    just really spot on ,thanks Chris.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts and quick turn round but it’s a fabulous trip!!!! .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This should be on everyone’s bucket list !!!! 😘
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Maggie Hatchard

    China in summer!

    A very good and interesting holiday taking in all the fascinating places that China has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Terracotta Army was for me the most inspirational part of the trip. The size of the find and how much they still have to uncover, so much so that they are leaving a huge proportion to future generations to explore as they have so much to do already.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Jane could t have been more helpful or considerate, she was a delight and went out of her way to help everyone making sure that we were all comfortable and supported. She was also very knowledgeable about every part of the trip. She will be truly missed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    August is the Chinese school holidays and also the hottest time of the year so really crowded everywhere and extremely hot and humid. Think about going at a different time of the year!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I throughly enjoyed the trip, we saw so much and experienced so much. All was well organised. Comfortable hotels and great food. Lots to see and do. And many many steps! Worst day was 45 flights of stairs! Wish I’d started counting the steps when I arrived. Lots of walking and half of them upor down or so it seemed! If you go in the summer take clothes that can be easily washed through, it’s very, very sweaty!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Molly Wallis

    Excellent tour

    Fabulous tour - it covered everythingI wanted to see or do, and much more -it exceeded my expectations. I loved every minute. Everyday was different and a pleasant experience. Great guide, great group, great fun, great tour, not to be missed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the Great Wall of China at Mutiayun! That was an achievement for me - I didn't think that I would manage to climb to the top but I did!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - Kris, our tour guide, is professional, knowledgeable, friendly and caring - exceptional. Kris made the tour fun and a fabulous experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Manage your own expectations and others about limited access and availability of wi fi and ability to contact family and friends easily. Take "roll on" or "liquid" insect repellent and not pressurised or "flammable" ones as these are not allowed in cabin luggage on trains, or aircraft.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend Exodus and this tour - excellent trip and a great tour company.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Janice Needham

    Fantastic trip to China

    A wonderful trip, packed with great sights and led by a fantastic guide Kangzhu.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots, but the Great Walk and Yangshuo Light Show were both spine-tingling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kangzhu was amazing. Everything ran smoothly with presumably lots of arranging behind the scenes. She also created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, even with a busy schedule. She helped us all get great food, including non-meat eaters. She definitely went above what was required, helping people find particular gifts, bringing us breakfast on the overnight train and working very long hours. She was a complete star! And very good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect a busy time!
  • So much to see!

    Nothing prepares you for how big China is, big cities, big roads, long distances, and a wonderful welcome! We saw and experienced all the things we planned and so much more. The tour is full on and you will need to be fit to walk the distances needed and carry your own case up and down stairs in the railway stations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspiring thing about our China trip was being able to experience the local life. I had in my naivety not realised that we would be a novelty to many of the Chinese people. They too are travelling in their country and are enjoying the sights we are seeing. Many of them have travelled very long distances from their homes where they never come across any foreigners. Many times they would ask to take photos of us on their phones. The Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors are everything you hoped to see. Beijing, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden Palace are all much bigger than you realise. The whole tour enables you to see so many wonderful things. I feel pleased that I have had the chance to see how China is developing at a lightening pace. Go and see it now because it is changing all the time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was our first time with Exodus and the first time on a guided tour. Nothing prepares you for how amazing China is. It would have been really difficult to appreciate everything without our wonderful guide Vivian Xi. She translated the language, explained Chinese customs, took care of all the internal travel details, explained all about the tour destinations we were visiting, ordered our food in the restaurants when we could not understand the menus and made sure each member of the group was happy with the arrangements. A truly customer service minded, thoughtful person. I feel we would have missed so much without her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I have mentioned above that you need to be fit to enjoy this tour. There were some travellers in our group of sixteen who had not done their research or benefitted from a good travel agent as we had. These people were not comfortable walking the distances needed and therefore unable to enjoy the full China experience. We travelled on local buses, mini buses, bullet trains, one internal fight and three overnight soft sleeper trains. All transport was well organised but the overnight trains are slow and noisy and you don’t get much rest. You need to know that sometimes you could be sharing a four bed compartment with strangers. We found the bunks clean but hard. There is usually one squatty and one potty toilet in each carriage. You only need a minimum of “pretty clothes” Comfortable clothes and shoes in practical colours suitable for any weather conditions. We had a little rain, clear days and some dull incredibly humid days. Laundry services are available in the hotels and our guide helped us with these details. We read lots of the previous reviews and gained lots of tips from them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Yangtze cruise has some lovely scenery but don’t think it will be a rest and you can enjoy them. There are excursions each day that you probably don’t want to miss. When you are moored at a venue you could find another boat moored along side you. We actually had one moored each side of us and I could have stepped onto their decks with no difficulty. This meant, no views and the smoking fumes from other crew members coming into your cabin if you left you balcony door open. The breakfasts in most of the hotels has a western choice as well as Chinese style. Fill up you tummies in the mornings. The Chinese menus later for your lunch or dinner may or may not be to your liking. There are McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC in the cities when you just have to have something you recognise. Go with a sense of adventure and lots of energy, you will need it.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    GRAHAM CLARKE

    Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise

    An excellent introduction to China covering a number of the very diverse facets of the country. I am inspired to return to China to explore other aspects of the country. In particular the Great Wall trek. I would recommend travelling with a group, such as Exodus. It is not the easiest country to get about in. There is very little English spoken and most of the signs are in Chinese only. Our tour leader took care of interpretations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Great Wall was great, the Three Gorges cruise on the Yangtze, the cycling in the country amongst the limestone karsts, amazing landscape. There were a number of other WOW factors not least of which was the food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leon was excellent: very knowledgeable about all the areas that we visited, he was helpful on a personal level as well as to the group particularly when it came to ordering food where the menus were only in Chinese. He was well up to the standard of tour leaders that I had come to expect of Exodus. His English was excellent also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travelling in China could be a bit of a challenge particularly as there is little English spoken and much of the signs even at airports and railway stations are in Chinese. Having a competent Chinese speaker with you, such as we had, made life much easier. The trip was billed as 1 leisurely. I think a 2 grading would be more exact; the steps up to the great wall and later on up to the Moon Rock were something of a challenge for some.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep your eyes open and look for quaint English translations of signs.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Vivienne Hodgins

    Another great Exodus trip!

    We had a fantastic experience in China led admirably by Alan Liu. We saw so much of both modern and traditional China....such contrasts. We gained great insight into Chinese history and the Chinese view of their place in the world today. We were always on the go...so much to see and do. There was hardly a dull moment....the third train trip the exception. That was not great but apart from that all the travel arrangements,accommodation, activities (optional and included ) were excellent. We went on public buses, private buses, the bullet train,metro, internal flight and the three overnight train trips. It is such a large country and the sheer scale of things is hard to take in. We also had relaxing times on the cruise and in the water town near Shanghai to name a few. The gorges are spectacular but the food on he boat is just ok. The rooms are very good though.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The pandas at Chengdu,the terracotta warriors, the scenery at Yangzhou, the dam,the cycle ride on the walls at Xian, the food..... Good fun learning Mahjong! The Great Wall is excellent although it takes ages to get there because of the traffic. Fantastic walking. Shanghai is very interesting....lots to see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alan Liu is such a good leader. He is always smiling and his English is excellent. His knowledge of history and politics is very good and he is very good at explaining ideas.He was always counting us...no one got lost! He was so good in the restaurants choosing dishes for us to share....the food was wonderful. He was always on task....everything worked like clockwork. He really is a five star leader and such a nice person. He was very patient... the group although small had varying levels of fitness and he always waited to make sure no one got left behind. I felt very confident travelling with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is full on but no more than other Exodus trips. The luggage situation at stations was not so bad as I expected....there are slopes beside stairs so you can roll your bag up or down but the Chinese people are so friendly and I had help every time without asking! You do need a sleeping bag liner...the train duvets etc are ok but not great. The third train trip is from 1.00pm to 5.00 in the morning....then a bus ride, then a orientation tour, then a Chinese cookery class. Drink lots of water there...I got really ill as did a few others that day. Just a bit too much in the heat. There are lots of washing opportunities. The hotels are generally good...you don't usually get shampoo etc but always a toothbrush!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The acrobat show in Shanghai and the Light show in Yangzhou are both very good. The Great Wall is excellent..no need for hiking boots....walking sandals are ok. Very little English spoken. No Facebook or google!
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