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

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3277 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Walter

    Great Trip

    Amazing trip with a new adventure everyday so much happened it will take time to reflect on how amazing it was. The mountains and scenery was so impressive. Very glad we did the Gokyo Lakes trip rather then the straight Everest base camp trek as it gave us more time to appreciate the mountains and also it was a bit quieter and off the beaten track.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the mountains and taking in their magnificence. Also finally achieved a long held dream of doing such a trek and testing myself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader DB was very good at sharing details keeping us on track and making sure we stayed safe and healthy. I think he did more than other guides to check on our wellbeing and we appreciated that.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you get fit as many of the days are long and doing 15 days trekking back to back is pretty hard especially at altitude above 5,000m. Take a metal water bottle and fill it at night with hot water and use it as a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag as the tea houses above 4,500m get very cold at night in the bedrooms (we were at -10 deg most nights). Pack warm and take snack snd toilet rolls, tissues etc as these start to add a lot to costs as you move up the trek. We didn't bother showering for six days as the showers were so cold so be prepared! Watch out for altitude effects - our group was mainly ok but we saw a lot of pope with troubles so litter to your guides advice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Look after the guides and porters as they are the real hero's taking your packs over the same hard terrain that you will hike with your small day pack and arriving many hours before you!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Clare Smit

    Tough trek but views are amazing!

    Great mix of cultural diversity and natural beauty of India - starting and ending in the manic centres of Delhi and Kolkata respectively, the majority of the trip is in quieter parts of West Bengal and Sikkim, which are simply beautiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise and cups of tea at campsite 3 with views of Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Mt Everest and Manaslu. It was cold but an absolutely magical experience! Also, the visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling - it was quite humbling to see the gear that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary summitted Everest with so many years ago and how the equipment has advanced.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajeev Rawat. What can I say - an amazing leader....nothing was too much trouble!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack for all kinds of weather. We had a torrential hail storm half way through the Singalila ridge trek, followed by thick fog...so thick that we couldn’t see the tents from the dinner tent! Head torches are a definite must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Singalila trek was one of the toughest walks I have done but totally worth it for the views. India is a very different place with so much diversity - take each place visited for its own uniqueness and try everything!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Clare Smit

    Tough trek but views are amazing!

    Great mix of cultural diversity and natural beauty of India - starting and ending in the manic centres of Delhi and Kolkata respectively, the majority of the trip is in quieter parts of West Bengal and Sikkim, which are simply beautiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise and cups of tea at campsite 3 with views of Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Mt Everest and Manaslu. It was cold but an absolutely magical experience! Also, the visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling - it was quite humbling to see the gear that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary summitted Everest with so many years ago and how the equipment has advanced.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajeev Rawat. What can I say - an amazing leader....nothing was too much trouble!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack for all kinds of weather. We had a torrential hail storm half way through the Singalila ridge trek, followed by thick fog...so thick that we couldn’t see the tents from the dinner tent! Head torches are a definite must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Singalila trek was one of the toughest walks I have done but totally worth it for the views. India is a very different place with so much diversity - take each place visited for its own uniqueness and try everything!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Leesa Hodgson

    Tough but Rewarding

    A great trip with challenging cycling & beautiful views

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The encouragement of the group towards one another when cycling became difficult

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had great tour leaders in Sanjay & Manu they were lot's of fun and had great knowledge of the area & the culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for plenty of hill climbing, which done at a steady pace is achievable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful trip never to be forgotten. Even though we were off the beaten track for a few days, evening meal times were great fun and the food was excellent. Summary of our trip: We were very fortunate to have a fantastic group of 14 people to enjoy the sights and sounds of India with.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Julia P

    A lovely introduction to the Great Wall of China

    The Great Wall is even more mind-blowing than in your imagination and doing this fantastic trip at the end of October is a great time to see it. We had beautiful autumn colours, with pleasant, warm days and slightly cooler mornings and evenings, and it's not crowded with visitors. It's suitable for people who are fit and enjoy walking, but it's most definitely not a trek, so if that's your thing you may not enjoy it as much as we did. You get to visit different parts of the wall - from the restored and more touristy, to completely wild and unrestored and we appreciated seeing these different facets. The toboggan at Mutianyou is a hoot so it's well worth giving yourself time to fit that in. The food was good quality and varied (though see below if you're veggie).The hotel in Beijing (Golden Sun Commercial Hotel) was very nice; a little away from the city centre but we enjoyed wandering the local hutongs, parks and temples and we easily got into town via the subway (Guang'anmennei station is an easy walk from the hotel).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight was undoubtedly the sections at Jiankou and Panlongshan, really beautiful and well away from the crowds. They were also the most steep and challenging, but eminently doable if you have a reasonable level of fitness - you get to challenge yourself and work as a group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack was lovely, he was helpful and considerate and looked after us really well. He sorted out little extras like a Kung Fu show, tea ceremony, paper cutting and even making dumplings at a homestay. He even arranged for us to have a Chinese massage in our hotel, which helped with our stiff legs!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's lots to see in Beijing in the free time available and the subway is very easy to use (in English as a well as Chinese) so don't duplicate what you'll see on day 9. As a vegetarian I found the food better than I expected but not always very substantial. I was never hungry but ate a lot of cabbage, spinach or courgette with rice. By the last day of walking I felt quite tired and came back 1 kg lighter than I arrived. It's not a problem but do consider taking some protein bars, nuts etc. for a bit of a boost. Food at the Mutianyou homestay was the best with lots of good and varied veggie options. You won't be able to access Google, Twitter, BBC or the Guardian but we found that WhatsApp worked (though not for photos) and we managed to keep up with the news headlines as much as we wanted.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The itinerary didn't seem to match what we did - the distances were significantly shorter than indicated on a couple of days. We did the Xi'an extension and enjoyed seeing a contrasting city (which did feel quite different). The train ride there was fun and comfortable. Our guide Mrs Ling was informative and an interesting contrast to Jack. The Terracotta Army is well worth seeing but be prepared for some jostling by the crowds. We had a dumpling banquet at a very touristy place but the food was good - choose the veggie ones - they were very tasty and beautifully presented!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Griffin

    Bay of Bengal to Arabian Sea in about 500 smiles

    This was such an excellent trip from start to finish. We experienced all types of weather from baking hot sun to cyclonic rain and along the way were constantly amazed by the friendliness and generosity of the local people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the guided tour of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple where we witnessed Bullock and Elephant in ceremonial costumes in a procession.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar was great, organised everything and sorted out a visit to a chemist for me when things got a bit awkward.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will drink a lot of water whilst cycling so take something to put in it for flavour as it gets a bit dull after a while.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Justin Emrich

    Trip of a lifetime

    From the moment we met our guide, he talked about us becoming a family for the next fortnight as he wanted us all to stick together. This we did and it really made our trip special. He, our porters and two assistant guides looked after us every step of the way. The high mountains were tantalisingly shy for the first few days, but then gradually showed themselves to us. Simply stunning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being helped across a 287m long bridge by two guides. Not something I was looking forward to.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Simply outstanding. Our safety and happiness was his top concern. He even used his greater experience to assist a trekker in another group who needed to descend quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The couch journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara is an experience and longer than we were expecting due to the state of the roads. Be prepared for very little flat walking, no meat, very limited alcohol and very basic bathroom facilities for a fortnight. If you can cope with this, you will love every minute of this trip. Your knees need to be in good working order! Learn to love Dal Baht - the best bit is you can eat as much as you like. Also the local Gerund bread with cheese is delicious. Pack a metal water bottle. It can double as a hot water bottle when you get to ABC which is pretty cold. Due to the up and down nature of this trip and taking 7 days to reach ABC, none of us had any issues with altitude. The optional early trip up to Poon Hill is in my opinion only 50%/50% worth it. It’s a big additional climb and can be very busy. Leave your phone at home!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We took no technology with us except a camera. 100% the right thing to do and allowed us to really be there, in the moment, soaking up the culture and stunning scenery. It was like bursting a bubble when we heard news of the outside world.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Cathérine Delnooz

    Not off the beaten path, mainly just strolls

    In part beautiful walks over wall and with views. In part disappointment: strolls, not off the beaten path, no local rural life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walk at Gubeiko and Juankou are great!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack: touristy leader, good English, does not follow itinerary - lunch is more important than hike.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not go on this trip if you want an all off the beaten holiday. Day 2-3-7 are a real disappointment. There is no real experience of local life in villages. Hikes are often just strolls and much shorter than stated in the itinerary.