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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 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
    David Wilford

    Wow!

    This really was a holiday of heightened senses: the most brilliant colours, the noisiest roads, the most intense flavours, the brightest smiles, the biggest views – and everything experienced in the thick of it, either from a bike or on foot. Vehicle transfers are few and far between, meaning there’s nothing between you and your environment (including a tiger, if you’re lucky enough to see one – which sadly we weren’t). The great thing about Exodus at their best is that they can organise things we could never do on our own: not just carefully picked hotels and restaurants, but also temple and palace tours, a safari, a houseboat trip, a bespoke lunch in a bay of the Indian Ocean – and much more. That not only makes this trip great value – it also makes a lifetime memory. And then, of course, there are the guides. The unfailing cheerfulness and knowledge of Joseph and our support driver Maneesh were a constant bonus that contributed to this being not only our best Exodus trip to date (it was our fourth) but one of the best holidays of our lives. Cycling aside, in fact, a highlight was a lesson in Bollywood dancing from Joseph – who is incredible at it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of two: getting up Ooti hill without passing out, and Joseph's Bollywood lesson - see above!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph and Maneesh were both fantastic - anybody who gets this team in future is very lucky.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it...
  • Reviewed April 2019
    STEPHANIE SWAIN

    Awesome trip to Everest Base Camp

    Great trek with fantastic leaders & an amazing group of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All reaching Everest Base camp & staying 2 night. The whole trip was amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leader was great & we all felt very safe re altitude trekking

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just keep putting 1 foot in front of the other 😊
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Paul Dent

    Best Experience Every ...

    Brilliant, just brilliant experience and led by professional and competent people. I do admire Val, her experience, communication and leadership of the team and ourselves was impeccable. You will experience much more than you expect, in terms of terrain, views, people and accommodation too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise over Everest was thrilling and not to be missed. The Khumbu glacier was inspirational too, especiLly from its base point.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above, you will struggle to find a better leader for this. She knows what to do and also is brilliant if required for non- standard situations. In addition to her Leadership skills, It should be added that Val is also a very very nice person indeed and will always have your best interests in mind and she misses little.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a moped mind with you and do enjoy the journey, as well as the destination, as Virginia would say.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Val has some very competent guides and future leaders in her group. Do watch and listen to these guys ... they’re also very humorous people too.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ronnie van der Ploeg

    It’s a jungle out there!

    A very enjoyable two weeks spent in the company of 15 other Exodus travellers who embraced the spirit of adventure and discovery in Malaysian Borneo. Together we journeyed the length of Sarawak and Sabah by minibus, coach, plane, boat and jeep visiting spectacular locations including breathtaking caves, stunning rainforests and acquainting ourselves with the local wildlife and bird life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife highlight was undoubtedly spotting our first orangutan in the wild, followed by the sight of the clouds of bats leaving their cave in Mulu National Park at dusk. Although not as imperious as the Mulu Caves, a visit to Gomanting Cave is also breathtaking, and not just because of the overwhelming smell of guano! Meet bats, swiftlets, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mouse deer, spiders... and you may also see some of the locals who have set up bases in the caves to sleep and guard the swiftlets nests. You will enjoy the thrill of the river cruises along the Kinabatangan River looking out for the wildlife before returning to the Borneo Nature Lodge to enjoy the friendly hospitality of the staff. The long journey to the Danube Valley will be worth it once you arrive at Borneo Rainforest Lodge - fantastic location, impressive accommodation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly and ensured that all the trips ran smoothly, and that everyone felt comfortable with the activities we undertook.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t touch the handrails in the Gomantong Cave! The longhouse facilities are basic and the food is ‘local’, so don’t be surprised when the fish stew arrives with a fish skull lurking below the surface - but the visit to the longhouse is actually an enjoyable experience and part of the adventure you all undertake together.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I personally would have liked some more commentary on the country, customs, language and history of Borneo as we travelled for ,one periods on the buses. Instead I read about it myself in a guide book.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Carole Barlow

    Exceeded our expectations.

    A brilliant trip, combining quieter , less well known areas with the big cities of Amritsar, Delhi and Agra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal at dawn has to be the highlight of the trip but we have so many wonderful memories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend this holiday to anyone but try to get a couple of nights in Agra as there is so much to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus had obviously acted promptly in response to some negative reviews from a previous trip and had changed a couple of the hotels. They also responded magnificently when Jet Airways cancelled our return flight with less than 24 hours notice. They booked us new flights within the hour and we arrived home just a couple of hours later than scheduled.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jules McKittrick

    Awesome trip

    This trip packed in a lot in the confines of a two-week itinerary! I really liked the variety of the trip - the first half takes you to less touristy places, such as Garli, Mandi. Even at the Golden Temple I felt like we were the only non-Indian visitors, and that made it very special. A stop in the home town of the Dalai Lama was made even more special by actually seeing him at his home - this was due to a well timed visit to the temple. Agra and Delhi are crazy busy places and not for the faint-hearted! But again a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the incredible logistical exercise of feeding the masses at the Golden Temple - even joined in with a bit of chapati making!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was a great joint-effort between our guide, Sonham, and our two drivers. Anil, one of the drivers, went completely out of his way to look after us. His driving skills were quite something - especially the navigation around Delhi and some of the mountain roads. I have no idea how he did it but kept us safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip if you want to get a bit away from the big attractions of northern India (but a nice bonus at the end of the trip with the Taj Majal).
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Steve and Tracey Chivers

    Good trip which could be great

    We thought we should start by explaining why we would score this trip a 4 rather than a 5; 1. On the game drives seating is allocated so you have no say on who you share a drive with (other than your partner) or what zone you visit. As a result, the groups often go to different zones and there didn’t seem to be any rationale as to who was doing what and when. 2. There is some seat rotation however we found this to be extremely limited, therefore out of our 10 fellow travellers we didn’t spend any game drive time with 6 of them. 3. Because of point 1 and 2 we had the understandable issue of some people experiencing better spotting (especially tigers) than others. Our group seemed to have the least sightings and were happy for the others but a tad jealous. That said we had a great group, who were very respectful and with our encouragement were happy to share their experiences and photos, which we loved. 4. Vijay joins a jeep on each game drive and due to the need for a local guide, regardless of whether Vijay is with you or not, when he joins your drive the 3 in the back tend to have an uncomfortable time (this seemed to be the overall view of the group). Although Vijay rotates which Jeep he joins, for us, we had a group of 3 jeeps meaning that for a 1/3rd of the time we had 5 in the jeep not the advertised 4. 5. As with all of these trips there are a few travel days, which was absolutely fine, however the opportunity to mix up the groups up wasn’t taken. 6. As a consequence of the above points we had limited quality time with 6 of our 10 fellow travellers, which was a shame. Putting the above points aside, we wouldn’t want to give the impression that we didn’t have a great time because we did. In the end we saw 16 tigers which was far more than we thought we would. The majority of these came in the last few drives and we were really pleased we took the option of the additional drive, during which we saw 3 tigers, 2 of which were mating. We also saw a huge array of other wildlife although we didn’t see a leopard. The hotels were perfectly fine, although we would agree the food option as a tad repetitive. Loved the train journey and what really adds to this trip is the visit the Taj Mahal which is a true wonder of the modern world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be the 90 minutes we spent with a young male tiger, on game drive 15, it was incredible!! We were lucky enough to be first on the scene and because of this and due to it being in one of the smaller zones we didn’t have to go through the “jeep scum” that takes place in the bigger zones.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It seemed to us this is a pretty tricky trip to lead, given the pressure to ensure everyone has the “once in a life time” tiger experience they are hoping for and the added stress of the train journey. During our trip it was Tracey’s birthday and without asking Vijay organised a birthday cake and even bought her a present, which was very much appreciated. We thought he managed the subject of tips well and gave the group the option of allowing him to manage this which everyone agreed was the best option. Vijay provided the group a summary towards the end of the trip detailing how the tip money had been spent which was a little unnecessary but a nice touch. We both loved how excited he got when a tiger was spotted and he waited at the lodge entrance for all the jeeps to return and was always keen to hear how successful the drives had been. Overall, we would say Vijay was an excellent group leader and we both enjoyed his company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read Jackie’s review “its not all about the tigers” with interest as in reality its really difficult to avoid the trip from not being so. We can only suggest you remain patient and enjoy the wildlife that you do see. Out of 16 tigers we saw, our first sighting was on drive 8, with 4 being on drive 15 and 3 on the additional drive. The trip notes are pretty decent and offer any additional info you may need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are sure some of the fellow travellers would give the trip a 5, and with some fairly basic changes we would agree that the trip should rate a 5. This was the second time we have visited India with the aim of seeing tigers in the wild and this trip offers an excellent opportunity to do so at a very reasonable price. Compared with our previous experience, we came away with the opinion that everything was being done, that can be, to help tigers survive and we got the impression that numbers are on the rise which is fab news!! This was certainly reflected in the fact we our many more tigers this time than the last time we visited (should add this wasn’t with Exodus). In summary, we would certainly recommend the trip to others.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    John Pickard

    Everest & Gokyo lakes Circuit

    Do not read these trip notes and think, "oh thats a nice trip we have walked that in the lakes" This trip is a test of your physical and mental state. The views are spectacular, but so is the weather, when is snows it snows. sleep can be difficult at altitude, as can eating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeing Everest from Namche, as the day before had been a huge slog, we needed some sunshine and a view

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader of the group kumar, Harry and Saga were all very good and helpful. There were times that i am sure we pushed their patients

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not rely on cash machines, take new english notes and exchange them. Get fit before you go!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Gabriella Sardi

    Fantastic trip!

    An amazing trip with a very full on itinerary! You’ ll see all the highlights of Northern India, you will do all the must activities like boat ride in Varanasi. Yes, there will be early mornings, but in return you’ll got to see fantastic places during sunrise! Yes, there will be long bus journeys, but you’ll travel through small villages and see how people live and take some amazing photos. Yes, most hotels were basic, but nice and clean with friendly staff. Yes, the overnight train is fun! Read your trip notes to know what to expect, arrive with open mind, ask questions and enjoy this amazing country!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi! I wasn’t very keen on that town, read lots of disturbing facts. But the morning boat ride on the Ganges was very inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the best tour leader ever. Friendly, very knowledgeable, had amazing customer service and went all above and beyond for all of us! Thank you Naveen Bazaz! You are a true treasure for your company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read your travel notes, they have all the info you need to know! Travel with open mind, ask questions and enjoy!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus! This was an amazing trip! Had an amazing time which i won’t forget for sure!!
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