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

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3259 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2020
    Sarah Morrow

    The real Myanmar

    This trip covers all major aspects of Myanmar and gives an incredible insight into the country. This is an excellent trip, suitable for anyone, as any of the more physically demanding activities can be avoided if you like (although none are very demanding for one of any age with basic fitness) We covered a good distance and all the major sights thanks to efficient use of internal flights (which were probably also a safer way to travel considering the state of some of the roads)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Far too many to mention - except it was a real highlight to catch a glimpse of the river dolphins during our boat trip down the Irrawaddy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was incredible in all respects. He had an obvious love and pride for his country, and gave us the best possible insight into all aspects of life and culture. His knowledge was comprehensive, and he always ensured that we were in the right places to see everything at its best. He ensured that, in return, we contributed as much as possible to the local economy, benefitting most those at the lowest levels. His efficiency at handling transfers between hotels was amazing - you left your bag outside one room, and however we travelled, bus or air,it magically appeared at the next, without any worries at all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Myanmar does not receive the best of press at the moment, but please do not let that put you off visiting. The country feels entirely safe, open, and incredibly welcoming and your tourist pound goes a long way to improving their economy at a beneficial level. All the optional excursions are really worth taking - none of them are at all expensive but they contribute hugely both to their economy and your overall experience of the country. This trip exceeded my expectations in all respects.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    John Gilligan

    Orthodox Christmas in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is not like any other African country. It is Orthodox Christian by choice not conversion and had no colonial period. It's modern economic development is astonishing with people being lifted out of poverty before your eyes. It is still strange and erratic at times - they turn off the internet from time to time - but the scenery is astonishing and the people generally welcoming and pleased to meet you, even if the children have all figured out that tourists mean rich pickings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were there for the Orthodox Christmas which was truly memorable as tens of thousands converge on churches to celebrate. Crowd control is minimal and the experience is a full-on sensory assault.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides are excellent and almost by osmosis you learn about why this country is unique, culturally and geographically.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Food is either Ethiopian and odd to a Western palette (dals, stews and dips with thick sourdough pancake - and what exactly is "fasting food" anyway?), or Italian inspired and absolutely fine. Beer is excellent and cheap and gin essentially all but free. Hotels vary from "pretty good" to "you could do better if you tried a bit", but anyone who goes expecting western chains is going to the wrong place. Fascinating.
  • Reviewed January 2020

    A Fascinating trip

    Fast paced trip from north to south Vietnam yet with time to explore the places we stayed in. We slept in a great variety of places from lovely hotels to sleeper train via three great homestays and overnight on a boat and enjoyed the varying sights and tastes of the country as we travelled.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say; there were so many. Experiencing the street life in Hanoi where traders carried their wares on paniers balanced on their shoulders as they wove between the traffic. Sharing a long house with all the other members of our group on only the second night of the trip. Wondering why there was a large boat travelling towards an end of the Da River reservoir and then later finding in moored by our homestay and discovering it was the mobile supermarket; stocked with almost anything you might wish to buy. Kayaking amongst the rocks in Ha Long Bay. Eating in a restaurant across the road from our hotel in Hoi An where we were the only western diners, live fish swam in plastic bowls at the side of the restaurant and we enjoyed the best seafood noodles of the trip (and we had enjoyed quite a few) Trying the many variations of Pho. The cooking lesson in Hoi An and helping to prepare dinner at our wonder Mekong Delta homestay ……………………………...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tuyen was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble. He opened his country up to us with great enthusiasm and supported all of us throughout the trip. The mix of history, culture, food and personal experience was amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I ignored advice from other travellers to take your own bike saddle and regretted it as I couldn't cope with the narrow saddles and had to give up after a few miles; which was a shame as I had been very much looking forward to the bike rides.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect some hot weather and some humid. Take lightweight waterproofs for the occasional wet day, we had one but it was a great day nevertheless, and then enjoy it's a great trip.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Emlyn Jones

    Essential Peru

    We were on the same trip as Neil Thomas and agree with everything that Neil has written in his detailed review. One part of the trip that Neil didn't mention was the Nazca Lines. From ground level these look like very uninteresting scratches in the sand, if you can see them at all. From the air they are amazing. But to see them from the air you have to fly in a very small plane, which is not for everybody. If you are happy to fly in a 7 seater plane that banks steeply from side to side to show people sitting on both sides of the plane the "lines" below you then go for it, it is well worth it. If you don't fancy the flight, there is a tower that you can climb to get a good view of .a couple of the lines, and a new much taller tower was being built.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sight of Machu Picchu. It really does exist!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giuliano Gallesi was an excellent leader. He is very knowledgeable, but also knew when to stop talking and just let us soak up the view. He took extremely good care of everybody on the trip and was available from first thing in the morning to last thing at night.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Peru is a big country, so to see the Nazca Lines, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and see condors flying close up in just two weeks involves a lot of travelling. That combined with the altitude at Cusco and Lake Titicaca makes it an exhausting trip. It is well worth the exhaustion and I wouldn't want to have missed any of it.
  • Reviewed January 2020

    Colourful Rajasthan

    I went on this trip with my family and we all enjoyed a lot. The trip was amazing and we actually saw different colours of Rajasthan. We enjoyed most in Ranthambore and we are again planning to go Rajasthan in upcoming holi.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ranthambore
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Amanda Johnson

    Beautiful. Fascinating. Enjoyable.

    Excellent trip that covered the major sites in a short amount of time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra was always going to be the highlight for obvious reasons and it is everything I thought it would be and more but I was surprised at how big a site Jerash was and how little I knew about it. It was really surprising and fascinating. The mosaics in the churches dotted throughout Jordan are just breathtakingly beautiful. Wadi Rum was always going to be special too and the stars at night are amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was a true gentleman. He was funny, passionate about his country, caring and patient. He was always concerned that everyone was ok and enjoying the experience. He tried to ensure everyone's needs were catered for in quite a diverse group. He was always available to listen and help and ensured that any problems were resolved quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To be honest the trip notes cover it and other travellers comments too help ensure you are prepared. I wouldn't be put off by others experiences of optional trips - I decided I was only here once (I would go back but too many other countries I need to visit) so did the camel ride at sunset at Wadi Rum and also the Petra at night and thoroughly enjoyed both. Basically you get out of them what you put into them - enjoy it! Also did the hike up the monastery at Petra and the hike behind the tombs to look down on the Treasury from above - both were worth it and a good workout!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is a beautiful country with beautiful, friendly people. The landscape can be starkly beautiful and the historical sites are amazing. The first few days are a bit full on but if you are of an average fitness they are not hard going at all and you can take it at your own pace. It is nice to relax at the end and do a bit of snorkelling or floating the dead sea.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Linda Pearce

    Unforgettable

    The week exceeded my expectations. I had thought a week would give me just a glimpse of Egypt but there was so much more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing alone in the tomb of Rameses V and VI (kv9) surrounded by huge walls and pillars covered with pristine hieroglyphics of such vibrant colors it took your breath away. It is well worth the extra EP 100 to go inside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot praise Tefa highly enough. His organization, empathy, knowledge of Egyptology and attention to every detail of our experience was exceptional. Extra unscheduled mini trips were arranged in free time for anyone who mentioned something they would like to do. Health issues were dealt with including pushing a wheelchair round a temple! Tefa really made sure we all had a wonderful experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When I read the trip notes I was concerned about how the extra trips fitted in with the basic plan. My concerns were unfounded. It is all very well arranged. I would say.... do as much as possible.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The four nights on the boat make a good base for the visits to temples and tombs. Without the continuity of the boat it could have felt very hectic.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Sandra Taylor

    fine

    This was an excellent holiday - well organised, a good mixed variety of activities and sights, not overly much travelling, good hotels and the leader took us to nice restaurants. And in particular I liked the 'free time' element given at the actual sights not provided as these lame ' a free afternoon in your hotel' business when it's difficult to access the places you want to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and Wadi Rum

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding group leader. Ibrahim had that prefect combination of being highly organised but appearing laid back and relaxed. I recommend him to any group. He dealt with any issues that arose from group members well so they never became 'issues'. He was a so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Jordan but never 'over- informed'. We didn't have to listen to lengthy lectures standing looking at endless Roman and other remains - instead he gave us the outlines and left us to explore or ask questions as we wanted. And above he was fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Heed well the advice given in the comprehensive notes

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks Exodus - I'll be back! BUT please Exodus get your act together regards feedback - it took you a week to send me the feedback email by which time I'd lost interest in feedback.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Mark Riley

    Amazing tour of Cambodia

    This trip was amazing. It was such a mix of different parts of the country From the bustling capital of Phnom Penh to relaxing beaches in the south then cycling around Battenbang visiting different local industries and finishing up with the awe inspiring temples of Siem Reep With our most incredible guide “Bun” who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone of us had an enjoyable time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would have to say that the most inspiring thing about this trip was “Bun” a truly amazing young man.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    “Bun” was caring,funny,enthusiastic,helpful,knowledgable,friendly and very passionate about his wonderful country... He is a credit to Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go and immerse yourself in this wonderful country, yes it’s poor but the people are delightful and the countryside is stunning.... This trip gives you a snippet of so many different parts of Cambodia. We could easily have spent a week in every town.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Clive Marks

    Breathtaking and dumbfounding

    The variety of experiences on this trip is among the highest that I have got from any trip, from the serenity of seeing over a million bats streaming out of their roost cave at dusk to the horrors of a killing field and its torture prison, between which are the mystical majesty of the temples of Angkor. are the grand finale to the trip. Along the way were many encounters of real life in this beautiful country as well as snorkelling in the sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational is a difficult word to asses for this trip, so let me try some others for you: Horrifying - the sheer inhumanity of what went on in the torture prison and the killing field (I just had to go and find a quiet corner with my own thoughts - our tour leader, Bun, whose parents had been Khmer Rouge child soldiers, came to my rescue as he was the only person to know so intimately what went on here; Humbling - meeting two survivors of the torture camp (I was left dumbstruck); Magnificent - seeing over a million bats suddenly start to stream out of their roost cave and head out to eat enough paddy field pest to save 20,000 tonnes of rice per year (nature at its most beautiful, so shortly after the horrors above); Majestic - the whole temple complex of the Angkor area (some are beautifully carved, some are vast, others are simply serene in their simplicity and tranquility, Ta Prohm not being among the tranquil ones since the Tomb Raider film. Crazy - the traffic in every town and city but this was contrasted by the ability of everyone to get through crowded junctions with in calm chaos. Walking out into the road, in the assured belief that you would not get run over, is a habit that one will have to rapidly get out of back in the UK! Tranquility - so many places were blissfully quiet, even at the fabulous hotel near Sihanoukville, where one had just gone through a vast building site, was so gloriously located on the beach near a fabulous choice of bars and restaurants. This was the first trip over the New Year when I have been able to get to sleep early due to the quiet in our Siem Reap hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bun was a star so let me tell you why: he always gave us fabulously accurate and informative briefings about the following day (when we needed to be anywhere; what we would be doing; what we should be wearing; what we should bring with us) as well as updates throughout the day; he was always able to find suitable restaurants for group dinners and coped well with the assorted dietary requirements of some guests. Finding a restaurant for 17 people at short notice is very difficult in any location at any time of year, let alone over the New Year period. Some evenings, when no group dinner was needed, we would find him joining us for dinner and fabulous conversations always resulted; his charm was endless, even when some guests were less than polite or helpful; we always knew where he was as we could always hear his delightful giggle; when one of the guests developed medical complications from sand fly bites, he was fabulous about ensuring that she got the appropriate medical treatment in the right facility and kept the rest of us informed of her progress; when another was taken ill during a bus trip, he dealt with it so discretely that most people had no idea that there had been any problem; his knowledge of his country is amazing; with his parents having been child-soldiers for the Khmer Rouge we knew that he had a very close connection with that dark phase of his country's recent history - he was amazingly frank about some aspects of his parents' lives and of his own extraordinary upbringing; he is a great testament as to what someone can achieve in their own life through sheer determination and hard work, making us feel very humble at having had the privilege of meeting him (woe betide any snivelling brat who whinges about not having the latest gadget, just because they "want" it!) with my husband having broken five vertebrae and twice having had his pelvis crushed, he is a self-confessed "princess and the pea" when it comes to bed mattresses. Bun phoned ahead to ensure that our last hotel had extra facilities in the room when we arrived, helping to ensure some 3 good nights' sleep.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The mix of locations and experiences gave us such a broad insight into this amazing country within a really short period. Thank you for creating such a fabulous itinerary (we had looked at many but yours came out as the best and, despite a false start, we are pleased that we came with you. The mix-up over our premium economy seats for the return flight was resolved before we left, thank you. As soon as we got on the plane, there was someone in one of our seats and then another person came along claiming that he had just been moved, from economy, into the other seat. That gave us a bit of a surprise but we rapidly clarified to the staff and passengers that we were in our correctly allocated seats and that the first of other two passengers had simply decided to choose his own seat and that the other had been misinformed. It all ended smoothly and we appreciated the window seats so that we could keep an eye out for the aurora borealis. The aurora did not appear but that is the nature of the phenomenon.