Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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172 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Eric Deslauriers

    Fabulous trip

    We were very happy with the pacing and organization of the trip and the selection of activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling down back country roads, away from the crowds, with the opportunity to interact with local people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was an amazing leader. He was organized, gave clear instructions, worked hard at getting everyone to work together. He was open about his country and answered our many questions and was frank in admitting when he didn't know the answer. He had a good team and he showed excellent leadership.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes are inaccurate in saying that cycling gear is not accepted in the villages. Having a cover up available for temple visits is necessary. The exchange rates in the trip notes were out of date. The people are friendly. Be patient in restaurants, as they are new to tourism.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the trip was along lovely back country roads with shade more readily available. Too much time was spent on main roads fully exposed to the hot sun. More back road options would have been nicer.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Wendy Carter

    Visit now!

    A good trip which Would rate excellent if Exodus would only change the routes/ roads cycled. They use too many boring, straight or main roads probably not dreamed up by a cyclist. A few v steep hills but there’s the bus always in tow. Now is the time to visit before too many tourists spoil it and its lovely people and rich history. Forget what you may have read in the press about the troubles with minority groups. The people themselves especially our guide and support crew were superb and deserve our support. The food is wonderful, their agrarian life is fascinating to watch, there’s a good mix of cultural/ historic things to see and some of the scenery is spectacular. I particularly liked the bus transfer over the mountains . A few too many temples for me - but I knew that when I booked. We often cycled on our own, meeting up after say 15kmn and I really liked that, giving time to stop as we chose to take pics.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat ride on the backwater to Inle Lake, crossing the rapids, under tiny rickety bridges with the mountains in the distance and seeing the photogenic ‘odd ‘ fishing technique and the people hopping between their villages by boats often loaded with produce - pure magic

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was terrific!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now before tourism spoils them and their country!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Lesley Bufton

    Myanmar in my words

    Myanmar is an absolutely enchanting country and I would strongly encourage everyone to visit. Given the troubles that they are having in parts of the country we were completely safe. Our guide, Alex, was extremely knowledgable and nothing was too much trouble for him. It is a fantastic trip and the travel between places by aeroplane or bus was punctual, well organised and gave us as much time in each place as feasible. Inle Lake was one of the highlights but so many it is hard to pick out just one. The people are beautiful and extremely friendly, they could teach us a thing or two as to how to live your life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention, see above,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was fantastic - a lovely kind human being and he does his job extremely well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace everything.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    David Sargent

    Myanmar Cycle

    A great adventure, amazing country, incredibly friendly people, bonkers numbers of Buddha statues.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling from Pindaya along the un tarmaced sections through villages and farmlands to the Irrawaddy River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was fantastic, always enthusiastic, always available, treated his job with a passion to show tourists the best of his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy a Longyi dress/skirt early on and use it for Temple dress when visiting temples.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels chasing guest asking for people to buy new towels at $10 because they were dirty, (with make-up or other) needs to stop.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Wendy Cohen

    Go Now!

    This tour really gives you everything you could wish for in discovering Myanmar, Yagon and Bagan will immerse you in Buddhism, you will see amazing temples and Stupas, our guide got us up before dawn to witness amazing sunrises and of course out again for sunsets, but all worthwhile, Kalaw and Inle Lake take you on a different journey, the beautiful Shan high hills countryside, boat trips to amazing sites, a visit to a nunnery was very special indeed, my message is go now, because these places will become overrun with tourists which will create a different experience. Our second trip with Exodus and they do not disappoint, our tour guide was amazing!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved the visit to the nunnery as it was so special, and quite unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lae was absolutely the best!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The early starts were all worth the effort, the internal flights were bang on time and got us around really well, the long coach journey was bumpy, they are working on upgrading their roads, very busy schedule but that's what most travellers expect on a trip like this!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Paul Spencer

    Discover Myanmar

    Excellent comprehensive tour of Myanmar discovering scenery, food, local customs etc. in a completely safe secure and friendly environment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering the thousands of pagodas at Bagan. A truly unique experience and should be on the bucket list of any discerning traveller.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was, quite rightly, very pleased and proud to showcase his home country in a way which encompassed humour, humility, efficiency and the finest traditions of Buddhism.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to visit a country embracing tourists in a completely safe environment but the scourge of plastic bags and other refuse is as prevalent here as in other poorer countries.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was NO evidence of police or army presence whatsoever, and it is difficult to believe the political turmoil of the Rohingya people is within the same country, albeit very far away.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Andy Bettis

    A full and engaging trip

    A lot gets packed into this holiday so it can feel a bit hectic but you get to see so much of the country it's well worth it. Bagan is amazing, Inle Lake is fascinating with lots to see, Kalaw shows a very different aspect in the cool hills, and Yangon & Mandalay, although fairly typical big cities, have their charms. The people are friendly, the food is great, and there are unexpected delights all around. The travelling can get a little relentless but there's only one long drive and the hotels were much better than I expected. I really enjoyed myself.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Bagan was the real highlight for me, it didn't have the Wow! factor of Angkor Wat but there was a similar sense of immersion into an ancient land and with relatively few (other) tourists around it was easy to find peace & space to appreciate it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lae was great - she took good care of us but was always ready with a joke too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Grab a card as soon as you check into a hotel and go wandering in the free time - there's lots to discover and a cab home is cheap!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Fiona Allan

    Magical Myanmar

    A well paced trip visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw and inlay lake. A beautiful country which held one wow moment after another. If your thinking about visiting Myanmar don’t put it of. Part of the magic of this country is that it is totally unspoilt.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to choose from. The humbling experience of visiting the nuns whilst on the river trip on the Irrawaddy was very special. The shewadagon pagoda is simply stunning. I loved Bagan... stupas and temples literally everywhere but the atmosphere in the village was so chilled and relaxed.....loved it. The hotel and staff at the Yar Khinn Thar were excellent...I would also recommend the horse and cart which the hotel will organise(about £8 to hire for 2/3hours)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lae was very attentive and ensured that everyone got the most from their trip to Myanmar. She was knowledgeable and easy to understand. She has a great sense of humour and gelled well with the group. She always gave recommendations for restaurants at dinner or lunch time and where to avoid. There was always a map given out of where we were with restaurants highlighted and suggesting of what to visit in free time. She helped greatly in making Myanmar so special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t delay....Myanmar will become a tourist destination and part of its charm that at the moment the country is largely unspoiled by commercialism and tourists. Be respectful to the people and their beliefs....temple dress.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been good spend more time in Mandalay especially on the river. The trip was at a good pace and covered a lot of ground. Standard of hotels and food was as good if not better than other parts of Asia.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Nigel Fawkes

    Surely the best way to experience Myanmar . .

    The full two week schedule was well justified (and we added a five day extension to travel south of Yangon after). The group of 14 were very compatible, and ranged in age from early 50s to early 70s. Noone had any big problems with the distances, although the variable tarmac surfaces left most wishing for more saddle padding than they had brought. . . The one day of mostly dirt roads and tracks was judged the most fun - the mountain bikes were designed for this, and there was, of course, no traffic. More such by-ways if possible please! Myanmar threw us surprises every day. No amount of reading prepares you for a temple with over 500,000 buddhas, or a village built over water, where everything is done by boat (there are no footpaths), or a stupa with more than 3 tons of pure gold covering it. Local food is fresh and delicious, local beer seems largely a monopoly of a brand called 'Myanmar' (presumed to be owned by the military), and the hotels much grander and newer than I had expected. Apart from the start and Yangon, all had pools, great for a wind down swim after a day in the saddle. Heat was... hot - but bearable as cycling creates its own breeze and most of the riding was done before lunch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day threw up another wonderful surprise, and cycling between sights was the ideal way to approach them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was extremely good. He had a very good command of English phrase and idiom and an infectious sense of humour. He encouraged any question - which was normally greeted with an announcement: "hey everybody - this is a really good question. . .!" He worked extremely hard and was a pains to make sure everyone knew what the plans were at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is split into roughly 1 hour/ 20 km sections, so make sure you are happy riding this distance. There were only two real climbs of note, otherwise rolling countryside was normal. You will need more padding for your bottom than in UK!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its fine to go as a singleton, people ride at different speeds, so you will find you naturally ride with two or three of the group and its all pretty relaxed.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Michelle Gale

    Cycle Myanmar

    A wonderful tour with a well-organised itinerary that provided a good insight into Burmese daily life. Friendly, welcoming people, stunning scenery, and thousands of Pagodas. I would highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights included the long-tailed boat rides on Lake Inle (seeing the leg-rowing fishermen at work, stopping to watch skilled craftsmen and women using traditional methods to make silk wear, cigars, the teak long-tailed boats, and silverware, plus seeing locals tend their ‘water-allotments’); our stay in Naung Shwe City (the Naung Shwe City Hotel was lovely and our favourite); day 9 cycling towards Ma Au village (a long, quiet rural road and stopping to spend time with the excited village children); and, of course, visiting the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda at Sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Naing’s leadership and communications skills were outstanding, as was his extensive knowledge and boundless energy and humour. Nothing to was too much trouble and he was mindful not to overload us with too much information at any one time, nor to over-organise us. It was a pleasure having him as our guide, and having now completed 15 Exodus trips, I would say he raises the bar of excellence. Naing’s support team were also brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A couple of the rides had long inclines, which coupled with a headwind and the heat of the day, seemed arduous at times. With the exception of one, all the hotels were of a high standard (and included a hairdryer), far exceeding our expectations. When staying at the Conqueror Resort Hotel (Shan Highland) be mindful that whilst the functional wooden lodges appear delightful, the February night time temperatures drop significantly - the beds do have an electric blanket but getting out of bed into the cold room was probably the day’s toughest challenge! The food was generally very good and we took great care but occasionally still experienced short-lived upset tums. In a few locations we did experience polite vendors targeting tourists. In Yangon beware when asked for donations by young boys purporting to be Monks – they are fake.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you enjoy cycling and seeing everyday life, then this trip is a must.