Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 February 2019
    Grant & Paula Reed

    First multi day cycle trip & certainly not the last!

    This was an excellent trip which has certainly encouraged us to look at another cycling holiday. Our guide, Rit, who was with us from Bangkok to Saigon was excellent, forever patient, informative and professional, he was a pleasure to be with. As we entered Cambodia & Vietnam we were joined by local guides for the journey through their country & they were also equally professional, as were all members of the support teams. Their humour certainly assisted us through some warm days.The cycle days were split quite well, with timely stops with lovely snacks & drinks supplied in some memorable settings. The trip covers some of the iconic places to visit in all three countries but also includes quite a bit of low key mixing with locals which was equally memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whilst Bangkok, Ankor Wat, Seim Reap, Phnom Penh, Mekong Delta & Saigon are certainly places to tick off a ''must visit'' list, some of the cycling through villages, stopping at local establishments & the general friendliness of the locals was equally inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit was brilliant, as were the local guides who assisted in Cambodia & Vietnam. The bus drivers were always where they should have been & the cycle support team were very supportive! We appreciated the Exodus leaders more so after joining another trip with another company immediately after this & had a very poor, disinterested leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We would both consider ourselves fit despite being in our 60's. However don't underestimate the first three days; 28 miles, 55 miles then 52 miles is quite a challenge especially in warm conditions, fresh onto a new bicycle. Put the miles in before you go & you'll benefit. DEFINITELY take cycling shorts!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst we did have free evenings, some group members mentioned that another couple of free evenings (without an organised meal) wouldn't go amiss. Everyone mixed well & we met some lovely folks but being together from first thing in the morning to last thing at night on so many days could have been cut back slightly.
  • Reviewed January 2019

    WOW brilliant trip

    It was a brilliant trip . Very well run. The cycling was varied from long straight roads in Thialand to rough tracks along the Mekone valley . It was my first cycling trip and I'm now looking to do another. The support from the team was excellant , I was often near the back of the ride and thier was always a team member with us. . They were very supportive and encouraging . The bikes were well serviced. The stops for snacks had lovely fruits and drinks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ankor Wat was the best site we saw. The best cycling was along the Mekone river , along rough tracks through villiages . You got the real sense of the place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rik was brilliant , always thier to support and encourage.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes stated that the speed would be 8-10 miles per hour , I was at the back of our group and I was doing an average speed of 12-15 miles per hour , the lead pack was even faster.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Gill Fowkes

    Excellent trip and experience with a brilliant tour leader - Nuts

    This trip was a great experience and the best cycling holiday we have been on to date. Our tour leader Nut was outstanding, he could not have done more to ensure everyone on the trip had a great holiday, we could not rate him more highly. The trip itself was well thought out and we covered so much in just a few weeks. The highlights included: Cycling in Vietnam, particulalry down the muddy tracks! the homestay in the Mekong Delta, the Killing Fields and the variety of food in each country. I would recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The friendliness of all the people, the greetings from the local children and seeing Ankor Wat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nut was an outstanding tour leader, he thought of everything, he gave attention and checked on all group members and worked really hard to ensure that everyone had a great holiday. Looking after a group of 16 with a variety of needs and abilities is no mean feat and he handled it brilliantly, we could not fault him and he had a really positive impact on the enjoyment of our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip it is a really good mix of cycling and sightseeing. Read all the info sent by Exodus and you will be well prepared.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Barry Ford

    Outstanding adventure

    There will simply be not enough space to detail all the great experience we had on this trip. Firstly our guide Nut, was outstanding and he ensured we that we covered off of everything that was available to us. Sights, sounds, experiences, feelings, emotions, tastes and the list goes on! Apart from a positive sweeping endorsement about this trip, below are a handful of highlights as felt by us. 1. Nuts food recommendations. 2. The Killing Fields in Cambodia. 3. Saigon. 4. The Thai/Cambodia crossing. 5. The greetings by all the children in Vietnam. 6. All the sights available to you whilst riding a bike. 7. The amazing support staff. 8. Majestic temples. 9. The accommodation in Phnom Penh. We highly recommend this trip to anyone who would like a unique adventure through Thailand/Cambodia and Vietnam. If you are not a bike rider thou, best you do some preparation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Venturing through the Temples and understanding their existence and history.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding, we cannot speak more highly of Nut and the job he did. We thank him for making our trip what it was. My partner Kym is vegetarian (no seafood) and Nut ensured she was catered for and in fact opened up many options that she had never tried or thought about. Thank you Nut.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    pay your money and go!!!! Just do a bit of bike training.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No we just cannot wait to do the Hanoi to Saigon ride.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Mark Gilbert

    Cycle

    Great trip with lots to see apart from the cycling. Temples,monkeys etc Great guide and team. Would recommend this trip 👌🏻

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Angkor temple.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Probably the best guide I’ve had (rit) and I’ve been on a few trips now.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jonathan Dusheiko

    Cycling in Indochina

    This was my first cycling trip and really enjoyed it. Great local food and some interesting sightseeing on the trip as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Angkor Wat for the first time as we cycled around the various temples.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nut was excellent, very easy-going attitude which made us all relax.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took a Fabric air-cushioned saddle which was comfortable although still needed padded boxers for the longer 90km days. It is really hot and humid, Buff head band (they do one specifically for cycling) stopped sweat going in my eyes. The Requiem exhibition of photographs by photographers who were killed during the wars in Indochina on the top floor of the War Remnants Museum in Saigon is unmissable. BBQ garden is a nice outdoor restaurant in Saigon near the Independence Palace.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I noticed in Vietnam we were using disposable plastic cups for lime juice breaks when should be reusable as per in Thailand.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    john dingley

    South East Asia in 14 days !

    A great trip, supported by 3 very good teams. The riding was fairly easy - very flat with hardly an incline - , with a great bunch of fellow riders. I dont think we saw the best of Thailand, and it felt like we were out of the country as soon as we started. Temples and Pagodas was the theme of most of the trip, and they didn't dissapoint. We saw monkeys and elephants - too breifly. A lot of people on our trip were more interested in the wildlife, a bit of a shame that more wasnt made of that. Cambodia stole our hearts ! The people were so freindly, the surroundings straight out of "national geographic" pages. A country with such a sad history, but certainly worth a visit on it's own.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boarder crossing from Thailand to Cambodia was an experience not to be missed - but the highlight of the 2 weeks had to be the temples in Siem Reap. Not only Angkor Wat, but so many other stunning temples to see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was difficult to gel with the team - having 3 teams and 3 bikes in such a short period of time. Because of that, the team leader wasn't as "prominent" as other trips because - in his own words - he was the general manager rather than the tour guide. However, Chai looked after us very well and allowed us to build up a bit of steam on longer sections.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In Seam Reap, head straight for Pub Street - a very lively atmosphere, not to be missed ! The 5am start to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise, was very much an anticlimax for the views, but worth doing just for the atmospehere of 3000 people at stupid-o-clock all racing there by tuk-tuk. When in Phnom Penh, take an evening river cruise - 2 hours up and down the waterways which was very cheap.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The long, long coach trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was mind numbingly tedoius and was a wasted day. You can fly between the 2 cities for $20, i cant understand why that wasnt an option, you might want to consider it. More should have been made of the "elephant farm" or whatever is was that we passed in Thailand.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Allistair Stark

    A great mix of temples, scenery and cycling

    Fantastic temples, fantastic food, relatively easy cycling. Wonderful people. You don't need to be a regular cyclist to do this tour - if you follow the Exodus guide on getting cycling fit, you will have no problem. Bus support was excellent, for anyone that got sick, or just didn't fancy a particular cycle etc. The mix of visiting iconic sites like Angkor Wat/ Angkor Thom etc was just right for us. The cycling is nearly flat all the way from Thailand to the Mekong, and the expected/required cycling pace was relaxed. The only issue is heat; the temperature even in 'winter' was low to mid 30 celsius; regular water stops are provided, and acclimatisation helps. The hotels were either excellent - particularly the choices at Start/Finish in Bangkok and Saigon, and also in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Chau Doc, or otherwise pretty good elsewhere. Almost everywhere had air conditioning, and where not, fans.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The greetings and general friendliness of all local people; particularly children. Quite amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Chaiya Jaisodsai or Chai, who was just great. He made everything so easy for us, and kept everything running smoothly. He introduced himself to us as our General Manager, there to do anything he could to make things easier for us. His favourite phrase was 'No problem', no matter what the issue was, and it really didn't seem to be, even when he was attempting to 'herd cats' ie our group! Exodus has a policy of local guides in each of the countries; Chai being Thai, did the Thailand bit, but we had separate local guides at Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and in Vietnam. The bike teams also change (as do the bikes) at the borders, but Chai stayed with us throughout, so crossing the borders was a breeze with him in control, not to mention him completing almost all of the paperwork for all eighteen of us the nights before! Amongst the other things he organised for us he also got us to eat street foods, which we may not have done without him , such as stuffed frog, tarantulas, crickets etc. Overall we cannot thank him enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling: If you are not a regular cyclist, do cycle before going to get saddle fit. (We are not cyclists, and in our early sixties, but did some cycling for three months leading up to going; the Exodus guide provides good advice, though we didn't rigorously follow it) Do take your own cycle/pedals if you have them. Changing them is no problem at all for the cycle team. Do wear padded cycle shorts, and do follow the advice on wearing nothing under them, it just adds to friction. (I was sceptical of this, but am now a convert) Clothes are very easily washed and dried overnight in almost all rooms. The group leader can easily arrange full laundry which is very cheap, but generally only where you are staying more than one night (Siem Reap/Phnom Penh) Consider using or taking Sudocrem or other moisturiser/antiseptic to prevent or treat chafe. The bikes are mountain bikes with disc brakes, so if you take a front pannier, remember that the handlebars are quite thick and your attachments may well not fit. Ours didn't and we were not the only ones! Some in the group had bought relatively cheap velcro fitting ones from Decathlon, which had long velcro straps and fitted well. You will want some way of carrying your camera, phone, and those of us that carried a small rucksack got very sweaty backs. All the bikes have water bottle holders. Water stops are numerous, electrolyte powders were provided, along with a huge amount of snacks with every water stop. We didn't bring our own energy bars etc, and there was absolutely no need to. Cities: If you want to see Bangkok, consider adding extra days at the beginning, this will also allow acclimatisation to the heat. Similarly, consider added a night or two at the end if you want to see Saigon, otherwise there is really very little time to see either. Insects: Malaria is not a problem on this route, but other mosquito borne illnesses like Dengue are, so bite avoidance is important, you will need DEET! If going again we would also buy a knockdown fly spray, as not all the rooms in the hotels were mosquito free, and also to spray under the mosquito net in the homestay on the Mekong (plenty of mosquitoes there!). We would also take a plug in type mosquito coil with tablets for the same reasons.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only other comment, is really for Exodus. The bus journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is about 6 - 7 hours, and is unavoidable. It was broken for us by lunch at an ancient temple site which we were shown round (apparently a new feature of this years tour), which was great and in our opinion fully worthwhile even though it added some time to the journey time, and by a coffee stop and to taste tarantulas at Skuon, all good fun. But..... the bus we had for this part of the journey was far too small and uncomfortable for this length of trip. We know this sounds like a first world complaint, but the minibuses in Thailand were comfortable, and the bus used for short trips around Phnom Penh was huge and comfortable, so why the small cramped bus (with some bags having to be stored in the cabin) for the longest journey we did?
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Helen Hand

    Wonderful,..but no hairdryer!

    This trip had it all, three amazing countries, good accommodation, wonderful food, excellent company and the most personable, knowledgable, competent guides. We crossed two borders, changed bikes and teams and had one unfortunate incident but all was dealt with professionally and seamlessly. Nut, Mr Tao, Kong, Linn and all those whose names I have forgotten, or cannot spell, were so lovely, they managed to stay cheerful, introduced us to some fantastic eating places, kept us all fed watered and entertained throughout. I think Nut’s guitar playing had the edge over Linn’s singing but both were memorable. All three counteries have so much history, it was truly fascinating and left us wishing we had longer to explore. We learnt so much about rice growing, tapioca, rubber, palm sugar, knife making, spring roll making and the effects of snake wine (don’t try it wearing Lycra Rob). I also learnt how to survive two nights without a hairdryer, helmet head is not a pretty sight! Based on this whistle stop experience we shall certainly return, the cycle Vietnam trip is calling! A big thank you to everyone from Exodus, and to the other wonderful people on the trip for making the whole experience so memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The killing fields. How did the world allow that to happen. Cycling through the little villages in Vietnam was just beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just throw yourself into it and make the most of every moment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nope
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Rob Kemmer

    Cycling Indochina & Angkor

    The trip was a retirement present to myself and in the months between booking and departing I had intended to get many miles under my (too large) belt. When the time came to leave I was more than a little anxious as I hadn't exactly hit my training targets, had never done this kind of holiday before and was travelling alone. From the moment I first stepped on to the bike I knew that my fears were unfounded, The trip was among the best holidays I have ever taken. The cycling was wonderful, the scenery and ancient sites beautiful, the staff, support, equipment and organisation exemplary and the food delicious and cheap. The accommodation ranged from very good to more modest hotels but all were clean and had en suite facilities. I had paid a single room supplement and was a litle disappointed to be sharing (for one night only) in the delighful "homestay" but this was a very minor inconvenience. The group was large and diverse but here was huge companionship, support and banter between us and the staff ensured that both stronger cyclists and less experienced had plenty of fun and challenge. It was brilliant to experience three different countries and cultures. In each the local tour guides gave interesting and educational background to visits. This part of the world has had more than its share of troubles and it was brilliant to see how each country is responding and developing. Throughout, the local people were welcoming and friendly - in Vietnam, for example, we were greeted by high-fiving children and shouts of "hello" at every village. The days ranged from some long rides in the sun to occasional bus transfers and shorter excursions but all were punctuated by the excellent snack van providing lovely refreshments and fresh water at very regular intervals. In summary I loved it, was sad when it finished and am already browsing the web for the next adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Angkor Wat was simply stunning and the visit to the Killing Fields and prison in Cambodia deeply moving . However for me the high point was more banal. When I was speeding into the lakeside lunch stop after about 45K on day 3, I was on the wheel of the day's cycling leader who turned to me and simply said "strong" and I got such an ego boost. The upshot was that half way through the afternoon I blew up and finished the day near the end of the finishers...but hey it was worth it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nut was a brilliant tour leader. He was professional, friendly and fun, briefing us well before each day/stage, resolving any problems, taking us to some great restaurants and he also plays a mean guitar.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes reccommended bringing faourite snacks, gels, fist aid kit etc. None of this was necessary as we were well provided throughout and they took up valuable space in my luggage that I would more usefully have filled with more cycling jerseys, given the heat and humidity on the road. Make sure you have plenty of space on your camera/phone. There was so much to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was posting pictures and short narratives on social media whilst away and these got more "Likes" than anything I have ever posted... says it ll.
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