Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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.

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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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  • Reviewed September 2018

    Insight into how ordinary people in Vietnam live

    I've been to Vietnam before, but this trip was completely different. This time I felt that I was really getting under the skin of the country to understand how ordinary people, rather than emperors or presidents, live. At each of the homestays we had the opportunity to chat with the families we were staying with and to ask them questions about things as varied as their daily working routines, the pressures they faced, family structures etc. and had the experience of staying in a typical family house. In addition to that there was a packed agenda of sightseeing visits, activities and eating that left me happily exhausted by the end of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first homestay was (just) the best part of the trip. The family was so welcoming, so obviously pleased to have us staying with them and so interested in telling us about their lives that it got the trip off to a great start and set the tone for the rest of it. Travelling there, amidst the devastation caused by recent unseasonably heavy rain, was an experience in itself. Close behind this were: the trek from the first homestay to the second, through the hills, with amazing views down mist laden valleys to the lake where the second homestay was, and the dancing with the village dance troupe in the evening at the second homestay (I was grabbed by the village flautist to pair him in the dancing, probably because he thought that as a 64 year old male I would be even worse than he was, but I reckon I - just - edged it!).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Linh Vo, was outstanding. He had a compendious knowledge of Vietnam and its culture, people history and food, which he communicated effortlessly, coupled with personal experiences to bring it to life. His organisation was immaculate: everything that was supposed to happen did happen and at the time when it was meant to happen, with Linh on the phone double and triple checking ahead to make sure that it did. He was clearly well known, popular and much respected in many of the places that we visited, which meant that we got extra-special attention that made a real difference to my experience. He had a great sense of humour and was a terrific person to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vietnamese food is amazing. Make a list of all the food you eat, because at the end you will want to look back on it and maybe cook some of it back home, but if you haven't made a list (I didn't) you just won't be able to remember. Make sure you try egg coffee in Hanoi.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    jennifer stephenson

    vietnam adventure

    excellent trip with many highlights and brilliant guide --Son Nguyen

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    meeting the Hill tribe people in North Vietnam and the two home stays which were both lovely

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Son was brilliant and an excellent guide --- was fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    travel light --dont need to much luggage and move frequently so too heavy a bag is a pain for all concerned ! mosquito repellent is needed as we were bitten quite a bit even though mosquitoes were not immediately obvious - bring a refillable bottle for water go to some spin classes for the cycling --although distance not great it was hard work in that heat =-!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    altogether was a great trip and would recommend i! we would certainly do another exodus trip if we travel to other destinations and felt it was very well organised leader was great and many thanks for looking after us so well!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Karen Maynard

    Wonderful adventure

    This was our first Exodus trip and we were so impressed. The trip is action packed and Vietnam has so much to offer. There was a reasonable level of activity (walking and cycling and a kayaking trip), combined with a chance to immerse yourself in the culture of the country and meet the local villagers. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to maximise their time in Vietnam and get a really good feel for the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We went on a boat overnight on Halong Bay to see the stunning and famous limestone rocks. The sunrise the next morning was breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Thoa, was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble and he is a credit to Exodus. He looked after us very well, accomodated everyone's requirements and showed us the best sights and great places to eat and drink with the locals. All the travel arrangements were organised seamlessly and we felt rather spoilt. He encouraged us all to try new experiences and was great company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is very busy - a new location nearly every day and lots of travelling. This worked really well for our group as there is so much to discover in Vietnam but don't choose it if you want a restful trip. The cycling and walking is manageable if you are active and great if you like variety but probably rather tame if you do walk or cycle regularly as a hobby.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great value trip and I would really recommend it. There was quite a bit of rain in the North when we travelled in August and, although it didn't spoil our trip, its unpredictability may affect some activities.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Deirdre O'Connor

    Trails of Vietnam

    A busy trip, which gave a great overview of Vietnam, but with enough activities so that It didn't feel a sightseeing tour. There were journeys to be made but there was always a fun activity to look forward to. Vietnam is a fascinating country, and we met lovely people along the way.,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were a very small group ( only 4) and it was lovely to be invited into the kitchen to eat at our first homestay. I enjoyed the buzz of cycling in Hue,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thoa was a great leader. Everything was organised to perfection and we made great use of our time. Thoughtful things like ordering a take away on the train, and his attention to detail added to the trip. He is good company and I learned so much about Vietnam from him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring earplugs! Apart from the risk of snorers in the homestays, there is also the risk of karaoke! The biking equipment is great, but padded shorts a must. Be prepared for lots of action, as well as some long journeys. Leave room in your suitcase for clothes from Hoi An.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really enjoyable trip.. a great way to see and do a lot with comfortable accommodation, plenty of activities and great food.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Deirdre O'Connor

    Trails of Vietnam

    A busy trip, which gave a great overview of Vietnam, but with enough activities so that It didn't feel a sightseeing tour. There were journeys to be made but there was always a fun activity to look forward to. Vietnam is a fascinating country, and we met lovely people along the way.,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were a very small group ( only 4) and it was lovely to be invited into the kitchen to eat at our first homestay. I enjoyed the buzz of cycling in Hue,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thoa was a great leader. Everything was organised to perfection and we made great use of our time. Thoughtful things like ordering a take away on the train, and his attention to detail added to the trip. He is good company and I learned so much about Vietnam from him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring earplugs! Apart from the risk of snorers in the homestays, there is also the risk of karaoke! The biking equipment is great, but padded shorts a must. Be prepared for lots of action, as well as some long journeys. Leave room in your suitcase for clothes from Hoi An.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really enjoyable trip.. a great way to see and do a lot with comfortable accommodation, plenty of activities and great food.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Paul Clifton

    Trails of Vietnam 1st - 14th April 2018

    Overall, this was a very enjoyable and active trip which enabled us to get a good undersanding of the different areas and lifestyles of the people from the hill-tribe villages in the north down to the islands and floating market traders in the Mekong Delta. Unfortunately, we were all disapointed when we were told that we would not be allowed to stay on our boat in Halong Bay overnight and would not be able to enjoy the planned kayaking around the islands. We had not made aware that this could happen. Following on from this we had a full day in Hue when it rained the whole day, whilst we did visit the Imperial Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda (in the rain) it prevented us cycling to other planned places of interest. Once we had flown south to Ho Chi Minh City and the weather improved (+35C) our moral was restored and we enjoyed a very active and varied 2nd half of the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the two hilltribe settlements of Sung Village and Đá Bia village in Hoa Binh Province. and meeting the Dzau Tien and Muong people. So welcoming, uncommercial, natural and friendly.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Phi Hoang. Very nice guy, very knowledgeable and passionate about his country and culture. A minor criticism would be that he could have provided more information on interesting buildings and points of interest during the many long and tedious bus journeys we undertook. I suppose to him they are just everyday buildings but to us tourists they are all very interesting pieces of architecture and culture. Also, as I have noticed on my previous trip to Cambodia the guides always seem to take the tourists to the more upmarket, European, trendy and very expensive restaurants (by local standards). Personally, I would prefer to try the more authentic, local cuisine and more "street food". On one occasion, our guide wanted to take us to a restaurant by taxi which we could have walked to faster. When he called taxis to take us back to our hotel after our meal, we refused and said that we wanted to walk a little after our meal. We are all grown adults and do not need to be chaperoned.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise potential travellers to try to add a couple of days onto the start and end of the trip if at all possible as this gives the traveler a little time to acclimatise and to get over some of the jet lag before starting a fairly intensive travell programme. On this particular trip, I would advise travelers to ensure they take something warm to wear on the overnight train journey with the Reunification Express from Hanoi down to Hue. The air conditioning is absolutely freezing and cannot be controlled from the cabins. The four people in our cabin froze and struggled to get any sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately, after a very good start to our trip we hit a low point on day 5 when we had travelled to Halong Bay for our overnight boat trip in the bay and Kayaking around the islands. Whilst we did board our boat and enjoyed a nice lunch sailing in the bay, we were told that the authorities had stated that "no boats would be allowed to stay on the water during the evening or night time due to an impending storm". We and all the other boats had then to return to shore and we were transferred to a very dated and tired looking hotel in Halong City for the night's stay. Many of the group were very disapointed that they did not get an opportunity for kayaking which was one of their main attractions when booking this trip. What made the situation worse was the fact that it was not wet or stormy during the night, so we could have stayed on board. The poor weather then hit the shore on the following day when we had travelled to Hue. Personally, prior to travelling I had thought Halong Bay would be the highlight of this trip but in reality, it was disapointing and overrated. The bay and islands are certainly beautiful but the area is far too commercial with too many tourists and hundreds of tourist boats all following each other around in circles in a closely controlled area of the bay.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Mary South

    Vietnam Adventure

    My experience if Vietnam was an adventure from start to finish. The highlites for me was the mountain trekking and staying with local tribes, experiencing their culture, food and kind hospitality. The homestay on the Mekong Delta was mind blowing, again the culture and food experience was unforgettable. Our guide Phi was excellent with his knowledge and aptitude for organising us, I felt privileged to have been able to learn so much about his wonderful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the home stays, being amongst tribal cultures and experiencing their lifestylez

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phi Gas an outstanding knowledge of his country with a great passion to share his wonderful country so that the traveller will experience the real Viestnam

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was good introduction for me as a first time solo traveller and an excellent way to experience the culture and history.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Looking forward to planning my next adventure...
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Alice Bzowska

    Vietnam is outstanding

    Vietnam is a beautiful country full of friendly people, stunning landscapes, delicious food and hectic cities, and this trip encompasses it all along with some activity thrown in the mix!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved hanging out with the children at the homestay, even if we couldn't communicate properly with each other! They were all so sweet. I also loved weaving through the crazy Hanoi streets and cycling in the Mekong Delta. Hoi An was also excellent!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Small bags are needed for some of the stops, so maybe pack light! Learn hello (xin chao) and thank you (cam on) in Vietnamese as it is always nice to say to the locals. Take a tote bag with you for souvenirs and a reusable plastic bottle as you can fill it up on the bus. Go with an open mind as things can sometimes change due to weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Visit Vietnam before it becomes too touristy! It is an amazing country with so much to see and so much variation.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Oliver Mills

    Varied and exciting tour of a fascinating country

    An excellent 2 week trip exploring the culture, nature and history of a beautiful country which, despite its complicated history with war, was one of the most friendly and welcomes places I've visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational is not quite the right word, but I loved the first hike when we reached the top of a lookout point where all around you you could see mountains and lakes. I also loved cycling through rice fields.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phi was friendly, knowledgable and easy to talk to. He struggled to motivate the group when the overnight cruise was cancelled due to predicted poor weather, which never materialised, much to our frustration. I liked how he recommended local specialities at each restaurant, they were delicious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light and make the most of the washing facilities provided, as small bags are required for a number of stops. Expect wet weather in the north/centre and very humid sun in the south. Bring a poncho and be aware that the itinerary may be forced to change due to weather conditions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Growing up in England, you are not taught about the Vietnam War (or the American War as they call it), so learning about it in Vietnam was truly eye opening and horrifying. This trip combines culture, history and nature in equal measure and its multi-activity style meant each day was different and exciting.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    John Booth

    Trails of vietnam

    Trip didn’t get off to best start due to industrial action at Air France but Exodus went the extra mile to sort things, superb service as I’ve come to expect!!! Great trip too ... put it on your bucket list.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hoi An, cool city!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, attentive & great sense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it!!
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