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.

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’!

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  • 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 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 November 2017
    Keith Burrett

    Myanmar

    I will start with a sore note which otherwise was an excellent holiday. We visited Bagan House lacquerware, the demonstrations and products on display where amazing. So much so I purchased a gold inlaid box which was a bargain at $45 which was nicely gift wrapped. To my horror on arriving home I discovered it had been replaced by a heap of worthless junk. So be warned if buying from them. The people in Myanmar seem very friendly and always smiling. One of the highlight is visiting the villages and workshops. It like beening transported back 300 yrs, before the time of the industrial revolution. The other highlights are the temples and monasteries. The only annoying part is having to keep taking you shoes and socks off. At times the trip was a bit hectic but well worth it for there is a lot to see. I would recommend this trip for the cultural experience, but don't wait too long for modern technology will eventually take over.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational part of the holiday was the Myanmar people. They seem very happy yet compared to us they have nothing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Khti Maw was excellent. Very knowledgable and a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only advice from experience if buying anything from Bagan House don't allow them to wrap your purchase.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food in Myanmar restaurants is not too expensive and good quality. Although be careful when ordering duck or chicken because it contains a lot of bones.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Pippa Hyde

    Delightful Myanmar

    This trip was one of the most delightful holidays I've had. Myanmar/Burma is a beautiful country and the people welcoming. It's busy but always worthwhile, interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. I'd concur with other reviewers that it's good to get there soon - I hope the country stays as charming, but tourism is growing fast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to choose. Bagan is beautiful, the sunset in Mandalay was glorious, and the boat trip in Inle Lake one of the best boat trips I've had. But every day had its great moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Min was terrific. He was always calm and organised, really cared that we had a good time and paid meticulous attention to detail. His colour-coded highlighted maps became a legend, and he paced the sights/restaurants etc with skill. He would solve problems before they became problems, and was careful to give us space to do things for ourselves, where appropriate. An excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I believe monsoon departures can be problematic, but the weather for my trip wasn't hugely significant. Although the balloon ride isn't available, and the skies can be persistently cloudy and we didn't get any spectacular dawns, it wasn't as hot as it can be and there are fewer tourists, which I suspect is a real advantage. I've seen some criticism of the bike ride using main roads, but I didn't find it a problem, and the surface was much better than the minor road. It is bone-shaking to start off with, but happily not the whole way. Laundry was significantly cheaper in Bagan than subsequent places. There are early starts, but it's cooler than so I didn't find them inappropriate. Go, before Mayanmar changes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really loved this trip, and heartily recommend it.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Colin Ford

    A packed, fascinating exploration of Myanmar.

    A packed, fascinating exploration of Myanmar.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Balloon trip over Bagan,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aung suffered by not having very strong English (compared to our guide on a previous Exodus trip). Some of our group really struggled to understand him. He was knowledgable but sometimes was unable (initially... until we reworded them) to interpret/answer questions (back to his English). Only rarely did we not keep to the schedule he published and that wasn't due to him but overstaying at one interesting venue. Transport was always where he said it would be when he said it would be. When members of the group had additional early start excursions, he was always there to ensure everything went smoothly, even at 5am! Can't fault his diligence but there were a few cultural differences which we coped with some some of the group didn't!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack anything white! Myanmar is very dusty and the, predominantly red, dust stains. Given the detail of the trip notes, I am surprised this isn't mentioned too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip - varied sights/sites.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Anonymous

    Discover Myanmar

    This tour provided a wonderful overview of Myanmar - citylife; temples; countryside; friendly, welcoming people and generally, delicious food. In order for this to happen, there were many early morning starts and long days - an 8.00 am start was considered a luxury! The transportation and connections were excellent, including the internal flights. Overall, the hotels were better than expected. The tour has left us with a desire to explore Mayanmar further.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to single out one thing. The 8,000 Buddha images in the Pindaya limestone caves and meditation chambers is unlike anything we have seen in Asia. Using local guides for the trek around Kalaw allowed us to have many questions on crops, farming and countrylife answered. The boat cruise and cycle to minority villages at Inle Lake provided yet another insight into this diverse country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was Aung's 3rd Exodus tour. He is from Yangon, and was kind. He gave a very amusing demonstration of how to wear a sarong, and taught us to ask for the 'Happy House' (toilet!). Whilst his knowledge at scheduled stops was well delivered, ad hoc information along the way would have been welcome. Some questions seemed to be lost in translation.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We did not need as much money as expected. I would suggest buying souvenirs, clothes, etc. when you see them, as there might not be a second chance. Always carry a lightweight torch - you may venture out in daylight, but not return until dark. The People's Park, opposite the Shwedagon Pagoda is a great place to see Yangon flora and fauna, a lake, fountains and many young people/families. I took the support vehicle back after lunch on the Kalaw trek because it was getting hot. The support vehicle took 45 minutes along an incredibly bumpy road, The remaining hikers arrived back at the hotel just 25 minutes after me. The bikes and helmets provided at Inle Lake were good, and a mechanic was available to make adjustments. I am an experienced rider, but did not find the pace 'leisurely'. It was getting hot, and 6 of the 9 riders took a boat back. Happy Hour at the hostel next to the Inle Lake hotel was a fun place! The beer in the café in the Yangon Hotel is expensive, instead turn left out of the hotel to the Seafood restaurant. Always ask for chicken off the bone, unless you are comfortable with many bones and splinters.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are independent travellers, but chose to go on an organised tour to Myanmar because of time and travel restrictions. The group was fun, and many were repeat Exodus clients. We were impressed with Exodus.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Richard Wiles

    Discover Myanmar

    Overall an enjoyable holiday but could have been better had our guide had more experience and informative.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hot air balloon over Bagan and travelling by boat on Inle Lake.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We realise that the country has only recently started to develop its tourist industry and we went there with that in mind. Our leader, Aung, was personable with a reasonable command of English and he was very obliging on all occasions, Whilst he was knowledgeable and informative on the religious and ancient history of the country he was reticent to tell us much about the recent history and general information about the country. We felt that we came away with little real insight of the country. This was possibly due to his limited experience of dealing with well travelled Europeans and not understanding our aspirations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When meals are not arranged for the evenings obtain from the leader his recommendations for suitable restaurants locally because they differ considerably in quality. Be aware that you will be on the go for at least 4 hours at time with no refreshment breaks. Also you may travel in small pick up trucks at times and have to climb lots of steps; all good fun but it could be difficult if you have restricted movement. From a personal viewpoint, a short coffee/tea break morning and afternoon, at the expense of a pagoda or two, would have been appreciated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first restaurant in Yangon organised by Exodus offered food that in our opinion was awful; we think that one of us had sliced pig's ears when ordering "pig meat" and others who ordered chicken received bones with very little meat. Later the food improved when we learnt what to ask for .

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Richard for his review, although we are very sorry to learn that he felt the tour leader lacked experience and could have been more informative. Aung has been working as a tour leader for 3 years and we have received positive feedback about him from his previous Exodus trips. Richard’s comments have been shared with Aung and we will discuss with him how he can continue to improve his local knowledge and language skills for future trips.

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