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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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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Reviews

Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok

The contrasts between the three countries was fascinating. They have so much interwoven history- and all three Exodus guides were excellent in explaining it all.
Excellent food, excellent itinerary with so much fitted in- both the beautiful and positive and the challenging history of the area..
We had the hiccup at the crossing into Cambodia from Vietnam as dates of handover got crossed. But both the Vietnam and Cambodian guides worked hard to fix it and to keep our journey as per the plan- we didn’t miss any sights

Most Inspirational Moment

Being in some of the temples around Siem Reap - especially Bayon, Ta Proehm and the pink temple.. Bangkok was also a fascinating cultural mix - ancient and modern, high rise and old hippy backpacker areas. The sunbathing monitor lizards on the city canal boat tour were a great surprise. Also Kampot in Cambodia was an excellent place with a great vibe.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We had 3 leaders - one for each country - Ha, Peah and Tony. They were all excellent and all gave us great insight in to the countries we were visiting. They also added extra insight and experiences into the trips. The Cambodian team had some quick work to do to rearrange trips after the hiccup at the border and that was done well. We as a group were looked after very well during that day.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The trip notes were relied on by many on the tour when working out currency options - however they seemed not fully up to date - for example US dollars were not widely accepted in Vietnam. A lot of time was also spent looking for cash machines that actually took british cards. I advise you to check with the retailers in the UK where you get your currency what the latest position is.

Suggestions

Also on the trips getting into and out of boats n the mekong delta was a challenge. The jetty we walked down to get back on the larger boat after the homestay was steep, 3 metres above the thick mekong mud, had no hand rail or steps, and was covered in slippery wet silt. But the day on the delta was worth it.

Indochina Highlights in 2 weeks!

What a great way to see and experience so much in just 2 weeks. This trip is great for anyone wanting to see the highlights that South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangkok have to offer. The local guides, Trang (Vietnam), Channa (Cambodia), and Nai (Thailand) all ensured we had smooth transfers, shared their local customs enthusiastically, and made sure we were having the best experience we could have. They varied itinerary timings to get the best out of locations, and we did so much!! From the opulence of palaces and temples, to historical sites, local homestay, and a variety of boat trips, big and small, this trip kept on giving. Be prepared for a lot of travelling, predominantly on buses, but Exodus do well breaking up the journeys with interesting stop-offs. Of course the food is amazing, with local recommendations and even street food and treats picked out by our Guides which I’d highly recommend trying. From the busy to the odd chill-out beach day on Rabbit Island, every day brought new adventures with a group of like-minded travellers. Would highly recommend.

Most Inspirational Moment

There are two days where you can witness harrowing aspects, which we were warned about in advance, giving individuals the right to choose whether they wanted to be subjected to some confronting sites, but such moments were respectfully presented and form an important part of history that should never be forgotten. We were always given a place to come back to and sit if things felt too much. I would recommend attending and simply returning to the meeting point early if you feel the need to. On the flip side, there are so many glorious highlights. I really enjoyed the various boat trips, especially the sanpan and the small boat tour around the mangroves of the floating village. Angkor Wat is impressive but I found I liked some of the more smaller but equally elaborate ruins that we were able to wander through such as Ta Prohm, and watching the sunset from high on a temple felt so tranquil.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We had three group leaders, Trang (Vietnam), Channa (Cambodia), and Nai (Thailand) and each added great value to the trip in their own way. We felt very informed, safe and cared for under their watch. Trang ensured we stayed safe as we navigated the frenetic streets of Ho Chi Min City and shared her country's cultures so vividly and passionately. Channa had a great sense of humour from day one and kept the energy levels going over some long journeys. She was so thoughtful when it cane to maximising our experience, bringing local snacks and delicacies to try on the bus. Again a wealth of knowledge and a real passion for her country. Her explanations of some of the carved freezes in the old temples added to the interest. Nai was constantly busy behind the scenes adjusting all our transfer and return flight details, as well as sharing info about the palace and Thai culture. His was a more difficult job with two separate minivans to keep across and only one of him. All three did an amazing job and helped make the trip so special.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The trip notes are comprehensive, so do read them. In addition: Pack a lightweight beach towel for Rabbit Island if you don't want to run the gauntlet of covertly 'borrowing' a hotel towel that you then don't want to damage or get too dirty. Ensure you pack enough long trousers / maxi-skirts and sleeves / non-see-through scarves to the elbow for the temples and palaces. It's hot and humid so thin material is best, or simply invest in some elephant pants whilst there! Some places are ok with coverings to just the knee and shoulder, whilst others require to the ankle and elbow. (Angkor Wat and Bankok Royal Palace to name two.) If you intend to do laundry get it in early on the first day of a 2 night hotel otherwise you run the risk of nit getting it back in time. Prices roughly around $1 to $2 per kilo but check in advance. Be prepared to have some items (socks and pants) get mixed with your fellow travellers on return! You won't be able to get Cambodian currency in advance, or take it out with you, but that's ok as you can pay in dollars pretty much everywhere and often get Reil in return as change. Having a small amount of Reil is handy, especially for toilet contributions, but don't let it build up too much during the trip. Have some Thai Bait handy for the border transfer. Thai does not accept dollars as payment in our experience but it's easy to find places to exchange them. If you don't have any Bait with you, our guide stopped at a place just before the border to exchange dollars and it was a good rate. Also Thailand is much more expensive than Vietnam and Cambodia, especially in the airport on the way home so be prepared for that! Cards were easily accepted. Take toilet paper with you wherever you go! It sometimes isn't provided at venues so grab some extra sheets where you can, and don't flush any of it down the loo, use the bins provided.

Suggestions

In addition to the amazing itinerary, we were also able to experience a night at the local Cambodian performers circus, have a Thai massage, see the dragon boat practices and try out a number of beautiful sky-top bars in various locations. Would highly recommend Celeste Revolving Sky Bar in Phnom Peng; more pricey but an amazing location. You'll need a tuktuk there and back, and would recommend having your own Google maps on standby for the return tuktuk journey, as we did need to help our drivers out with the directions! Pub Street in Siem Reap is also worth a visit and is near the night markets. One last thing, if you're afraid of spiders like me, you can stay on the bus at the fried spider stop.

Thai Indochina Explorer

The whole trip was fantastic. The group mix was good although I appreciate this is one thing Exodus have no control over. The pace of the trip was good. The only negative point was in my view was the hotel in Siem Reap which was nowhere near the standard of the others. It was in part dirty and rather dated.

Most Inspirational Moment

There were so many high points very difficult but probably Aktor Watt.

Thoughts on Group Leader

This is where you really won. Trang in Vietnam and Channa were both fantastic and both went out of their way to ensure we were happy etc. I understand this was Trang's first trip for Exodus. Her knowledge and humour was so good. Please use her again!! Channa was likewise so good with knowledge and humour which kept us all happy. It was obvious that the visit to S 21 was very emotional for her and I felt for her. I felt that we left friends. Nhe our Group leader in Thailand was also good but we were not with him as long.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Just do it!!

Suggestions

Cannot wait for my next trip

Wonderful trip

I really had the best time on this trip. The tour guides were amazing. So knowledgable and professional. Everything was perfectly organised and we squeezed a lot into a very short space of time.

Most Inspirational Moment

Angkor Wat was wonderful. Our guide was from the area and spoke very passionately about the temples and about growing up in Cambodia.

Thoughts on Group Leader

All three were amazing. Catered to our every need and made sure we had an amazing time.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be careful of the water in Cambodia!

Suggestions

The accommodation in Sihanoukville was disappointing. It wasn’t the one included on our itinerary and was of a much lower standard than the other hotels on the trip. It was far from the beach and the centre of town and was in the middle of a building site. However, I do now understand that the original hotel cancelled the groups booking and the team was unable to find another suitable place. It certainly didn’t spoil my trip but it would have been better if expectations were managed before we arrived at the hotel. The Exodus team and the group leader were very understanding and accommodating and did everything they could to resolve the situation.

Thai Indochina Explorer

Sites very good, but the journey between them very drawn out.

Most Inspirational Moment

Angkor Wat

Thoughts on Group Leader

Vietnamese and Thai leaders very good, the Cambodian leader did not reach the level

Advice for Potential Travellers

No

A wonderful trip

A wonderful trip full of busy days that take in the history and culture of 3 beautiful countries. The food was delicious, the accommodation was all superb, the Exodus guides were fantastic. Plenty to see and do for the adventurer that likes something slightly different

Most Inspirational Moment

Inspirational moments would have to include the visits to see the history of conflicts in Vietnam and Cambodia, harrowing but a reminder to preserve world peace, the temple complex at Anghor Wat, the Royal Palaces in Bangkok, the homestay on the Mekong Delta

Thoughts on Group Leader

The best tour leader was Is, our lovely Thai guide, she was amazing

Advice for Potential Travellers

Absorb everything you see, taste and hear, it is a sensory trip that will have your thoughts racing

Suggestions

This is my 3rd Exodus trip, once again, they have exceeded my customer expectations on every level

Fascinating trip

A fast paced trip with a wide range of experiences and locations

Most Inspirational Moment

Cambodia was the highlight of the tour. Our guide there was excellent and even invited us to the blessing of her new home and to meet her family.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We had one for each country we visited. They were all very friendly, knowledgeable and interesting. Channa in Cambodia was particularly good, she was so proud of her country and so pleased we'd come to visit. Nothing was too much bother for her. Noung in Vietnam was great fun and Rapd in Thailand was good though she kept us moving quickly and those unable to keep up missed out on the information being given

Advice for Potential Travellers

Take plenty of mosquito repellent and your own toilet paper, outside loos Don't always have it.

Suggestions

It was a fascinating trip, but with early starts and the heat it was quite exhausting. There was also a lot of time spent travelling on the bus. All in all though I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Thai Indochina Explorer

This trip is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the history, cuisine and the way of life in the capital cities of Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh and Bangkok. The itinerary also allows you to see how people live, work and socialise in rural areas which is what makes this trip so fascinating. During my 14 day visit I was able to learn more about the Vietnam war, the way of life in the Mekong Delta, the actions of the Khmer Rouge (the toughest part of the trip in my opinion) and the history of Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom.
The itinerary also allowed our group some relaxing downtime which involved sunbathing, snorkelling and fishing off Bamboo Island (near to the resort of Sihanoukville, Cambodia).
This trip does involve 2 fairly long trips by bus to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap although we were given a number of comfort breaks which included a stop at Skuon and a chance to hold a live tarantula and sample a fried spider!!

Most Inspirational Moment

The most inspirational moments of my trip were: 1) The Homestay in the Mekong Delta and getting the opportunity to assist in preparing a meal (I live on microwave meals so this was a challenge) and being entertained by the local community....listening to a number of folk songs which told stories about their way of life. 2) The Killing Fields / S21 Prison was a very moving experience and I was extremely emotional when I saw the many graves and heard about the events that unfolded at the site. It is hard to take in but I believe it is important to learn about the atrocities that happened in the Killing Fields and the conditions that the prisoners were subjected to at the S21 prison facility. Before leaving the prison, you can speak to one of the survivors in the grounds and here their story. 3) Angkor Wat was amazing (despite the humid conditions) and provided some great photo opportunities.

Thoughts on Group Leader

All 3 group leaders on our tour were very good and provided a real insight into the heritage and culture of their respective countries. A big thank you to Tham (Vietnam), Borey (Cambodia) & Gigi (Thailand) for all their hard work and efforts in making this such a memorable trip.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Make sure that you apply mosquito repellent on a daily basis, particularly at Angkor Wat as they had a good go at my legs and ankles!! Also make sure that you barter / negotiate when buying goods in the shops and markets as one individual in our group learnt the hard way when buying a pair of sunglasses! I would also recommend that you drink plenty of water during the daytime and bring glucose tablets with you to prevent dehydration. When packing before your trip don't take too much clothing as you will be living out of a suitcase and constantly switching between hotels. Most of the hotels provide a laundry service but I would speak to your group leader as they may be able to get a cheaper deal and allow your clothing to be washed & ironed using an express service. Lastly....enjoy it and try the local delicacies such as the Elephant fish, crocodile curry and fried spiders.

Suggestions

My only negative comment is in relation to the Royal Princess Hotel that we stayed in (Bangkok). Upon our arrival which was at around 1030hrs, we were informed that our rooms would not be ready until 1400hrs and that our suitcases and hand luggage would be transported to a secure storage room. When returning to the hotel at 1800hrs (having departed earlier to complete a tour of the city) we discovered that all our cases and hand luggage were still in the hotel lobby!! On a positive note, it was great to tour around the 3 countries with a great group of people from all walks of life who made the experience even more enjoyable (will miss the banter, meals out).