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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 March 2019
    Katherine Gatehouse

    Exodus Moderate Cycling holiday

    This holiday was the most fantastic holiday I have ever been on. Every day was a challenge that was broken down into small sections so it was possible to complete. The route was so exciting, the lunch stops were fantastic, really delicious food. The hotels were such a treat at the end of the day after a hard days cycling. Our tour guide Tung was the best and his crew were fun and so encouraging. Vietnam is a beautiful country and biking is a fantastic way to see it. The train ride was really different and such a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing 100k in one day with a fantastic group in the most sensational scenery. Conoeing in Halong Bay, stunning. Swimming and snorkling on an eco island

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tung gave us excellent historical And political context. He was so knowledgeable about the area. He was great fun and a GREAT GUIDE.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The people were so respectful to us as travellers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it, enjoy every experience.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Peter Cooke

    Brilliant memorable Trip

    Overall a fantastic trip. Lucky with the group members and Son the leader and his team. Vietnam is wonderful... the people, the food and the countryside. A bonus being it is very cheap!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Moments! The children shouting "Hallo" formed the sound backdrop to the trip. Add to that the food in the local restaurants (we are veggies and were catered for exceptionally well).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Could not praise Son enough. His gentle but firm organisation, sense of humour and unshakeable positive outlook. Also his explainations about the culture and the economy. Lastly his enviromental concerns.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!!! But, do some riding first to make it more enjoyable.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Paul Court

    Great Trip In A Fascinating Country

    This was a very well-run tour which, because of the daily combination of medium-to-long bike rides and substantial bus rides, requires a fair amount of coordination. Since a bus was required, it was a simple matter for those not up to the full day’s ride to spend part of it on the bus. It was quite a treat to have a guide, a mechanic riding the tail end, a bus driver and a truck driver. They were a great team and didn’t miss a step. A particular mention must be made of the team leader, Son Nguyen, who ran things with a firm hand without being overbearing. Guiding a group of Western cyclists through the chaotic traffic of Vietnam, with its swarms of scooters going in every direction, is not for the faint of heart. He was on top of every detail. For example, one of us has an allergy to shellfish. He had this in hand before every meal, and she usually received her crustacean-and-mollusc-free dish right away, rather than having to chase it up. Lunch was typically a delicious bowl of pho in a small family restaurant. Restaurants and hotels were always ready for our arrival, and there were no problems or long waits for check-ins The tour itself is well structured, with a free day with no riding every four days or so. The riding portion started and ended outside the major towns and cities, where the traffic would have been insane. The hotels were much nicer than we expected, in the 3.5 to 4.5 star range. The rides ranged from 50 to 100 km per day and were not technically challenging. There are a few hills, and the one long climb up the Hai Van Pass is a 500+ meter climb over 10 kilometres. Everyone who attempted it crested the summit within an hour. However, it is humid and the temperature ranged from the high 20s to mid 30s. There were hourly stops for fruit and hydration, and we certainly used our bottles on the bikes. Expect to sweat out many litres over the course of a day’s ride. The Vietnamese are lovely and welcoming people. We have fond memories of many children waving and calling out “Hello!” as we rode past, often reaching out to snag high-fives. They also have a real interest in visitors, asking us where we came from, and giving us interesting insights into the country. This rapidly growing and modernizing country, however, has major problems with transportation and trash. There are millions of scooters and small trucks with little regard for the rules of the road, so one has to be alert. At least there are relatively few cars, which would make traffic much worse. Fortunately the truck or bus would go ahead and block traffic for our left turns and major intersections. There is a lot of air pollution because of the traffic, and a lot of scooter riders are wearing masks – not really an option for cyclists riding the distances we did in the heat and humidity.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The children calling out "Hello!"

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb. Son was very well organized and didn't miss a step.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ron Douglas

    Such a wonderful time

    MOV190303 on YouTube says it all. This beautiful video documenting our trip was produced by our lovely mechanic/wing man Y (EE) who worked so hard and supported us all the way and still somehow managed to produce this great video in time for us to watch it by the end of our trip. The tour went like clockwork under the excellent leadership of our tour leader Linh supported by Y and our excellent driver who all worked tirelessly to make our trip the success it was.. Our group numbered eighteen which was great and we all got along like family (a happy one that is). Some reviews say the tour is pretty intensive and I would go along with that but also say that it was intensively good. Plenty of great cycling including the challenge of Hai Van Pass (if I can do it, you can! Lowest gear, take your time, make a few stops to take photos, and get a cheer from your mates at the top). The Whale Island experience was wonderful with its great snorkelling as was the Halong Bay overnight with kayaking which I have not done before. I had a jacket and trousers made by Yaly in Hoi An and they were great. Even crossing the road in Saigon and Hanoi was an experience not to be missed! The hotels throughout were of a very high standard and Lihn always found us the best places to eat real, fantastic Vietnamese food. We were even very adequately re-fuelled en route via a selection of fruits and bits and home made cold drink using our "snacks kitty"to very good effect. Such a beautiful country. So many lovely sights. So many new experiences. Such lovely food. Such lovely new friends. Truly a wonderful holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the Hai Van Pass was a high point (literally). A bit on the old side, I was tail end Charlie but to reach the top to the waiting, cheering crowd of our friends was like winning a stage of the "Tour" and something I'll always remember. Yes!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Linh was great from start to finish. He is an intelligent, thinking man was extraordinarily informative on anything we asked him as well as delivering informative set-pieces as we travelled on the coach. Linh had a couple of extraordinary things to deal with in support of members of the group and dealt with these really efficiently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nowhere is the water safe. We use a Sawyer water filter which has kept us safe on three tours in countries where the water is not safe. It cuts down on plastic bottles and gives complete independence. Take a silk sleeping bag liner for the train overnight. The ones in the shops/market in Vietnam say 100% silk but of course they are not! "Life Venture" ones are! and they are good. Forget anything genuine in Vietnam, it's all fake. North Face knock-offs are everywhere. Check out scams and things to avoid in Vietnam on You Tube. Weasel coffee is not genuine unless you are paying 500 USD a bag! I doubt you find it anywhere anyway! Cycling, don't try to keep up with the fastest. Cycle at your own pace and enjoy it. The group is a family. Be prepared for early starts and full days. Be prepared for quite a few hours on the bus. The tour covers many hundreds of kilometres from Saigon to Hanoi and beyond so a certain amount of time on the bus is necessary and not entirely unenjoyable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This tour is a credit to Exodus. It was so well organised throughout and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ron Douglas

    Such a wonderful time

    MOV190303 on YouTube says it all. This beautiful video documenting our trip was produced by our lovely mechanic/wing man Y (EE) who worked so hard and supported us all the way and still somehow managed to produce this great video in time for us to watch it by the end of our trip. The tour went like clockwork under the excellent leadership of our tour leader Linh supported by Y and our excellent driver who all worked tirelessly to make our trip the success it was.. Our group numbered eighteen which was great and we all got along like family (a happy one that is). Some reviews say the tour is pretty intensive and I would go along with that but also say that it was intensively good. Plenty of great cycling including the challenge of Hai Van Pass (if I can do it, you can! Lowest gear, take your time, make a few stops to take photos, and get a cheer from your mates at the top). The Whale Island experience was wonderful with its great snorkelling as was the Halong Bay overnight with kayaking which I have not done before. I had a jacket and trousers made by Yaly in Hoi An and they were great. Even crossing the road in Saigon and Hanoi was an experience not to be missed! The hotels throughout were of a very high standard and Lihn always found us the best places to eat real, fantastic Vietnamese food. We were even very adequately re-fuelled en route via a selection of fruits and bits and home made cold drink using our "snacks kitty"to very good effect. Such a beautiful country. So many lovely sights. So many new experiences. Such lovely food. Such lovely new friends. Truly a wonderful holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the Hai Van Pass was a high point (literally). A bit on the old side, I was tail end Charlie but to reach the top to the waiting, cheering crowd of our friends was like winning a stage of the "Tour" and something I'll always remember. Yes!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Linh was great from start to finish. He is an intelligent, thinking man was extraordinarily informative on anything we asked him as well as delivering informative set-pieces as we travelled on the coach. Linh had a couple of extraordinary things to deal with in support of members of the group and dealt with these really efficiently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nowhere is the water safe. We use a Sawyer water filter which has kept us safe on three tours in countries where the water is not safe. It cuts down on plastic bottles and gives complete independence. Take a silk sleeping bag liner for the train overnight. The ones in the shops/market in Vietnam say 100% silk but of course they are not! "Life Venture" ones are! and they are good. Forget anything genuine in Vietnam, it's all fake. North Face knock-offs are everywhere. Check out scams and things to avoid in Vietnam on You Tube. Weasel coffee is not genuine unless you are paying 500 USD a bag! I doubt you find it anywhere anyway! Cycling, don't try to keep up with the fastest. Cycle at your own pace and enjoy it. The group is a family. Be prepared for early starts and full days. Be prepared for quite a few hours on the bus. The tour covers many hundreds of kilometres from Saigon to Hanoi and beyond so a certain amount of time on the bus is necessary and not entirely unenjoyable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This tour is a credit to Exodus. It was so well organised throughout and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Rita Clark

    Cycle Vietnam with Cambodia extension

    We have taken numerous bike tours before. This tour guide was fantastic, the tour was very well organized, the support team was second to none and the whole experience was awesome. Very much enjoyed Vietnam. The Cambodia tour portion that included the temples was also very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Cambodia - the first day arriving at Angkor Thom. Was very happy to reach the top for the 10k hill, the whole bike group was there cheering everyone on. Ha Long Bay scenery was favorite scenery. The kids all along our bike route who came running our to shout Hello! will be ever remembered as a favorite part of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Loc. Loc is a very amiable, conscientious team leader. As mentioned we have been on numerous tour before, Loc stands out as a great group leader. He answered every question, made every arrangement asked and made sure that everyone in our large group was taken care of. Especially appreciated was on our return flight home pick up the American/Korean summit in Hanoi had all streets around our hotel blocked off. Loc came to the hotel, made sure we had transport to the airport and helped carry luggage the number of blocks away that our taxi had to park.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For the Cambodia portion - Exodus trip notes are incorrect, you do not need to provide a passport photo for your pass. You can buy a sleeping bag liner for the train trip in Da Nang although the berth was pretty clean I felt better sleeping in the sleep sack vs directly on the provided sheet/blanket. The night on the train was pretty cold and provided blanket was not warm enough, get you fleece out before lights out. Bring a change of clothes onto the bus each day as sitting in your wet bike shorts for hours can be uncomfortable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would highly recommend the Vietnam Cycle trip to anyone who asks. The Cambodia extension - We enjoyed the portion to the temples but I would not recommend the killing fields portion of the trip if asked. I think we would have preferred time on the Mekong vs the extra travel to/from Phnom Penh for a rather depressing tour.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Cathy Radul

    Awesome Vietnam!!

    Excellent support team! Cannot day enough about how well cared for we were! Trip was well planned with great rest day accommodations. Loc was extremely knowledgeable and shared wonderful recommendations for both sightseeing and restaurant choices. Excellent trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the beauty in the simplicity of life all through the Vietnamese countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    INCREDIBLE! Will miss his sensitivity, knowledge, wisdom and humour!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not a regular cyclist like the rest of our group, I struggled to keep up on the hills. Our mechanic, Ly, rescued me MANY times, pushing me up the hills! He made me feel successful and kept the group together! Both our drivers were awesome navigating the traffic and narrow roads, as well as being quick to hydrate and feed us! They also took excellent care of the equipment! All the support team deserve raises!!!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Janie Assenheimer

    Cycling Vietnam

    We had such a great time. It was a perfect mix of cycling, sightseeing, relaxing on the beach in a gorgeous country. Our guide Loc was awesome and really knew his stuff. If he wasn’t able to answer our questions on the spot he would find the answer and come back to whomever asked the question. We loved Whale island, Hoi An, Dalat (honeymoon city), and of course Halong Bay was unforgettable. The support for the trip couldn’t have been better. Anyone who couldn’t cycle the whole time could always hop on the bus, there was always lots of snacks for our frequent rest stops as well as a refreshing limeade to replace electrolytes. Our bus driver, truck driver, and mechanic were wonderful and lots of fun. We loved all the restaurants and local family dinners that we had. The only negative things that I can say are: the 100 km day at 41 deg. C needed and extra stop for the last 20 k. Some people were out of water and exhausted with the heat. Also the train ride was great except that most of us didn’t sleep because we were so cold. Too much air conditioning or something. It probably isn’t possible to see so much of the country without as much bus ride but that was a little tiring, though the bus was very comfortable and lots of drinks and snacks on board. Loved, loved, loved the overall experience and recommend it to anyone..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the children by the side of the road heartily greeting us as we went by.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He (Loc) was very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. Very attentive to our needs especially the last day when he personally escorted us to our taxi to the airport as the driver had to park blocks away because the roads were blocked off for the Trump/Kim Jon Yeung talks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a warm blanket for the train. We froze. We found that a carryon and backpack was plenty for luggage for two weeks. We just washed things out at night if we needed to. It was a breeze at the airport this way. Take a GoPro camera for the snorkeling as well as for the spectacular views while cycling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • Reviewed March 2019
    greg cosma

    Cycling Vietnam MOV

    The tour leader Mr. Chii Nguyen was excellent. He communicated everything in advance of arrival at each new stop, whether it be a rest stop, a hotel, a train, a boat, a lunch. He responded to all questions about trip details, cultural awareness, vietnam history with a perfect understanding about the question being asked and the preconceived notions that we had about the topic. The cycling days were challenging but entirely doable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Observing the work ethic of the Vietnam people. Observing how the Vietnamese appear to be fully aware of how other countries have treated them through various occupations, colonialism and war, but the absence of visible animosity. Children yelling "Hello!" in loud voices and perfect English, as we rode by.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Perfect

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found that cycling in humid, 36 degree Celsius weather to be a bit difficult. Next time I will go in January.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Paul Green

    A Great Adventure

    This was a very enjoyable although really quite intensive 2 week holiday with plenty of variety. We covered a long overall distance. The 484k of cycling was manageable with a couple of demanding days . The longest distance cycled in one day was 100k. Most of the cycling was on flattish roads though and only 8 of the 14 days were actually spent in the saddle. There was a lot to do and see. I loved the opportunities for swimming. Most hotels were varied and most had swimming pools. The icing on the cake for me was being able to go swimming in the sea, also the snorkelling and kayaking were great. The time we were there it was Tet, the Vietnamese Chinese New Year Celebration. This added to the atmosphere and vitality of the places we visited but also made the roads more congested. Most Vietnamese road users aren't used to dealing with cyclists. Our support team were very good at protecting us ... very necessary, especially in towns. The Vietnamese people were delightful and I loved Vietnamese food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day of the long climb up the hill I was one of the last to arrive at the top. Our leader and members the group congratulated me and took my photo as I finally got there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tri our group leader was really excellent. His experience showed as he managed the expectations and the needs of our large tour group (18) with care, intelligence and humour. Tri is very fit. His knowledge and passionate about his home of Vietnam impressed and enthused us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a bag to attach to your bike. I took one which I strapped onto my handlebars. It was much better than having to wear a rucksack and my phone was always handy for taking photographs. I added 2 extra nights at each end of the holiday to enable me to have a good look around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and I'm glad I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bicycles were very good and well maintained. Our mechanic was always on hand if needed. The bikes would have benefited from being fitted with a bell.
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