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Anyone on this trip?

Anonymous
Sun, 09/19/2010 - 09:23

Hi,

Just booked myself on this trip, my second with Exodus, really excited :o)

Would love to hear from fellow travellers!

 

Anonymous
Sun, 11/21/2010 - 12:07

Hi Marisa

My name is Marilyn and I am also on the Vietnam Adventure! First time that I have booked a trip as a solo traveller so very excited and somewhat nervous to say the least!! How did you find your first trip with Exodus and did you all manage to meet up at heathrow before going?  Look forward to hearing from you and any other fellow travellers!!        

Anonymous
Sat, 11/27/2010 - 08:25

Hi Marilyn,

Good to hear from you! I did my first trip with Exodus last summer to Kenya, also as a solo traveller, and the experience was fantastic. A couple of us met at Heathrow but the bulk of the group met at Nairobi. We all got on really well and we had meals together, etc. So great overall! Where in the UK do you live? Are you doing the Angkor Wat extension?

 

Anonymous
Sat, 11/27/2010 - 14:17

Good to hear from you as well!  I live in Swansea in South Wales which is extremely cold at the moment!  I am not doing the Angkor Wat extension. As this is my first solo adventure, I thought that I would do the basic trip and if all goes well, as I am sure it will, I will be more adventurous on my next one!  The Kenya trip must have been fantastic. Have you enquired about vaccinations and malaria tablets yet for the Vietam trip and where abouts are you living?     

     

 

 

Anonymous
Wed, 12/01/2010 - 23:26

Shame you guys didn't book on to the Trail of Vietnam one instead. I nearly booked into this but the idea of trekking through villages most of the day appealed to me more. Either way, I wonder if we cross path while out there? or if we all take the same flight? I am going with a friend of mine who is half Chinese/Vietnamese but have never been back home so should be interesting. It was meant to be a solo but managed to convince him at the end.

Anyways if we're on the same flight than would be cool to meet up at Heathrow if that is the airport you'll be using.

By the way, I also recommend Hong Kong if you want to explore Asia, this will be my second trip to the far east. We will also be stopping two extra days in Malaysia on our way back. Really excited just like you! 

 Hope you guys have a lovely trip either way :)

 Ray 

Anonymous
Sun, 12/05/2010 - 14:54

.....and hello to Ray. I have never been to Asia so this will be a whole new experience for me.  Thanks for all the info on vaccinations and malaria tablets ...will have to have a chat with the practice nurse at my GP surgery for advice but I will definitely be asking him about the malarone you have mentioned.  Organising a visa will also be on the 'to do' list.  Have wanted to go to Vietnam after seeing the 'boys' travel the length of it on 'Top Gear'...they were astounded by the scenery and they filmed a lot in the Halong Bay which looks stunning!  If you haven't seen that episode, it is always being repeated and is well worth watching!   Hope you also have a lovely trip Ray and maybe our paths will cross at some point!    

 

   

Anonymous
Mon, 12/06/2010 - 23:04

Well Marilyn, i am going for the exact same reason. I watched that Top Gear episode last year and I promised myself that I would visit the place the next chance I get. I managed to go Hong Kong first eventually and now I am finally going to Vietnam. I am also a big fan of history so the fact that Vietnam is a big part of history especially in my favourite era (60's/70's) during JFK's years etc... so much history there and I cant wait to say I have been there. So you definitely need Malaria tablets? My travel nurse hasn't got back to me yet on that subject.

 

Did you ladies have a Rabies shot? It was optional but I said no.. not sure if i'd need it to be honest.

 

Marisa, I'll try to make some space for you in my bag :) 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/09/2010 - 20:48

Excellent, I hope you bring a decent size suitcase.

No rabies shot for me. You do need the malaria tablets. I'm very interested in history too, can't wait to see the Vietcong tunnels. Apparently some of them are really tiny! Are any of you claustrophobic? Would be a shame having to stay outside and miss it.

Anonymous
Thu, 12/09/2010 - 21:43

Not that I am aware of. I will go into the tunnels, i think I should be ok but obviously if it is really hot than who knows. Maybe if I empty a bottle of water on my head before I enter. Thanks for the tips on Malaria cause the nurse said she wasn't sure till I give her the list of where I will be going in Vietnam so now I'll tell her I want to take it just in case.

Anonymous
Sat, 12/11/2010 - 12:53

Went on my first Christmas 'doooo' yesterday and surprisingly am not feeling too bad today!  Would love to meet up at Heathrow as it is such a long journey...may drive to the airport but problem is I would have to cope with the jet lag on return so that might not be such a good idea ....will think about that one!  Appt arranged with practice nurse on Weds to discuss vaccinations and malaria tabs...if I don't have to have any jabs, I won't! If you count not liking any doors in my house to be closed(except the front and back doors of course!) then I suppose I may be very slightly claustrophobic but I will force myself to go in the tunnels and just hope I don't get stuck!.....maybe losing a bit of weight before March would be a good idea.......think I'll go on a noodles diet to get myself acclimatised!             

 

 

Anonymous
Wed, 12/15/2010 - 21:18

So how did the appointment go? made up your mind about the malaria tablets? any jabs? (ouch). I will eaither take a taxi to the airport or my bf will give me a lift and pick me up. I hope it's the second one! ;) I'm sure you'll be fine at the tunnels. I'm hoping I'll loose some weight too before March, especially after Christmas. I wish people stopped bringing chocolates to work. Have you thought about he silk market? anything in mind to buy? hehehehe.

Anonymous
Fri, 12/17/2010 - 15:15

It went well thanks.  In fact I had the polio/tetanus/diptheria in one arm and the hepatitis A in the other arm! Need to see a more experienced nurse after Christmas for advice on the typhoid one and any others that may be needed.  Have you had the typhoid jab? .....what have you had/or going to have altogether?  Apparently only a doctor can dish out the malaria tabs so will make an appt in January.  Did you take out the Exodus travel insurance last time? I have noticed that it is £83 compared to a policy offered by Asda at £50!

If i have any more chocs in work I am sure that I will overdose!!  Silk market .....will have  to have a think about that one! 

     

Anonymous
Fri, 12/17/2010 - 21:25

I had the Typhoid jab and the other 4 you mentioned, just get it done just in case it's free and same procedure anyways.. You can find cheaper insurance if you go to moneysupermarket. The Exodus one is way too expensive.

Anonymous
Sat, 12/18/2010 - 12:27

Thanks for your advice Ray! I will certainly heed it especially regarding the insurance!

Anonymous
Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:31

Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year!  I have now had all my jabs, the last one being typhoid last week.  I decided upon 'malarone' malaria tablets but soon changed my mind when I was told by the pharmacist that they would cost me £80!!!! I now have a prescription for 'mefloquine' which is going to set me back approx £23 so much, much better and with these I only have to take 1 per week(needs to be on the same day of the week)....need to start 2/3 weeks before we go and for 4 weeks after.....so that is sorted. Next thing will be the visa .......have you got yours yet? What currency are you going to take?  US dollars seems like the best bet!  Will have to have a try-on of all my summer clothes to see what still fits after all the xmas choccies!       

Anonymous
Mon, 01/10/2011 - 19:30

Happy new year :) Oh, I have never heard of mefloquine. I still have to go to the doctor and get a prescription. I put all the papers together for the visa and got my brother to take them to the Vietnamese embassy in London (I have the advantage that he's flexible at work). My visa will be ready for collection next week. If I can help it I'd rather not send my passport backwards and forwards over the post... The visa costs £44. When you start adding bits and pieces you end up spending quite a lot in preparation for the trip...

I think I will take most of my money in US dollars. Perhaps I will bring some pounds too.

Can't wait to wear some summer clothes. I'm so pale that my skin reflects the light!

Anonymous
Wed, 01/12/2011 - 20:01

I agree on the small things adding up. I've had to update my passport (£77 or something?) visa £44 rucksack for around £25, travel insurance still to get and I needed to buy trekking trainers. Still got to buy Malaria tablets too!!

I got a decent sized rucksack off eBay for so much cheaper than from a shop!! I don't know how your trip will be but for us it's a lot of walking and trekking so a rucksack comes in handy for water, snacks and maybe change if it's too hot and sweaty! A towel in case of random waterfalls :-p

I'm also taking a small bag which will be taken to the hotels and so on so rucksack will carry day to day stuff!! Oh and camera!!! While the main bag will have my clothes for the 18 days.

Anonymous
Thu, 01/13/2011 - 19:01

I think I'm gonna bring one of this big holdalls. Agreed, I won't be able to fit in a rucksack everything I want to take hehehe. I think, for what I've heard, that in Vietnam things should be cheap :)

Anonymous
Sun, 01/16/2011 - 15:29

Yes, I still have to get insurance (Asda looks pretty good) ...got everything ready for the visa.....did you put the exact dates of holiday on the visa form or did you add on a couple of days at beg and end in case of flight change?  My son, who lives in London, will be dropping all docs into the embassy for me and I am planning to pick them up when I am in London on the 22/2 (Ray Lamontagne gig at the Royal Festival Hall).....What time were you planning on getting to Heathrow on the 12/3 ? Flight is at 10.50 so I am going to go by National Express coach as this will take me directly to terminal 4...either by 6.45 or by 8.05.....can't decide which one to book.....    

Anonymous
Tue, 01/18/2011 - 22:16

Just got my visa today. I put the date to start on the 10th March and they've given me one month from then. Well, I live only 40 mins from Heathrow, but knowing me I will be there quite early. If I was you I would go there by 6.45, just in case there's some problem (delay on your journey for example). However, in all likelyhood you'd be fine with the 8.05 :)

Do you happen to know how many of us are on this trip? I wonder whether it's a small group or more a medium size group.

Anonymous
Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:19

You are so right about possible delays....I will go for the 6.45 arrival date, I don't want to start panniking(is that spelt right?) if the bus is a bit late.  When I paid for the trip over the phone, the guy I spoke to said it was the maximum of 16 booked on plus our guide who I am assuming is Vietnamese..........not long now!!!!   

Anonymous
Wed, 01/19/2011 - 18:56

Hi,

My name is Ang and I am booked on AOV on 12th March, with my friend Julie. We live in Bristol.

After reading all the above, I am very curious to know how you got your visa for £44. Everywhere I look at is £75. Even going through the Exodus link from todays general upcoming info email, I am still routed to £75 for a visa.

Thanks in advance in your answer.

 

 

 

Anonymous
Wed, 01/19/2011 - 19:37

Oh dear, seems all the ladies are on this and not the one I went for now I feel sad! :-p

You have to go to the vietnamese embassy, it's in London though and I'm assuming you live in Bristol!!

Anonymous
Wed, 01/19/2011 - 20:28

Thank you very much. I think I will be taking a trip. I do live in Bristol. There might be lots of ladies on yours..................

 

 

 

Anonymous
Thu, 01/20/2011 - 16:39

Hi Ang and Julie - I am Marilyn from Swansea and I am also on the same trip.......about visas - go on the vietnamese embassy for London website - I sent them an email to say that I was going on this trip and could they advise me.  The help and information they gave was so good. ....absolutely everything you need to know about applying in person or by post so don't make the trip there until you have contacted them........and the fee is £44!. 

     

Anonymous
Thu, 01/20/2011 - 19:32

Thank you very much.

 

 

Anonymous
Fri, 01/21/2011 - 22:14

Yes, as Marilyn says, send them an email and they'll tell you exactly. There's different types of visas (single entry, multiple entry, business, etc.), so maybe £75 is another type. You can do the whole thing by post. Because I work in London and live close to London for me it was relatively easy to go to the embassy.

Anonymous
Mon, 01/24/2011 - 19:09

Thanks for the advice. I contacted the Vietnamese embassy and have been quoted £44 plus p&p. If it wasn't for reading your chat Julie & I would be paying £75 each!

You may or may not know that we will need an overnight bag for the time on the boat in Ha Long Bay and at the homestay in Mekong delta. If it says this in the itinerary, please excuse me, I haven't studied it.

I'm counting down the weeks, I can't wait.

Ang

 

Ang

Anonymous
Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:19

Glad you got the visa information ......just a quick update. My son took all my docs to the Vietnamese Embassy on Tuesday(25/1- he lives in London) and they told him that they were closing on Monday(31/1) for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year so the sooner you get your documents off the better! They told him that I would receive passport and visa back around the 10/2. ...........I will probably take a small rucksack(for the overnight stays) which I will be using as hand luggage on the flight.....for things like camera, book etc .........Not long now!!!!  Marilyn

       

Anonymous
Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:52

Well ladies, I hope you have a fantastic safe trip. We've only got 7 people on ours so way smaller than yours and been told the chances of having anymore are slim to none!!! Guess not many fans of walking around for 2 weeks!!!

Enjoy!

Ray

Anonymous
Thu, 01/27/2011 - 18:44

By the way Ray, have fun you too and perhaps we'll see you guys around!

Anonymous
Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:23

Bon voyage Ray! I hope you have a really good time!

Marisa..........about the malaria tabs. I was also told that it was a very low risk area along the coast and wouldn't need them. When I mentioned that we were going up the Meekong Delta there was a bit of umming and ahhing!! .....so it was deemed to be safer rather than sorry!.....however we could always ask the advice of our guide when we get there and possibly stop taking them! ......I have already got mine now and I just hope that they don't make me feel ill ......

Anonymous
Tue, 02/01/2011 - 19:32

Thanks Marilyn, I didn't mention that to my doctor. I will give her a call and get the tablets I think!

Anonymous
Thu, 02/03/2011 - 21:12

At my travel clinic I was also told that it was a very low risk area along the coast and wouldn't need malaria tablets. However I did not mention Mekong Delta.

On the map with different shades of pink on,  I cant work out the whereabouts of Mekong Delta. 

Marisa - what did your doctor say?

 

Anonymous
Fri, 02/04/2011 - 20:46

I contacted Exodus and they recommend we take Malaria tablets in Mekong Delta.

 

Anonymous
Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:55

Well, I did not mention the Mekong Delta to my Doctor either, but today I've collected a prescription for Malarone (yes, I'm going to be lazy and pay a lot of many in order not to have to take lots of tablets hehehe). Ok, so does 'taking tablets in the Mekong Delta' means that we don't have to take tablets during the whole stay? For Malarone one is supposed to stay treatment about three days before getting to the risk area and then for a week upon return. Perhaps we don't need tablets for the whole stay.

Anonymous
Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:41

My understanding is that we only need them for Mekong Delta. Beneath I have copied my email from Exodus. (I asked if we needed malaria tabs for Mekong Delta)

Malaria tablets are recommended in this area. You should consult your GP and then the decision is yours.
 
Apologies, I can not be more specific, there is no straight answer to this. Personally I have never taken malaria tablets in Vietnam but as I said, please weigh the GPs advice and decide for yourself.
Anonymous
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 21:29

I've been reading lots of stuff on the internet about Malaria prevention in Vietnam. It looks like there's lots of people who have not taken any sort of tablets, including people who live/regularly visit Vietnam. However, some people preferred to take them for their own peace of mind. Just as the email that you received says, it looks like it has to be a personal decision.

 

Anonymous
Sun, 02/13/2011 - 11:51

I checked the expiry date on my malaria tabs and it is 8/11....so no chance of keeping them for another trip.  So as I have actually paid out for them, I will be taking them. Only 1 tab per week and I have to start 2/3 weeks before going. So my first 1 is going to be on Sat 19/2. If I find that they make me feel ill, I will stop them and as they are not vitally important, it won't be the end of the world if I stop!  Tried on all my summer stuff this morning.......not too bad at all....few things a bit tight and unless i starve myself for the next 4 weeks, they will have to stay tight!  Mozzy repellant spray was bought yesterday and a really comfy pair of shoes from Asda for £10!!

     

Anonymous
Mon, 02/14/2011 - 19:18

In the end I've bought 11 malaria tablets only, at a cost of £31, given that we are only going to the Mekong Delta for a couple of days. Marilyn it looks like you're almost ready. I think I am too, must look at my check list! and must try my summer stuff too...

Anonymous
Fri, 02/18/2011 - 21:35

Hi

I did this trip in November.  I took Malaria tablets but discovered once I got there that there was no need - they made me feel a little ill so I stopped taking them.  The only time I needed insect repelent was in Lak Lake - didn't see any mozi's any other time.

 I took a rucksack but many in our group took suitcases which were also fine.  I took a small rucksack as a day sack which doubled up for overight stays in Halong Bay, Lak Lake and Mekong Delta stay where you don't take all your luggage.  I took some US dollars and some dong that you can now get from the post office and also withdrew money from cashpoints in several of the towns - all worked well.  Food is excellent and very cheap - getting your head around the thousands of dong takes a minute or two!!  I took a pair of merrells for everyday and flip flops - no walking boots needed.  In November is was comfortable in the North (shorts and t-shirts), very wet in the middle and around 80 and a little humid in Saigon.  Nobody put sun tan lotion on until middle of second week!!

There was two opportunities to get washing done - I ended up getting around half my rucksack done for $4.00!!  This was my first Exodus and first trip travelling Solo so I was very nervous but it was fab and I am now planning my next trip ..........

Hope you all have a fab trip.

Sue

Anonymous
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 16:50

Hello Sue .........thanks for taking the time to post your message which is really, really helpful.  I now know what suitcase I am taking!.....and I didn't realise that you can get dong at the post office so thanks for that as well!  Good to hear that there are little or no mozzies as they really seem to like me!  This is my first solo trip as well and my tummy is doing cartwheels most of the time........but nothing ventured, nothing gained.....

 All the best for your next trip.

Marilyn

  

Anonymous
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 16:50

Hello Sue .........thanks for taking the time to post your message which is really, really helpful.  I now know what suitcase I am taking!.....and I didn't realise that you can get dong at the post office so thanks for that as well!  Good to hear that there are little or no mozzies as they really seem to like me!  This is my first solo trip as well and my tummy is doing cartwheels most of the time........but nothing ventured, nothing gained.....

 All the best for your next trip.

Marilyn

  

Anonymous
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 20:05

Thanks Marilyn

I was so nervous a week or so before my trip. I'm the sort of person that doesn't even like walking into a pub alone!  So many people told me not to worry - that the other people on the trip would be lovely and they were right.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained is very true.  I took a huge leap out of my comfort box and am so glad that I did - enjoy x

Anonymous
Tue, 03/01/2011 - 19:43

Not long now!  Got my currency yesterday - all US dollars, will change some into dong when we get there. Bought a sleeping bag liner for £5 from a shop called Trek and Field just off Southampton Street in Covent Garden....reduced from £13.99 so well pleased with that! Need to get a couple of good books now ............   

Anonymous
Sun, 03/06/2011 - 16:26

This time next week......................................................................................................................x

Anonymous
Mon, 03/07/2011 - 07:34

Less than a week to go! If anyone wants to meet at the airport for a coffee or breakfast or whatever my number is 07515116822 :)

x

Anonymous
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:30

Goodness knows where we will be this time next week!   Perhaps we will bump into each other at the check-in at Heathrow.......it would be nice to make contact as it is going to be such a long journey........look forward to meeting you all!    

Anonymous
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:34

Hi again Marisa, Ang and Julie.......counting down the hours now!  Perhaps we will bump into each other at the check-in at Heathrow....would be nice to make contact as it is going to be a long journey........looking forward to meeting you all! x 

Anonymous
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:42

Posted my message - not realising that there was a 'page 2' so only just found yours!( I posted 2 because I thought the first one hadn't registered!- dim or what!?).  Thanks for your mobile number .....I am putting it into my phone as we speak......mine is 07929 240579.     Am planning on arriving at terminal 4 approx 8.30a.m. ............would be great to meet up! x

 

Anonymous
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:54

Hi Marilyn,

Yes, I only found out about page 2 when I couldn't find my own message! Ok, got your number. I'll be at Heathrow around the same time I guess. I'll text you, or feel free to text me x

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