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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
    John Wynsma

    Fantastic Cycling Trip

    This was a fantastic cycling holiday and excellent way to see a good part of Vietnam and experience its culture from the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, to historical cities such as Hoi An and Hue, as well as local villages and varying countryside. The trip is well balanced between biking (8 of 14 days), other activities (i.e. exploring the Cu Chi tunnels, caving, snorkeling, touring historic sites, shopping, etc.) and rest days at some idyllic locations (Whale Island, Ha Long Bay). The biking is rated as moderate and geared for biking enthusiasts or generally fit people as its mostly flat, some undulating sections, some "upulating" sections as our guide liked to characterize the predominantly uphill sections, a few tough climbs and a couple of super fun descents! The first few days on cycling is outside Ho Chi Minh, a bit busy and not too interesting (although the destinations were great). Thereafter the cycling becomes much more interesting and really fun! The trip is extremely well organized - I can't say enough good things about our guide Son and the rest of the team. Our group of 17 was diverse but bonded quickly, were very supportive of one another (even to those who spread the Canadian cold around...) and enjoyed a lot of laughs and Tiger beer together, and even some singalongs with "Kennaoke" and his ukulele! The food and accommodation exceeded our expectations, and the Vietnamese people are extremely friendly and hospitable. Fantastic trip, don't hesitate to do this one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking, its a toss up between the joy of the 5000 foot descent from Dalat and the 2000 foot climb of the Hai Van Pass (wasn't smiling nearing as much but great sense of accomplishment). Culturally, riding through the countryside with its lush rice paddies, water buffalo, hard working locals and many friendly children saying "hello" as you passed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Son, was awesome. Well organized, very informative on Vietnamese history, culture and the environment (kudos here), communication skills were excellent (more understandable than most Brits...yikes, going to be in trouble for that comment!), very safety conscious, enthusiastic and encouraging, and able to keep the group focused and on schedule. Son and his family hosted dinner on the final evening of the trip, everyone from our group attended, and it was a magical evening, amazing food, lots of shared memories, laughs and hugs! The entire team supporting Son was also excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Do some training beforehand, you'll enjoy the rides more and you'll want to experience the satisfaction of climbing the Hai Van pass. 2. Try all the food, its mostly great, just beware of the little red chilies! 3. Be prepared to barter in the markets and recognize you are getting fake products (make good gifts!) 4. Don't drink the water, stick to beer! Tiger is "go to" beer but the rest are good too, and inexpensive! 5. Buy some tailor made clothing in Hoi An at Yaly's or another reputable place. Its great quality, good value. I bought a number of Egyptian cotton dress shirts (and promptly threw out my older off the shelf ones when I got home) and my wife bought a few jumpsuits that she is eagerly waiting to display once the snow melts!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    First trip with Exodus, very impressed, highly highly recommended!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    John Grant

    Cycling Vietnam

    A great trip really well organised from start to finish, fantastic to see so many places in one holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the people of Vietnam, fantastic people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent group leader who kept everything together and on time. Great knowledge of Vietnam and its history a really interesting man with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some practice in and take Cycling padded pants. Get your drinks before you get on the overnight train as they ran out of beer very quickly.
  • 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?

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