Vietnam – a land of kaleidoscopic images: lush paddy fields, colourful people, vast stretches of undisturbed white sandy beaches, the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh and the French occupation. It stretches almost 1,500 miles from the Mekong Delta up to the highlands bordering China, covering a wide range of climates, countryside and ethnic groups. Traversing the length of the country from the tree lined boulevards of the capital Hanoi, through magnificent tropical countryside to the hustle and bustle of Saigon, where twentieth century free marketing is enveloping the city, Vietnam has become one of the most popular adventure holiday destinations in Asia.
I took my mum to Namibia to celebrate her birthday. We were with other 9 fellow travellers and our excellent lead guide Shane. The trip was quite comprehensive and we traveled almost 3000 km, exploring some of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of the country. The truck used for the trip was quite comfortable, with large windows and operable roof. Although we traveled long distances we made frequent stops and the landscapes were always fascinating. We explored the magical desert, the skeleton coast and ship wrecks, the Etosha natural park with its wildlife and the majestic mountains/plateaus. Truly memorable. Our guide Shane was knowledgeable, kind, funny and patient. He could also spot hidden animals easily (he spotted a chameleon while driving the truck!!). Really good trip
This gave me an interesting insight into the Silk Road, particularly in post-Islamic times; very little that was built beforehand has survived. Our group of ten worked well as a team and with the two guides and the hotel accommodation exceeded my expectations, as did the bus, which was very comfortable to travel in. The highlights of the first week were Bukhara and Samarkand, which Dilshod presented with style and of the second week, were watching the eagle hunter and staying in the yurt camp, up in the mountains.
We were really lucky with the wildlife side of the trip, we didn’t see a grizzly but that was probably because on a walk we saw one was in the immediate vicinity and we wisely left! A moose also did not make an appearance but we were blessed with a wealth of black bears (with babies), dolphins, humpback whales etc. Scenery was a major highlight so even on the longer bus journeys you are always seeing something new. Lots of good walks. We are regular travellers with Exodus and know what to expect and this trip didn’t fail, we had a great time, blessed with a brilliant guide and excellent fellow travellers.