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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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2426 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Terry Knowles

    Wonderful experience

    This was our first organized cycling trip, and it was very enjoyable. The group was larger than I expected (18, whereas I had thought we would be about 12), but everyone got along well and our tour leader, Tung, was very efficient and attentive, friendly, patient and entertaining. There was also more city riding than I expected, through some rather hairy motorbike traffic and roundabouts. Tung and Lee, our tail gunner, shepherded us through them, but it took some guts at first to weave through the scooters and cars and buses. Note that red lights apparently don't apply to motorbikes; they just sail on through. We got used to it after a couple of times and in the end it was rather exhilarating. Some riding on main city streets and bridges, too, and through towns and suburbs. All in all the tour was a bit more urban than I'd hoped. But I suppose if you want to see all aspects of Vietnam... Riding through the rice paddies and the countryside and along back lanes, on the other hand, was quite enchanting. Little children ran out to call "Hello!" everywhere. I see this tour is rated as 3/9 for activity level. I would say more 5/9, and that's without the (very enjoyable, if you're up for it) 10-km uphill ride one day. On the other hand, the bus is always available and there was no shame in taking a day off. We missed the Whale Island tour because of a typhoon, but Tung and Exodus rearranged everything seamlessly. The Halong Bay overnight boat tour was a real delight, as was the overnight train to Hanoi. And Hoi An and Hanoi were wonderful, particularly the pedestrian streets (no motorbikes!) on the weekend in Hanoi. We could easily have skipped the boat trip to the overcrowded beach and hike up to the viewpoint on Halong Bay, however, and the kayaks were uncomfortable, at least for the person in the stern with no back support. The meals were good, even for us vegetarians, the bikes were clean and very well maintained, and there was lots of juice and water and fruit provided at the frequent rest stops. Nice that they didn't insist on handing out plastic bottles of water! The bus was comfortable and the driver and bike mechanic were friendly and very competent. Definitely a 10/10 for organization.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One day they drove us up to the top of a mountain and let us off to ride 35 km downhill. Just fantastic!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tung was terrific. Tireless, funny, patient, informative, enthusiastic and efficient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above regarding the activity level. Take a look at the distances to be covered every day and make sure you're comfortable with that. You may want to bring a small bike bag (e.g. to fit on handlebars or under the frame) for suntan lotion, camera, etc. Padded bike shorts a must, although they provide optional extra padding for seats.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The (very intense) War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is worth a visit, and cooking classes in HCMC or Hanoi, if you have the time, are always fun.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Heather Ward

    Simply the best!

    This was our first Exodus cycling holiday and it won’t be our last! The scenery was varied and beautiful, the hotels were better that I was expecting and the cycling was challenging but manageable and a great way to see the countryside. We were able to ride at our own pace through out the trip, with one of the guides at the front and one bringing up the rear and breaks every hour or so for water and snacks. Food from the Exodus Mobile Kitchen was excellent - every meal was something different and we were often the lunchtime the envy of other tour groups! The buffet meals in the hotels were also good - a range of options to suit everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the safari in the Kruger - we saw an incredible volume and variety of wildlife, often quite close up - lions 3ft away, elephants crossing the road in front and behind our vehicle. The crowning glory was a leopard spotted by one of our group which just seemed to want to show off for us!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bradley, Skhu and Rea did a fantastic job of looking after us all. From fixing bikes (and the truck) to cooking (including baking a cake on the barbecue!) to sharing their knowledge and love of South Africa and its animals, all three were amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is worth doing some training ahead of the trip, some days were quite tough - up to 2000m of climbing. But we could all ride at our own pace - there was never any pressure to keep up - so don’t let it put you off. There is always the option to get a lift from the truck!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is no bar or other access to beer or wine on the first night, so if you want a drink (and you might after a long transfer), you will need to buy something either at the airport or at one of the stops on the drive.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Peter Gomes

    Cycle Colombia - Excellent trip through a beautiful and varied country. Recommended.

    A undulating ride through verdant countryside between Cali and Pereira, plus a few days in each of Bogota, Medellin & Cartegna. Lots to see on and off the bike, so the perfect mix of riding and sightseeing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As ever there are so many. Here are a few. 1. We added a couple of days in Medellin before the main trip started and were glad we did. A lovely city centre in the valley & stunning views from the cable car network that soars up the steep valley sides. Plus one of the best meals I have ever had. 2. We added a couple of days in Bogota too and that gave us a chance to see as many of the many sights as possible, as well as go on a cycle tour of the capital. We loved the street art in both cities. 3. Once the tour proper started - the Sunday cyclovia - shutting down swathes of the city of cyclists, skateboarders, walkers and runner of all ages & abilities to come together and play. What a wonderful idea. Cities around the world - please copy. 4. Catedral de Sal at Zipaquira : spectacular. 5. Views from the coffee stop San Alberto Estate at Buena Vista. 5. The wax palm trees at El Bosque de las Palmas near Solento. 6. The Orchid tour at Finca Romelia in Palmera on the final bike day. 6. We added the Cartegena Extention on the end of the trip & this too was well worth doing with colonial Spanish architecture and an energetic vibe particularly around the various plazas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gustavo was Head Boy in the nicest sense - organised, thorough, enthusiastic - making it all happen without hitch so that you are able to leave your brain at the airport knowing everything will be sorted for you, leaving you to ride, eat drink and enjoy. His sidekicks - the double act that was Gustavo & Paola - were a truly delightful couple - albeit they did make those hills look remarkably easy. Completing the foursome was driver Cezar - not a man of many words but someone who made everything (bikes, luggage, etc) magically appear at the right place and time, every time. A good team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the Grade 5 - the route is almost entirely on road, not technical, and whilst undulating, it is (based on figures from my Garmin) no harder (in terms of ascent) than grade 4 trips we have completed in Chile/Argentina and Albania/Macedonia. There is some (but not a lot) of traffic but this is far less than in the UK (& we live in the country).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bogota is a city with lots to offer and its worth spending extra time there before or after the trip to do it justice. Some of the museums were superb, and there is much more besides. Go visit Medellin - before everyone else cottons on. Cartegena is a nice unwind after the time on the bike. Our whole trip ended up being a full three weeks and that felt about right.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    sandra southwell

    Drakensberg & Kruger

    Correctly graded as challenging, the first few days were harder than I expected with the altitude and head winds. It was quite cool there too, so a warm and windproof layer is essential in the misty conditions, arm warmers were handy too. The Blyde Canyon ride is long, but you start early (earlier than the trip notes suggest, and without breakfast before setting off); the first and last thirds have an uphill bias but the middle part is a really nice undulating section - the wonderful views are a great distraction too. It’s an enjoyable trip, with some good biking including some fabulous descents safe enough for some good top speeds, and we certainly saw more wildlife than I was expecting - take some binoculars, you’ll be glad you did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife. This time of year we were told that the animals can be harder to see in Kruger because they’re more scattered in view of the wider availability of water, but we saw plenty - and with the added bonus of lots of babies, including some lion cubs, playful young elephants and the cutest of little antelopes. We also saw some herds of zebra galloping joyously across the meadows earlier in the trip, which was wonderful to see. And late in the trip we passed some people praying by a river family close to the road; hearing their wonderful singing whilst cycling along was very uplifting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia, Rea and Innocent made an excellent team, I hope for future travellers’ sake that they will work together again because they definitely helped make it a really good trip. They obviously got on well and joined in with the group far more than I’ve experienced with most other Exodus trips (I’ve been on at least fifteen). They were knowledgeable, fun and Ado in particular was very keen to ensure we were all aware of the safety aspects of the trip. They were also good cooks, the beef stir fry and barbecue were definite highlights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sleep on the first part of the transfer on day one, after the lunch stop there are great views and animal spotting opportunities. Make sure you get a three round-pin adapter, only one or two places had European two-pin sockets. I bought mine at Heathrow but dare say you could get one cheaper beforehand. All accommodations have charging points, although a battery charger pack might be useful on the safari days if you use your camera a lot. You won’t need a huge amount of cash as most meals are included and there aren’t that many opportunities to buy things; if you see something you like buy it as you may well not see it again. There were ATMs at a few of the places we stopped for the guys to stock up on food, however I’d recommend getting some currency before you leave the UK or exchanging some cash when you arrive at the airport. There weren’t that many opportunities to pay by card, particularly for the smaller purchases. Take a travel towel or sarong for the day-time swimming opportunities, you may like to have water shoes for some too. Worth having a change of clothes handy on part-transfer days to avoid sitting in your cycling gear for longer than necessary. A couple of places didn’t have any soap in the bathroom and some provided a kettle but no tea/coffee. Take a few snacks or buy some at the well-stocked supermarkets along the way; the provisions at the snack stops were generally limited to peanuts, wine gums and liquorice all sorts - sometimes with a banana, apple or orange too; I have been on many trips which provide a wider variety of options at the snack stops (exotic fruits, biscuits, chocolate bars, snack bars, crips, energy drinks and so on). The larger bikes had two bottle cages, but even if yours doesn’t two water bottles are handy if you like to drink lots, especially on the safari days (most of us bought a 5 litre bottle of water each for the days in Kruger and Hazyview, everywhere else you can drink the tap water). Lots of the roads were quite light in terms of traffic, but some days were busier and the vehicles can drive quite close as they’re not used to cyclists in this part of S Africa, there were often decent hard shoulders though. Roads were generally in good condition with a few areas having potholes, sadly broken glass from discarded bottles was pretty ubiquitous. Take cleat shoes and clip-in pedals if you’re used to using them. It’s definitely worth taking one of the optional extra game drives as the drivers are expert spotters and are in contact with each other, meaning they know where the best sightings are (ours cost R700 which was quite a bit more than the trip notes suggest, but was longer and very worthwhile). The knowledge-sharing led to us seeing a leopard as well as the other members of the big five gang. That said, our guides and driver were pretty impressive when it came to spotting animals and birds too, we saw a cheetah whilst driving through the park with them; they have a keen interest in the flora and fauna of the area, and a great deal of knowledge to impart.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would agree with other reviewers in that I don’t understand why this trip needs to have quite so much self-catering. I totally understand it’s easier for lunches and some of the picnic spots were excellent - day 3 in particular, plus days 10 and 11. In the Kruger we could easily have had lunch in one of the camp cafes/restaurants. However I too would have preferred to have more evening meals in restaurants. After a day’s cycling I don’t really want to have to balance my dinner plate on my lap, and it’s nice to have a choice. Furthermore, the team have to work incredibly hard sourcing and preparing the meals, then clearing up afterwards; they have very little downtime on this trip. We saw steak on offer in restaurants from anywhere between £7 to £10 and I’m sure that most Exodus customers would be more than happy to pay this for a nice meal on a comfortable chair once or twice during the trip. There are a few fairly lengthy bus transfers but it’s such a vast place that they’re inevitable; our guides kept us amused with information from time to time along the way and Adonia had a small library of books on the wildlife for us to read through. We were fortunate in not having a full group as we had plenty of space and travelled in comfort; I think it would be pretty uncomfortable if there were 14 people and it would also make it difficult for everyone to get a good view on the safari days. The accommodation varies along the way, but is all fine. The Eco camp on days 2 and 3 is wonderful, the hotel at Hazyview is nice although the pool wasn’t clean (the pool at the lunch spot that day was far superior), the final night’s accommodation is lovely and spacious with great views from the bar - head there in advance of dinner to watch the rocks changing colour as the sun goes down. The tents in the Kruger had fans and fridges which was more than I’d expected, although you will have to share the washrooms not only with other campers but also an interesting array of insects attracted to the light - but in general the bug count (and particularly the mozzie count) is pretty low on this trip. Keep a look out for the porcupine in the Kruger campsite - it headed down between the wash block and laundry at around 7pm both nights we were there, it moves a lot faster than you’d think! It’s a shame that the hotel at Graskop is out of town as it looked like there were quite a few interesting shops to potter around there. A couple of nights we had to keep the bikes in our rooms - not much of an issue for me as I was on my own, but probably a bit of a squeeze for two. WiFi and phone coverage isn’t available everywhere, or at least not good connections - so expect some respite from electronic communications! I was lucky as my bike was reasonably good, albeit a bit on the small side. It did however struggle to switch from the large ring to the middle one at the front, but the rear gears were infinitely better than a number of my fellow companions who all had lots of issues with their bikes during the trip. People signing up for a level 4 trip will all be keen cyclists with good bikes at home, and Exodus need to make sure that their local partners are aware of the expectations of their clients. Having bikes which need fixing multiple times a day simply isn’t good enough and takes away some of the enjoyment factor of cycling in such lovely areas. As a minimum the bikes need a thorough inspection before each trip commences and be replaced where necessary. If the support team could spend a little less time preparing food for us all they could do a proper check at the end of each day, and they should certainly be given more spare parts for use during the trip. The local company needs to make appropriate investment to ensure more than just adequate equipment is provided.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Peter Gomes

    Cycle Lake District of Chile & Argentina : Great trip through stunning scenery

    Another terrific Exodus cycle trip comprising a mix of on & off road riding, flat & hilly sections in scenery that is simply beautiful. Enthusiastically led by Tai, ably assisted by his younger brother Yal, & side-kick Mattieu (the quiet one), our group of 16 bonded on the first evening, were buddies by lunch on the second day and firm friends thereafter. Excellent sea food and of course, steaks to be had and at bargain prices in Argentina due to the devaluation of their peso. Chile was more UK priced. Turquoise lakes & snow capped volcanoes were the centrepiece, topped off with the two day stay at the Eco lodge in the Conguillo National Park. We simply did not want to leave.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As ever there were so many. Day 1: the view from the plane window as we flew alongside the Andes in the final run into Santiago. Day 2 : The sight of not one but three snow capped volcanoes from the lake shore by our first night's hotel set the tone for the superb scenery to come : a mix of Norwegian fjord, Scottish loch & English Lake with added volcano. Day 4: the first ferry ride and the discovery of an excellent hotel in the wilderness close to the frontier post - we were expecting a youth hostel given the remote location. Day 5: the off road climb to the frontier, and the supportive way in which all those at the top cheered on those further back as they arrived. Plus the rapid downhill that followed. Day 6 : The coastal ride round to Bariloche, passing Tai & Yal's house en route. Day 7 : the largest & tastiest steaks ever at Don Alberto's in Bariloche - not to be missed, plus lunch atop the view point at Cerro Campanario. Day 8: Racing along the downhill section of Route 40 (Argentina's Route 66) into San Martin. Day 10: the impromptu detour to spend the afternoon at the Termas (hot springs) en route to Pucon. Days 11 & 12 riding into and through the landscapes of the Conguillo National Park (volcano on my left, emerald lake on my right, monkey puzzle forest ahead of me - where do I look ?).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    With perfect English, Tai & Yal (despite their youth - mid twenties) were experienced, enthusiastic and capable leaders. Tai, in particular, managed well the different personalities on the trip which comprised five couples, three pals and three singles aged from late thirties to early seventies. He made sure everyone was comfortable riding their way depending on fitness, terrain & general inclination. His restaurant & even individual dish recommendations were consistently excellent. He was confident in his role and thus able to flex the itinerary as circumstances (weather or indeed our whims) dictated. As a strong cyclist he readily earned the respect of those who tried to take him on. Fortunately, his skills as a qualified paramedic did not need to be tested.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The November weather was mixed - Take layers so as to be able to cater for hot, cold & in between - plus rain. On some days there was much adding and removing of kit, with Yal or Mati magically on hand at the right moment to deliver to or collect it from you. This is also true off the bike with cool winds from Patagonia belying bright sunshine at times. The road sections are straightforward with drivers polite, separate cycle tracks on larger roads and wide verges to ride on minor ones. Off road sections are not particularly technical (I'm no mountain biker) and, taken at whatever pace you feel comfortable, readily ridden on the new Specialized hard-tail mountain bikes supplied. Food-wise the emphasis is meat and fish with pasta/pizza available but vegetarian food is a bit limited. Good range of beer and wine to be had and we rekindled our love of Pisco Sour developed on last year's Peru trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My slowest ride was the final eight miles back to the eco-lodge on the final afternoon. It took well over an hour. Why ? Because I simply didn't want it to end. I was not alone - it was practically a competition to see who could ride the slowest. I guess that's a pretty decent endorsement of the trip overall. If you seek a well led trip with excellent company, good food (& drink), fabulous scenery, and varied (and thus interesting) cycling then sign up.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Mark Billington

    Trying something new in S.E Asia

    I’ve previously been on several exodus trips either hiking or sightseeing ones or a mixture of the two. I thought I’d give cycling a go, I’m not a cyclist at home but keep myself fit. The trip was amazing, the cycling tough in the heat, but you get looked after so well, the bike teams manage the traffic so well and look after your hydration and energy levels. This trip isn’t just about the cycling though, the combination of 3 different countries, with different cultures and foods and fantastic sights and cities you get to see, make this a very memorable holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    You can’t fail to be amazed with the temples around Angkor, it’s staggering to think these masterpieces were put together centuries ago and to see them by bicycle is the perfect way to absorb them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We couldn’t of asked for a better group leader than IS, so knowledgeable, so helpful, so approachable and within a very short time became one of us, part of the team, a friend to us all. In my experiences all Exodus leaders have been great but a couple have gone above and beyond to ensure your holiday is a memorable one, IS definitely went above and beyond and was much loved and respected by us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you build up your fitness, preferably with time on your bike, I did a couple of 40 mile cycles just prior to going on the trip, if possible cycle in some traffic as although the roads rarely get very busy, some of the towns have moderate traffic. Take a towel and swimwear, there’s plenty of opportunities to swim and if it’s as warm as it was when we visited you’ll be grateful of the cooling off in the pool. Definitely use the rooftop hot tub in the hotel in Phnom Penh.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not really, just to say this holiday takes in so much, there’s never a dull moment or quiet moment so if you like your holidays full on and fun packed, it’s definitely for you.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Teresa Humphrey

    Put this on your to-do list. Every day a winner.

    This was an amazingly rich first experience of travelling in Japan. The trip offers an excellent balance with cycling in varied and impressive scenery, countless included visits along the way allowing insight into the history and heritage of the country, and full immersion into the culinary and lifestyle culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights in a trip which offered lots of contrasts between city and landscape, a rich cultural heritage and gastronomic variety. Highlights of riding along the dramatic rugged western coastline of the Noto peninsular gave way to the delights of riding small lanes through fishing villages on the softer eastern coast. And then came the spectacular scenery of the mountains, clad in wonderful autumn colours. Entering the UNESCO village of Shirakawa-go exceeded all expectations, and the experience of total immersion in the traditional way of life when staying in a local farmhouse when the daytrippers had gone home was a real high spot. There were so many cultural highlights that the names tended to merge, but we particularly remember being bowled over by our visit to the Myojoji temple complex. The garden at Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, and the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto were memorable. Walks around Tokyo and Kyoto at night with the guides who knew where to go were an unexpected delight. And finally, there were some inspirational banquet-style meals, taken in the traditional way, kimono-clad, quite wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tea was unfailingly enthusiastic, friendly and encouraging to the group with a healthy respect for cycling safety. He was readily available at all times of day and night to deal with any issues arising and was very an efficient organiser to ensure each day ran smoothly to plan. He was keen to help us understand many aspects of Japanese history and culture, and had put thought into places to visit en route, including ones not on the usual tourist agenda, which made interesting and unexpected diversions, often with opportunities to engage directly with local people. The co-team members, Akiko and Taichi were also fluent and engaging people who added much to the enjoyment of the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to go with an open mind about eating in the Japanese way and expect to eat with your eyes as well as your mouth. Fish, raw and cooked is delicious, but non-pescatorians may have limited choices. You will develop a bread and cheese craving after 10 days or so but the odd bakery snack stop will crop up along the way. Several meals are taken wearing kimonos provided by the establishment, so you don't need a large off-bike wardrobe. You will need good rain gear 'in case' and flexibility of layered and warm !clothing to cope with variations of wind and temperature, although you won't need to carry this on the bikes as the support bus is regularly at hand to access day bag supplies.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hired bikes were good quality, light touring machines.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Sue Altman

    Great itinerary, excellent guides, shame about the bikes

    The bikes are key to the enjoyment of a cycling holiday. I have enjoyed at least 12 previous cycling holidays with Exodus and the bikes provided for this trip were the worst I have ever had. It was difficult or impossible to change gears smoothly on both the front or rear gears. The chain frequently hopped 2 gears, no gears, or changed on a whim entirely by itself. Frequent adjustments were made by the guides, but any changes didn't last more than 20km. I suspect the cables needed changing, but this wasn't in their remit. The display on the handlebars were completely obscured so you had no idea what gear you were in unless you memorised the back and looked down at the front, making it easy to cross chain and exacerbate the problems. On first sight of the bikes at least 2 had new chains which were drooping almost to the ground.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We saw the most astonishing range of animals, including a cheetah, a leopard and 4 baby lions in The Kruger National Park and quite a few outside. The view of the porcupine moving at speed 2 night running on the same route between the toilet blocks in the campsite at dusk was just amazing. I loved the tours of the Rourkes Drift and the Cave paintings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Adomi was brilliant; well organised, very well informed . His team consisting of Rio as support and Innocent as the driver worked well and they were friendly and, chatty and mixed in with all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't book this trip until you have assurance that the bikes have been replaced or all the key components changed

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All the meals included were prepared by the leaders and driver. I would have enjoyed the trip more if we had eaten in more restaurants. Apart from the first meal, their cooking was excellent, but I do like to sit at a table after a long day in the saddle and have a choice of food and a glass of wine offered. There were restaurants in most places and the food was very cheap and good. We couldn't understand why it was organised like this. It also seemed unnecessarily very hard work for the team. Finally I do like proper coffee not instant for breakfast!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Mark Springthorpe

    We didn't have a great experience

    Our experience was that there were a number of significant issues with this Exodus tour; - The tour lead was quite poor and we had issues with poor communication, being rushed from place to place, pressure to cycle quickly and therefore unable to enjoy the sights/views. - Bikes provided were basically 'end of life' and we had issues with poor gear changes. It contains quite a bit of bus time (4-5 hours at a time) and you feel like you are being rushed around all the time - the result is that it isn't very relaxed, and we were frustrated that we didn't have time to enjoy many of the places we visited/went through. We were told that demand for this tour meant that Exodus had increased from 1 to 4 tours/week, but it looks like the bike maintenance/replacement hadn't taken this into account, and possible why we ended up with a Tour Lead who was below par (as they didn't have enough good tour leads). We think Exodus need to take a good hard look at this tour and make sure that the quality is massively improved.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The inspirational moments didn't happen on any part of the Exodus tour, but in the extra days we booked ourselves in Saigon and Hanoi - basically because we had time to relax and enjoy the places.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nice bloke, but very lacking in confidence and lacking the core management skills, e.g. clear communication, managing the group, managing his team etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check before you go what you are going to get in terms of condition of the bikes, and what feedback has been for the tour lead you are going to get - make sure you get the 'A' team. Definately book 1-2 extra days in Saigon and Hanoi if you can - the hotels are cheap, they are fascinating cities and the tour just doesn't give you any time to explore them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Been on lots of Exodus cycling tours, and sad to say that we'd heard great things about the Vietnam tour - just unfortunate that it seem like the tour has become a victim of its own success. Hope Exodus can sort this out.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Neil Lawson

    Wonderful Experience

    A wonderful insight to this facinating country. Seeing the country by bike is certainly the best way to do it, giving the opportunity to get an insight into the real Japan and it's people. We travelled in late November, spot on for autumn colours but obviously run the risk of colder, wet and windy weather. That said a bit of rain and strong headwind are a price worth paying. Accommodation was a mixture local Ryokans and modern hotels. The standard of the hotels was mixed, but generally very good. The food was one of the highlights, lots of real japanese food in all its guises from formal set meals (dressed in traditional kimonos) to simple noodles or curry/rice for lunch. Another highlight was definitely the guide Tatsuya 'Tea' along with his driver Tiachi and assistant Akiko. Organisation was calm and slick with clearly a lot of effort going on behind the scenes. The last couple of days are in Kyoto, this is good, but the hords of fellow tourists at the big attractions make you realise how special the time cycling away from the crowds was. If you are thinking of visiting Japan and are modestly cycle fit I would wholeheartedly recommend this trip (and in our case it attracted a very pleasant, like-minded group of people to share our experience).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling in the hills away from other tourists. The leader, Tatsuya was pretty inspirational too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top bloke and no mistake.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. Be prepared to food outside your comfort zone.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take warm clothing and waterproofs if traveling at the extremes of the season.