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

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18 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Jennifer Wright

    Absolutely fabulous

    The trip exceeded all expectations. It was full of fun, colour and culture. We saw so much of the country in two weeks. We had amazing experiences- cycling through pretty villages, snorkelling in turquoise sea, kayaking through spectacular scenery, cooking and eating delicious food and relaxing on a tropical island. My son had the holiday of a lifetime and had great adventures with new friends. Also we had the most wonderful tour guide who was sweet, sensitive, capable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about her country. I can not recommend this trip highly enough. Oh and amazing value for money too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kayaking in Ha Long bay, then being taken to a secret beautiful beach to swim. We were all so delighted, and stayed for ages in the beautiful water chatting and getting to know one another.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely excellent. As I said above - Ashley was sweet, caring, capable, funny, knowledgeable helpful and enthusiastic. We all loved her. I particularly appreciated the fact that I could eat a whole variety of delicious food despite my severe nut allergy. Ashley explained it to chefs everywhere we went. In other countries I have accepted that I need to just eat plain, boring food. But everywhere we went, the cooks made special nut-free delicious food after Ashley had explained.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You have to go - it’s a beautiful country and an extremely well organised trip. Also, I worried about mosquitoes, but we hardly saw any.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will definitely choose another Exodus trip. I would like to thank the company - what a fantastic holiday we will never forget. Thank you.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Gilliie Williams

    Excellent Holidays

    Travelled with my 16 and 18 year old for last holiday before University- had a wonderful 2 weeks and made new friends. Everyone was friendly, relaxed ,happy and pleased to socialise. Kids ranged from 11 to 18years but gelled well together. Always some one to talk to. Full on trip but variable in activities. But opportunities to be alone if all too much. Loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Meekong Valley was beautiful , a chance to unwind, relax with the group. Very peaceful, great food, staff were friendly. Would have liked a couple of nights there. Vegetarian restaurant in Hoi Chin Ming City- fantastic

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Doan made our holiday very special. Looked after all of our group, a joy with the kids, very knowledgeable about the places. Pre-empted our requests and coped with our demands. Took us to wonderful places to eat. We wanted to take her home with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive a day earlier to get over the jet lag and do some of your own exploring of Hanoi. Take tea bags and cups on the train overnight and sheet sleeping bags. Take lots of sun cream as easy to get burnt when snorkelling or swimming in Whale Island. If you get burnt use aftersun NOT oil or cream. Watch out for the Urchins. Take rain macs as when it rains it pours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    David Dunlop

    Holiday to remember

    Lots of activities and visits throughout. Vietnam worth visiting and the trip enabled us to see the real Vietnam as well as the tourist Vietnam. Most of the children fully engaged with the spirit of the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of the children singing ‘all star’ on the bus. It livened up one of the lengthy bus trips. Halong Bay was picturesque. The weather was excellent which resulted in good swimming and kayaking not to mention the photographs from the glorious sunset. Whale Island was beautiful though the weather was windy owing to a nearby typhoon which brought in a lots of debris to the island. Walks around the island are well signed and worth exploring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngoc personality and sense of humour drove the trip. He was flexible and understanding and handled all group members diplomatically. He also explained clearly Vietnam’s geopolitical and environmental challenges, the religious and cultural diversity, and the population pressures particularly on housing and incomes. He got the balance right and occasionally fooled parents / children on elements of the trip - in particular the homestay!!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Patrick Finn

    Forget "coconuts". This one's much more about "chopsticks"!

    Two week family trip going north to south through Vietnam. It's graded 1 for effort, but it moves at a brisk pace and manages to cram in a whole lot of places and activities. There is some 'free time' but this tour gets you up early and gets you out and about. Combining this with the humid and hot weather it can be surprisingly tiring. It is a family trip so we had beach days, canoe-ing, cycling, snorkelling and a trip to a water-park, which were really good fun for everyone. FOOD!!!!. Vietnam is a country with a cuisine (excellent) and food figured prominently in the tour. We ate and drank well and are now very proficient with the aforementioned chopsticks! It is also a country with a complex and troubled history and this was not glossed over. We left with a real feel for the place and its people. It is an amazing place full of very warm and friendly people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A trip to the War Remnants Museum in HCMC. This provided a graphic account of events during the Vietnam war. The viewpoint given is not particularly balanced as atrocious acts were known to have been carried out by both sides in this conflict. That being said, the factual information provided and the photographic records displayed give a sobering account of a very dark moment in time. Some of the material exhibited is quite upsetting and this museum is not really a good one for young children. What is particularly inspirational is the contrast between the events of the war and moving forward 40 years to the Vietnam of today. Modern Vietnam seems to have come through it all and is in a pretty good place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Duy Nguyen was an excellent group leader and the tour was a great success. He clearly knows his job well and gets things organised. He has a degree in history and tourism and is a font of information about his country. No question is ignored and he has considerable patience answering the same series of enquiries from different families! We learned a lot about modern Communist Vietnam as well as its ancient history, colonial conflicts and all things in between. Best of all, he is very good with children. All of the kids on our tour really liked Duy, and he clearly very much enjoyed their company which made the holiday even better than anticipated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were advised to consider an extra day at the beginning of the trip to help get over jet lag. We followed the advice - the extra time was nice to get in a bit of extra sight seeing, but we feel that it is really not that necessary. Just turn up Day 1 and get into it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vietnam is a long and narrow country and its road infrastructure isn't always brilliant. In order to get the tour moving from place to place there are quite a lot of bus journeys which are often pretty slow. There is an overnight train journey and two flights involved. Consequently and of necessity, there is a fair bit of down time with travelling.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Helen Belcher

    Fantastic family trip to Vietnam

    I have just returned from the family 'chopsticks and coconuts ' trip to Vietnam .The trip was excellent in every way ..The itinerary was well thought out .We started the trip in Hanoi and ended it in Ho Chi Min city using a variety of transport including an overnight train journey and 2 internal flights

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Halong bay by boat was stunning .We all loved the old town of Hoi An and enjoyed our Vietnamese cookery lesson there .The Cu Chi tunnels were fascinating .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Tam was truly outstanding .He worked tirelessly to ensure that we all had a fabulous time .He helped the group to bond and took us to fantastic restaurants to eat .He showed great humour and patience and his local knowledge and English were superb .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a busy and varied itinerary with not much free time to laze by the pool but we all loved it .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bring a sheet sleeping bag for the overnight train and sea sickness pills for the snorkelling .You can get clothes laundered cheaply so you don't need to bring too many Book this trip...you won't regret it !
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Sara Asquith

    Great Full On Tour of Vietnam

    Just returned from Chopsticks and Coconuts. It's a great, full on tour of Vietnam from North to South. We would never have fitted in so much if we had organised it ourselves. Our guide Tring was excellent at all times. Highlights: For me, yoga by the lake in Hanoi at 5am with hundreds of locals doing T'ai Chi. The Mekong delta's big skies and homestay. For my son (14), the Dam Sen Waterpark in HCMC and Hoi An time. Areas that we wouldn't have missed were Nha Trang as it is mass market tourism there. I'd recommend this trip wholeheartedly. Take lots of bug spray and a whole lot of energy, every day is full on, there's very very little time for rest at all - and when it comes it is really appreciated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Mekong delta's big skies and slow pace of life. You can only go at the speed of the river!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, excellent, excellent with both adults and children alike.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of bug spray Vietnamese Dong, not dollars are more widely used
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Matthew Pearce

    Trip of a lifetime

    A fantastically varied trip that highlights the best that Vietnam has to offer. The hotels are great on the whole (special mention to Silk Village in Hoi An), the food is delicious and the people incredibly welcoming. If you have small children, be prepared for them to be patted, kissed, lifted up and posed for hundreds of photos! The pace is quite hectic at times with a few early starts and some long road trips, but the activities more than compensate for this. I would do it again tomorrow!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with my 6-year old twins for the first time in open water in Nha Trang. An amazing homestay in the Mekong, where we were the only guests. Our kids helped to cook the evening meal and the wonderful guide Chinh entertained our kids all evening.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He organised everything, picked some great restaurants that we would not have found ourselves and went out of his way to find some Tiger balm for us in Saigon. We even met his family. Occasionally maybe did not make enough allowances for the extra time required for organising travelling with small children.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If your kids are not great at getting up early without complaint, travelling long distances and moving on frequently, this is probably not the trip for you. The War Remnants Museum in Saigon, although a highlight of the trip and a must-see exhibition, shows graphic pictures of death, mutilation and deformity and in our opinion was definitely not suitable for young children. Other than that, just book it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Saigon is hot, busy, noisy and not great for small children, and dependent on your Mekong/Cu Chi itinerary is maybe a day too long. Exodus should also consider ditching the Victory hotel in Saigon, which although in a prime location, falls well short of the standard of all the other hotels on the trip (not being able to swim in the pool due to the permanent presence of 25 armbanded adults learning to swim for example).
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Elizabeth Knight

    Chopsticks & coconuts

    An excellent family holiday, the best thing about it was our fellow holiday makers, lots of children who my son made friends plus a brilliant guide. Ps Vietnams not bad either!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying at the home stay in the Mekong delta

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. Nothing was too much trouble for him, fun, informative professional and what he didn't know about Vietnam wasn't worth knowing!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, take 3/4 days to get accustomed to the jet lag before you start your exodus tour.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Melanie Appleton

    Chopsticks and Coconuts

    A great introduction to Vietnam with my teenage daughter. I want to return now to go the the highlands

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Mekong Delta was amazing The food was exceptional!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Courteous, calm and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely bring a sheet sleeping bag for the 'first class' train trip. It is just as you would expect in S.E.Asia. Be prepared for the traffic which is constant and watch carefully how the locals cross the road, zebra crossings are not zebra crossing here. I would recommend this holiday for 8 plus, there is a lot of long journeys with this trip and I would think carefully before bringing a five year old.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Marianne McWilliams

    Vietnam Chopsticks and Coconuts

    Fantastic family holiday with a mix of cultural experiences and activities for children of all ages, including teenagers. It is a busy holiday with quite a lot travel involved, but this is an experience in itself. Travelling with other families worked well and contributed to the enjoyment of the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Cu Chi tunnels and War Remnants Museum.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Bao Tran who made our holiday an unforgettable experience. He was always enthusiastic, knowledgeable and patient with us. He went beyond the call of duty even when we/he had "free time" and had valuable suggestions as to what would be best to do.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about your children not having a selection of different types of food to eat - lots of choice and vietnamese food in general was very good. Go to the AO show in the Saigon Opera House and take the Cyclo tour in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this holiday to all families who have a sense of adventure and want their children to see a different way of living. Vietnam is a varied county with lots to see and do and travelling with other families on an organised tour worked well for us - parents & children.