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Cycling vietnam

Sat, 06/11/2011 - 12:53

Hello, I have just booked the cycling vietnam trip, departing 10th September. It would be great to chat to anyone else also booked on it. I'm starting to look at immunisations and kit etc. I'm not a serious cyclist though, in fact I've just "dusted" off my bike with the aim of getting some training in beforehand. I've also started reading some of the recommended books to have a better knowledge of the country. Louise  

Sat, 06/11/2011 - 17:15

hi went cycling in vietnam last year with explore worldwide really enyoyed it although there tour was quite flat,i believe that exodus is a bit harder but i am sure you will be ok.The whole trip i am sure will be fantastic,hope its the first of many cycling trips. regards steve.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 22:15

Hi Steve, Thanks very much for the info. Regards. Louise




Sat, 07/09/2011 - 21:22

Hi guys. I've booked the trip but don't know if I can make it. Got badly injured in fall 30th April (ladder collapsed at home) operation broken arm- ok.. Now got knee problem and may need minor op. Keen cyclist and have looked forward to this tour for some time. Hope I make it Louise. I want to be with you and hope to meet. I am very interested in the Vietnam/American war history and recently saw documentary on american massacre in My Lai (where tour visits) on sky tv. Also the film 'The Quite American' Michael Caine-all about French Communist and American inluence in Vietnam combined with a beautiful love story about an English Jounalist; beautiful Vietnamise girl named Phong (fong) and an American CIA Agent in the 1950's. great film. You must see both before going on the trip. Seeing doc Wednesday for referral to consultant. Will let you know outcome Regards James. Don't forget to get some cycling and get over that sore bottom! Sincerely James 1 

Sun, 07/10/2011 - 11:08

Hi James,

Thanks for your message. I hope you make a speedy recovery and make the trip. September seemed so far away when I booked, but now its on the horizon. I'm off work now for two weeks, so I'm going to get some cycling practice, starting with the Camel trail in Cornwall on Tuesday. I've been on cycling holidays before but not for a long time. Thank you for the film info ... I'll definitely see them. I'm reading the books too because I want to get the most out of it. Cycling is generally good for knees so hopefully your consultant will say GO! Take care and keep off the ladders!

Best wishes  Louise   


Wed, 07/13/2011 - 20:08

Hi Louise

How nice it was to read your message. I also booked way back when. Saw Doc today things looking much more positive. May have to live with it or have cortizone injection. No op. rupture of lining of tendon. I'll see how it goes. No pain though just swelling. Have to pay the balance by 16th. I reckon I'm going to be with you. I also want to get the most out of this trip. The write up's are excellent reading. As you say its on the horizon-not far away now. Today the web site said there were only 4 places left. Hope to hear from our fellow travellers. Come on guys! It would be nice to hear more about you Louise. Farewell for now from sunny Swansea (and Gower Peninsular) South Wales. Regards James 

Sun, 07/17/2011 - 20:48

Hi James,

Thank you for your message and pleased to hear you're likely to make the trip. But where are all the others?? Anyway, I had a cycle ride last week, 22 miles, and found it pretty easy, with surprisingly no adverse after-effects. I'm really more of a walker than a cyclist, but I'm feeling ok about it now. I'll probably do a longer and hillier ride this week as I'm still on holiday from work. I've just spent the week-end in London dodging the showers! I'm now back in Exeter and hope it's nice and sunny to play tennis tomorrow. Oh yes, my Vietnam visa arrived last week. Are you going to take malaria prophylaxis, or any particular vaccinations?

Best wishes



Mon, 07/18/2011 - 16:41

My self and my partner Joan are going looking forward to the trip, we were wondering what wet gear people are taking gary.

Tue, 07/19/2011 - 21:04

Hi Louise and Keenan and Joan. Glad to have your company on this exciting adventure. Louise have confidence you will be flying along in Vietnam no problem. I cycle to work in the week and back 12miles ( we have  lots of hills in Wales for 1 hour -all winter too. Knee is holding up well. Keep up the cycling now: it will be more enjoyable come September! It's going to be one hell of a trip. You will definately need to have Malaria tablets so I am advised by a collegue world traveller-it is a must. Malarone is recommended. Expensive I am told but excellent you will have to get a prescription. Keenan I am not worried about wet gear. There may be heavy downfalls at times but I believe it will be hot and humid so I doin't care in my experience you dry out anyway. Look at the Vietnam weather charts on the internet-the average temp will be about 26/27 degrees-pretty hot!  Have to apply for my  visa. Any advice? Nice to hear about your trip louise. Weekend 40 plus mile cycle trip on the beautiful Gower Peninsula with the most beautiful beaches in the world. Look up 3 Cliffs bay.

Bye for now James. It would be nice to hear more from you all and lets hope the others turn up- 3 places left on the tour! Goose bumps to think of it.

 Regards  James

Wed, 07/20/2011 - 23:21

Hi Goose Bumps, Gary and Joan,

Well I had a great cycle ride yesterday...along the coast from Exeter to Dawlish, and then returning inland and encountering rolling hillside. It was great until I got a puncture! I'm pleased with my fitness though so far....I play tennis and do a lot of dancing so all the leg work must be helping. I'll try and get a cycle ride in each week-end now before the take off. I went to see the practice nurse who checked out my vaccination requirements, just a typhoid injection and nothing else. No anti malarials are required according to the medical web site she consulted, because we are following a coastal route and not going to the interior of the country. I'm therefore just going to take some Deet stuff to spray on. My visa came very quickly; I contacted the embassy by e-mail and they e-mailed me information and the form to complete. It cost £44 plus postage etc. I see no point in going through an agent when it can be done so easily and including a third party increases the likelihood of error in my view, plus the additional payment. I did add extra days onto the trip though to allow for an extended stay.....! As for wet weather gear, ugggh, I have some waterproof trousers but I cannot imagine cycling in them in the heat. I think just a light waterproof top will be all I shall take. I need to plan my trip to Heathrow sometime probably but I'm not sure. Oh yes do you know which terminal we go from?

Best wishes




Sat, 07/23/2011 - 10:17

Hi All,

 I shall be joining you as well - cant wait - not long now! Am trying to do as much cycling as possible to get ready as I imagine the heat/humidity will make it a bit more challenging than doing the same distances in this country. 

 Thats good news on not needing the anti-malarials Louise - I've never had good experiences with those things.


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 20:22

Hi All,

I'm getting excited about the trip now and thinking of all the little What will we need to carry each day? I might need to buy something to carry water etc, to avoid having to take a ruck sack. Any suggestions from you seasoned cyclists? Good to hear from you Steve, and James...How's your knee?


Tue, 07/26/2011 - 21:17

Hi Louise, Gary, Joan and Steve-the list is growing. Must be more joining us-anyway time will tell.Nice to hear from you all and that you are fit and well and up for a good time in Vietnam. Knee is just fine cycling hard back and forth to work every day and going to do some extra miles at weekends. Nice to hear about Malaria risk: I guess I won't bother and just take some repellant. Are you all flying from Heathrow on 10th Sept? Guess it will be terminal 4. Would love to meet up with you all before flying perhaps for a coffee or something. I am staying on in Hanoi the Saturday(when the tour ends) and Sunday and flying back the Monday night. Anyone else staying over? I am applying for my visa. I was in India last November with exodus- was brilliant! Highlights of Northern India- all go and early mornings -long hours on the bus. Delhi Jaipur, Agra, Ranthanbore National Park (Tigers), Varanasi-Holy City on the Ganges, NewDelh called the golden trianglei. Plenty of bottled water on the bus. Don't forget suncream. I agree forget weather gear it is going to be so hot and muggy. Love you and leave you for now. Look forward to hearing from you. Farewell for now Regards James.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 23:04

Hi All,

It seems to be a popular full up! I'm really pleased I'm booked on. There is another trip, not cycling, going on the same day so there could be quite a few of us. Yes I'm getting the group flight on 10th Sept, and not staying for any extra time. A good idea though'll still be on holiday when I'll be back at work! I went on the Dehli to Kathmandu trip a few years ago and spent a lot of time in a rickshaw negotiating the "traffic". I expect it will be similar in Saigon with bikes everywhere, and lots of noise. Exciting! Yes I'd love to meet for a coffee before the flight, and it is from Terminal 4. A Bientot.








Sat, 08/06/2011 - 21:20

Hi All,

Time marches on and waits for no none! Surprising not to hear from anyone else. Thought I would write to keep in touch-not far away now. It will be nice to meet up and Louise I look forward to meeting you for that coffee and anyone else who would care to join us.. No doubt we shall have a rie on a rickshaw and tuck tuck. The traffic is manic in Saigon I am told.  Hanoi will be just the same. There is cycling on the back roads and hopfully this will be more peaceful. It's going to be a great holiday. I think it would be wise to take a small rucksack just for the day's journey for bits and pieces-not to ride with. It will save opening the suit cases. this is what we did in India. Travelling by train the Friday morning (9th Sept) from Swansea to Paddington and am staying with my niece in Cobham the night and then lift by car to T. 4. the flight is at noon. What are your travel arrangements Louise? Cycling tomorrow just to get some extra miles in: I want to cycle as much as possible on this trip although I know there are not that many days cycling and not too challenging. May be tougher than I think. Who cares tis all about getting the most out of it and having a great time. It would be nice to hear from the others but I am sure they will be just like mided guys out for a good time and lots of laughs not forgetting the food and beer!! Bye for now. Look forward to hearing from you all again soon. Adieu James  



Tue, 08/09/2011 - 15:20

hope to meet up at the airport we are senior citizens of the trip so you can't miss me i am the one with the grey hair Joan hasn't got any yet so she tells me.  gary.

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 23:14

Hello Everyone,

Although I have been on several group holidays with Exodus this is the first time I have ventured onto the Departure Lounge; I just didn't bother with it before. However now that I have, I think it's great to be able to ask questions and arrange to meet before taking off. I have almost planned my journey to Heathrow; I have the choice of arriving by coach at 05.30 or 08.35. I think it might have to be the early option which will mean 6 hours at the airport! As for cycling, well I'm getting out on my bike about once a week, it's difficult to get the time to do more. Regarding the meeting at the airport, how is it best to arrange that ??? 

Best wishes Louise  




Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:07

Hi all,

Quicker than you will ever believe-that is my experience. Better to plan and to get everything done in good time. Famous last words. Should get my visa back by the week end! Gary and Joan I am 60 and a bit, young - you are not alone. Its how you are you can be as young or as old as you like. I expect ot arrive at T.4 about 9.0 am. Louise you will have hell of a wait if you arrive so early. Still you will be excited and time will pass quickly. We could all exchange mobile numbers it would be wise to book in as soon as we can and then meet up in departures. Do you agree? It would be nice to hear from you Steve. Regards to you all. Its back to work tomorrow and on the bike; the weeks will soon pass. Less than 4 weeks to go! Take care. Adios for now. James

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:07

Hi all,

Quicker than you will ever believe-that is my experience. Better to plan and to get everything done in good time. Famous last words. Should get my visa back by the week end! Gary and Joan I am 60 and a bit, young - you are not alone. Its how you are you can be as young or as old as you like. I expect ot arrive at T.4 about 9.0 am. Louise you will have hell of a wait if you arrive so early. Still you will be excited and time will pass quickly. We could all exchange mobile numbers it would be wise to book in as soon as we can and then meet up in departures. Do you agree? It would be nice to hear from you Steve. Regards to you all. Its back to work tomorrow and on the bike; the weeks will soon pass. Less than 4 weeks to go! Take care. Adios for now. James

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 21:18

Hi All, Just to let you know that sense has prevailed and I have now booked into a hotel at Heathrow, travelling by train on the Friday evening. I should therefore arrive at the terminal refreshed and breakfasted, rather than tramp-like!

I plan to ring Exodus tomorrow to ask some questions about the bikes and any carrying capacities.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 22:00

trying to learn a few greetings, hello, thank you, what's your name etc difficult language. look forward to meeting up at T4. gary and joan.

Sat, 08/20/2011 - 11:28

Hi All,

Not on your trip I'm afraid but  I just came back from it last week! Jealous that you've all got it to look forward to- it's a superb trip!

The cycling is straightforward, mainly flat with a few rolling hills. I only cycle 3 miles to work each day and the trip was fine. Padded cycle shorts are a must and a gel seat cover is also a good idea. Some days are a little long but you have full vehicle support. Generally you only cycle for 1 hour ( approx 20km) before you have a break - cold energy drink, snacks, & cold towels on tap ! Don't carry much with you on your bikes - a water bottle and a camera will do - leave everything else on the minibus. It is hot & humid and you will get wet - don't bother with the waterproofs, they're not worth it. Accommodation is fine. Excellent laundry services once you get to Siem Reap. Make sure you get your Vienam visa stamped in your passport - you'll have problems if you try crossing the border with an e-Visa.

The whole trip was extremely well-organised and the tour leaders superb. Prepare to be shocked and amazed by all these countries have to offer and to smile & wave to all the kids, but most of all enjoy it !


Sat, 08/20/2011 - 18:13

Hi Mark,

Fantastic to get such a good report, and very reassuring regarding the cycling. Thanks too for the tips......padded shorts uggh! Oh well, sounds like I'd better search some out. You will have fantastic memories to keep forever, and no doubt you'll be thinking of your next destination before too long!  

Hi Gary,Joan,Steve and James- I hope all of your preparations are going well.I hadn't really thought about the language. I'm not sure if French is spoken there much now, if it is, then that suits me! How shall we all exchange mobile numbers to meet at the airport? James are you an expert on this? Anyway where is everyone??   Is it best to take cash in dollars do you think?



Sun, 08/21/2011 - 08:22

You'll have no problem with language as English is widely taught and spoken, some French in Vietnam. Most of the children want to practice their English with you. Your tour guide will teach teach you basic Hello & Thankyou. Dollars are widely accepted but you'll need some local currency easily obtained in the different countries. Follow the trip note guidelines on budget, they are pretty much spot on.


Tue, 08/23/2011 - 09:51

I have just realised that the flight is 24.00 i thought that it was 12midday that would have been a long wait  , i hope we have comfortable seats on the plane i find it very difficult to sleep on board . we were thinking of bringing about £550 divided into dollars and local currency i'm sure that would cover everthing .Joan was wondering what casual clothes to take ?      

Tue, 08/23/2011 - 21:41

Gary and Joan the flight is at 12.00 which is midday plus 11.30 hours flight time to KL and add 8.0 hours time difference arrive 7.25 am next day 11th Sept.. You can go at 24.00 midnight but you will have missed 'the boat' if you see what I mean- joking of course. Visa has arrived-that's a relief. Louise I also speak some french and it would be nice to try it out at the risk of being gonged. I believe the french rank lower that the ameicanss and thats putting it mildly. They qiute like the british I am told and Welsh and Irish even better. Louise, I am thinking of taking £500 or 600 in UsS dollars-local currency Dong can be changed at the airport or atm's of which there are pleny. Mark our gatecrasher may havr got the wrong to trip. Siem Reap is in Cambodia-may be the trip from Saigon to Bangcock which I would love to do next. We do not go there because were heading ffor Hanio. What do you say Mark? I agree with what you say about every day travel having regard to the weather. I think we can post our mobile numbers here and text in the morning of the 10th. If we are all able to arrive say 3 hours or so before take off we could meet up by check in and probably also meet the others on the trip. It would also be advisable to check in on line before hand. I'm also going to have qa read of what our fellow travellers on the other exodus trip to Vietnam are saying-it will be interesting. Cheers and adios for now-not long now. Regards James. 

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 13:08

Sorry I'm a bit late on the conversations, but good to read up. I've also done a little bit of essential research on language, and have learnt that the word for beer, is "bia". ! Haven't worked out the word for..."My round" yet.

Andy (another "mature" traveller)

Thu, 08/25/2011 - 18:45

Hi Gary, just read your message of 9th Aug: sorry to hear your wife hasn't got any hair yet, but I can empathise !


Tue, 08/30/2011 - 23:36

Hi All,

My preparations seem to have slowed down now, with sadly no cycling opportunities over the Bank Holiday due to visitors, and a week of work ahead. But I am now the proud owner of not one, but two pairs of padded shorts! I've taken advice and bought some. And what about helmets?? I don't normally wear one but can bring one along just in case, perhaps for the fast downhill bits. James...I looked ages ago to see about checking in beforehand on line, and it did not seem possible with Malasian airlines. Is that what you have found? Thanks for the advice re language and money. I'm going to go with the flow and avoid western food as much as possible; things are probably very inexpensive there. Here is my mobile so you can text to meet up at the airport 07914 352 356. I aim to get there just before 9am to check in.  Anything else I need to think of???


Fri, 09/02/2011 - 21:25

Well 1/3 has turned up on this blog. Andy you sound a scream-I'll have to show you the bar! follow me; your round. Louise you must wear a helmet at all times. I've just bought a new one. Not so sure about padded shorts but I am bringing one pai. I am a seasoned cyclist and may not need to wear them especially in the heat. Travelling by train Friday from Swansea to Paddington leaving 12.28 pm and arriving 5.30pm heading for Victoria and tube to Oxshot. I intend to arrive at T4 about 9.0am same time as you Louise. I shall text you in the next couple of days. My mobile is 0779 228 1441 we must meet up if at all possible before check= in that would be idea 'cos we could be seated near to each other. I prefer to be in the rear compartment of the plane-there are lots of advantages. Please anyone text me or call between now and Sat. It would be nice to hear from you all before we depart. Last blogs possibly Friday morning but do it Thusrday if you can. It's going to be one hell of a trip, and we are going to have a fantastic trip= you bet. Did you see Top Gear Vietnam, special on Dave Channel last Saturday-awesome. We are following the same route and of course the Hi Van Pass-Clarkson said it was probably the best road in the world. Fantastic! Don't know about advance check in. I for one can't wait: I have waited many years to travel to Vietnamand I can't be;ieve it is here at last! Love you and leave you. Take care.  James

Fri, 09/09/2011 - 10:44

On my way see you all at T4 James

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