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

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308 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Fabulous Holiday

    Everything about this holiday was excellent from the arrangements and information prior to the holiday through to the sights visited, food, accommodation, tour leaders and the people of Vietnam & Cambodia. A truly memorable holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Vietnamese people and their whole attitude to life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both tour leaders were excellent. Their knowledge, friendliness, competence, efficiency & their personable nature couldn't be faulted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't rely on being able to use your bank cards everywhere & make sure you have US dollars if you haven't bought your visa for Cambodia in advance.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is my 1st Exodus holiday & I will definitely be using the company again for other trips.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Great Experiences in Cambodia!

    This holiday was extremely enjoyable. It was varied and interesting throughout. The cycling was along flat roads and I was grateful for this as the maximum temperature in February was 30 degrees plus. We started cycling early in the morning so as to finish before it was too uncomfortable. Most of the hotels had swimming pools which I enjoyed immersing myself in at the end of the day. The activities were such as visiting the homes/ workshops of Cambodians making items was fascinating. I enjoyed the food, especially the fresh fruit. All all of our evening meals were varied and delicious. The snacks provided by our support team at regular intervals during the cycling were outstanding, they even provided a table cloth and cold wet towels!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the end of On day 6 we walked up a small hill to see the impressive sunset from Phnom Yat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Channy is a superb leader. He is very genial and attentive. His knowledge and passion about Cambodia is infectious and his communication and organisational skills are excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some challenging cycling. The leader gave us regular breaks and the pace was manageable, however one day it was very hot and the road was straight and long. In addition works were being done on the road. In some places where the road was sandy I had to dismount and walk a few times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cambodia is a good very good holiday destination. It was my first visit and I want to return. I was made to feel very welcome and many people speak English. The climate in February is dry and hot and it was great to escape the British winter.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Cycling Cambodia

    The trip was well organised but be prepared for the heat. Some of the days did involve some hard cycling on dusty roads, I think the bikes have been well used and have seen some hard riding, the bike mechanics did their best to keep them going. I think the trip maybe better rated at 3.5 not 3 this is purely down to the heat and and the long dusty roads. There are no hills on this trip it is all flat a few descents would have been good. The snacks as always with Exodus are good especially the little cans of chilled coffee.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Siem Reap was great and especially Angkor Wat and getting there for the sunrise on the last day of the tour, was a great experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader was good although I would say not an early person. Special mention would go to Bo who was learning to be a guide his enthusiasm for cycling was second to none. Hopefully he will be given his own tours.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the heat I only had a 500ml bike water bottle a larger one maybe better as you need to take on more fluids than you think. The tour does not offer a sunrise trip to Angkor Wat, four of us organised one ourselves which was worth the early start. We left the hotel at 04:30 by Tuk tuk and we were just about the first at the gate, Angkor Wat does not open until 5am, and it does get crowded.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to have seen an earlier start time on the group trip to Angkor Wat, and possibly some better quality bikes.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Best Group Ever

    Though the group, tour leader and support staff were phenomenal throughout the trip and there were many highlights, the rural cycling within Thailand and Cambodia proved to be largely uninteresting, smoggy and garbage was strewn throughout. Mostly we saw different tree plantations of smaller trees for rubber, furniture, etc. and a little bit of off season ground crop areas. On the plus side the accomodation was spotless, the food excellent and the people wonderful. We certainly enjoyed Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and the other temple complexes and Phnom Penh. Also the history of Cambodia during the Khymer Rouge regime, though dark, was extremely educational and offered an understanding of current day Cambodia that we would have not gotten without physically attending the Killing Fields and the S-21 prison. In sharp contrast to what we saw of Thailand and Cambodia, Vietnam was very green and lush and our stay at the Homestay on the island, travel on the Mekong and other cultural highlights was amazing. The very best of the trip was getting to know the wonderful group of people the tour attracted and the care our tour guide Chai gave us.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Attending the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh (Choeung Ek) and the S-21 Prison (Tuol Sleng) which is now the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and meeting two of the 14 survivors from the prison, Chum Mey and Bou Meng.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Chai was beyond superb. His organizational ability, his kindness and concern, his upbeat demeanour, his availability and his sharing of cultural knowledge made the trip.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Slow burner

    It must be said this is a bit dull to begin with - the first three cycling days are not particularly interesting - but it builds and in the end it is a great experience. Cambodia is a fascinating journey from the pomp of Angkor Wat to the rat infested piles of rubbish in Phnom Penh to the anguish of the Killing Fields; I'll never forget it. Vietnam was a complete contrast - colourful, enterprising,confident, resplendent with gold starred red flags everywhere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Quite a few: The giant recumbent golden Buddha in Wat Pho The frog sausage with green tamarind salsa from a street vendor near Siem Reap Cycling through the North Gate of Angkor Thum at dusk Being brought to tears by the guide in the Genocide museum Riding through the country lanes and bustle near Chau Doc with all the children shouting "hallo" to us

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chai is a great guy - a fine advocate for Buddhism

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is a bit of a side show and this trip is really more about imagining yourself in the heartbeat of another as Sebastian Faulks, I think, said. I felt privileged to have made the journey. The best day's cycling is the second day in Angkor Wat so don't go shopping as some of our party did. It is very hot - take lots of factor 50 sun block. Aside from the frog sausage the best dish was Fish Amok served in a hollowed out coconut - don't miss it

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not for cyclist purists but an adventure you won't forget
  • Reviewed January 2020
    wendy fairhurst

    Great trip overall - a real journey

    Just returned from this trip . Myself , my husband and 3 more friends went on the trip - we are all keen on cycle touring. For myself and my husband, our overall experience was very good . Our guide, Chai was the best we have ever had . He dealt with a varied group with humour, fantastic organisation and always a smile. The group we were with was made up of British , Canadian, American and Australian cyclists . The group was great and bonded well under Chai's expert guidance. Culturally the trip is very interesting - Angkor Wat is fascinating and beautiful and the Killing Fields in Cambodia were life changing. Travelling through the 3 countries and seeing the various levels of development, political situations and living conditions was interesting and sometimes disturbing. However the cycling itself was sometimes disappointing - in the first few days there is rather a lot of cycling along straight, featureless , flat roads in 35 degrees of heat. Being taken out to eat local food in the evenings was very enjoyable and welcome after this. Cycling around Angkor Wat and the various temples which make up the complex was beautiful and the cycling in Vietnam is amazing - cycling through communities , hopping on and off ferries - everywhere a riot of colour and interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hearing the story of our young female guide in Phnom Pen give an emotional and personal account of the Polpot regime and life in Cambodia nowadays moved me to tears . Cycling around Angkor Wat Hearing our guide talk about his humane and pragmatic approach to Buddhism Cycling through villages and communities in Vietnam

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chai was quite simply one of the nicest human beings I have ever met and an inspirational guide and leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the first few days of cycling which are long , scenery is not spectacular and it is very hot. It does get better! We are reasonably strong cyclists and were able to find enjoyment in blasting down the long, straight, quiet roads but still found the heat a challenge. Chai managed it well though and arranged stops every 8-10 miles to re-group and cool down. The team were always waiting with very welcome and delicious snacks and drinks. Go easy on them if you don't want to gain weight. Cycling around the Angkor Wat temples and in Vietnam is lovely. Go out with the guide to eat in the evenings - the local food and experience is fantastic and hotel food often very average. We did not get ill.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was a journey rather than a holiday and overall a very positive experience. Most people on the trip who had never done Exodus holidays before were inspired to do more trips like this. However be prepared for some of the cycling in the heat and seeing the poverty of some of the communities, particularly in Cambodia.
  • Reviewed January 2020

    Great extension to the Vietnam trips

    Five days is not really long enough to explore this fascinating country but our two bases gave a quick snapshot and a desire to know more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Siem Reap: 1) The sunrise over Angor Wat; which was really quite spectacular. 2) Wandering down a street away from all the bright lights and restaurants on Pub Street, finding eateries where the menus were not in English and realising why the dish we'd selected was called ginger with pork and not the other way around. A plate full of what we had thought were noodles turned out to be shredded ginger with a few bits of pork. Delicious, very warming and possibly not one for the English dinner party. In Phnom Penn: 1) Seeing the evidence of the Khmer Rouge activity, which we had heard of in the 70's at home but not realised the full extent of their effect on the country nor how long it had taken to finally defeat them. Also hearing our guides personal family experience. 2) Eating at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel over looking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both were helpful and informative. In Siem Reap Darath was great at explaining the history of the temples and the Angkor Empire, whilst delivering a great series of jokes and knowing all the best spots to take photos from. In Phn om Penh Chanchesda was informative and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can afford the extra few days at the end of a busy holiday then this is an extension not to be missed.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    andrew bole

    An amazing trip, a couple of tips

    This is a really wonderful trip. I would highly recommend it. You get a unique view of the people, country life and see very few other tourists, outside of the big cities! A good balance between cycling and transfers on the bus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide makes the difference between a good trip and an amazing trip. Our guide, Nut, was excellent. He was calm, efficient and is vastly experienced so easily managed the large group (18) and so we were all relaxed and could enjoy the trip. Simple things were done very well. We visited lots of different artisans along the way but were never pressured into buying things. They guide handled tipping, meals etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some tips not in the trip notes: 1. It is hot and very sunny. Over xmas, there were no cloudy days and no rain. 2. Take lots of high factor sun cream. We used more than expected as you are out in the sun most of the day. You can only buy it in the big towns, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon. 3. Wear white or light coloured tops when cycling. Dark colours absorb the heat making it even hotter! 4. You move most evenings, so can only visit the laundry in the big towns where you stay for more than one night, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon. 5. Take a water bottle that fits in a standard bike water bottle holder. 6. We took our own clip in pedals (MTB prob best as in and out of them in the towns), which worked well. The bus is always close by so you can change shoes if you need to walk round a temple 7. To go into most of the temples you need to wear trousers or shorts/skirts that cover the knee. Applies to men and women. You can leave them on the bus, so dont need to wear them when cycling. 8. Take some electrolite tablets for your water, as you are out on the bike in the heat sweating alot!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Spend a bit of time looking at the flight routes/options as there are lots of possible routes you can end up on, which vary considerably in terms of duration and connections.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Mark Riley

    Amazing tour of Cambodia

    This trip was amazing. It was such a mix of different parts of the country From the bustling capital of Phnom Penh to relaxing beaches in the south then cycling around Battenbang visiting different local industries and finishing up with the awe inspiring temples of Siem Reep With our most incredible guide “Bun” who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone of us had an enjoyable time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would have to say that the most inspiring thing about this trip was “Bun” a truly amazing young man.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    “Bun” was caring,funny,enthusiastic,helpful,knowledgable,friendly and very passionate about his wonderful country... He is a credit to Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go and immerse yourself in this wonderful country, yes it’s poor but the people are delightful and the countryside is stunning.... This trip gives you a snippet of so many different parts of Cambodia. We could easily have spent a week in every town.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Clive Marks

    Breathtaking and dumbfounding

    The variety of experiences on this trip is among the highest that I have got from any trip, from the serenity of seeing over a million bats streaming out of their roost cave at dusk to the horrors of a killing field and its torture prison, between which are the mystical majesty of the temples of Angkor. are the grand finale to the trip. Along the way were many encounters of real life in this beautiful country as well as snorkelling in the sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational is a difficult word to asses for this trip, so let me try some others for you: Horrifying - the sheer inhumanity of what went on in the torture prison and the killing field (I just had to go and find a quiet corner with my own thoughts - our tour leader, Bun, whose parents had been Khmer Rouge child soldiers, came to my rescue as he was the only person to know so intimately what went on here; Humbling - meeting two survivors of the torture camp (I was left dumbstruck); Magnificent - seeing over a million bats suddenly start to stream out of their roost cave and head out to eat enough paddy field pest to save 20,000 tonnes of rice per year (nature at its most beautiful, so shortly after the horrors above); Majestic - the whole temple complex of the Angkor area (some are beautifully carved, some are vast, others are simply serene in their simplicity and tranquility, Ta Prohm not being among the tranquil ones since the Tomb Raider film. Crazy - the traffic in every town and city but this was contrasted by the ability of everyone to get through crowded junctions with in calm chaos. Walking out into the road, in the assured belief that you would not get run over, is a habit that one will have to rapidly get out of back in the UK! Tranquility - so many places were blissfully quiet, even at the fabulous hotel near Sihanoukville, where one had just gone through a vast building site, was so gloriously located on the beach near a fabulous choice of bars and restaurants. This was the first trip over the New Year when I have been able to get to sleep early due to the quiet in our Siem Reap hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bun was a star so let me tell you why: he always gave us fabulously accurate and informative briefings about the following day (when we needed to be anywhere; what we would be doing; what we should be wearing; what we should bring with us) as well as updates throughout the day; he was always able to find suitable restaurants for group dinners and coped well with the assorted dietary requirements of some guests. Finding a restaurant for 17 people at short notice is very difficult in any location at any time of year, let alone over the New Year period. Some evenings, when no group dinner was needed, we would find him joining us for dinner and fabulous conversations always resulted; his charm was endless, even when some guests were less than polite or helpful; we always knew where he was as we could always hear his delightful giggle; when one of the guests developed medical complications from sand fly bites, he was fabulous about ensuring that she got the appropriate medical treatment in the right facility and kept the rest of us informed of her progress; when another was taken ill during a bus trip, he dealt with it so discretely that most people had no idea that there had been any problem; his knowledge of his country is amazing; with his parents having been child-soldiers for the Khmer Rouge we knew that he had a very close connection with that dark phase of his country's recent history - he was amazingly frank about some aspects of his parents' lives and of his own extraordinary upbringing; he is a great testament as to what someone can achieve in their own life through sheer determination and hard work, making us feel very humble at having had the privilege of meeting him (woe betide any snivelling brat who whinges about not having the latest gadget, just because they "want" it!) with my husband having broken five vertebrae and twice having had his pelvis crushed, he is a self-confessed "princess and the pea" when it comes to bed mattresses. Bun phoned ahead to ensure that our last hotel had extra facilities in the room when we arrived, helping to ensure some 3 good nights' sleep.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The mix of locations and experiences gave us such a broad insight into this amazing country within a really short period. Thank you for creating such a fabulous itinerary (we had looked at many but yours came out as the best and, despite a false start, we are pleased that we came with you. The mix-up over our premium economy seats for the return flight was resolved before we left, thank you. As soon as we got on the plane, there was someone in one of our seats and then another person came along claiming that he had just been moved, from economy, into the other seat. That gave us a bit of a surprise but we rapidly clarified to the staff and passengers that we were in our correctly allocated seats and that the first of other two passengers had simply decided to choose his own seat and that the other had been misinformed. It all ended smoothly and we appreciated the window seats so that we could keep an eye out for the aurora borealis. The aurora did not appear but that is the nature of the phenomenon.
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