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

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156 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2018

    Vietnam Adventure

    I have not been on a group tour in over 35 years and was anxious how it would be traveling with 16 other individuals and a tour guide. I am quite independent when I travel. I was also the only American in a group of 16 people, the others being from England, Scotland and Wales. My fears were put to rest almost immediately. These people all became friends over the two week period - a very cohesive, easy going and adventurous group. Our tour guide, Cong, was amazing - very organized and on top of every little detail, making sure every one of us knew exactly what the day’s schedule would be. Exodus is a very conscious tour company and Cong, whenever possible, made sure our activities supported the people of Vietnam in cities and the rural areas. I learned and saw so much, and though it was at a bit faster pace than I might have gone on my own, it worked. What an amazing country. Each place we visited was different and offered unique insights into the Vietnamese culture. I would highly recommend this tour and Cong, our guide, gets an A+.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On our bike ride when we were in Hoi An visiting with the veteran from the war with Cambodia. Hearing his story, listening to him sing and watching the awe that our bicycle guide had on his face as he listened to him sing was very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was excellent. As said previously, he was extremely organized and kept a close check on each member of the group, making sure we were all doing okay. His attitude was always positive and he gave us insight into the Vietnamese people and culture. His love of his country and his people was evident in all he did and said. He made sure that whenever possible we visited and ate at places that supported the more needy in Vietnam. As I stated, I am used to traveling on my own and pretty independent. At times this may have been a bit difficult for him, but I felt I had enough time on my own and he worked with me allowing me the freedom at times I needed. A wonderful kind and caring guide.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I enjoyed my trip immensely, but I have a couple of issues with some things that occurred prior to my trip. I booked through an agent in the US, as she had helped me with flight information and other details of my trip (I spent 2 l/2 weeks on my own before meeting up with the tour). As a result of that, I had difficulty getting the information I needed from Exodus. One woman in the California office was actually somewhat abrubt and somewhat rude when I tried asking for information (not Sarah). In trying to get information about the necessary Visa’s required, as an American I was offered little information. When I asked I was told to check online as things change all the time. That is fine but I think it really should be emphasized that a Visa might be necessary and it is important to check and see if one is required. That detail is not one that can just be included in with the tons of other information we read online. Some extra notification is necessary prior to the trip. As a result of all that occurred prior to the trip, I was worried about how my experience on the tour would be. I have to say that the tour itself was great. I believe there may be quite a difference in how things are handled in England and the US as most travelers are from the British Isles. I found it quite frustrating and now as an experienced traveler with Exodus, I believe that is not what you want your customers to feel prior to travel.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Asa Marin

    A trip to remember

    This trip was truly an amazing adventure, from start to finish. The itinerary is very diverse, so no 2 days are the same. In my opinion I got to know Vietnam´s history, landscape and culture both through the itinerary and our knowledgeable guide, Bon. It´s been nearly 3 months since I came back from the tour but Vietnam is still in my heart and I would very much like to go back. If not for the beautiful country...then for the delicious food. I would recommend to book the 5 days extension to Cambodia after the trip, the beautiful temples in Siem Riep took my breath away and the gruesome history was informative. Truely a trip to remember.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had an amazing thunderstorm on Halong Bay that showed the mountains in a mythical way and gave me goose bumps. I loved the bike ride in Hue and Bon always made sure we could communicate with the locals, who were extremely friendly.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bon was amazing. He was so knowledgeable about the history and so good in telling us stories about every day life and get us to interact with the local. He e.g. arranged for us to have a lunch with a family in Hue, in their home and that was one of the highlight of the trip, for sure. He was very helpful with everything and went above and beyond the call of duty.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get massage...many massages. It helps you to get the jet lag out and well...it´s just really lovely :) Good idea to bring a sleeping bag linen for the night on the train...and not to expect a great sleep that night. And well...don´t think too much about it, if you want to go to Vietnam than this is the tour!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Sue Holmes

    Simply Fantastic !

    A memorable experience with a great group of people. Vietnam is a wonderful country with a rich and diverse culture. We travelled from North to South on planes, trains, boats and bicycles and it was great fun. Vietnam offers everything from busy cities, stunning scenery, relaxing boat trips, fantastic food and friendly people. What more could one want?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hue and the Mekong Delta.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Trung was great; knowledgeable, funny and kind. He was passionate about his Country and made sure that we saw as much as possible on our travels. An excellent guide and a lovely man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vietnam is changing fast and the old ways are beginning to disappear. I would go sooner rather than later. Go with an open mind and have fun.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Nicci Bennett

    Probably the best holiday ever

    If you are still deciding whether you want to do this trip then stop thinking and start booking. What an excellent two weeks. Our guide Jay was a complete star from beginning to end, a thoughtful but funny guy who just wanted us to have a great time in his brilliant country. Hotels were far better than expected, really good and a couple with pools. The food was just out of this world and the beer cheap. We had meals out with just the two of us but could eat as a group if we wanted. The train journey was an experience not to forget, the Halong Bay boat trip was very restful (more brilliant food) and we loved the home stay in the Mekong Delta (excellent hammocks). My husband loved the cycling and kayaking that was offered. Hanoi traffic was something to experience but we survived getting across the road!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our guide took us to a Buddhist pagoda run by nuns, we were the only visitors present apart from a couple of other lady travellers. We had the most wonderful vegetarian lunch there and the peace of the place remained with us after we had left.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jay was the perfect group leader. He was enthusiastic, caring, polite and worked very hard to make our group a mutually supportive and inclusive team. He had a good sense of humour, answered questions and sorted everything out. Everything ran like clockwork

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember it is a 20k allowance on the internal flight. Pack light as there is lots to buy in Hue

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dont hesitate to book this trip. Vietnam will always be special to me now
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Theresa Summers

    Beautiful Vietnam

    Having had Vietnam on my travel list for a while, this year I decided to give it a go. And I'm so glad that I did, it is one of the most beautiful countries that I have been to. The scenery is stunning, the countryside is so green and lush; the food is to die for, all full of flavour and so fresh it feels oozes health and goodness; and the people are friendly and helpful. If you've not been I would definitely put it on your list. This tour has it all, big cities, a peaceful overnight in Ha Long Bay, an overnight sleeper train, cultural delights in Hoi An and an overnight stay in the Mekong Delta at a guest house.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels - fascinating to see how they lived and to be able to walk/crouch through the tunnels Visiting the cave in Ha Long bay Taking a cooking lesson in Hoi An Visiting the War museum in Saigon (HCMC) Having dinner with a local family and lunch made by nuns in Hue

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngoc was a very good leader, who kept us all on track and was ready to flexible enough to make changes to the itinerary if there were adverse weather conditions. He did seem to be overly cautious about making sure we didn't leave anything behind or get robbed, which whilst endearing was a bit over the top on occasions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light and make use of laundries make sure you have something to cover your shoulders have an umbrella handy at all times
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Porlyin Rhoden

    Vietnam Adventure is a Great Trip

    This was a fantastic trip and well paced to allow time in each town/ city visited. Our tour leader Trung was outstanding, going out of his way to make sure we were OK. There is a good balance between group activities and free time, to allow you to do your own thing and allowed us to visit places not on the iteneray e.g Ba Na Hills and the Golden Bridge. Vietnam is outstanding and it was good to visit both north and south.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many inspirational moments to pick just one! Halong Bay is up there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Trung was outstanding. He had a beautiful personality, was passionate and dedicated and clearly loved his job and country. If only all tour leads were like him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fantastic tour. Never got bored. The train can be a little cold due to the air con, so bring extra clothing for the overnight trip.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Rachel Hodgkins

    Unforgetable.....

    Just the best trip.... spectacular places with a fantastic group of people and THE best guide... 2 weeks of wonder, spender,remembrance, beauty, sleeper trains, nights afloat, rooftop bars, and fun and laughter all the way.. we met as strangers and left as friends... AMAZING!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The friendships made

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Trung was by far the best guide we've had. Professionalism balanced with sense of humour and a real feeling of being genuinely cared for. Knowledge oozed out of him from the beauty to the sadness of the places we saw and everything inbetween.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was genuinely sad to say goodbye
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Angela Foster

    Trip of a lifetime

    I had the most amazing holiday to a beautiful country. The trip is full on, non stop and so much fun. The people are so inviting to tourists, the country alive with vibrancy. From mayhem in the city to peaceful boat trips. Something for everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ha Long Bay is a must see for any traveller. The scenery is outstanding. You cannot imagine it's beauty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Trung Hoang was our leader and a better one you'd not find. He was so friendly and helpful as well as knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for a full on trip living out of a suitcase for the most part. A good tip is to arrive a day or two early and get over your jetlag before you start. If you can afford the time it's not expensive to stay on a few days later as well. I stayed on the island of Phu Quoc for 4 days afterwards to unwind. This is an hours flight from Saigon.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Omiros Nicholas

    Pretty awesome - go!

    Everything an adventure should be; stunning country, packed itinerary but plenty of time to do your thing, varied sights but all worth seeing, comfortable and clean accommodation, faultless transport, a great bunch of fellow explorers and a guide who brought it all together with energy, consideration (for us) and passion for his country (thanks Bon!). First time with Exodus for us, definitely not the last. Thanks to all involved at Exodus and in Vietnam an inspiring country and people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a lunch with local people after 'dropping by' a shamen ritual.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above - couldn't have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No - all is well.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Lisa Woodward

    Vietnam Adventure - you really need to take this trip!

    The Vietnam Adventure trip was absolutely fantastic and is certainly how to sample the variety Vietnam has to offer in a short space of time. Every day was different and I learnt so much about the country from Lam our tour guide for whom nothing was too much trouble. Lam went 'above and beyond' to meet the needs of everyone in the group. The trip was well-paced with enough downtime to relax, go shopping and enjoy an additional bicycle ride with a local guide. My personal highlights were visiting Ha Long Bay, the Imperial City in Hue, My Son and cycling by the rice fields. Perhaps the decor in one or two of the hotels is in need of updating but the rooms were clean and the hotel staff were very happy to help. Sadly our outgoing flight was cancelled after we had checked -in but the team at Exodus were 'on the case' straightaway and re-booked us onto the first available flight the next day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cruising in Ha Long Bay past the Karst scenery and enjoying my evening meal on board the boat. It had been a longtime wish of mine to visit this world heritage site.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lam was a great leader who went out of his way to meet the needs of all members of the group. He arranged an extra bike ride for me and my husband with a local guide which we thoroughly enjoyed. He is knowledgeable and very keen to share his country's history.
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