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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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74 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    IMPERIAL CHINA & YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE

    Like nothing I've ever experienced before. Mixture of amazing experiences on a grand scale.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The outstanding beauty of the yangtze river. I didn't expect it to be and it wasn't something I was particularly looking forwards to compared to some of the other things on the trip but the views took my breath away. We also went to see a show which I thought was outstanding. It was an outside light production and took place on the water. Absolutely amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was lovely. Very good at his job and a lovely man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The final trip on the sleeper train was a bit of a shock. It warns you of this on the trip notes but the first two we stayed on were really good standard so it was a bit of a shock when the last was what I was expecting from the first two. I'd been spoilt by luxury before hand. Also it says in the lonely planet that it's hard for veggie's in china. I didn't find this. I think there was one meal where I had mostly rice and not a lot else but the majority had beautiful vegetables to choose from. Certainly never went hungry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this trip. It was an amazing experience. It is tiring and you 'get on it' right from the start. The cruise is your proper chill time. The only thing I would say is although the trip is a tiring, fun filled experienced packed it is lacking in phsyical activities. There is biking one day and walking up to the great wall but generally just walking for sight seeing.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    IMPERIAL CHINA & YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE

    A lot of this vast impressive country is packed into the 19 days on the ground. As an overview of the country visiting many of the main sites with smaller ones besides I think Exodus and Dragon our excellent leader have achieved their aims .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most people cannot pick just one.The Obvious :-  Beijing and the Forbidden City- Great Wall- Xi'an- Terracotta Warriors and museum- Pandas ( not forgetting the Red Pandas too )- Yangtse - Mt Emei- Karst country- Tongli-  Shanghai Bund  Less Obvious :- Cycling the 13.7 km of the Xi'an city walls and looking down on a school choir giving a concert in the playgound- Cycling into the country at Yangshuo and the farmer's wife cooking us lunch- Being approached by students in Yangshuo to practise their English - Eating Sichuan hotpot in a local restaurant where we were the only westerners and the object of much curiosity- 'Calvin Klein'  the vendor in Yangshuo ( only the 8th Oct group will get this one ! )- just meeting the locals with a smile.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was one of the best leaders I have encountered in years of travelling. I think he read history at University and he was passionate about the history of his country past and present . He was so informative about life in China nowadays and during the lifetime of his parents under Mao, that his stories and anecdotes made the trip for me.  I was speaking to an English couple on the boat who were with a large mainstream UK operator and were getting none of this.They were quite envious of our relationship with Dragon.He was endlessly patient, ever helpful ,well organized and above all a thoroughly nice person .   We wish him well for his forthcoming wedding.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dragon's informative handout at the start of the trip told us to embrace '' T I C ''THIS IS CHINA  ie  ignore the pushing in, the smoking,  the spitting, the crazy traffic , car horns,  some of the toilets etc  etc.    After all this is only 3 weeks out of your life to enjoy a wonderful country so just remember TIC .If you want 5 star luxury, can't embrace TIC and go with the flow, then this trip is not for you.Pack lightly because there are many occasions when you have to carry your bag up stairs and through crowded stations. There is also limited space for the more corpulent cases under the bunks on the trains.You may wish to bring a light sleeping bag liner and pillow case for the third and oldest sleeper train . . . although if you remember TIC, it was fun and part of the experience. Dont forget your pot noodles as all trains come with hot water boilers.The suggested £400 spend is light. I spent around £550/600 but I suppose it does depend on how much beer you drink.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a memorable time and would happily visit China again if Exodus want to sponsor me as Devon's Ambassador to China.Only regret . . . . I didn't buy a Chairman Mao watch at a knock-down £3  from Calvin ! ! 
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    IMPERIAL CHINA & YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE

    An absolute full on itinerary, giving not only a taste of China, but also the full flavour of it.  A country so diverse, both modern and old.  This was my fourth trip to the country, and it most definitely won't be my last.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to note - the pandas in Chengdu, the scenery of Yangshou county (the Li River and Yu Long River), Shanghai with its imposing skyline, tallest building in China, Bund and frantic shopping areas - also returning to the Terracotta Warriors, which I had visited ten years ago - they still hold the magic they always did.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was amazing - totally unflappable despite having to get 16 of us through numerous stations, on and off trains and from one place to another.  He was very informative, knowledgeable and very approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This tour gives you everything you need from the China experience, and it will also make you want to return again and again to a very diverse, although imposing, country.  It is full on, but bring an open mind with you, and you will be rewarded in the end.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I opted for not taking the Yangtze cruise, and did my own itinerary around Yangshou with a private guide.  I would recommend perhaps extending at the end of the trip and trying something like this, as the experience was absolutely breathtaking.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    IMPERIAL CHINA & YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE

    A very well organised and thought out tour, ensuring we saw all the major attractions, plus one or two others that had been requested!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many!  The Great wall, The Terraccotta Army, The Pandas, The Bullet train, the fun of the overnight sleeper trains...... the list is endless!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marks organisational skills were superb!  He had everybody in the right place at the right time - and that was no mean feat! His  local knowledge was very good, perhaps a little more general information along the way would be nice. Mark was a very helpful and friendly guide to us all and was never without his Panda on a pole, coining the phrase 'Follow the Panda'

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind ready to enjoy and experience all that there is to offer!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had an amazing holiday, the sights, the sounds, the smells and the people all adding to the experience.  We were very lucky to have a really nice group of people to share these experiences with!