Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    Michael Cooney

    Disappointing

    Having travelled with Exodus before, I was looking forward to this trip. However, although the scenery was spectacular and the hiking was enjoyable, Exodus was disappointing and if I went again I would do the trip with someone else. Some of the accommodation was very poor, being smelly and dirty. The leader's time management and communication was also poor, with some days having a very long period between breakfast (7am) and lunch (3pm) with no advance warning, no snacks provided and limited water provided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the wall when we were out in the wilderness.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Definitely not the best tour leader I have had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't do this trip with Exodus.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    walking the great wall of china and xian extension

    spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta army

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a great ambassador for his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to keen on the breakfast.
  • Reviewed September 2018

    walking the great wall of china and xian extension

    spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta army

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a great ambassador for his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to keen on the breakfast.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Daniel Springett

    Great Wall of China

    First time I have done something like this before but it has been one of the best trips I have done. Wish I could of been out there longer

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descending the heavenly stairway, listening to stairway to heaven on the way down

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was very knowledgeable, funny, fair and a great person in general

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's hotter than you think, make sure you have a semi decent level of fitness (hill walking especially), bring insect repellent and about £200 should cover spending (possibly a bit less).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Consider doing the add on, I wish I had done it but it will give me an excuse to go back
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Louise Donovan

    Introducing....Great Wall of China

    Fantastic jam packed trip, from trekking up long steep challenging slopes to witnessing the stunning views from the great wall. A journey well worth the undertaking. I was a first timer to trekking, and a single traveller. The trip was well planned and executed. The organisation was second to none, from co-ordinating hot savoury pancakes on the great wall for lunch, to organsing shows and Tai Chi classes everything was done with a smile, a sense of humour and professionalism. A lifetime of memories, a personal achievement and a hunger for more. If you are thinking about it- think NO MORE, just book it - you will not regret it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pushing myself to trek up the vast paths and steps, to witnessing the views making the hardwork pall into insignificance. Couldn't believe I was there on the Great Wall of China with a group of lovely people in the care of the most professional tour guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Professional, organised and funny. Jerry wears many hats as the tour guide - the historian, the nurse, the accountant, the food expert, the motivator, the teacher, the translator, pest controllor.........I could go on. He wears all these hats with humour humbleness and integrity. One thing though.......'those walls Jerry are NOT FLAT!'....!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your walking sticks, the climbs are steep and therefore the climb down is also steep. I didn't take mine, and that was an epic fail. I was loaned a walking stick from a fellow traveller and it made a huge difference to being able to keep up with the group. Before you go - hill walk for up to 5-8 km a time......making sure you can maintain a steep hill walk for up to an hour whilst carrying a back pack with around 3-4kg in it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Simply - brilliant. I'll be back!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    John Floy

    Walking the Great Wall; and Xi'an

    We recently returned from the Great Wall tour and the extension trip to the city of Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors (14th-26th April). The Great Wall experience opened our eyes to the hinterland of Beijing where we trekked the rugged sections of the wall, some of them challenging, staying in local homestays along the way. The families who run the homestays provided authentic hospitality in the most fantastic locations in and around national parks. Throughout our trip, under the inspirational leadership of our guide Jerry (who looked after our every need with inexhaustible attention to planning and detail) we learnt about China's fascinating history and culture as well as entertaining asides on the economics of China. The weather was brilliant. Following the tour of Beijing (mainly Forbidden City) at the end of the walk, we took the extension to Xi'an, under a new guide. The sleeper train from Beijing was an extra experience (it was fine!) not to be missed. The terracotta warriors are housed in a purpose-built heritage site; the numbers and scale are massive; you feel you are right back in the 2nd century BCE during emperor Qin's rule. Xi'an is also worth exploring, including the city wall, which is in perfect condition. Food on the Great Wall was excellent - invariably eating in local restaurants along the way - all food freshly cooked and washed down with the ubiquitous "cold beer"; always with fast and friendly service. This review is just a snapshot of a truly memorable holiday. Well done again Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult question. Some parts of the Great Wall after a steep ascent revealed wondrous scenery. The terracotta warriors are so life-like and the scale and detail have to be appreciated. Connecting with local people far removed from our British culture and way of life.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Steve Johnson

    Very good - just a few tweaks

    Overall, we LOVED this trip and would highly recommend it. Just a few minor complaints, many of which are unavoidable (but some could be addressed): - Air pollution was pretty bad on some of the days (though not all). Obviously, Exodus can't do much about this, but future travelers should be aware. I had heard the air quality had improved significantly since the 2008 Olympics, and that might be...but it was still pretty bad. - Plumbing! Other than the Beijing hotel, every single guest house we stayed at had plumbing issues (and it wasn't just our rooms - the other travelers in our group had the same issues). You name it - scalding/freezing shower water, no water pressure, drainage issues. It seems like these SHOULD be pretty easy to fix, and yet.... - WIFI - there are many sites that are banned in China, but others (CNN, EPSN, local news sites) are accessible...when you can get a signal. Most places we stayed at *claimed* to have wifi, but the networks were slow at best, and in most cases unusable. - Food - generally pretty good at the guest houses, but there was not much variety (suprisingly). - Tai Chi - it was nice to have a Tai Chi lesson, but the instructor stood in the front of the group which made it difficult for those of us in back to see her. She should have been in the center, or if possible elevated on a platform or stage so everyone could see her. - Crowds - on the final day we went to the Forbidden City in Beijing at what seemed like the worst possible time: Sunday afternoon. The crowds were ridiculous. If possible, Exodus should try to arrange this tour early on a weekday morning to avoid (or at least lessen) the crowds. Again, all these complaints are minor. Overall, we loved our experience and would recommend it to anyone considering it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first day on The Wall - just the exhilaration of actually being there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was good - he spoke a bit quickly and was a bit difficult to understand at times, and was quite opinionated on some topics...but overall quite good. Very patient and good sense of humor.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hiking gets a bit intense - be sure you are in good shape!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Louise Taylor

    Our China experience

    Truely wonderful, the Great Wall was full of twists and turns, ups and downs , it’s more than I expected. The food was amazing , and we were made very welcome by all. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves mountains as the scenery is second to none , I did the Xi’an extension; great fun seeing the 8th wonder of the world something I won’t forget! To top off this trip we were blessed with WEE WON English name JERRY. He is a true ambassador to his country. He was there 24/7 , full of energy and a graduate in economics, history, and tourism! Thank you exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sight of the Great Wall brought a tear to my eye , the length history and reason for it’s being there !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry is an ambassador of knowledge in his country, he is a great speaker and very organised, never late, and should be used for any extensions after this trip ;

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice pack light, wear good walking shoes , there are high climbing up stairs, and slopes down , so a head of heights is needed, and be a little fit or may struggle with pace .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip isn’t just walking the Great Wall , you get the experience of culture, traditions, and to enjoy their food ! We had the opportunity to see a kung foo show , and other evening activities, each activity was brilliant and memoriable .
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Ian Tucker

    Great Wall and Xian

    Great Trip. Hiking the wall was the highlight of this trip. The group got on really well together. The hotel hosts were great. Jerry the guide was fantastic. He knew his job so well. Great guy. The walking was tough at times. The extension to Xian was also good. I would recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing how big and how long the wall really is.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerry was so good. He got everyone in the right place at the right times. He made the group feel at ease. This is my third trip with Exodus and he has been the best group leader I have had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Hiking can be tough at times. There are a lot of steps to go up and down.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Maureen Lamb

    Wishing I was back in China

    I loved this holiday. I'm missing being outside all day, walking surrounded by great scenery, lovely company, apricot blossom, learning about a culture I knew very little about, the food..... I hadn't travelled with Exodus before, but would definitely do so again. I'm really glad that I was able to do the Xi'an extension. After walking the wall and sightseeing in Beijing I really wanted to see more, and was not disappointed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved all of the walking, even in the rain. Seeing the local guides look as though they were out for an afternoon stroll while we were puffing and panting was certainly impressive. I found the wall and the Terracotta Warriors to be on a scale I had not been able to imagine. Cycling around the city walls of Xi'an as the sun went down was delightful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Jerry Wu was excellent. We benefited not only from his knowledge patience and enthusiasm but his local contacts and friendships. Jerry clearly felt a real responsibility for us, even writing potentially useful questions in Chinese and English for our journey to Xi'an. These did in fact help us. He ensured we had as good a holiday as possible, and stayed safe. In addition he has a wonderful sense of humour. Michelle our guide in Xi'an was also knowledgeable and really helpful. She took us off the tourist track for a meal after our visit to the Terracotta warriors. I never knew noodles could taste so good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the apparently low number of miles walked, as the video clip on the exodus website shows, the walk is steep up and steep down, my calf muscles certainly knew about it. I wondered whether to take walking poles, as I hadn't used them previously. Took them but didn't use them, I did however use my hands and knees. I packed a woolly hat, gloves, a sun hat and sun cream and used them all - the woolly hat and gloves to sleep in one night! The weather certainly changed quickly. I took a sleeping bag liner, which was well worth packing. If rain is a possibility a rain cover for your day rucksack looks helpful. I imagine if you love coffee it would be worth taking your own supply. I really enjoyed the additional activities - Tai Chi, the Kung Fu show, the Acrobat show, all great fun.
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