Trails of Vietnam

14 days
$1,705 USD
Traveller ratings
4.4 / 5 from 51 reviews >
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Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
Group size:

On foot, in the saddle, with paddle - active the length of Vietnam

Whether it's kayaking beneath towering cliffs in the South China Sea, cycling by vibrant green paddy fields in the Mekong Delta or trekking amongst colourful hilltribes, this dynamic trip allows us to interact with the local people and environment in a way we couldn't by vehicle alone. We get a great insight into everyday life as well as seeing all the major sights. Of course all this activity needs fuelling, which gives us the perfect excuse for sampling the superb Vietnamese cuisine.


  • Cruise and kayak along the emerald waters and limestone peaks of Halong Bay
  • Dip into traditional Vietnamese culture by trekking through lush hill tribe villages
  • Walk and cycle on a tour through historic towns Hue, Hoi An and Hanoi
  • Dig a little deeper into Vietnam’s history by crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Sample local produce and float through the Mekong Delta by boat

Key information

  • 7 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night standard hotel, 1 night boat with twin share cabins, 1 night standard homestay guesthouse, all en suite. 2 nights basic house/longhouse with dormitory/shared bath, 1 night sleeper train, soft-bed berths
  • Travel by bus, boat, sleeper train and internal flight
  • Reasonable fitness required
  • Remote and city locations visited

What's included

  • 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Hanoi.

    Begin your adventure in Hanoi, a city where an unstoppable energy thrives alongside traditional Vietnamese culture and a colonial charm permeates the broad tree-lines boulevards, most noticeably from the faded French architecture. The leader will of course be on hand to point the group in all the right directions, so whether you’re buying baguettes and inexpensive coffee from the grand doorways of a past era, drifting alongside Hoan Kiem Lake or roaming the animated streets, Hanoi offers a delicious first taste of Vietnamese culture. Even crossing one of many manic roads serves as a memorable experience! In the evening, we offer a welcome briefing and an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Mai Chau; trek through H'mong country; overnight in hilltribe longhouse.

    Transfer to Hoa Binh Province (4 hrs). Travelling up and over the Truong Son Mountain Range affords lush green views, serving as the perfect precursor of the scenery for the following days. Trek through H’mong, around Xa Linh & Tong Dau, and dip into rural Vietnamese culture by visiting villages along the way, most of which adorn colourful national dress. The last stop of the day will be Mai Chau, a picturesque valley made of quilt-like pattern villages and rice terraces, palms, and charming stilt houses. Like Mai Chau itself, we’ll be nuzzled between emerald green paddy fields and soaring cliffs in our overnight stay – the Thai hill tribe longhouse.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Trek amongst hilltribe villages

    By now the beeping and bustling of Hanoi will be a faint memory, and the day is spent delving deeper into this slice of rural paradise. After taking a short drive to Sam Khoe, there will be a trek back to Mai Chau (approx. 6 hours) into the villages of white and black Thai minority groups. Here, we can spend time learning about their customs and culture.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Trekking before returning to Hanoi for city tour.

    A short trek will take place back to the roadside via another culturally colourful village. On return, our city tour of Hanoi introduces the many layers of Vietnamese culture and history. Sites include Hoa Lo, the Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter, the centuries-old soul of Hanoi. Stepping into this commercial labyrinth is not as confusing as it first may seem, but only once you realise that it’s ‘36 streets’ indicate the type of products sold. So why not take a turn down Silk Street, Souvenir Street or even Gold Street? The afternoon is free, perhaps to enjoy the view from a lakeside café.

    If you wish to opt for an optional activity, your tour leader can arrange a viewing of the famous Water puppets, an art form dating back to the 11th century where folk tale and legends are playfully recounted among the sounds of wooden bells, bamboo flutes and cymbals.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Halong Bay; cruise/kayak; dinner and sleep on boat.

    Early start and 4 hour transfer to Halong Bay. A boat awaits us, ready to cruise along the legendary Halong Bay, otherwise known as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has it that Halong Bay’s islands were formed by a dragon’s plunge into the waters. Carving crevasses on its way, the dragon left what is now roughly 3000 exquisitely eroded limestone peaks rising from emerald waters. Soak up the enigmatic atmosphere this karst scenery creates, before kayaking to places inaccessible by boat (weather permitting). A sea food lunch is served on board, and the evening is yours to unwind upon tranquil waters. The night is spent in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.
    Overnight Boat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Cruise then return to Hanoi; overnight train to Hanoi.

    As the boat continues to cruise along the majestic peaks, there will be new opportunities to immerse ourselves in Halong Bay’s mystical quality. After returning to port, we will transfer to the train station and board the Reunification Express for the overnight train ride to Hue.
    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Sightseeing by bicycle in Hue.

    Arrive mid-morning in the cultural and historical centre of Vietnam, Hue. Brimming with charisma, Hue has impacted several poets in its time and serves as a reminder of Vietnam’s imperial glories. In the afternoon, jump on one of the local bikes and cycle to the Imperial Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda to peep into the life of Nguyen emperors. With walls six miles in length, the Imperial Citadel is the most outstanding sight in town. We will explore the palaces, halls of the Mandarins and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, once only open to the emperor, his eunuchs, and of course his concubines. Emperor Tu Duc's tomb will be the last stop of the day - standing amidst a lake and a boundless pine forest, this tomb is deemed the most extravagant mausoleum of the great Nguyen Emperors and one of the most beautiful pieces of royal architecture in Vietnam.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Cycle to Thanh Toan local market; drive to Hoi An.

    Take a picturesque cycle-ride past villages and rice paddies to the small village Thanh Toan and indulge in its legendary market. Travelling as the locals do, it's easy to discover the sights, sounds and smells of the villages surrounding Hue. Following this, a 130km drive to Danang will pass through the beautiful peninsula of Lang Co, situated between the crystal waters of a lagoon and the Eastern Sea, as well as the awe-inspiring Hai Van pass, known as the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’. Once in Da Nang, climb the Marble Mountains and uncover the large caves used by the Viet Cong as a hospital base during the war. Rewarding views stretching over My Khe beach and the surrounding countryside will be waiting for you once you reach the mountain peak, the latter of which makes up our next spot, Hoi An.

    Cycle approx. 15km on flat and mostly even terrain
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Walking tour of Hoi An; free afternoon.

    Embrace the sleepy ambiance seeping through Hoi An on our walking tour of Hoi An, Vietnam’s original European trading port dating back to the mid-sixteenth century. Often described as a living museum, Hoi An boasts more than just grace and atmosphere. Wooden merchant houses and pagoda-style temples line the streets, architecturally reflecting the Japanese, Chinese and European influences on the town. The afternoon is free to enjoy what many call their favourite town in Vietnam, and it’s easy to see why. Take a boat trip on the Thu Bon River, relax by the riverside, meander around the thriving riverside markets, or indulge in shops famous for their silk and tailoring of clothing - bring a picture if you'd like anything made! Alternatively, why not hire a bike and make your way through Hoi An’s pretty countryside towards Cua Dai beach, past markets, schools and villages. (5km)

    (Walking tour approx 3-4 hrs)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Fly to Saigon; afternoon visit Cu Chi Tunnels.

    Transfer to Danang airport and fly to Saigon (approx. 70 mins), a city full of chaotic thrills. A 1.5 hr drive will then take us to the Cu Chi tunnels. Crawl through the infamous and intricate system of tunnels and experience the spirit of guerrilla warfare! Used by the Viet Cong during the war for its escape routes as well as living quarters, the network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of tunnels. Although they were traditionally very narrow, they have now been widened to allow an extensive exploration of the system. Even so, claustrophobes should feel free to bask outside in the sunshine if they do not wish to take part!
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Cycle ride to Cai Be; visit handicraft workshops; drive to Can Tho.

    Arrive in the small market town of My Tho after a 1.5 hr drive. After hopping onto our bikes we will follow the Mekong River through quiet back roads towards Cai Be (approx. 30 km). Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta produces the majority of Vietnam’s tropical fruits, some of which you will have a chance to sample, as well as sugar cane and coconuts. Transfer back to Can Tho to relax and soak up the atmosphere of this quiet riverside town, or explore the maze of backstreets and wide boulevards.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Boat trip to floating markets; cycle ride; boat trip to island homestay.

    Early start for a boat trip along the Bassac River towards Cai Rang, the largest and liveliest floating market in the Delta. Float through a maze of boats, rife with fruits, vegetables and plants and watch the techniques locals use to make a living. One includes attaching their produce on to long poles and hanging them above the boat, enabling them to showcase their items to buyers from all angles and distances. Since you’ll be witnessing authentic trading in full swing, there will be countless opportunities for you to capture traditional scenes on camera. Following breakfast at the hotel, cycle to Vinh Long through rural villages and scenic landscapes (approx. 40 km). Reaching the end of the day, we will be transferred by motor boat to an island in the middle of the Mekong River for overnight at a simple guesthouse built in the style of a local house. Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 13

    Cruise to Cai Be; to Saigon for afternoon city tour.

    Cruise by boat along the Cai Be Floating Market and stop to visit small cottage industries manufacturing local products such as popped rice and popcorn. Return to Saigon, a city once devastated by the Vietnam War, and now a bustling free market city. A combination of old and new diversifies the city with temples standing defiantly among zooming scooters and modern developments. The Reunification Palace is one of the stops on our city tour, famous for its 1960s architecture and slightly garish appeal as much as its association with the fall of Saigon in 1975. Another stop is the War Remnants Museum, housing a vivid collection outlining the horrors of modern history and warfare and effects on innocent civilians. Be aware that these records of the Vietnam War are often very graphic. Heading to the romantic Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral throws yet another light on Saigon.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Saigon.

    You are free today to relax or go ahead with individual sightseeing. Either way, the city is yours to enjoy – sample the street food, bargain your way through local markets, indulge in modernized shopping malls, or simply engross yourself in the whizzing motion that is Saigon.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Extend Your Trip

Angkor Wat Extension (from Saigon)

Code: XOF

'Discovered' enmeshed in jungle in 1860, Angkor, the ancient capital of the powerful Khmer empire, is one of the finest archaeological sites in the world, and not one to be missed. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, the wonderfully preserved sprawling complex of temples and palaces is on a par with any great monument of the world with magnificent towers, sculptures and bas‐reliefs. During this four-night extension you will also see all the key sites of Phnom Penh, a fascinating city undergoing a huge amount of change. You will travel between the sites in a private car or minibus, depending on how many people take part in the extension, accompanied by an English‐speaking local guide. In the evenings, you will be free to enjoy the town. This trip extension is offered at the end of your AOF or AOV trip so you will fly direct from Saigon to Siem Reap to start the extension. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info



A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2018. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria.
The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

12 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners are included.

Thanks to it's tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountain, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious fresh and fiery flavours. Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup). Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements) meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is served on most street corners in the North out of large plastic jugs that are perfect for sharing.
Food is cheap in South East Asia and you can generally avoid spicy dishes if you wish. Western food is available almost anywhere. With dishes ranging from fresh seafood to exotic curries, Vietnam offers incredible cuisine, often sold in animated and colourful markets.


In much of Vietnam, the weather will be hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 28ºC to 34ºC in the day, and a little cooler at nights. Vietnam offers a range of seasons between the north and south. Hanoi is cool in autumn, and gets chilly between November and February, with drizzly rain (10º- 20ºC). The south up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December to April and a rainy season from May to November, where short heavy bursts of rain with bright sunshine in between is common. There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; weather can be described as pleasant all year round, but due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will be perfect for the entire duration of the trip. The dry season, between November and April, is characterised by hot days and mostly clear skies, but expect the odd shower. The monsoon period running from May to October is generally overcast with short and sharp bursts of rain, but this can be a very atmospheric time to travel – just bring an umbrella or a cheap local poncho! April and October are transition months

Is this trip for you?

This is an action packed holiday with activities that include cycling, kayaking and trekking so a good level of fitness is required.The weather can be hot and humid and cold in the winter months in the north around Hanoi and Halong bay. Some of the days can be fairly long with early starts as there is a lot to see in the time you are there. Travel time is kept to a minimum although there are a few longer drives but there is time for sightseeing. Whilst choosing this trip please note that some of the accommodation will be basic but is clean and tidy.


Hotels, Boat, Guesthouse, Longhouse & Sleeper Train

You will spend 7 nights in comfortable hotels, 1 night in a more standard hotel, 1 night aboard a boat with twin share cabins, 1 night in a guesthouse, 2 nights in a local longhouse and 1 night on a sleeper train. The accommodation is generally good quality, but you should also be prepared for a couple of basic nights.

Longhouse Hilltribe Stay
Two nights of this active adventure will be spent in traditional hill-tribe longhouses. We trek through native H’mong country to our overnight destination of Mai Chau where we will dine on local food and sleep as the locals do in bamboo longhouses. Hosted by hospitable local families we will gain a real insight into rural Vietnam.

Single rooms are available for hotel nights only for a supplement, please enquire for prices. Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you require a single room.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed May 2017
    Kevin & Pauline Patterson

    Trails of Vietnam

    A full on and intensive tour of the many facets of Vietnam, giving a flavour of this extraordinary country. Be prepared for long days, but you will be richly rewarded often seeing parts of Vietnam that other tourists may not see. As always the trip notes are very accurate.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many different and wonderful experiences in this fascinating country.What will stay with us, were the inspirational and continually cheerful people, the delicious food and the manic driving. Just crossing the road is challenging and as for the cycling .....we loved it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were SO lucky to have Tham Tu as our leader. What a remarkable young lady she is. So knowledgeable and passionate about her country. She always had a smile on her face, was brilliantly organised and nothing was too much trouble. She always went the extra mile to make the Trails of Vietnam a special experience. How could we forget her making cocktails for us on the train!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take Cycle shorts and / or a gel seat, but there is no need to take a cycle helmet, as those supplied were of good quality. Don't pack too much as there are plenty of opportunities to have laundry done very cheaply and you need the extra space for souvenirs and new clothes of course!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A brilliant trip with a great group of people and an exceptional guide.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Therese Shannon

    Trails of Vietnam

    I really enjoyed the hilltribe trek. The food at the home stay was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    our group leader was great. well informed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This tour was very busy with many long bus rides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you bring a padded bike seat!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Julie Beauley

    Trails of Vietnam

    Once again Exodus did not fail to deliver, the was an amazing holiday covering a vast area of the country. The activities were great and very well organised. Our guide, Tham, was amazing, very knowledgeable, attentive and social. She looked after out every need. The food was great and the local people were very welcoming and happy to help.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the local people were the main inspiration. They have turned their country around, stopped living in the past and are building a great place for people to visit and enjoy. The families at the home stays could not do enough for us and welcomed us with open arms in to their homes and were pleased to be able to show us how they lived and worked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tham was amazing. She is one of very few female guides in her country and has had to work really hard to hold this position. She has done this with grace and a great deal of intellegence. She dealt with everything with ease and professionalism. She was also great fun and made sure we were all happy at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a GoPro or something of that nature as you will not be able to describe the traffic in the cities or the beauty of Kayaking down the river. Photos just don't cut it. I have never seen so many motorbikes carrying so many different things as well as so many people. It is a sight to behold. Make sure you take padded cycling shorts and a gel seat if you have one. The bikes are good and there is no need to take your own helmet as the ones provided are good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a fantastic holiday, full on but well worth it. Don't think twice just book it, you'll enjoy every minute.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Christine Roe

    Trails of Vietnam

    This was a wonderful trip - fully of varied activities - cycling, trekking, kayaking and sight seeing . Vietnam is a fascinating country, with so much variety between north and south and lots of interesting history. It is is the right time to go now, before the tourist industry really gets going, especially on the coast near Danang . The people are lovely - so friendly and welcoming - the food is great - very fresh and varied.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hoi An was the loveliest town with its mixture of old France architecture, lots of street traders, great food, river estuary and good beaches. Get a silk dress or suit made overnight. Cycling in the Mekong Delta was a great experience, but HOT. The home stay on an island in the Mekong river was our most peaceful place to stay. Walking by rice fields in the north was great with the hills and mountains in the background. Halong Bay in the north was also beautiful - there are a lot of other boats , but you don't feel it is too touristy yet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing - Kien was the best leader I have ever had on Exodus. Full of interesting information about Vietnam , a great organiser, caring towards his group members and a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the traffic in Hanoi and Saigon - it is manic - it does not stop - but don't panic - walk steadily in a straight line and they will weave round you - they are not agressive drivers, but there are a lot of motor bikes.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Jane Emery

    We really enjoyed ourselves

    This is a very busy tour with lots of variety. Although a lot of time was spent travelling (as you'd expect from a tour covering 1500 miles in 14 days) a great many different things were packed into the holiday (eg 1000 years of history, food, shopping, cycling, kayaking, walking, boating, caves, puppet show.) Vietnam was more prosperous and sophisticated than I had imagined, with free wi-fi in every accommodation and restaurants. Everything was very clean and well organised. Things ran on time, including the 12 hour overnight train departed on time and arrived early. The people were friendly and smiling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the Vietnames people very inspirational. It is only 40 years since there was almost total devastation in the war. People were very positive and enthusiastic and proud of Vietnam's achievements and that their economy is improving. We saw a lady making fashionable shoes on one the markets and she proudly told us that Vietnam used to import its shoes from China, but now they manufacture their own.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Trinh was excellent. One of the best leaders we've had. Very well organised and always went the extra mile to help and answer questions. He was also good fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The only thing I would mention that has not been covered by other reviewers or in the trip notes/advice is that it would have been a good idea to have a neck flap for the cycling. On one of our cycling days (Mekong) it was a sunny 35 degrees.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Jayne Tomlins

    Trails of Vietnam

    A lovely group, an efficient guide and a varied itinerary, we got to see a lot of Vietnam, a beautiful and exciting country. It was definitely a holiday that left me with some brilliant memories. The only thing which let us down was the rain in Hue and Danang with its consequent inactivity.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were loads of moments but in particular I loved the cycling round the Mekong Delta, lovely food, walking round vibrant Hanoi in the evening and the trekking in the Truong Son mountains. Will always remember singing our hearts out on the overnight train trip from Hanoi to Hue! Also the New Years Eve party in Hue was perfect, with games, karaoke and dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ticked all the boxes! Bac was lovely and bent over backwards to get the most out of our stay in Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! It's not too strenuous activity-wise, most of us could have happily done more. I took a more comfortable saddle which I was glad about. In Hoi'An you can get clothes tailor-made for you, so if you have a favourite item of clothing, take it along so they can copy it. Also, laundry can be done at the various hotels so there's no need to take 2 weeks' worth of stuff. Wished I had stayed on a little really, which some members of the group did, as there are some beach resorts close by which are cheap.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wasn't so keen on the hill-tribe homestay as it seemed a bit of a gimmick The village was a tourist trap,despite beautiful countryside, so why endure below standard bathrooms? Also a lot of time is spend on the coach and there's a lot of packing, unpacking but on the whole I think it's worth it as we saw such a lot and Bac organized lots of optionals, the cookery course in Hoi'An was a good idea to keep out of the rain.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    David Stokes

    Trails of Vietnam Jan 2017

    What an amazing holiday we had. Thanh our guide had expert knowledge about every aspect of our trip and of every place we visited. The trip was very organised from every transfer, every type of transport, minibus, train, bike, kayak and plane all went off without a hitch. Thanh was also very good at keeping a large group together and in the right lace at the right time. From the wet humid north to the dry humid south Vietnam is a fascinating place with friendly - mostly happy people who live on next to nothing. Very humbling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching hardworking people just get on with heavy manually labour intensive work in basic conditions without complaining.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above very knowledgable friendly and organised

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy a silk sleeping bag! Be prepared for lots of packing and unpacking and a packed non stop trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great group to travel with - would definitely recommend and would definitely come back
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Maureen Pearce

    Trails of Vietnam

    The trip was a fast moving an all encompasing thorough cultural experience throughout from North right down to the South of Vietnam. It was informative, informal, and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many moments from seeing how the Northern tribes live in traditional houses, their dependence on their animals and many on their rice crop; to the busy frantic street scenes crowded with scooters and mopeds in the cities of Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh city. The steet sellers with their wares straddled across their shoulders with everything from baskets and hats, to sweetmeats and the street food scenes are unforgetable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Binh Bui was amazingly organised. He never let us down once. His timings were amazing, his care and his attention to detail were unsurpassed. If things outside his control happened he just adjusted and surmounted them without fuss. His genuine care and emotional investment in his job is unquestionable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to walk and ride bicycles in high temperatures and don't be afraid to say I need a break!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Advice on bringing your own cycle helmets were not needed so much - so we were glad we didn't bother lugging them around. We were given brand new helmets and very good new bikes to ride through all sorts or terrain.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    David Westlake-Brain

    Vietnamese Trails

    An excellent trip, our first with exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sight of Halong Bay

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bac was brilliant, so much so we wrote a song saying so,and sung it at the final dinner

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are reasonably fit. If you haven't cycled for a while have a practice before you go otherwise sitting on a saddle for a few hours can be a bit sore.Take waterproofs for the occasional downpour

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An extremely well planned tour, the attention to detail helped it run like clockwork. We would prefer a little less time sight seeing and a bit more free time. The actives - bike, trek and boat were about right.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Margaret Antonian

    A superb trip through the real Vietnam

    The Trails of Vietnam trip is a full-on, busy trip which packs a huge amount in to the time available. You travel the length of Vietnam and enjoy a wealth of adventure on the way. From the hills of the North to the deltas of the South, you will meet and speak with many local people and gain an understanding of their way of life, the history, culture and food of Vietnam. We had a fantastic group of 16 very different and interesting people who all got along so well together.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particulary enjoyed the hillside walks in the North where we really got off the beaten track and witnessed the simple way of life in the hill villages. Also top of my list would be the kayaking in Halong Bay where we saw monkeys with their babies swinging in the trees on one of the islands. Hoi An was probably my favourite city, but I loved Hanoi with its bustling nightlife and where we enjoyed a session of laughing yoga with some local ladies. A trip on a cyclo through Saigon's chaotic streets will also never be forgotten.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hai our group leader was superb. His command of the english language was excellent with a fantastic accent and ability to tell englishman/irishman/scotsman type jokes. He kept us laughing throughout the trip and brought a smile to everyone's face whether in the group or amongst the vietnamese people we met along the way. He provided us with a wonderful insight into Vietnamese culture, history and politics with an honesty and balance that we all found compelling. He was supremely organised at all times and faced every challenge with a smile; calmly smoothing every situation. His energy and enthusiasm were infectious, his patience and friendliness outstanding. We could not have had a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled in December when it was a little chilly in the north and hot and humid in the south. Hanoi is a fantastic place to buy warm down jackets and rucksacks (big and small) so if you need anything of this sort buy it whilst you are here. We took sheet sleeping bags which we used on the train and gel bike seats which were great. The cycling involved three days of 40km and took us along some stretches of very busy, bumpy unmade roads. I am reasonably fit and found some of it quite hard, although the teenagers in the group thought it was easy! The bikes were good quality and the helmets fine. We had regular stops every 10km or so, for water and snacks which helped. The mosquito net we brought was only used once and that was on the train to escape the ubiquitous cockroaches! Take plenty of mosquito repellant as the mosies have a habit of finding you and a rain jacket came in useful for a deluge in Hoi An. We organised a separate four day stay in a beautiful hotel in the beautiful sandy palm fringed resort of Mui Ne at the end of our trip which I would highly recommend. After the hectic fourteen day trip we really appreciated a bit of rest and luxury. Many people stay in beautiful places like that for two weeks and go home saying that they went to Vietnam but we knew that we'd seen the real Vietnam first on our Exodus tour and were staying in a luxury version unknown to most local people.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst in Hoi An we had suits and dresses made in 24 hours which was an amazing experience, take photos of dress styles with you and they will copy them. We took the recommendation of Hai, our tour leader, with regards to which tailor to visit and we were not disappointed. It is also a great place to buy bags and purses and many other lovely souvenirs. You do spend a fair amount of time travelling from place to place on the tour bus and packing and unpacking suitcases as you stay in many different hotels, but the upside is that you really do feel that you have experienced the real Vietnam in all its glorious chaos, noise and friendliness. Expect a little bit of roughing it at the clean and tidy hill homestay where you sleep all together on matresses on the floor and also on the uncomfortable train ride from Hanoi to Hue where we had cockroaches for company in our cabin, but neither of these would lead me to comment that this trip was anything less than a wonderful experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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