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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 10,0
Vervoer 10,0
Overnachtingen 7,5
Reisroute 7,5
7.9 15 beoordelingen
  • 8 15-11-15

    Carla Van Boheemen

    NB: dit was een Exodusreis dus ik vraag me af of er dan wat met mijn reactie wordt gedaan. bemiddeling Sawadee: liep aanvankelijk moeizaam en stroef later beter.

  • 10

    Vietnam is Wonderful!

    A fantastic opportunity to meet and travel with like minded souls through a beautiful country, of constantly changing scenery. The locals were amazingly happy and friendly despite many living hard, hand to mouth lives. The history of the war was brought to life by visiting the tunnels, and put in perspective by the marvellous tour guide Lingh.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being welcomed into the local way of life up close and personal. And Han long bay was just stunning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lingh was absolutely fantastic! Everything was brilliantly organised. Nothing was too much trouble - from retrieving forgotten shampoo from previous hotel, checking each room after we had left and checked ourselves, sorting taxis, where best to buy specific gifts and often going himself to ensure best deals, advise on when and how to barter, selecting amazing lunch venues, ensuring a glass supplied with cans of drink, I could go on...... Lingh was entertaining when informing us about Vietnam, it's people, culture, ways of life, and he was very knowledgeable on a huge variety of topics - war, religion, regional work, crops, education..... He got the perfect balance between educating us and leaving us to soak up the atmosphere or sleep! Lingh ensured we understood what was planned each day, how far we would cycle, how hilly, when we would stop for breaks, eat, so we could decide whether to cycle or bus a stage, although we all chose to cycle as he inspired us with his just do it positive attitude. Whilst our group was a very friendly supportive bunch of people, Lingh was certainly the glue that stuck us all together in the background or leading from the front as appropriate. He made a great holiday into a fantastic one!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training for a couple of months beforehand if not a cyclist already. There are a couple of days with stages that are quite hilly and challenging. Other days maybe flat, but up to 100 km, in heat. So a good general fitness, bum sore savy I.e.take your own seat if familiar and liked, and a good pair of padded, lightweight, cycling shorts is very useful.. Cream up! Mosquitos not a major problem if sprayed up. Rehydration tabs worked for me cos boy do you sweat! Although salty snacks, fluid and fruit is plentiful at each break! Don't need own snacks, water bottle holder. Do need cycle bag to carry camera, own water bottle. Also ruck sack bag to leave on bus so can have creams, money, change of clothes.....

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Can't wait to book another trip. Thinking of Cuba next time......

  • 10

    cycling in Thailand and Laos

    This is a cycling trip not for the 'faint hearted' It is a truly cultural experience which takes you to the heart and soul of the local people in the remote mountains and valleys of Laos. It would be almost impossible to get to this part of Laos without cycling and without the knowledge and back up of the local leaders and drivers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stopping to visit a mountain village while the road was temporarily closed and drinking the most amazing Green tea in a small road side cafe. Meeting the smallest woman I have ever seen carrying a basket ofthe biggest pieces of root ginger I have ever seen!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great. Knowledge enthusiasm and fully committed to the trip and everything Laos!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you just want to cycle as far as possible for as long as possible or as fast as possible each day without looking to the right and left, ahead or behind and without stopping for the unexpected, then this trip is not for you! You will miss sooooo much!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My first trip to SE Asia was everything and more than I expected. I have over 400 photos to prove it!

  • 6

    Laos cycling

    A well organised trip exploring the outer reaches of Laos. Rather too many long bus transfers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Drifting along the Mekong River in a traditional boat which we had all to ourselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit &amp; 'Mr La' were always enthusiastic but rather rigid in their asherence to the set programme.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not go to the 'Complimentary' meal/ evening in Chiang Mai. It is the crystallisation of why Exodus cutomers do not go with other tour Companies - awful food, a 'theme park' style of entertainment all in the environment where there are hundreds of other long suffering tourists. Do not assume that because it is South Asia it will always be warm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do not blindly follow the restaurants recommended by the guides - there are far better places if only limited research is done.

  • 6

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    Very interesting trip but could have done with more cycling and less hours in the minibus.  The accommodation was good and the basic hotels were better than expected.  The local people were very friendly.   The scenerey throughout the trip was amazing and we enjoyed visiting less frequented parts of Vietnam and Laos. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some great fast and long descents on the bike.  The Pathet Lao caves at Sam Nua and the swim in the waterfall at Kwang Si were memorable moments.  The trip round Bangkok was excellent particularly the use of local transport which helped us navigate the city when we were on our own.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Al, was good with everyone, very calm and saw us through some difficult moments.  We had a great respect for him especially at meal times when he worked very hard helping with orders and making sure we got the correct food.  Ahn in Vietnam was excellent and made the trip for us in Vietnam.   Our guide, La, in Laos was sometimes difficult to understand and was informative when questioned but did leave much of the work to Al.   The drivers of the support vehicles were very helpful, particularly in Laos where driving conditions were tough. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have trouble with travel or motion sickness take the necessary medication as the bus journies are long and the roads in Laos are quite twisty.  Do use antiseptic wipes or liquid before meals and be careful about hygiene.  Perhaps handing out wipes at each stop as we have had on previous Exodus trips might avoid some of the stomach complaints.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In Vietnam the bikes could be loaded and unloaded quickly but in Laos the type of vehicle (this may have been the only one available) meant  that loading and unloading would take some time and often this dictated the amount of cycling and the flexibility if weather conditions were difficult.  

  • 2

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    It was very much a holiday of two halves - the second part (from the Plain of Jars onwards) was an interesting mix of cycling and sightseeing - exactly what I have come to expect from Exodus cycling holidays, but the first 8 days or so I found rather dull (and cold).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trip in Tam Coc - really unique and magical. It really is 'Halong Bay on land'. The cycle to the Kwang Si falls - a couple of good hills, beautiful countryside, and a great destination. Also the cycle up, and then down, down, down into Kasi. The temples in Luang Prabang, and Bangkok 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joe (the overall trip leader) was excellent - worked hard for the group, was approachable, well organised, and knew his stuff. The local guide in Vietnam was also excellent. But the local guide in Laos really wasn't up to the job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack for cold weather in N Laos - we had five days of it. I hadn't expected to be sitting on Christmas evening in a restaurant open to the elements in a coat, hat and gloves! I was glad I'd taken long fingered cycling gloves, and wished I'd taken cycling leggings (they would have been useful in the cold hotel rooms at night) There are ATMs in all the towns stayed at (apart from Vieng Xai), and opportunities to change currency as you cross each border - I really didn't need the $US I'd taken.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was at least my sixth Exodus cycling holiday over Christmas, so I think I have a good feel for the normal standard - this trip fell below what I would have expected.  In the first 8 days or so there were three days with 7+ hours of coach travel;the cycling was short; and the sights in N Laos (lots of caves), whilst of obvious historical interest, were not worth the effort to see them, in my opinion. I know that the low standard of the hotel in Vieng Xai had been flagged in the trip notes, but it was seriously sub-standard (like something from the soviet era) - cold rooms, rock hard beds, and no hot water (why not push on to Sam Neua and drive back for the ride the next day?). I felt the cycling distances were short, compared to similar trips I've been on (eg cycling Kerala, Cuba, Vietnam), so I felt somewhat short-changed as a cycling holiday. Unlike most other Exodus cycling trips I've done, I wouldn't recommend this one.

  • 8

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    An excellent journey through 3 fascinating countries. Magnificent scenery, and roads providing mostly good surfaces, with some exhilarating rides on bikes which were ideal for the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Undoubtedly the visit to the caves in North East Laos which were home to the Pathet Lao in the 60's and 70's. Truly thought provoking about a period of History about which too little is known.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Group Leader was excellent throughout - always helpful and supportive (particularly towards 2 of the older generation!). We would hopefully travel with him again some time in the not too distant future. He was ably backed by those who assisted him in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, whether guides or drivers.    

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that there are long journeys which have to be made on the coach, on twisting and hilly roads, sometimes taking all or most of the day; of course this is inevitable given the distances involved in travelling through 3 countries.                                                                                                                                   Also, before you go, read "One Foot In Laos" by Dervla Murphy, which covers (in reverse direction) much of the route we travelled. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is undoubtedly an excellent way to see a part of South Eat Asia not yet swamped by tourists.                My one criticism concerns the Flights to Hanoi and particularly back from Bangkok. Kuala Lumpar is a considerable diversion!  

  • 6

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    It was a harder journey than I expected with some long transfers but overall it was an incredible journey.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stopping at a hill tribe in the mountains.  I gave away a blanket I had bought the day before to a family who owned very little.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Thai leader was very good and went out his way to sort out any problems.  I liked the Bangkok travel where he used public transport of Sky train, boat, bus and canal boat.  If you were not familiar with using public transport in Bangkok, it showed you how to do it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold weather, long transfers

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus is being economical with the truth.  The trips notes should say if there is a 9 hour transfer. It helps to then set expectations.  Exodus use to include all food and most other extras.  There are now lots of hidden extras including the tipping of hotel staff. As the food is not included, meals end up being ordered individually. This can can cause up to an hour and half before the food is delivered which is a long time by anybody's standard but if you have cycled its an eternity.  Having meals included and bought and probably ordered in advance is a better way of handling. I know its all about the head line price but we still have to pay to its better to be up front about it. 

  • 10

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    Fabulous cycling trip through remote mountains and villages with all the amazing sights and sounds of SE Asia. Don't be fooled - the cycling is tough but totally worthwhile!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic views across the mountains of Laos with not a single house, village or vehicle in sight. Seeing the sun slip behind the limestone stacks and hills of Luang Prabang as the Mekong floats past.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great and lovely guy who was gentle, caring, knowledgable and always ready to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My first trip with a Camelbak - an essential piece of kit, am so glad I bought this. At the start of this trip I didn't feel the food was of a good enough standard for the amount of cycling we were doing so would recommend taking some protein powders, dried fruit, nuts and other such healthy snack food to keep you going. We had heavy rain on two days and I didn't take adequate wet weather gear - but I survived and think we were pretty unlucky to have rain. Hope this helps!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    A memorable cycle trip through Vietnam and Laos which had stunning scenery, the physical challenge of some big hills, a touching insight into recent history and its current impact, friendly people and healthy fresh food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The evening visit to the MAG Centre (Mines Advisory Group - http://www.maginternational.org) and learning about the ‘Secret War, how the Lao people had suffered from the American aerial bombardment and how they are working to clear the land of ordnance today.  A graphic example of this is having to walk between the white stones (which is the safe area) when visiting the Plain of Jars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Al, although Harry Potter might have been nearer the mark as he was magic! His knowledge of the area was encyclopaedic, his recommendations for restaurants/cafes was excellent, the exchange rates at the places suggested to convert currency could not be beaten, he even managed to get us seats for both the Water Puppets (Hanoi) and the Ladyboys (Bangkok) on the afternoon of the event when both shows were fully booked and when the group wanted some cycle clothing took us all shopping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not think in UK terms of times and distances. When cycling the heat and humidity (humisery) can slow you down and when on the bus transfers it might be only 20km on the map but twisting roads and road conditions will make it seem more like 60km. Suggest some training before going. I went in April so had got very little road work in but I’m very glad I’d got lots of Km in on the indoor (turbo) trainer. Laos is a developing country. Therefore some of the conditions are basic do not expect 5 star hotels. However, bar one, all the hotels we stayed at were equal to or better than UK budget hotels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having travelled the north of Laos, it might be worth Exodus running cycling trips in the south of the country which I understand is the coffee growing area?

  • 6

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    This is a great trip for those wanting to see the more remote areas of Vietnam and Laos, away from the usual cities and tourist spots. However because of that there are some long spells being transported on buses (although great for watching the world go by) and some pretty basic hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was great to meet local people and see them in their homes and schools. It would have been great to organise a homestay as one of the accomodation options. Some of the biking was amazing, especially the views from the mountain roads of Laos. On one descent we went downhill for 18 miles solid, without much of a climb the other side either!  The knowledge you pick up from the local tours and guides is facinating. Laos is the most heaviliy bombed country in the world per head of population, and since the war with the USA finished in early 70's over 12,000 people have died through finding unexploded bomb ordinance

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lamb, La and Al were all good tour leaders. Very patient and helpfull.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some miles in on your bike before you arrive to make sure you enjoy the riding as much as possible - there are a few hills! Have some good books to read or music to listen to whilst of the bus transfers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    CYCLING IN LAOS & NORTHERN VIETNAM

    My fourth holiday with Exodus and second to Indochina. This was a great trip and everything I expected: a really good group, the usual excellent guides and many 'varied experiences' (food, sites and cycling). 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the border from Vietnam into Laos. The Laos highlands were a marked contrast to Vietnam, scenically and culturally. As the trip notes indicate, travellers have not been entering the country for long by this route and this was apparent by locals' surprised yet friendly reactions. Laos appears to be a country that is changing fast, so I'm glad to have visited at ths time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Al, was experienced, competent and suitably well-humoured. We were impressed by his quiet problem solving ability, which kept the trip rolling throughout. I had the misfortune to fall off my bike, unavoidably, and Al managed this well, again quietly checking I was alright and providing the help I needed without making a drama of it. Our local guides in Vietnam (Lam) and Laos (Tuey) were both welcoming and were able to answer our questions about their respective home countries.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a camera and spare batteries. Plenty of plugs along the way to charge things up, if you have an adaptor. As the trip notes say, occasional stop overs are very basic, so be prepared to 'rough it' a bit. That said, most nights were in hotels that ranged from 'ok' to very good (and bore no resemblance to an enduring memory of 'basic' in a wintery Nepalese tea house). Cycling wasn't frighteningly arduous, bar the two climbs noted in the trip notes, which I did slowly and, ahem, with a bit of a walk at times. The rented bikes were great, so there's really no need to take your own. Bottled water is available throughout, so no need to take iodine, etc. Do take some insect repellant for occasional evenings (even in winter). We did encounter a few mozzies, though not loads. Take Imodium and rehydration sachets for the odd stomach bug. Laos wasn't cold in December, though a couple of foggy days in the highlands made a fleece and hat handy. Washable, breathable clothing and padded cycling shorts advisable, unless you're already saddle hardened. Money goes a long way and there are plenty of chances to change US dollars along the route (less so for travellers cheques outside main towns).    

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Laos is a developing country and, as with Vietnam, is politically still finding its way with western tourists. If you're sensitive to the history of these countries' recent past, this is a great time to visit. If you are of a nervous disposition, watch out for the meat stalls at local markets in northern Laos. Vientiane was lovely and relaxed for evening strolling and eating; and I wish I'd had an extra day. If you have time on the last day in Bangkok, the Jim Thompson house is an easy, laid back visit to round off, and has a shop for quality, locally-made silk products (which got me off the hook with my girlfriend on my return). If you can't, they have a shop at the airport! If you have time (I didn't), consider spending an extra day or two in Bangkok, which is huge and has loads to explore.  Have fun!

  • 10

    Cycle Laos

    Great Bike Ride, lots of hill climbs and even more fast descents through spectacular limestone mountains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding past so many friendly villages , all waving and very friendly smiles from all ages of people on the side of the roads.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The riding guides did a magnificent job , kept the faster people going fast while looking after the slower riders and those stopping to take pictures, the back up crew kept us fed and watered , and looked after anyone who wanted a ride in the van , everybody was looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for inexperienced bike rider , but average fitness is good enough. If you like asian food , cycling , river trips and overnight trains as I do this is the trip for you

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot more to see in Laos but this trip was a great start

  • 10

    Cycling in Laos

    A great cycling holiday through the northern rural areas of Laos

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many inspirational moments. The stand outs for me being the welcoming nature of the children and communities of the small rural townships, the descent through the limestone mountains and the boat ride down the Mekong River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were fantastic. Funny and sociable, yet all the time keeping us informed, safe and on schedule.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your time to look around and enjoy what is happening around you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bike riding was fairly challenging in a couple of sections, particularly if the weather was warmer, but a van and support crew were always available to assist or provide a lift if required.

  • 10

    Cycling in Laos

    Far more than a holiday, this was a real experience. We travelled through villages in Laos where the children and adults were genuinely pleased to see you with the shouts of 'saibaedee' echoing from their homes. Children loved to 'high five' as we pedalled through their village. Although the temperatures were far higher than we had expected the team helped us through with plenty of breaks for snacks and fluids. Each section brought another satisfied smile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day brought a new challenge. Rit, our group leader was an inspiration himself, watching his cycling style gave me something to try to aim for, although at a much slower pace!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit was a softly spoken but interesting and cheerful guide who kept us busy from morning till night, He made sure we were looked after well and everything went to plan. His organisation and planning was very good and made the holiday run smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit for the challenges ahead. March was hot and 'smoggy' so possibly a time to avoid.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our first Exodus holiday but we are already planning where to go next. Totally inspired with having been able to cycle and enjoy the experience of being part of local life.

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