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Trails of Vietnam

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



At a glance

* 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

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.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/aof_1.jpg?t=1E07mk

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

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

Food:
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.

Start destination: Hanoi

End destination: Saigon

Cycling profile

Day 1

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

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. We journey to the peaceful Sung Village,
the home of approximately 70 Dzao Tien ethnic minority/hill-tribe families.
Upon arrival, we will be served lunch cooked by a local family before heading
off on an afternoon trek where we will learn about traditional agriculture
and also visit a limestone cave and an ancient tea plantation. We will spend
the night staying with a family and have the chance learn more about rural
life in this beautiful part of the country. 

*Homestay*

Day 3

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 an early
breakfast, we start our trek. Walking for approximately 5 hours we will pass
through a picturesque valley made of quilt-like rice terraces, palms and
small villages. We’re also rewarded with fantastic views of the Da
Reservoir and its turquoise waters. We will arrive in the village of Da Bia
in time for lunch served by a Muong family that we will be staying with.
There will be some time near the end of the day free for those who might like
to swim in the reservoir or choose to hire a kayak and explore a little
further. 

*Homestay*

Day 4

A short walk this morning will take us to the reservoir where we will board a
private boat for our journey to Thung Nai harbour. We’ll stop for lunch and
have the option of visiting the Muong ethnic minority museum to learn a
little more about one the main ethnic groups of the area. 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 folktale and
legends are playfully recounted among the sounds of wooden bells, bamboo
flutes and cymbals.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

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*

Day 6

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*

Day 7

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*

Day 8

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*

Day 9

Embrace the sleepy ambience 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). There is also the option to spend the afternoon kayaking through the
coconut-palm lined canals in Cam Thanh village for those keen. 
(Walking tour approx 3-4 hrs)

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10

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*

Day 11

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*

Day 12

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.
*Guesthouse*

Day 13

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*

Day 14

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.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-01-202018-02-02

Trip code: AOF180120

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1475

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Date: 2018-02-102018-02-23

Trip code: AOF180210

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1475

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Date: 2018-02-242018-03-09

Trip code: AOF180224

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1535

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Date: 2018-03-102018-03-23

Trip code: AOF180310

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1535

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Date: 2018-03-242018-04-06

Trip code: AOF180324

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1495

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Date: 2018-04-012018-04-14

Trip code: AOF180401

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-07-142018-07-27

Trip code: AOF180714

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-07-212018-08-03

Trip code: AOF180721

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-08-042018-08-17

Trip code: AOF180804

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-08-182018-08-31

Trip code: AOF180818

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-09-232018-10-06

Trip code: AOF180923

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-10-062018-10-19

Trip code: AOF181006

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-10-202018-11-02

Trip code: AOF181020

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-10-272018-11-09

Trip code: AOF181027

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-11-032018-11-16

Trip code: AOF181103

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-11-172018-11-30

Trip code: AOF181117

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-11-242018-12-07

Trip code: AOF181124

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-12-082018-12-21

Trip code: AOF181208

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-12-192019-01-01

Trip code: AOF181219

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2018-12-222019-01-04

Trip code: AOF181222

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-01-132019-01-26

Trip code: AOF190113

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-01-272019-02-09

Trip code: AOF190127

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-02-102019-02-23

Trip code: AOF190210

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-02-242019-03-09

Trip code: AOF190224

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-03-032019-03-16

Trip code: AOF190303

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-03-172019-03-30

Trip code: AOF190317

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-04-072019-04-20

Trip code: AOF190407

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-04-142019-04-27

Trip code: AOF190414

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-07-072019-07-20

Trip code: AOF190707

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-07-142019-07-27

Trip code: AOF190714

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-08-042019-08-17

Trip code: AOF190804

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-10-062019-10-19

Trip code: AOF191006

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-10-202019-11-02

Trip code: AOF191020

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-10-272019-11-09

Trip code: AOF191027

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-11-032019-11-16

Trip code: AOF191103

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-11-172019-11-30

Trip code: AOF191117

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-11-242019-12-07

Trip code: AOF191124

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-12-082019-12-21

Trip code: AOF191208

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-12-152019-12-28

Trip code: AOF191215

Availability: Available

Price: €1565

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Date: 2019-12-192020-01-01

Trip code: AOF191219

Availability: Available

Price: €1565

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Customer Feedback

Great trip

Summary:
Great trip but a lot of time traveling. Which if you can sleep on buses is
great as gives you a chance to catch up.

It really is a on the go all times trip. But the locations and different
cities is worth it.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Loved the kayaking especially in the rain.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our group leader Lam was great. Good sense of humour, and the patience of a
saint.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I think this trip is accessible to all.

I would recommend taking an umbrella. Buying a waterproof case/pouch for
phone for the kayaking. Pack of cards. Small hold-all for all the home stays.
Most of us just had backpack which we needed to use for walking so ended up
with stuff in platic bags.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Well worth doing. I got to see all of Vietnam in a short time.

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Wow!

Summary:
This trip is non stop.. you see and do so much with a fun, knowledgeable
guide. There is nothing we were not happy with…brilliant experience

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Not sure I could chose one but probably the war tunnels ..

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Such fun from start to finish and worked tirelessly to ensure everything was
good..so knowledgeable and passionate too…

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Just do It! .. ideal for single travellers too

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
2nd exodus trip and both have been amazing ..

Read full review

Wow!

Summary:
This trip is non stop.. you see and do so much with a fun, knowledgeable
guide. There is nothing we were not happy with…brilliant experience

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Not sure I could chose one but probably the war tunnels ..

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Such fun from start to finish and worked tirelessly to ensure everything was
good..so knowledgeable and passionate too…

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Just do It! .. ideal for single travellers too

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
2nd exodus trip and both have been amazing ..

Read full review

Breathtaking Vietnam

Summary:
A fabulous experience, not least because Vietnam is such a varied and
beautiful country with vibrant, hectic cities, enchanting villages and
wonderfully welcoming people. This trip gives you the chance to experience
all aspects of life in Vietnam and the excellent service you receive from the
tour leader means that you can relax and fully appreciate everything on
offer.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
LOTS of this trip was inspirational. All the food we ate was phenomenal – if
you like cooking I would highly recommend the cooking class in Hoi An which
was great fun and educational. Riding through the backwaters and villages of
Central Vietnam and the Mekong Delta was wonderful – the best way to see
‘real’ life for the majority of Vietnamese people. If you get chance to do
the additional cycling day then take it! Kayaking at Halong Bay was great fun
and the best way to see the limestone cliffs. The people of Vietnam are truly
inspirational having been through so much conflict and to be so open and
welcoming to tourists.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Cong was absolutely fabulous. He was engaging and knowledgeable, very proud
of his country and wanting us to love it as much as he does. He really
understood our group and our sense of humour making the (sometimes long) bus
journeys more fun! He encourages us to make the most of our time (“you can
sleep on the plane!”). Every recommendation he made for experiences,
restaurants, laundry, shopping etc turned out to be excellent. We cannot
thank him enough and he was a great ambassador for Exodus.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
As our guide advised us… make the most of every second. Yes, it is a full
on trip and you will sometimes feel tired. But the travelling was part of the
experience for me and I learned a lot just by looking out of the bus window!
Mosquito nets are provided everywhere. I only used my cotton sleeping bag
liner on the train because it was a bit cold, otherwise it was not needed.
Neck pillows did come in handy because of the amount of travelling. The bikes
are reasonably good mountain bikes. I did use padded cycling shorts but my
husband didn’t to no real ill-effect. Don’t take a lot of clothes… laundry
is available very cheaply at several points on the trip. Almost everywhere we
stayed provided soap / shampoo for washing you don’t need loads of toiletries
(if you are not fussy about what you use). Just take some for the first
homestay in My Chau and on the train. They are provided on the boat and in
the second homestay.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
If you want to experience Vietnam, both touristy and non-touristy parts, and
want to be a bit active whilst you are there, this is the trip for you. Make
the most of every second!

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Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
A brilliant trip with a great group of people and an exceptional guide.

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Trails of Vietnam

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

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
our group leader was great. well informed.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
This tour was very busy with many long bus rides.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Make sure you bring a padded bike seat!

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Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
This was a fantastic holiday, full on but well worth it. Don’t think twice
just book it, you’ll enjoy every minute.

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Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

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We really enjoyed ourselves

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

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Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
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.

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Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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