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Trails of Vietnam

On foot, in the saddle, with paddle – actively discover the length of
Vietnam!



At a glance

* 8 nights hotels, all with ensuite facilities
* 1 night boat with twin share cabins
* 1 night standard homestay guesthouse in the Mekong Delta
* 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
* Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader

On foot, in the saddle, with paddle – actively discover 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 the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of
mountains, 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 Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you
wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere, with the exception
of the night in the Mekong Delta.

Vegetarian food is widely available, however the offering will be fairly
similar in most places. Please advise at time of booking if you have any
dietary requirements.

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-lined boulevards, most noticeably from the faded French
architecture.

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!

This evening there will be a welcome briefing with your leader followed by an
optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

This morning we transfer (approx. 4 hours) to Hoa Binh Province. 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 (approx. 1-1.5hrs) to Thung Nai harbour. We’ll
stop for lunch and if time permitting, 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
remainder of the afternoon/early evening 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

After an early start, we transfer (approx. 4 hours) to Halong Bay where 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). There may even be the chance to
try a spot of fishing from the boat too. 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 in Hanoi and board
the Reunification Express for the overnight train ride to Hue (approx. 12
hours). The overnight train journey is a great way to travel like the locals
and really experience Vietnam.
*Overnight Train*

Day 7

Arrive early 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. This morning, we take a bus
transfer 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.

Afterwards, in the afternoon, we will jump on local bikes and cycle around
Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb, which 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. Whilst traffic will be a
bit busier with motorbikes in a city like Hue, your leader is well prepared
to safely manage cycling in a group and will provide clear guidelines.
*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. (The cycling is aprox. 15km on mostly flat
terrain).

Following this, a 130km drive to Da Nang 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 home for 2 nights, Hoi An.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

Embrace the sleepy ambience seeping through Hoi An on our walking tour
(approx. 3-4 hrs) of  Vietnam’s original European trading port town dating
back to the mid-16th 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. 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 may also be 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 Da Nang airport and fly to Saigon (approx. 70 mins), a city full
of chaotic thrills.  Please be aware that as Saigon is located in the south,
it is likely to be much warmer and humid than the north of the country.

Upon arrival into Saigon, 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.

Afterwards, we 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 homestay guesthouse built in the style of a local
house. Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided.
*Homestay 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, sweets,
pancakes and wine. Recently, Cai Be floating market is becoming less crowded
and smaller as fruit trading is mostly now done by trucks due to the bridge
being built. However, this is still a great opportunity to see a local market
and the trade being conducted traditionally on a smaller scale.

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 and distressing.

Heading to the romantic Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral throws yet another
light on Saigon.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14

For land only clients, the tour ends this morning after breakfast. 

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-10-062018-10-19

Trip code: AOF181006

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1375

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Date: 2018-10-202018-11-02

Trip code: AOF181020

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-10-272018-11-09

Trip code: AOF181027

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Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1395

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Date: 2018-11-032018-11-16

Trip code: AOF181103

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2018-11-242018-12-07

Trip code: AOF181124

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-12-222019-01-04

Trip code: AOF181222

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2019-01-132019-01-26

Trip code: AOF190113

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-01-262019-02-08

Trip code: AOF190126

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Date: 2019-02-092019-02-22

Trip code: AOF190209

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-02-232019-03-08

Trip code: AOF190223

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Date: 2019-03-162019-03-29

Trip code: AOF190316

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Date: 2019-04-062019-04-19

Trip code: AOF190406

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-04-132019-04-26

Trip code: AOF190413

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-07-062019-07-19

Trip code: AOF190706

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2019-07-132019-07-26

Trip code: AOF190713

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-08-032019-08-16

Trip code: AOF190803

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Date: 2019-08-172019-08-30

Trip code: AOF190817

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Date: 2019-10-052019-10-18

Trip code: AOF191005

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Price: €1455

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Date: 2019-10-262019-11-08

Trip code: AOF191026

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-11-022019-11-15

Trip code: AOF191102

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Date: 2019-11-162019-11-29

Trip code: AOF191116

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Date: 2019-11-232019-12-06

Trip code: AOF191123

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Date: 2019-12-142019-12-27

Trip code: AOF191214

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Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-12-212020-01-03

Trip code: AOF191221

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Date: 2020-01-112020-01-24

Trip code: AOF200111

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Date: 2020-01-252020-02-07

Trip code: AOF200125

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Date: 2020-02-082020-02-21

Trip code: AOF200208

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Date: 2020-02-222020-03-06

Trip code: AOF200222

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Date: 2020-02-292020-03-13

Trip code: AOF200229

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Date: 2020-03-142020-03-27

Trip code: AOF200314

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Date: 2020-04-042020-04-17

Trip code: AOF200404

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Date: 2020-04-112020-04-24

Trip code: AOF200411

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Date: 2020-07-042020-07-17

Trip code: AOF200704

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Date: 2020-07-112020-07-24

Trip code: AOF200711

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Date: 2020-08-012020-08-14

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Date: 2020-08-152020-08-28

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Customer Feedback

Insight into how ordinary people in Vietnam live

Summary:
I’ve been to Vietnam before, but this trip was completely different. This
time I felt that I was really getting under the skin of the country to
understand how ordinary people, rather than emperors or presidents, live. At
each of the homestays we had the opportunity to chat with the families we
were staying with and to ask them questions about things as varied as their
daily working routines, the pressures they faced, family structures etc. and
had the experience of staying in a typical family house.
In addition to that there was a packed agenda of sightseeing visits,
activities and eating that left me happily exhausted by the end of the trip.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The first homestay was (just) the best part of the trip. The family was so
welcoming, so obviously pleased to have us staying with them and so
interested in telling us about their lives that it got the trip off to a
great start and set the tone for the rest of it. Travelling there, amidst the
devastation caused by recent unseasonably heavy rain, was an experience in
itself.
Close behind this were: the trek from the first homestay to the second,
through the hills, with amazing views down mist laden valleys to the lake
where the second homestay was, and the dancing with the village dance troupe
in the evening at the second homestay (I was grabbed by the village flautist
to pair him in the dancing, probably because he thought that as a 64 year old
male I would be even worse than he was, but I reckon I – just – edged it!).

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leader, Linh Vo, was outstanding. He had a compendious knowledge of
Vietnam and its culture, people history and food, which he communicated
effortlessly, coupled with personal experiences to bring it to life. His
organisation was immaculate: everything that was supposed to happen did
happen and at the time when it was meant to happen, with Linh on the phone
double and triple checking ahead to make sure that it did. He was clearly
well known, popular and much respected in many of the places that we visited,
which meant that we got extra-special attention that made a real difference
to my experience. He had a great sense of humour and was a terrific person to
travel with.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Vietnamese food is amazing. Make a list of all the food you eat, because at
the end you will want to look back on it and maybe cook some of it back home,
but if you haven’t made a list (I didn’t) you just won’t be able to remember.
Make sure you try egg coffee in Hanoi.

Read full review

vietnam adventure

Summary:
excellent trip with many highlights and brilliant guide –Son Nguyen

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
meeting the Hill tribe people in North Vietnam and the two home stays which
were both lovely

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Son was brilliant and an excellent guide — was fantastic

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
travel light –dont need to much luggage and move frequently so too heavy a
bag is a pain for all concerned !
mosquito repellent is needed as we were bitten quite a bit even though
mosquitoes were not immediately obvious –
bring a refillable bottle for water
go to some spin classes for the cycling –although distance not great it was
hard work in that heat =-!

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

Answer:
altogether was a great trip and would recommend i!
we would certainly do another exodus trip if we travel to other destinations
and felt it was very well organised
leader was great and many thanks for looking after us so well!

Read full review

Wonderful adventure

Summary:
This was our first Exodus trip and we were so impressed. The trip is action
packed and Vietnam has so much to offer. There was a reasonable level of
activity (walking and cycling and a kayaking trip), combined with a chance to
immerse yourself in the culture of the country and meet the local villagers.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to maximise their time in Vietnam
and get a really good feel for the country.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
We went on a boat overnight on Halong Bay to see the stunning and famous
limestone rocks. The sunrise the next morning was breathtaking.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our group leader, Thoa, was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble and he is
a credit to Exodus. He looked after us very well, accomodated everyone’s
requirements and showed us the best sights and great places to eat and drink
with the locals. All the travel arrangements were organised seamlessly and we
felt rather spoilt. He encouraged us all to try new experiences and was great
company.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
This trip is very busy – a new location nearly every day and lots of
travelling. This worked really well for our group as there is so much to
discover in Vietnam but don’t choose it if you want a restful trip.
The cycling and walking is manageable if you are active and great if you like
variety but probably rather tame if you do walk or cycle regularly as a
hobby.

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

Answer:
This is a great value trip and I would really recommend it.
There was quite a bit of rain in the North when we travelled in August and,
although it didn’t spoil our trip, its unpredictability may affect some
activities.

Read full review

Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
A busy trip, which gave a great overview of Vietnam, but with enough
activities so that It didn’t feel a sightseeing tour. There were journeys to
be made but there was always a fun activity to look forward to. Vietnam is a
fascinating country, and we met lovely people along the way.,

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
We were a very small group ( only 4) and it was lovely to be invited into the
kitchen to eat at our first homestay. I enjoyed the buzz of cycling in Hue,

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Thoa was a great leader. Everything was organised to perfection and we made
great use of our time. Thoughtful things like ordering a take away on the
train, and his attention to detail added to the trip. He is good company and
I learned so much about Vietnam from him.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Bring earplugs! Apart from the risk of snorers in the homestays, there is
also the risk of karaoke! The biking equipment is great, but padded shorts a
must. Be prepared for lots of action, as well as some long journeys. Leave
room in your suitcase for clothes from Hoi An.

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

Answer:
Really enjoyable trip.. a great way to see and do a lot with comfortable
accommodation, plenty of activities and great food.

Read full review

Trails of Vietnam

Summary:
A busy trip, which gave a great overview of Vietnam, but with enough
activities so that It didn’t feel a sightseeing tour. There were journeys to
be made but there was always a fun activity to look forward to. Vietnam is a
fascinating country, and we met lovely people along the way.,

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
We were a very small group ( only 4) and it was lovely to be invited into the
kitchen to eat at our first homestay. I enjoyed the buzz of cycling in Hue,

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Thoa was a great leader. Everything was organised to perfection and we made
great use of our time. Thoughtful things like ordering a take away on the
train, and his attention to detail added to the trip. He is good company and
I learned so much about Vietnam from him.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Bring earplugs! Apart from the risk of snorers in the homestays, there is
also the risk of karaoke! The biking equipment is great, but padded shorts a
must. Be prepared for lots of action, as well as some long journeys. Leave
room in your suitcase for clothes from Hoi An.

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

Answer:
Really enjoyable trip.. a great way to see and do a lot with comfortable
accommodation, plenty of activities and great food.

Read full review

Trails of Vietnam 1st – 14th April 2018

Summary:
Overall, this was a very enjoyable and active trip which enabled us to get a
good undersanding of the different areas and lifestyles of the people from
the hill-tribe villages in the north down to the islands and floating market
traders in the Mekong Delta.
Unfortunately, we were all disapointed when we were told that we would not be
allowed to stay on our boat in Halong Bay overnight and would not be able to
enjoy the planned kayaking around the islands. We had not made aware that
this could happen.
Following on from this we had a full day in Hue when it rained the whole day,
whilst we did visit the Imperial Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda (in the rain) it
prevented us cycling to other planned places of interest.
Once we had flown south to Ho Chi Minh City and the weather improved (+35C)
our moral was restored and we enjoyed a very active and varied 2nd half of
the tour.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
Visiting the two hilltribe settlements of Sung Village and Đá Bia village
in Hoa Binh Province. and meeting the Dzau Tien and Muong people. So
welcoming, uncommercial, natural and friendly.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our group leader was Phi Hoang. Very nice guy, very knowledgeable and
passionate about his country and culture.
A minor criticism would be that he could have provided more information on
interesting buildings and points of interest during the many long and tedious
bus journeys we undertook. I suppose to him they are just everyday buildings
but to us tourists they are all very interesting pieces of architecture and
culture.
Also, as I have noticed on my previous trip to Cambodia the guides always
seem to take the tourists to the more upmarket, European, trendy and very
expensive restaurants (by local standards). Personally, I would prefer to try
the more authentic, local cuisine and more “street food”. On one occasion,
our guide wanted to take us to a restaurant by taxi which we could have
walked to faster. When he called taxis to take us back to our hotel after our
meal, we refused and said that we wanted to walk a little after our meal. We
are all grown adults and do not need to be chaperoned.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I would advise potential travellers to try to add a couple of days onto the
start and end of the trip if at all possible as this gives the traveler a
little time to acclimatise and to get over some of the jet lag before
starting a fairly intensive travell programme.
On this particular trip, I would advise travelers to ensure they take
something warm to wear on the overnight train journey with the Reunification
Express from Hanoi down to Hue. The air conditioning is absolutely freezing
and cannot be controlled from the cabins. The four people in our cabin froze
and struggled to get any sleep.

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

Answer:
Unfortunately, after a very good start to our trip we hit a low point on day
5 when we had travelled to Halong Bay for our overnight boat trip in the bay
and Kayaking around the islands. Whilst we did board our boat and enjoyed a
nice lunch sailing in the bay, we were told that the authorities had stated
that “no boats would be allowed to stay on the water during the evening or
night time due to an impending storm”. We and all the other boats had then to
return to shore and we were transferred to a very dated and tired looking
hotel in Halong City for the night’s stay. Many of the group were very
disapointed that they did not get an opportunity for kayaking which was one
of their main attractions when booking this trip.
What made the situation worse was the fact that it was not wet or stormy
during the night, so we could have stayed on board. The poor weather then hit
the shore on the following day when we had travelled to Hue.
Personally, prior to travelling I had thought Halong Bay would be the
highlight of this trip but in reality, it was disapointing and overrated. The
bay and islands are certainly beautiful but the area is far too commercial
with too many tourists and hundreds of tourist boats all following each other
around in circles in a closely controlled area of the bay.

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Vietnam Adventure

Summary:
My experience if Vietnam was an adventure from start to finish. The highlites
for me was the mountain trekking and staying with local tribes, experiencing
their culture, food and kind hospitality. The homestay on the Mekong Delta
was mind blowing, again the culture and food experience was unforgettable.
Our guide Phi was excellent with his knowledge and aptitude for organising
us, I felt privileged to have been able to learn so much about his wonderful
country.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Definitely the home stays, being amongst tribal cultures and experiencing
their lifestylez

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Phi Gas an outstanding knowledge of his country with a great passion to share
his wonderful country so that the traveller will experience the real Viestnam

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
This was good introduction for me as a first time solo traveller and an
excellent way to experience the culture and history.

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

Answer:
Looking forward to planning my next adventure…

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Vietnam is outstanding

Summary:
Vietnam is a beautiful country full of friendly people, stunning landscapes,
delicious food and hectic cities, and this trip encompasses it all along with
some activity thrown in the mix!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
I loved hanging out with the children at the homestay, even if we couldn’t
communicate properly with each other! They were all so sweet. I also loved
weaving through the crazy Hanoi streets and cycling in the Mekong Delta. Hoi
An was also excellent!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Small bags are needed for some of the stops, so maybe pack light! Learn hello
(xin chao) and thank you (cam on) in Vietnamese as it is always nice to say
to the locals. Take a tote bag with you for souvenirs and a reusable plastic
bottle as you can fill it up on the bus. Go with an open mind as things can
sometimes change due to weather.

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

Answer:
Visit Vietnam before it becomes too touristy! It is an amazing country with
so much to see and so much variation.

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Varied and exciting tour of a fascinating country

Summary:
An excellent 2 week trip exploring the culture, nature and history of a
beautiful country which, despite its complicated history with war, was one of
the most friendly and welcomes places I’ve visited.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Inspirational is not quite the right word, but I loved the first hike when we
reached the top of a lookout point where all around you you could see
mountains and lakes. I also loved cycling through rice fields.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Phi was friendly, knowledgable and easy to talk to. He struggled to motivate
the group when the overnight cruise was cancelled due to predicted poor
weather, which never materialised, much to our frustration.

I liked how he recommended local specialities at each restaurant, they were
delicious.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Pack light and make the most of the washing facilities provided, as small
bags are required for a number of stops. Expect wet weather in the
north/centre and very humid sun in the south. Bring a poncho and be aware
that the itinerary may be forced to change due to weather conditions.

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

Answer:
Growing up in England, you are not taught about the Vietnam War (or the
American War as they call it), so learning about it in Vietnam was truly eye
opening and horrifying. This trip combines culture, history and nature in
equal measure and its multi-activity style meant each day was different and
exciting.

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Trails of vietnam

Summary:
Trip didn’t get off to best start due to industrial action at Air France
but Exodus went the extra mile to sort things, superb service as I’ve come
to expect!!!

Great trip too … put it on your bucket list.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Hoi An, cool city!!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent, attentive & great sense of humour

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Go for it!!

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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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