Read time – 2 minutes
After a few unenjoyable years working in an office, Cong Nguyen ditched his day job to become a tour leader in Vietnam, which he’s been doing for 10 years. He’s passionate about the country and loves meeting new people.
Introducing Cong Nguyen
“I’m a family man, so I know that seeing the world like this can be a bit different. I always make sure the kids have enough time to rest. Happy kids mean happy parents.
It’s lovely having groups that have never been to Vietnam before. You see their eyes open as they experience things for the first time, from the food to the beautiful scenery. They love the old merchant houses and pagodas in Hoi An, and I like to introduce them to new things such as weird fruit in the markets, how to cook food they wouldn’t have at home and carrot carving, as well as the people, language and customs.
Vietnam has a wonderful landscape and the journey from Hanoi to Danang is very interesting. We take a slow-engine sleeper train that makes you feel like you are transported back to the 1930s. We get to Danang as the sun rises. With the ocean on the left and rice paddies and mountains on the right, it is quite breathtaking.
It’s a balance between country and city. In Hoi An I take families to the beach by riding a bike through rice paddies where they see buffalo, birds and farmers working. We visit a fishing village and ride with locals in bamboo basket boats, snorkelling off the side to see coral and fish – I like to immerse my guests in local life.
In Saifon they see the difference of the big city: bright lights from rooftop restaurants, scooters whizzing past, busy markets and street food.
I never stop learning. In my free time, I like to read about economics and history. My country has a very interesting past and I love to describe it to tourists. It’s very easy for me to talk about and luckily I meet lots of people who are interested.
Children love to explore the caves and tunnels we visit that were used bu guerrillas as hospitals, living quarters and escape routes during the Vietnam War.
We spend a day on a boat in Halong Bay. This is my favourite part of the trip! I always say that you only get one life, and this is something you really must see because it is so special. Imagine 3,000 limestone peaks rising out from the clear emerald sea.
We ride around areas you can only get to by boat and spend the night on board – you won’t see anything like this in any other country. It is unique. You really feel like you have left the world behind.”
If you’d like to join Cong in Vietnam, take a look at our trip below.