During the French Quarter Walking Tour last week, Christopher and his wife from Hong Kong made a stop at the renowned Tran Tien Ice Cream shop. As part of my usual practice, I provided them with hand sanitizer to prioritize their health and safety. They complimented the thoroughness of the preparation. Today, we will share what our local hosts bring to guarantee the optimal experience.
Photography captures both historical and current events.
This is what we learned from the online tour we conducted last year: the guide should bring photos. Visualizing the stories we share with guests through photos is the most effective way to help them understand and engage better. While we can show the guests photos from our phones, we discovered that actual printed photos capture their attention more effectively. Additionally, printed photos are larger in size. We also regularly update the photos with the latest news and additional information we gather to enhance the tour’s stories.
→ Read more: Hanoi French Quarter – 21 Best Things to Do
For example, during the Stories from the Vietnam War tour, we shared with the guests the story of John McCain, who was held as a POW during the Vietnam War. At Truc Bach Lake, where he landed after being shot down, there is a statue of John McCain. Recently (September 2023), US President Joe Biden visited Vietnam and personally paid his respects by coming here and laying flowers at the statue of John McCain. We printed out these stories to share with the guests, and it was a pleasant surprise for them. They mentioned that it helped them to better connect with the stories.
A note with a list of café and local restaurant recommendations, as well as basic Vietnamese.
After each tour, guests often ask us for recommendations on the best coffee shops and vegan restaurants that we have visited. Instead of explaining each time, we provide a printed note containing all the necessary information. Guests appreciate this smart idea as they can even share the note with their friends and families. The note includes the website, phone number, and a QR code for easy access in case guests have any further questions. Moreover, if guests have a free morning or afternoon, they can easily book one of our experiences and create lasting memories.
During the food walking tour and vegan food walking tour, we have the opportunity to sample various local dishes. However, some local restaurants may not have accessible toilets. To ensure the safety and hygiene of the tour, it is best and most convenient to bring our own hand sanitizer. There was a previous incident where a guest complained because I forgot to bring the hand sanitizer, so since then, my team and I always make sure to bring it whenever we host tours.
It is very common to have mosquitoes in Vietnam, especially during the rainy season. To help our guests, we provide mosquito repellent and recommend bringing it to mountainous areas such as Ha Giang, Sa Pa, or Mai Chau.
Hosting tours successfully requires a lot of effort and preparation. However, we believe that having these three important elements can help us gain trust and make our guests feel comfortable, ultimately allowing us to provide the best experience possible.
>>> Check out our best local experience in Hanoi here.