Independent Travel or a Guided Tour?
Independent travel is now more popular than ever. People tend to get away from the so-called mass tourism. I think being guided by a professional tour guide can add value to the whole experience and positively influence your trip. It is a great option everyone should try out. By a guided tour, I do not mean the flag-carrying guides leading noisy and chaotic groups through a city. It is rather those guides that take care for individuals or small travel groups, showing local places and bringing the culture closer to the visitors. And all this for an affordable price.
A good guide shares insights that you never heard of and that you would not discover by exploring on your own.
My Fabulous Guided Tour in Vietnam
Last spring I spontaneously decided on a trip to Vietnam and, as I didn’t have too much time on my hands to get thoroughly prepared, I only managed to contact a tour guide I found online. To be honest, I didn’t expect much of my last-minute trip arrangement, but that made me marvel even more.
My personal tour guide met me in Ho Chi Minh City and drove me to a comfortable hotel where I could leave my bags, take a shower, grab a bite, and set out on an exciting trip packed with activities.
I relished every minute of the amazing sightseeing experience accompanied by my knowledgeable guide’s witty stories, anecdotes, historical facts, and personal comments. I learnt that he had been working as a tour guide in Vietnam for more than 15 years. Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh, he knew the area inside out, and had encyclopedia-like knowledge of its history. I should admit that having a professional tour guide accompany you means that your tour will be tailored according to your interests.
We saw downtown Ho Chi Minh, with its beautiful blend of modern and colonial architecture, wandered around Le Loi and Nguen Hue streets, and dropped by at Ben Thanh Market. I should say, the variety of products sold here is amazing – I couldn’t help but stop near every stall. But, as the thing always is with Vietnamese markets, you should bargain! Otherwise, you’ll end up buying stuff a few times more expensive than it really is.
However, the best part of my trip was probably the view of the city from the Skydeck of the Bitexco Financial Tower, the third tallest building in Vietnam – I never thought I could so overwhelmed by the grandeur of the view below.
After a nice walking tour I felt really starving, so my tour guide took me to a local diner to taste Vietnam’s famous phở (noodle soup) – and that was yummy! I even tried to recreate it back at home, but I failed to achieve that peculiar spicy flavor that an authentic Vietnamese phở had. So I guess I should come back to Vietnam to try it again!
In sum, I was really happy with my Vietnam tour guide. Thanks to him, I saw Ho Chi Minh’s best attractions, ate in finest places, and never wasted a minute. Next time I decide on a trip here, I will certainly book a professional tour guide again.Guides