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independent guides/drivers

  • fishtails04

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd January, 2008
    Posts: 33

    i will be travelling through vietnam for the next few weeks from saigon up to sapa and would like to try an use independent guides anywhere i can, whether around cities or for treks etc. i'm sick of seeing guest houses take a chunk of the guide's wage so have decided to try and go direct whenever i can...but for that i need contacts!
    if anyone can give me contact details for anyone they have found good, anywhere in vietnam, i would really appreciate it.

    #1 Posted: 18/1/2008 - 16:27

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  • CatBa

    Joined Travelfish
    5th March, 2007
    Posts: 349

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Your problem will be locating these independent guides - travel agents / tour ops take the biggest 'chunks' - hotels usually far, far less.

    Your best bet is to ask the hotel for introduction to a guide(s) so that you can select one that best matches your needs and that you can understand.

    Some guides are SO or TUNG (a Black H'Mong) located through Sa Pa Goldsea Hotel, < sapagoldsea@hn.vnn.vn >, 58 Fanxipan Road, Tel: 84-(0)-20-872-180 / 84-(0)-20-871-869. E-m:sapagoldsea@hn.vnn.vn.
    Villages worth visiting are Cat Cat, GiangTaChai, TaPhin, YLinhHo, HauThao, SuPan (easily the most beautiful village in Sapa area).

    Another excellent guide is "Thanh-Sa Pa" < longsapa@gmail.com >, guiding for over 6 years and has good English. An enterprising guy, he has a tour that includes night 1 in Tavan, Dzay People, night 2 in Seo Trung Ho, Red Dzao, night 3 Ban Ho, Tay People, night 4,5 in Sa Pa, day 6 is for the Montagnard market.

    At the Mountain View Hotel there is a Mrs. Hong there who runs a guide service. Many of them are female and young but are very experienced in showing visitors around. For Mount PhanXiPan climbers she has a man named Chang - he is strong enough to assist the weary climbers. Always ask for the long route to the top - the short one is too steep.

    But on ALL accounts avoid guides from the Victoria! (expensive - and the Victoria Hotel itself - aging).

    Note: You MUST employ a guide if you climb Mount FanSiPan as ONLY they can obtain the required climbing permit from the police. Do NOT worry if the guide appears young, or female, as they all have excellent guiding skills and are likely stronger than you!

    #2 Posted: 18/1/2008 - 18:37

  • fishtails04

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd January, 2008
    Posts: 33

    thanks for the good info (and also re laundry soap!), much appreciated. i'm sure i will posting more questions soon!

    #3 Posted: 20/1/2008 - 10:20

  • manooe

    Joined Travelfish
    12th September, 2007
    Posts: 34

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    In Hanoi, how do you think about these guys "Hanoikids" ?

    U can contact them via email: hanoikids@yahoo.com

    #4 Posted: 21/1/2008 - 14:33

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    In Southern VN and the Delta, you can not do better than Jason (Super Star) Guide. He contributes regularly at the tripadvisor forum and comes highly recommended.

    You can PM him here:

    #5 Posted: 24/1/2008 - 03:12

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