Exploring ripe culture with a splash of adventure on the off-the-beaten tracks
A legend in his own right, Mr. Linh believes in not just selling travel packages, but experiences.
Being a founder of Mr. Linh’s adventures, the responsibility of marketing rests on his shoulders on
top of the hospitality that comes as a part of his job. Solving the challenge simply by reading market
trends and constantly bettering the quality of his packages, Mr. Linh is proud to have achieved the
ultimate dream of a guide—to guide travelers to rare locations they otherwise couldn’t reach easily.
In this interview, Mr. Linh dives into the delicacies and intricacies of Vietnamese travel, describing
what delights it offers to the curious souls out there. He also talks about his biggest challenges,
favorite adventure quotes, his specializations, and more.
What would you consider the top attractions driving tourists to Vietnam?
The most popular Vietnamese tourist attractions are the famous UNESCO World Heritage
Sites such as Ha Long Bay, Hue and Hoi An and the Mekong Delta, as well as the main cities such as
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
What would you personally recommend visiting?
The mountains of Northern Vietnam and Laos contains some of the most stunning nature in
the world. Compared to the more popular Southeast Asian tourist sites, this area receives very few
foreign visitors, making them wonderfully off-the-beaten-track destinations and free of the typical
tourist crowds. Highlights include the Ha Giang Loop, Ba Be National Park, numerous minority
villages and the enormous Ban Gioc Waterfall on the border with China.
Where is your favourite area to spend your weekends?
My favorite place to spend the weekends and get away from the big city is Ba Be National
Park. Staying in a small ethnic minority village, near the peaceful lake surrounded by green
mountains, is the perfect way to destress from the week and start again fresh.
Which adventures would you say are the most popular — hiking, kayaking
Hiking is by far the most popular adventure activity in Vietnam, but motorcycling and
kayaking are also very popular.
Which type of sports activities are the most popular? Any extreme sports
Football is by far the most popular sport among the Vietnamese. You can find people
playing football in the streets in every town and village throughout the country. In terms of extreme
sports, many travellers come to Vietnam, especially to places like Cat Ba or Ha Long Bay, for their
excellent rock climbing opportunities.
What are the specialties of the various local cuisines? Which dishes would
you recommend? Any restaurants you would recommend?
Vietnam has a wealth of different local cuisines, depending on the area. Being from the
north, I would recommend famous dishes like pho, spring rolls and bun cha, as well as eating in
homestays in small ethnic minority villages where the meals are all homemade and contain fresh
produce and ingredients.
As for restaurants, these are the ones that I would specifically recommend:
LIST OF RESTAURANTS PROVIDED BY LINH.
27 Dong Du street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam
THUẦN VIỆT QUÁN
55 Ma May, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Thuan Viet Quan restaurant is a hidden gem in the centre of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The historic building is situated down a charming secret street so you can discover an oasis of peace
Red Bean Trendy
No.94 Ma May St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam
No.12 Nguyen Quang Bich, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi,
1 Cau Go Street, Hoan Kiem District , Hanoi City
No 18 Lo Su Street, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi.
34 Chau Long Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
When would you recommend to travel? What are the seasonal activities of
Vietnam is a country with two distinct climates. When visiting the south, one should avoid
the rainy season (June to September). The dry season (October to May) is ideal for travelling in
southern Vietnam. Meanwhile, northern Vietnam has four distinct seasons. Their summer (June to
August) is quite hot and humid. Their winter (November to January) is quite cold. Spring (February-
May) and fall (September-October) are ideal if you are planning a trip to the north.
What is your favourite adventure?
I love to go caving, especially to remote and uncharted caves. In fact, as recently as 2016, I
discovered Lomo Cave in Ba Be National Park, which is currently being prepared for tourists to come
What is your the most notable experience that you’ve ever planned?
The most special experiences we have planned here has to be our Responsible Tourism
Packages. These are designed from the ground up in order to provide travellers with a way to travel
while also giving back to the communities that they visit, improving the lives of the local native
peoples and helping to protect the environment from overdevelopment and irresponsible tourism
How long have you been a travel agent? Why are you different from other
travel agencies out there?
We have more than a decade of experience as travel agents, and the fact that our team is
made up entirely of local people is what sets us apart. We have a deep passion and love for the
areas we visit, as well as a wealth of local experience and expertise gained through a lifetime of
living in our native regions of Vietnam.
What areas of travel does your agency specialize in? Why?
We specialize in off-the-beaten-track tours, as this is an increasingly popular style of travel,
with tourists looking for authentic experiences without the hassle of large crowds. As I was born in
the jungle, I also take environmental protection extremely seriously, and thus we also specialize in
ecotourism and responsible tourism packages, focusing on providing significant benefits to those we
What areas of the business are performing well at the moment and why?
Currently our most successful tour is to Ban Gioc Waterfall. It’s the the fourth biggest
frontier waterfall in the entire world and the biggest waterfall in all of Southeast Asia.
What are the biggest challenges of working in the field of adventure travel?
The travel trends in Vietnam are currently leaning towards more and more independent
travel, with travellers preferring to join existing groups rather than plan the entire thing beforehand.
Off-the-beaten-track travel is also becoming more popular every year, offering travellers a way to
get an authentic look at the more remote areas of Vietnam.
What future do you think Vietnamese travel agents will have, bearing in
mind the growing popularity of online travel bookings?
Vietnamese tourism has been growing rapidly. With the extensive support provided by the
Vietnamese government (VNAT), we have been travelling around the world to conferences and fairs
in order to promote our beautiful country to travellers from the European market. I predict a bright
future for all of us in Vietnamese tourism.
How are you going to keep growing your business?
Our plan is to continue to grow by maintaining our focus on quality, and taking care of our
guests’ every need, down to even the smallest detail. We have also been promoting our responsible
tourism initiatives, to both further environmental protection initiatives and to bring more
ecologically conscious travellers to Vietnam.
Which popular blogs on adventure travel do you follow?
Other than the Adventure Compass Blog, I also pay close attention to the Lonely Planet
Do you have any favorite quote on adventures we could share with our
Mark Twain once said this about travel:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones
you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your
sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I believe this captures the essence of adventure and travel. It may be easy to stay in your comfort
zone or in your homeland, but if you do not experience and see the world, you will come to regret
the adventures you missed out on.
Here at Trusted DMC we also have a few sayings of our own: “Your Journey is our Job” and “We take
you to the places others can’t reach”.
These are our way of saying that we take our responsibility to
ensure a memorable trip for you incredibly seriously, and that we can offer unique and authentic
destinations and products that other travel agents cannot.