Hanoi Free Tour Guides is a social non-profit organization founded and run by a group of students and ex-students in Hanoi since January 2010. Now, the organization has more than 900 tour guides. Each member is fluent in one of nine languages, namely English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

“Falling in love” with Hanoi at first sight

Beck talking with Truc Anh, a tour guide of Hanoi Free Tour Guides, at Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam

Beck Molinary, sixteen years old from Colorado, the U.S., has travelled to many countries around the world, but she said that she was impressed by Hanoi where she has had interesting experiences about the history, culture, and people thanks to young, energetic, and friendly tour guides.

Beck Molinary said that she heard a lot about the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature - First University of Vietnam), especially 82 stone steles engraved with the names of doctorate laureates who got highest results at the royal examinations held under the Le and Mac dynasties (1442 - 1779). The stone steles were recognized by UNESCO as World Documentary Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region. “Having toured the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam complex, I admired the traditional fondness for learning of the Vietnamese people that has been passed down from generation to generation," Ms. Beck said.

Mrs. Kendra offering incense at Hoa Lo Prison Relic Site

Ms. Kendra Molinary from Colorado, the U.S., said that she and her family had a great time in Vietnam, learning many new things about the culture and people of Vietnam and Hanoi from young and enthusiastic tour guides.

“I learnt more about the history of Vietnam after visiting the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam, Hoa Lo Prison… I hope that I will have more time to explore and know more about Hanoi. During the trip, I received active assistance from tour guides of Hanoi Free Tour Guides. If I get a chance, I will definitely return to Hanoi,” said Mrs. Kendra Molinary.

Sharing the same view, Bob Molinary from the U.S. said that thanks to the assistance of tour guides of Hanoi Free Tour Guides, he learnt more about the indomitability spirit of Vietnamese revolutionaries.

Bob excited at holding a polymer banknote with a par value of VND 100,000 of Vietnam with the image of Khue Van Cac (the pavilion of the constellation of literature) on it

Removing geographical gaps after each trip

Working for Hanoi Free Tour Guides for five years, Dinh Thi Truc Anh, a 23-year-old English student of the Foreign Trade University, said that trips have helped her enrich English communication skills and her confidence. On top of that, they have offered her the opportunity to meet with and spread the traditional culture of Hanoi to international friends.

After each trip, Truc Anh (second from left) makes more new friends, and they together share their countries’ culture, people, and land.

After each trip, she has more new friends, and they together share their countries’ culture, history, people, and land. She said that it is tour guides’ enthusiasm that has made Hanoi Free Tour Guides to be the top choice of foreigners.

To be a member of Hanoi Free Tour Guides, students must pass many tests. Apart from English communication skills, they have to undergo a refresher course to enrich their knowledge about Vietnamese history and culture in order to pass accurate and abundant information to tourists.

Translated by Tran Hoai