Nguyen van Chuong
Chuong leads tours for Explore in his home country of Vietnam and he consistently receives great feedback from those who have travelled with him. Some comments include:
"Best Tour Leader I've ever encountered, excellent people skills, best Tour Leader Ive ever had."
"Chuong was excellent! Always cheerful, helpful and informative. He gave added value to the group and kept up morale with his musical exploits! Very committed and well trained. I've never had a more attentive knowledgeable or hardworking guide. Chuong is excellent in every respect."
Chuong answered a few questions for us...
If you were given a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd be really happy with the free plane ticket! It's perfect if it's a return ticket as home is where my heart is!!! I'd like to go to the UK. First, I'd love to see Explore head office, then Oxford and Cambridge to see the Universities. Thirdly, Liverpool city where the Beatles come from because I love their music! if I had time i'd see as many places as I could.
What’s the best thing about life on the road as a tour leader?
I enjoy making sure each of my tours run smoothly and solving problems on tour so that all of my guests are happy, having a really great time and enjoying my country and its culture.
Have you got any packing tips for a travelling life?
I have 15 years experience of working as a guide and then a tour leader for Explore and this means i've been lucky to meet lovely people from all over the world, but up til now i've never been travelling outside of Vietnam - but dreams are free and maybe in the future i'll get to travel overseas. But for my passengers I think the best thing to bring is a smile and a passion for discovery!
What do you never leave home without?
I'm lucky to have a beautiful family with 2 children, but I spend a lot of time away on tours and so I never leave home without thinking of my home and family when i'm away.
On tour what has made you stop in your tracks and go “Wow!”?
Explores tours are all about adventure, so when my guests tell me the things they've discovered and adventures they've had in their free time that's a real 'Wow' moment. I like to hear that they've found new and interesting experiences, this makes me happy.
What’s your top tip for travelling responsibly?
The best way to be responsible on tour is to enjoy the trip by travelling safely! So I take care to make sure my guests know how to be safe so they can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of my country.
If you had to eat just one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well, I don't think I'd like to only have one food to eat for the rest of my life! But if I had to choose I think it would be avocadao - it's easier to swallow!
If you had the chance to start a new country with your own rules, what would be your first rule?
I would say that everyone had to be honest! When people trust one another they listen to each other - so people should truly tell you what's in their heart.
What was your proudest moment as a tour leader?
I'm proudest when my guests are happy, as I feel I've helped them to enjoy their holiday, I love my job and get to see lots of happy guests.
What was your funniest moment as a tour leader?
There's so many! But I think the funniest times are when I can make the whole group laugh. Sometimes people leave things behind on tour, I always ask them to check but these things do happen. So I like to suprise them with their missing items later and it always makes the group laugh!
What in your opinion is the best thing about the job?
I have been working for Explore about 5 years. I love this job and I take pride in working for such a professional company. Looking after groups of people is a great responsibility and I enjoy this along with meeting so many people from all over the world. I love to show them around my country and explain about life in Vietnam. I'd love to win the Explore tour leader of the year award and I'm really working hard for that. It would be so great if this international award was won by a Vietnamese tour leader - and even better if it could be me!