Blog & Latest News
24/11/2017 - Christmas will soon be upon us and this time of year in Vietnam can be a wonderful experience, even though many Vietnamese likeXuân Tú and her family follow the Buddhist faith. Christmas here is still one of the four main annual religious festivals including 'TET' (the Lunar New Year), the mid-autumn festival and Buddha’s birthday. It is a huge event and Christmas Eve, which is regarded as more important than Christmas Day in Vietnam is a grand party when our fun-loving and sociable people, whether Christian or not, celebrate with gusto!
Decorations are set up during December with lights on trees in the streets and in front of houses. Usually the shops will have their signs advertising sales for the Christmas season. Children in Vietnam are greatly excited because they too believe in Santa Claus, putting their shoes in front of their doors on Christmas Eve, expecting to have their shoes stuffed in with goodies from Santa’s bulging sack when they wake on the morning of the 25th!! On Christmas Eve, Christians in Vietnam usually attend Midnight Mass as in the western world, and then return home to a spectacular Christmas dinner.
December is by far the busiest month for overseas visitors to our amazing country and as you can imagine Xuan Tu Private Tours are already fully booked on some days in December - please contact us as soon as possible if you are thinking of visiting over the Christmas and your new year period."
23/11/2017 - So far in 2017 there has been a significant increase in visitors to Vietnam over 2016. One really interesting statistic is the increase in visitors from other countries in Asia - up over 20% this year. Xuan Tu Private Tours employ guides who are trilingual so we can guide tours in excellent English or Mandarin. Two of our team mates are also good with Korean.
"The tour is amazing. We specially requested a mandarin tour guide as my parents don't understand English - turns out he is very helpful and friendly, we are impressed"
22/11/2017 - We do get asked occasionally whether we can provide a female tour guide for all-female groups - and yes we can! Apart from Xuân Túherself, Xuan Tu Private Tours employ three other young female teammates - Ms. Võ Thị Thùy Trâm (Tram), Ms. Nguyễn Thị Thu (Thu) and Ms. LuongThi Minh Thuy (Thuy). All are graduates of Da Nang University and excellent English speakers. They receive first class reviews from both male & female clients on TripAdvisor.
21/11/2017 - We pride ourselves in providing all our clients with a first world level of customer service and comfort. Recently we improved the safety of our younger visitors with the purchase of several more child safety seats for our vehicles. During your visit to our amazing country you will see whole families on motor bikes and unrestrained in cars! But at Xuan Tu Private Tours we believe you should expect the same level of safety while travelling with us as you would at home. Our drivers are instructed that the use of mobile phones when driving is forbidden and smoking is not allowed in any of our vehicles. "
20/11/2017 - One of our FAQ's is about maximum and minimum age limits for our tours. Well, we don't really have limits!! So far our youngest client is just 12 months old, our oldest so far just 97 years young! She was part of an extended family taking their holiday in Central Vietnam and selected Xuan Tu Private Tours to check out the highlights. This is where our wonderful drivers come into their own, assisting Grandmother in and out ourvehicle so she could take part in nearly all activities. She especially enjoyed meeting our rural families around Hoi An and supporting our local community
19/11/2017 - Da Nang hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) during November attended by many world leaders including President Trump and President Xi Jinping. Xuan Tu Private Tours was honoured to provide Private Tours for many attendees including Mark Critch, the famous Canadian comedian who has been following President Trudeau during his Vietnam visit! He kindly posed for photos with Xuân Tú herself and several ladies in our local market, who all thought he was really funny - humour crosses all borders!!"
18/11/2017 - Typhoon 'Damrey' has been and gone! Its that time of year for Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific area in particular. We are well used to these weather phenomenon and the clear-up is so quick with locals and the army working together. One cruise ship was unable to dock at Da Nang but by and large all our tours went ahead with client safety paramount. We have alternate attractions to visit if low lying areas are flooded, and only cancel if we feel it is in the best interest of our clients. We believe it is important to continue on a day-to-day basis to support our local communities. After all, our clients have made the effort to visit our amazing country so its the least we can do in return! This is reflected in our recent TripAdvisor reviews and especially in the actions of the Wong party from Canada who were cruising on the 'Sapphire Princess' - having cancelled their Private Shore Excursion with us we were overjoyed to receive their next email;
"After reading about the typhoon damage to your city, our group of four has had a change of heart and wish to help you recover from this natural disaster by hiring your tour services to take us on a Hoi An Private Evening Sightseeing & Food Tour"
Thank you Coleman, Debora, George & Judy for your trust in us. I know you had a really great time in Hoi An and helping to support our local families was a wonderful gesture.
18/11/2018 - You may have noticed we had a technical hitch with our Trip Advisor listing. My thanks to staff at their Singapore office for their patience and persistence over the last week, and especially a big reach out to Steve Fawcett, TripAdvisor CEO, who stepped in personally to help resolve the problem - thank you Sir! Our listing is back now, Xuan Tu Private Tours is still at #1 and we are looking forward to a bigger and better year in 2018, and to welcoming old and new clients alike from all corners of the world to our amazing country
06/07/2107 - I ask every client to give honest opinion about my company after every tour and one of my lovely British clients sent me this and said I could use their comments in any way. They know us really well, both toured with me at the very start of my company and have visited my amazing country three times since then, using my services every time. So with their permission I am really excited to show you this writing:
To understand Xuan Tu and her successful business is to understand the recent history of her amazing country. The tragic years of the Vietnam War followed 107 years of colonial imposition by the French and led to reunification of Vietnam in 1976. It wasn’t until 30 years ago, in 1986, that her country opened itself to the modern outside world with the Doi Moi Policy (Chính sách Đổi Mới), a series of economic reforms designed to create a 'socialist-oriented market economy."
Born in the early 1990's, Xuan Tu is a child of modern Vietnam where parents ensure by any means their children are educated to the very highest level. Parents like Xuan Tu's who survived deprivation through their country's recent conflict – Mr Mai became a civil servant speaking fluent French (a legacy of Vietnam's colonial past), Mrs Mai became a successful restaurateur. Through their efforts, Xuan Tu gained a BA in English from the internationally renowned University of Da Nang. Working as an English teacher within a major Vietnamese software company she saved sufficient to apply for her government license to operate as a Tour Operator in central Vietnam – at the age of 21! With Private Tours focusing on local interactions and helping the 'little guy' she initially gained clients by word of mouth and her business rapidly gained positive comments and encouragement from impressed overseas visitors like us.
Three years on and at just 24, Xuan Tu has a professional website attracting clients from around the world, employs 4 government licensed tour guides ('team mates'), offers a portfolio of 20 Private Tours & Private Shore Excursions within central Vietnam, a Private Cooking Class (led by her chef mother) and western style accommodation in the family Da Nang homestay.
"Xuan Tu Tours reminds me of a social enterprise, in which their business model sees a portion of their fee being donated to the homes of the villagers we visited. We learnt that the agency's tour guides, such as Lam himself, take time to get to know the locals on Cam Kim Island and would work with households that struggle to make ends meet. So instead of taking us to shops where the guide would stand to gain from commissions, this agency is actually giving back to their local community. I say what they are doing is simply wonderful"
"What really touched us was that this tour contributed to the livelihoods of these families we visited"
"And her concept of the tours is adorable as part of the tour fees will be sponsored to those locals in supporting and sustaining the Vietnam's culture. Highly recommended!"
Today her business still operates on that basis of local interaction and helping the 'little guy', is rated No.1 on the influential TripAdvisor website with some 500 positive reviews and attracts unsolicited comments like those above. We happily recommend Xuan Tu and her team to anyone visiting central Vietnam - you will not be disappointed!"
John & Margaret