Meet Doan Si Tan. Tan is one of the tour leaders of Vietnam Bike Tours.
Hailing from Ben Tre Province by the Mekong Delta, Tan used to be a farmer and English teacher. In fact, he studied at the Ho Chi Minh City College of Foreign Language and Hanoi University of Foreign Language. His handle on the English language coupled with his 2.5 years training at the Saigon Tourism Training School made him the perfect tour leader. He has been promoting all that is beautiful in Vietnam and regaling tourists with Vietnam stories as a tour guide since 1999.
He has been working for 5 years to Exotissimo before he joined the team of Vietnam Bike Tours in 2009. His first biking tour was with some American tourists who he had to show the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. After four years, he has lost track of how many biking tours he has led, “I can’t remember so far! Sometimes I work 10 days a week!”
For most of his time with Vietnam Bike Tours, his tours have gone well and didn’t get at all bumpy. Except for that one time when he had to lead 2 Americans and a Canadian on a 10-day biking tour from Hue to Saigon. One of the tourists complained and swore a lot. It was a 10-day tour; one can only take so much while sweating under the Vietnamese sun!
To this day, his most memorable tours would always be taking that road back to his province by the Mekong Delta. He knows the place like the back of his hand, “No place like home! As a child of the countryside, I know many options of cycling routes in the remote area. This way, I can show what the real life is in the delta and share my own experience to the tourists,” Tan shares.
A biker and guide, Tan has yet to meet a challenging route. After four years with Vietnam Bike Tours, Tan confidently reveals, “It was difficult in the first few months to find the roads when I began as a biking guide. But now, any cycling route is so easy for me!”
If you’re looking for a tour guide who’d show you a slice of life of the Vietnamese, Tan is your guide. He loves to stop by children’s school, the ferry port in the countryside, and local houses to talk with the locals and share experiences.
For him the best pit stop would be at his home where he can share the typical daily life, stories about his childhood and introduce the tourists to the friendly and hospitable locals.
When asked why he likes working with Vietnam Bike Tours, he explains, “We [Huy] are both from the countryside. We have a similar situation in life so we understand each other well and we listen to each other. Vietnam Bike Tour is the best company for me!”