The ‘Danang Free Walking Tour’ is a startup project developed by Nguyen Minh Loi from Hoa Vang District, a graduate from the city’s University of Economics.
In reality, foreign visitors always show their keen interest in exploring the distinctive cultural and historical values of the locality, especially a full immersion into the daily lives of local inhabitants. Taking advantage of this fact, Loi decided to pursue his strong ambition of developing a special travel project in which visitors from both home and abroad are introduced free-of-charge by volunteer tour guides to popular local entertainment, cuisine and shopping areas.
The tour is based on the Free Walking Tour model that has been thrived in many cities around the world. If participants are happy with tours, pay any amount they think is fair at the end of their tours.
The meaningful project comprises two 90-minute-long major journeys, namely ‘Da Nang Around You’ running from 10.00am to 11.30am, and ‘City of Love’ from 3.00pm and 4.30pm daily.
In detail, taking the ‘Da Nang Around You’ tour, visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the daily lives of local residents through their trips to such popular places as Han Market, the Da Nang Cathedral known to the locals as ‘Nha Tho Con Ga’ (Rooster Cathedral), the Museum of Cham Sculpture, and the Han River Bridge.
The ‘City of Love’ features such local love-themed locations on Tran Hung Dao as the Da Nang Marina complex, the beautiful Bridge of Love, and the ‘Carp Turns into a Dragon’ statue.
It is common to realise that the project’s success is mainly attributed to the great enthusiasm of up to 50 friendly volunteer tour guides in total who are university students across the city.
Embarking on their challenging but interning jobs, tour guides are encouraged to gain an insight into the city’s history, culture and traditions in order to provide their clients with useful and fascinating information they might not find elsewhere.
Amongst hundreds of the participating visitors, Ms Alice from the UK was very impressed by her unforgettable tour to the Han Market and the Da Nang Cathedral during which the young woman immersed herself into the daily lives of locals.
Other participants also said that they would certainly recommend this tour to their relatives and friends once they return to their hometowns.
One of the participating tour guides, fourth-year student Nhat Vy, an English major at the University of Foreign Languages in Da Nang, eagerly revealed that: “Thanks to this tour, I have a chance to improve my English skills and interpersonal interaction skills by talking with foreigners, as well as gain thorough grasps about her beloved hometown’s culture and history”.
Every month, a total of between 250 and 300 domestic and foreign visitors register to join in the free tour at the project’s official website at http://danangfreewalkingtour.com.
Loi’s project is not limited to the provision of free walking tours for visitors. The strong-willed man has added the ‘Foody Story Tour’ and ‘Your Trip Planner’ - a service designed to help tourists plan tailored trips to fit their interests.
According to the tour’s website, ‘Danang Free Walking Tour’ and ‘Your Planner’ are free, whilst the ‘Foody Story Tour’ requires a fee of 30 US$ per person.
Recently, the municipal Department of Tourism has enthusiastically helped to advertise ‘Danang Free Walking Tour’ through widely distributing advertisement leaflets and brochures at accommodation establishments, the International Airport, and tourist sites in the city.
In the coming time, Loi’s project will recruit new tour guides who can speak Korean, Chinese and Japan to serve potential visitors from these foreign language-speaking countries.