HanoiKids, a voluntary English tour guide club, has provided free tour guide services for foreign tourists over the past 20 years in the hope of promoting Hanoi tourism to foreign friends.
Established in 2006, HanoiKids has gathered 80 members who take tourists to every corner of Hanoi, exploring the local culture and local life.
After two years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, HanoiKids has resumed operation with a new generation of volunteers who have been trained carefully.
A woman (L) guides foreign tourists in Hanoi.
President of the club Hoang Minh Ngoc said that major destinations its members often take tourists to include President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Old Quarter, Hoa Lo Prison, and the National Museum of Ethnology.
Each year, the club recruits volunteers twice before training them on knowledge and skills to introduce major tourists destinations of Hanoi. Only volunteers who successfully pass the course can move on to join such tours, Ngoc said.
In order to make a difference and impress foreign tourists, instead of acting as tour guides, members of HanoiKids interact with the visitors as a companion. Along with introducing the tourists to the history, culture and the beauty of each destination, they share their viewpoints and perspectives on life and experiences that they have learnt when visiting the place, said Ngoc.
Ngoc said that by this way, the visitors will become friends of the HanoiKids’ volunteers. Each tour helps them find new friends, especially through culinary tours.
Ngoc said that initially, HanoiKids met numerous difficulties during its operations, which came from the skeptical views of other people, and the painstaking process of training the volunteers and maintaining their passion for the job.
The difficulties were gradually overcome thanks to the volunteers’ shared love for the land and people of Hanoi and the hope to improve themselves by interacting with foreign friends.
These common points unite young people across generations, helping HanoiKids Club mature into a helpful and thoughtful organization.
Many former members of the club have graduated from colleges and have jobs but remain active in supporting youngsters of the club in the hope of spreading the image of a friendly and hospitable Hanoi to international friends.