Not sure if you need a tour guide in Hue, Vietnam? Here are my suggestions to help you figure out when to hire a guide and when to go it alone.
1. Because you have only one day in Hue.
A knowledgeable guide can lend a laser focus to any sightseeing visit, and this may never be so valuable as when you have very little time to squeeze all of Hue in your travel plans.
Hue is a vast city with numerous monuments and royal palaces to choose from. The Citadel and Imperial city of Hue already takes close to 3 hours to walk the ground, not mentioned a group of 7 Nguyen royal tombs in the outskirts of Hue to spend your valuable time.
The right guide from Hue can give you a customized and thrilling blitz through the destination of your choice.
Make the most of your day in Hue with Hue Full Day City Tour.
2. Because you do not know how best to visiting Hue on a Chan May cruise.
Talk about having very little time! After a recent cruise in Hue, Helen wrote to me that she appreciated the fact that she had a perfectly crafted Chan May shore excursion to Hue.
She hired a tour guide from our team in advance, with instructions to get her and her companion away from large groups and into nature for their 6-hour stay near the port.
The guide showed up at the ship ahead of time with a comfortable car, and proceeded to drive her and her companion through stunning Tam Giang lagoon till reaching Hue ancient city. They sneaked into corners in Purple Forbidden city that were just breathtaking, followed by a lunch at a royal mandarin garden, all with nary a fellow cruiser in sight.
They were back at the port in plenty of time to re-board comfortably, and Helen said it felt like they had been away for days, not mere hours
3. Because planning on your own is so time-consuming
The hassles of obtaining flight tickets to Hue, making hotel reservations, checking operating hours of Hue attractions, figuring out solutions when you have problems — all of this is easy stuff for a good tour guide.
If you are on vacation and don’t want to have these mundane tasks on your plate while traveling, hire a guide from Hue to take them on for you.
4. Because you visit extremely popular attractions in Hue.
A good tour guide will always know the best hours to visit attractions, tips to lower your price, which places you can skip, how to avoid rush hour, what is closed or under construction, and any number of tricks and tactics that will help you get the most out of a heavily visited location, such as the Imperial City Hue.
You can also inquire if the guide has special access or rates. A good guide might bring you to the My Son holy land early in the morning before the crowds arrive, or suggest a private tour to the extended Citadel of Hue when no one thinks you actually can experience a lot of cool stuff of the “city within a city”.
5. When visiting historic destinations.
In places that are exceptionally rich in historical or cultural significance, for example the DMZ Quang Tri, an educated tour guide can offer a depth of experience and knowledge that goes beyond guidebook snippets or plaque-reading.
A good Hue tour guide can explain the stories behind the complex that was destroyed during the Vietnam war, or veer away from the canned history of Nguyen Dynasty to describe what life of Emperor’s Concubines was really like.
6. When you don’t speak Vietnamese.
We assume that you don’t speak Vietnamese very well and the locals are extremely unlikely to speak yours — a local tour guide in Hue who does speak your language can be invaluable in countless ways.
When choosing a Hue private guide, try to chat with the guide by phone in advance to determine how strong his or her command of your language really is.
7. “I don’t want to drive in this chaotic traffic”!
We heard this very often from our travelers. When you are on a hunt of the best food in Hue, but you’re not confident driving with millions of other motorbikes on the streets of Vietnam, hiring a tour guide to do the driving for you can save you a lot of headaches and bring you terrific joy.
What’s more, you get to taste wonderful local cuisine that only locals know. That’s the fun part of joining a food tour in Hue by motorbike.
8. Because your plan in Hue is a longer stay.
When you are staying for more than a few days in one area — let’s say you have a two-week vacation rental in Hue and Hoi An — consider hiring a tour guide for the first couple of days to help you get your bearings early in your trip … or perhaps merely to get all the touristy stuff out of the way.
Alternately, you can hire a guide late in your stay when you have exhausted the obvious attractions and want to seek out a deeper, more informed or more intimate knowledge of a place.
9. Because you are revisiting Hue.
We have had guests visiting Hue multiple times in the past few years. However, things that we show and teach them keep delighting and challenging their knowledge of Hue.
Some agree with us that hire a guide who can give you an offbeat look at a familiar place. A talented guide with a heap of local knowledge will have something to offer even those who think they’re sick of a particular place.
Your trip to Hue is more meaningful in every way with a local guide!
Do you think you need a tour guide in Hue? We’d love to hear of your opinions!