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The inspirational story of founder, Thai Tan, explains our company’s commitment to local communities.

Born during the Vietnam (“American”) War, Tan survived a challenging infancy only through the collective efforts of his village. The eldest of four children, Tan grew up working in the rice paddies of a humble family farm. Rural life was hard: the village subsisted on local agriculture without the basic amenities of electricity or indoor plumbing.  These inconveniences did not inhibit Tan’s formal educational ambitions, “I attended school in the morning, helped my family work on the farm in the afternoon, and studied by lamplight until late at night. During the harvest time, we worked late into the night threshing the rice by moonlight.”

His diligence ultimately paid off: Tan graduated as a top scholar, earning admission to University in the distant city of Hanoi.  The village had not witnessed a young person achieve such academic excellence for over a decade. While the news of his achievement was cause for celebration, losing Tan’s industry from the village farm was a luxury his family could ill-afford: “My parents said they were proud of me, but that if I went to college, my brothers and sisters would starve.”  Faced with an ethical dilemma, Tan chose to relinquish his dream of higher education to ensure his family’s survival. Once again, the community rose to the occasion: “The entire village approached my father and pledged their financial support to our family so I could go to college. I remember feeling deeply touched by their confidence in me. I made a vow to give back to my people in every way possible.”

Fifteen years later, Tan’s promise to invest in local culture manifests in Vietnam Tour’s dedication to community-based sustainable tourism. “Sensible travel can secure the longevity of our ancient cultures and traditions. I owe my life to the people. I pledge to operate Vietnam Tour with that same spirit of generosity which guarantees the viability of future generations.”




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