Profile photo for Ha Thu
2365 messages
active 10 hours ago

Ha Thu

A traveler at heart, a mother and a wife. I love to make trips now even more so with my family. I love to see my son’s reactions such as the first time he saw the sand and beach of Danang. He has caught the travelers bug already. I want to share these places with others too, whether it be where to get the best seafood in Asia or how to plan a perfect adventure or even family holiday, my own experiences help me understand exactly what people want and provide places they are looking.

My job title may be Travel Designer, but to me we are all friends who are yet to meet, I want to share my experiences across Asia and in particular Vietnam. To welcome you as my friend and to look after you in the same way.

No two people are the same, so no two trips can be the same. I will make sure you return knowing your trip was just like you, one of a kind!

How did you get involved in travel?

"You may say I was born into travel, well not exactly but about as close as you could be. My hometown is located next to Hanoi’s airport, all my childhood I saw the planes taking off and landing, I used to sit wondering where they may have come from or where they may go! The where they may go, was the part that always seemed more exciting to me, dreaming and planning these trips in my mind, where I would travel and the places I would see. I would read books and guides, anything I could lay my hands on to learn more and let my imagination grow.

As my younger years gave way to my teenage years, my dreams of travel appeared shelved as a career in banking and finance had been mapped out for me. But fate it appears is a traveler too. When 15 my father’s company took a trip, I was allowed to join. This trip made me realize travel is what I want to do! It was banking and finance that allowed it all to happen.

After completing my high school studies, I was fortunate enough to go to Europe to study, this of course immersed me into new cultures, new ways and well new everything. Especially shopping, living and studying in London. I loved how the city never slept, my part time working at a Thai restaurant in Waterloo allowed me to feed my hobby of shopping, exploring the small market stalls, as well as the high streets. I then moved to further my studies in Switzerland, I was amazed with natural beauty of the country and also the price of all, my shopping had to take a temporary vacation. It allow me the chance to explore France and Germany, my travel dreams of a child had been far exceeded, it was not enough and I knew now, my career was meant to be travel planning. My time in Switzerland also provided me one more great addition, my husband. He was studying at tourism school, it seemed fate was rewarding my bravery, we then returned to Vietnam together after completing our degrees. I was now a business and finance major, seeking work in tourism. I was soon offered a position and my dreams as a young child truly had been realized, arranging these incredible journeys for people across Asia, knowing I made the right choices. With many more journeys since and many more planned, I hope to continue to see more exotic destinations and to help others see them too.
"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"As I mentioned, when I was 15 years old, my father took me to an area of Vietnam called Quang Binh, which many will not have heard of. Here though is a cave, when I saw I inhaled sharply and said “WOW this is fantastic” – the caves are Phong Nha and it is believed to be one of largest in the world, some say 3rd largest others 4th. As a small child in such a vast place, it made me realize how much of the world people never see, I honestly to this day can of course recall it but also struggle to put into words how it made me feel or to explain the sheer size.
For me this is a place you really have to see it to believe it and then you will understand my lack of words. Just awe-inspiring! If you are ever coming to Vietnam, I would love to share this with you. A cave so big you can fit a jumbo jet inside.
We spent one camping inside, although I could barely sleep I was still so excited about this place, wondering how it felt to discover the place. Even now as I write this, I can recall all the emotions, smells, sights and sounds. That truly for me is both unique and memorable.
"

Featured trips & expertise

Warm hospitality of the Karin Villages
Northern Thailand: Village to Village Trekking - 5 Days

Set off on an active adventure through the forests and villages of Northern Thailand. Experience the local culture and food of the Chiang Mai area while trekking through in the natural beauty of the woods and villages that make up this rural and remote region.

Ha Long Bay
Highlights of Vietnam - 9 Days

See all the classic highlights on this nine-day trip to magical Vietnam. Roam around the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, cruise on the azure waters of Ha Long Bay, and hike to villages and terraced rice paddies in the countryside. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors or travelers with limited time who want a well-rounded showcase of Vietnam's history, charm, and natural beauty.

James Bond Island in Phang Nag National Park
Thailand Family Adventure - 10 Days

Every member of the family will be satisfied on this trip, with a wide range of activities and experiences in both Northern and Southern Thailand. Sleep in a rural homestay as well as top-notch resorts by the beach. Scramble up waterfalls and kayak through peaceful mangroves. Go fishing with local fisherfolk and snorkelling in incredible bays. You'll see that Thailand is an amazingly diverse country with something for everyone.

View from the top of Doi Inthanon, outside Chiang Mai
Family Adventure in Chiang Mai - 7 Days

This week-long tour of the Chiang Mai area of northern Thailand offers the perfect mix of activities for the whole family to enjoy. From exploring the region's stunning waterfalls to playing with elephants to browsing authentic crafts markets, there's so much to see and do. Spend your week cycling, kayaking, and walking around the highlights of beautiful Chiang Mai Province. You'll hike to an ancient temple on a mountain, discover the bustling city of Chiang Mai, and feast on bold northern Thai cuisine.

Recent trip reviews for Ha

Thai, Thailand - Dec 16 - Jan 1, 2019

Traveler: javier p. - Local specialist: Ha Thu

This was one of the most memorable trips my family ever had. Guides were really great and we felt taken care of the whole trip. Food was amazing and schedule ran very smoothly.
Thank you to kimkim and its amazing team!!

loved it

Cruise port tour, Thailand - Dec 23 - Dec 23, 2018

Traveler: Barbara P. - Local specialist: Ha Thu

We had a wonderful time with our guide Watermelon. She was fun and informative. Our coordinator Ha was very helpful in planning our day before we arrived. We would recommend both of them to anyone!

Best of northern vietnam - 7-day itinerary, Vietnam - Nov 16 - Nov 24, 2018

Traveler: Sarah H. - Local specialist: Ha Thu

My trip to Vietnam was packed with highlights. Here are the tops:

1) My first few days in Hanoi were great. I really enjoyed Kien and his historical perspective that he was able to provide about Hanoi and Vietnam. It was clear that he studied history at the university, and had many interesting stories and perspectives to share. I walked away with a very rich view of Hanoi and Vietnam, both historically and present day. Kien also let me take my time and come back to him with questions which... read more

My trip to Vietnam was packed with highlights. Here are the tops:

1) My first few days in Hanoi were great. I really enjoyed Kien and his historical perspective that he was able to provide about Hanoi and Vietnam. It was clear that he studied history at the university, and had many interesting stories and perspectives to share. I walked away with a very rich view of Hanoi and Vietnam, both historically and present day. Kien also let me take my time and come back to him with questions which I really appreciated.

2) The third guide Ngoc was equally excellent. He provided a great perspective of Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, the many religions of Vietnam, and daily life in Vietnam. He provided a great cultural perspective that gave me a real picture of what it was like to be Vietnamese. He also shared great personal anecdotes. Our boat ride on Tam Coc was a beautiful highlight!!

3) All hotel accommodations were excellent. The staff were professional and welcoming, the rooms were very clean and well- appointed, and the breakfasts delicious. Each hotel was comfortable and relaxing, including the cruise on Halong Bay. Each night I was able to sleep very peacefully.

4) Transportation was also excellent. All drivers were on time, courteous, and drove safely. This was a great feature for sightseeing!

My only feedback is on the second guide Sang in Sapa. Compared to Kien and Ngoc, she was not as engaged. She didn't share any stories or anecdotes about the region. I would ask her questions, and her answers were very limited. I eventually gave up and starting asking other tribal women we encountered hiking. I bought something from another tribal woman and gave her a big tip since she was more informative and interesting; I talked with this woman more than I talked with Sang.

Sang also made me feel very stressed out about the train back to Hanoi on November 20. She wasn't sure how to get my ticket for the train, and kept asking me for details. Eventually, she figured it out but I'm not sure why she panicked. This was the first and only time that I was concerned about logistics and my itinerary.

Despite my interaction with Sang, the trip was still unbelievable. Vietnam is a special and beautiful place that I hope to visit again.

Bangkok to chiang mai, Thailand - Nov 15 - Nov 26, 2018

Traveler: Jenny N. - Local specialist: Ha Thu

Both the one day tour and the longer tour were very good. The one day tour suffered from going to two very touristy spots with a long drive for one day. I think it would be more advisable to recommend closer experiences if possible for a one day trip. The guide Bom was excellent.
The guide for the longer trip Apple was very personable, friendly and helpful but we did feel at times that her English language skills were below par particularly in vocabulary and fluency in passing on information... read more

Both the one day tour and the longer tour were very good. The one day tour suffered from going to two very touristy spots with a long drive for one day. I think it would be more advisable to recommend closer experiences if possible for a one day trip. The guide Bom was excellent.
The guide for the longer trip Apple was very personable, friendly and helpful but we did feel at times that her English language skills were below par particularly in vocabulary and fluency in passing on information eg the history of an area. The content of the trip was on the whole very good though could have been a little more imaginative in some areas - we found that we consulted our Lonely Planet guidebook regularly eg for hints on good museums, other sites not on the itinerary. For instance the Sukhothai Museum turned out to be excellent for those interested in the local history , we also found a very interesting ceramic workshop which ran interesting tours . A range of additional things should be able to be suggested by a good guide. Sukhothai was a highlight for us particularly as the Loy Krathong festival was so brilliant with the illuminated historical site - a piece of info which was not included in our itinerary nor particularly emphasised by the guide. The Loy Krathong dinner which we attended in Chiang Mai hotel was fine though somewhat overrated (and artificial compared to Sukhothai event) . It would have be useful to know we were paying such a large amount for that particular event - the buffet food was definitely not memorable.
Also I may have missed it in info provided but it would be good to have some guidance on tipping (for guides/drivers) in Thailand as each country has been different approach to this.