After finishing off the article about experiencing Vietnam like a local, I’ve been thinking and wondering what great opportunities are out there for travellers to grasp the real local insights and hidden gems. Vietnam is a very renowned destination in South East Asia and is especially a popular choice for backpackers from all around the world.
But as someone who lives in Vietnam and witnessing many travellers still wondering around the same ‘well-known’ and ‘must visit’ places, I feel a growing desire to share with outsiders (a.k.a. aliens) the real local deals and suggestions on how to get a glimpse of real Vietnam and become a Lokalien (local + alien).
So I’ve been doing some research to explore and I stumbled upon a website that offers what I was looking for and I’m very excited to share this with you! The website is called Withlocals. In fact, it is very similar, if not almost the same as Airbnb Experiences. But the subtle difference and added details of this website gives the impression that we’ll be in for a more personal connection with local guides.
On the very homepage of this website, you will be able to see the introductory video that demonstrates in a beautiful and mesmerising way what they are and explaining why ‘my’ city is different from anyone else’s. I couldn’t agree more that everyone, whether local or foreign, has a different perspective and experience in a single city.
Being able see the same city and country through a unique point of view of a local will allow us to broaden our understanding of local culture and we will be able to take home a bag full of memorable moments.
Withlocals offers users to book private tours with locals in countries around the world. Currently, they have tours and activities available in 5 cities in Vietnam – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang.
As I mentioned above, the concept and procedures are very similar to AirBnb Experiences, but here comes the cool subtle difference that makes Withlocals much more appealing to me. There are short videos of each and every local introducing themselves, through which you get to virtually meet them in advance to making a booking.
When you pick a programme / itinerary that best interests you, you can pick the date, select the number of people and ‘pick your favourite local’ after watching their videos or going through previous reviews for reference.
All tours on Withlocals are private, meaning you (and your friends or family) will be the only one joining the tour with the local friend of your choice. This is best suited for those who are seeking for more personally guided tour without other travellers joining.
As all tours are private, you can contact the host to request for a personalised itinerary or customise by adding more activities that you’re interested in.
Bear in mind that the price per person differs depending on the total number of people you’re booking for. So the more people, the cheaper it is per person. However, if you’re a solo traveller or someone who are seeking to meet fellow travellers during the tour, AirBnb would be a great choice to turn to as they offer joined tours with different individuals.
I hope that you will have a meaningful and unforgettable experience in Vietnam with these keen local friends who are passionate about sharing and showing their beautiful country with foreigners!