Guide in Na Trang

During a cruise in November ’05, the ship stopped in Na Trang, Vietnam. As is our custom, rather than sign up for the ship’s structured land tours, my husband and I usually hire a driver and tell him to take us where the tourists don’t go.

A man of about 35 approached us and we hired him and his driver for the day. We paid $70 for four of us as we were traveling with another couple. The guide’s name was Tran Cong Lac, or Loc, for short (29 B Thai Nguyen, Na Trang; mobile phone 0914 166 143 or e-mail

He spoke English well, was very knowledgeable and went above and beyond. He took us to a local restaurant in a small village where guests make their own spring rolls at a table full of vegetables, meats and sauces. Having heard from our conversation that it was my brother-in-law’s birthday, he disappeared for about 10 minutes and came back with a birthday cake on which were candles, my brother-in-law’s name, the date and the number 45 (which was close, as he turned 44 on that day).

The entire lunch for the four of us plus Loc and the driver, as well as the cake and the drinks — the whole thing — came to $10.

Loc has a picture book so you can choose where you would like to go and what you would like to see. He asks that you sign his guest book with comments about his service. He even took us shopping at the market and acted as interpreter to get us the best prices. I highly recommend this delightful man.

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