I grew up in the countryside with lots of fun playing in the fields with other kids, riding buffalo, fishing, and swimming in the river every summer. My village is about 2-hour drive from the capital Hanoi, where one branch of the Red River runs through, sometimes waters flooded lower houses along the river bank.
When my village was evacuated from a flood, my mum was put on a buffalo to ride as she was pregnant with me for 8 months. After riding on the buffalo for about an hour, I came out of my mum when she was still on the buffalo back! The story made buffalo my nickname, and my lucky animal.
Though my hometown is only 2-hour drive from the capital Hanoi, I must admit that I started to discover other nearby provinces and Hanoi City only when I was 18 years old or so, because until then I finished my high school and moved to the city for my college. I admired the knowledge and skills I got from the tourism school, but I preferred the opportunities to work part time for several restaurants and hotels.
Graduated in 2008, I started to work full time as a tourist guide. I quickly enjoy the job, and enjoy working with people and working in beautiful surroundings with good foods. To me, guiding is a natural.
PLEAE GIVE US A GENERAL INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL SKILLS?
I went to the college for 5 years to learn to become a tourist guide, and I was trained well with many guiding skills, such as communication, flexibility, problem solving, and so on.
I think the fore of skills are people skills, which I am really good at. I like people, and I get on with everyone naturally. Many of my clients say I have good people skills, so they feel easy and relax to be around with me.
WHERE HAVE YOU TRAVELLED TO PRIVATE & PROFESSIONAL?
I took people on tours to almost everywhere in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia as a tour guide.
I privately traveled to Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, and China. I am looking forward to travel the United State of America.
LIST YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT AND WHY ARE THEY SPECIAL TO YOU?
My favorite places have always been Lan Ha Bay and Mekong River Delta.
Lan Ha Bay is the southern part of Halong Archipelago, and the water area of Cat Ba National Park. I used to guide lots of kayakers paddling to almost every cove there, so I know the area well and it’s my favorite kayaking place for years. Not only kayaking, everyone can cruise, camp, rock climbing and swimming on small sandy beaches without too many tourists.
I always miss exploring the villages and fruit gardens in provinces of Mekong River Delta. I did 6 biking tours in the area, and I enjoyed every part of them. The area is home to many fruits that I like the best, such as rambutan and mangos teen. But what I like best is the friendly people, and most importantly it’s always warm (I hate winter!).
YOUR HOME TOWN…?
It’s a village in the countryside of Hanoi, which is surrounded with rice paddy fields and lotus ponds. The beautiful river and the nearby mountain give it a nature look, you can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. What I like best about it is that, it’s got a really nice sense of community being such a small village, everybody knows my name.
TELL US WHY YOU ARE THE BEST GUIDE AND SAFE TO TRAVEL WITH?
I have been always recommended by my clients ever since I started my guiding job, it means I am good at what I am doing.
HOW MANY LANGUAGES CAN YOU SPEAK?
Two: Vietnamese, and English. And I wish I could speak Spanish, French, and Italian.
WHAT ARE YOUR UNUSUAL AND INTERESTING HOBBIES?
I like reading, especially history books, hence I surrounded myself with a lots of book, one of my favorite book is “The Perfect Spy” by Larry Berman. I am a foodie and want to eat good, so I love cooking too. When I am not on tour, I often go to the market early in the morning and buy things to cook my favorite dishes. When the stomach is full, it is perfect time to read.
I studied in the Faculty of Tourism, Major in Tour Guiding at Hanoi Open University, which is the best guide training school in Vietnam.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BEST FEATURES.
I don’t have much to look at, so I will have to go with “nice personality”. I have always prided myself on being honest and happy. Regardless what I do or who I meet, I assume the best in people, and be nice to everyone. I would rather be wealthy, handsome, or attractive… but those jobs have already taken. I am stuck with my personality, and that’s ok with me, it’s who I am.
“Joe was probably the most knowledgeable guide I have ever had. He knew every thing about Vietnam’s history. He was amazing. He was very conscientious and humorous….an excellent guide.”
– Rita M., Box Elder, NY –
“Buffalo Joe did a terrific job well beyond what I was expecting and in many ways throughout the trip.”
– Nancy D., Sydney –
“Mr. Buffalo Joe, Do Sy Quy, was amazing. His knowledge as a historian and comedian was the best and his passion and excitement was contagious. He made the trip so interesting. Nice to see someone who loved their works and respected it.”
– Shelley W., Sorrento, BC –
“Buffalo Joe is tops. I was extremely impressed with him in every way.”
– Ann., Los Angeles, CA –
“I was beyond impressed with Joe. He is such a dynamic Hanoi tour guide – incredibly knowledgeable about what he does, as well as the Vietnamese culture and government. I was enraptured with all the information he shared with us about Vietnam War.”
– Laura K., Boulder, NY –
“Joe was simply ‘off the charts.’ Our group declared him a Vietnam’s national treasure.”
– Elizabeth D., San Jose, CA –
“Buffalo Joe is a great tour guide, passionate about Vietnamese foods and engaging. Couldn’t be better.”
– Andrew P., Melbourne, AU