Le Ngoc Thiep – the man who “learn by heart” ancient town

He is just humbling said himself to be the Hoi An lover and knower. But Le guide du routard, the publication of Hachette publishing house in Paris said “he is a wise man and polite, and he knows Hoi An by heart…”

Le-Ngo-Thiep-Hoi-An Le Ngoc Thiep – the man who “learn by heart” ancient town

Since 2004, the personal information of Mr. Le Ngoc Thiep is chosen to publish in Le guide du routard for the French using visitors when they come to Vietnam. Each year, the book is edited and republished with new comments. In page 359, it said: “Mr. Le Ngoc Thiep, ex-tour guide of Office of traveling instruction in Hoi An ancient town is a wise man and very polite. He could say himself about Hoi An by heart. He could instruct you in French in many hours but it is not too long for his high age. Call him if you plan to visit this ancient town and discuss about the working fee. Hoi An is the culture city which is visited by many French visitors. People see somebody speaking French there like the master of coffee shop Des Amis or Mr. Le Ngoc Thiep in Phung Hung ancient house.”

More than 80 years old, Mr. Le Ngoc Thiep is now like “a brand name” of ancient heritage town of Hoi An. He is outstanding among hundreds of tour guide not for his age but for the professional and passionate character. On the roads, he said to visitors the stories of moss and ancient houses, the alleys holding the spirit of town and hundreds of Thu Bon River.

There are so many foreign visitors being attracted to follow him to know more about the land. There are so many sincere praises in the post cards sent to him from visitors after the trip. Apart from the guideline of Le guide du routard, visitors come to him for other things such as he has his own map of Champak vestiges in Central Region of Vietnam which is drawn by himself. He hand out it for each visitor before coming to visit My Son sanctuary. It is such a meticulous and thoughtful that surprise anyone and worth being admired.

His schedule is so tight. 6-7:30 and 19-20:30, he teaches French for children in his area and for the receptionists of hotels. He often comes to Phung Hung ancient house and work there for the rest of working day. At night, he still does the marking, and he is quite a strike teacher.

If you come to Hoi An, and sea an old skinny man riding his old bike, and he is good at French, that is Le Ngoc Thiep. You could not know that bike is half a century years old. His watch was also bought in the French colonial time. He is such a nostalgic man even with his narrators about the ancient town. 

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