Meet the team...
Greg & David had the unique opportunity to work together for the month of September 2017. On that media-journalism based internship for Hynam Tours, we traveled to remote regions of North Vietnam for 30 days. During this 2,000 mile journey, we traveled to "off the beaten path" locations, with most of our accommodations in "home-stays" in remote villages.
with a perfect match of enthusiasm, talent, and passion, the team's goal is to make a direct impact and increase photography/videography touring opportunities in Vietnam.
Inspired to create and serve, Greg brings a passion for his craft. Through volunteer work and mixed media, Greg brings a unique perspective to his experiences. With the ability to create stunning photography and video with heartfelt stories through immersion, Greg hopes to inspire people to travel, volunteer and make a difference.
Hynam Tours is one of the leading unique local tours, founded in 2012 by David Nguyen. As a travel enthusiast, David Nguyen has been working for years as a freelance tour guide and has amazing experience in tourism. Hynam Tours can offer you eco-friendly, educational and private custom tours in remarkable areas of Vietnam. David is a young, energetic well educated young man. As a well trained and experienced private tour guide, David has traveled to 53 of all 63 provinces in Vietnam.
Lang Son, North Vietnam
This one picture, says it all...
"To be in the moment, really in the moment. Where nothing else matters, except your next breath, your next touch, and your perception of reality in this wonderful life, is truly a gift." Gregory J.
UME MAI CHAU, ECO HOMESTAY. Mai Chau, Vietnam.
"The traveler recognizes the little that is he, discovering that much he has not had, and will never have." Marco Polo.
Thanh, the temple caretaker.
On my last evening in rural Hanoi, after a brief homestay in a local farming community, I went to visit a small pagoda in the village with the family that hosted me. Upon my arrival at the pagoda, I quickly met the caretaker Thanh, this 80-year-old sweet woman all of 4' 6" tall. She reminded me of my Mother, Rose Natale, and my grandmother, a woman I never got to know. In most cases, there's a priest that lives in the community and cares for the pagoda. Here in this small village, Thanh was the caretaker. Her job was to greet people, clean the temple and maintain the customs preserved for thousands of years in this community place of worship. Warm and friendly, she invited me for green tea on the straw mat on the stone pagoda floor, and we began to chat.
Without many words spoken, we immediately became enamored with each other. I started to explain my travels here as an American, as she inched closer and closer to me. Sometimes there's a deep, unknown, mutual connection to people we've never met, these connections really aren’t meant to be understood, just welcomed, and this was one of them. We continued our talk about my travels as 8-10 more elder women dressed in traditional clothes, came into the dimly lit building and started sitting all around me. Thanh was asking most of the questions as the others listened closely to my words through David, my interpreter & guide.
Questions of my family, living in America and my life there, quickly changed to me thanking them for making me feel so welcome, so far from home. “I love Vietnam,” I said, and shared stories of my first trip with Habitat for Humanity in 2015, to South Vietnam to build a brick & mortar home for a poor family. I continued to tell them of my desire to return to Vietnam one day with my photography, videography and writing skills, to help raise awareness for organizations that serve the sick, poor and elderly. They could clearly see my intentions and feelings were genuine. I then complemented Thanh and said how beautiful she was. With doubt in her voice as she touched her aged, wrinkled face, she said, “But I am so old”. I returned by sincerely saying, “But age and looks don’t only determine beauty. Beauty comes from the heart, the eyes and kindness to others".
Immediately the conversation shifted to a woman sitting to the right, and slightly behind me. She said, “I remember the Americans bombing us during the war, the speakers would go off, 20 minutes until the Americans arrive they would say, we all were so scared”! All of the women started talking willingly among themselves, remembering the events so clearly that took place nearly 50 years ago. They continued, “I remember the American they shot down, he was so tall & white,” she said. Now me being American, 6’3’’ tall, white and sitting among all of these women discussing their war experience, still I couldn’t feel more welcome. This speaks volumes about the Vietnamese people, and the main reason why I love Vietnam so much, it's the people and their ability to heal, forgive and move on. By the end of the Vietnam war, if you can believe it, 7 million tons of bombs were dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, more than twice the number of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia during all of WW2. Being in the north, nearly everyone I speak to has fought in the war against the Americans or had family that did, and every one of them greeted me as a friend. An estimated 3.3 million people died in the war including 58,200 Americans. A true indescribable tragedy, all for what?
Today Vietnam is a young, prosperous, energetic, safe, independent country. They have forgiven, moved on with no blame to anyone, and have built an amazing, great country. My most remarkable journey covering 2,000 miles in 30 days in North Vietnam, has been a life-changing experience. I’ve had highs and lows, hit a wall and broke through, and I continue to learn and grow every day.
Each footstep, every drop of sweat, every dusty road I go down, and anytime time I pack up to move on, reminds me as well, that we all have the ability to heal and look forward to a brighter day. One day at a time, as they have in Vietnam. I visited Thanh one more time the following morning to get this photograph. A reminder of that moment, and to see that one special person again, that's helping me find my way. Gregory J.
Bac Son, North Vietnam
Never in all of my past, present and future travel throughout Vietnam, will I be so touched as I have been this beautiful girl, her Name is Phan. She's 12 years old and is in the 6th grade. Pham is an ethnic Doa minority living near the summit of Mt. Mao Son, a remote mountain, close the Chinese border. Her family makes a harsh living from difficult farming of rice, corn, and livestock at these high altitudes. The remote living is separated by long distances of up to a half a mile from other neighbors. From my first encounter, there seemed to be deep sadness within this beautiful young girls eyes, only to be broken by her friends making her laugh as I took these photos.
This is should be a prospective customer's number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.