This tall, super tanned, and full of laughter person is our Taiwanese tour guide Yummy. His name always make people wonder what the story behind it is. The reason is simple enough—he has a big appetite. In order not to fail this interesting and impressive name, Yummy likes to take the clients on a food tour. “I am from Chiayi, and there are a lot of famous local cuisines, such as fish head casserole, cold noodles, and turkey rice. As a result, when it comes to recommending food the clients, I prefer the local dishes to the renowned restaurants praised by the media or bloggers.”
Yummy emphasized that; nowadays, clients would like their trip to be more free and flexible, and want to eat like a local. “Side dish platter, goose slices, chicken rice, or stir fries are usual cuisines that you don’t have to spend a fortune, but the clients can still taste a variety of our daily delicacies. Sometimes a good two to three hundred NTD (about 6.5-10 USD) worth of food is enough to cover the whole table! Every time I take the clients on such experience, they all feel amazed. Satisfying both to the stomach and the wallet. Most importantly, the clients feel like the locals, which is always the one thing they desire the most during the trip.”
Besides being a gourmet, Yummy has his own unique philosophy when it comes to leading a tour. “A tour guide is like a boy pursuing a girl—every tour requires enthusiasm.” This metaphor perfectly demonstrates Yummy’s constant passion for travel since the day he became a guide. “We might have been to the scenic spots for tens or hundreds of times, but every time is a first for the clients. Therefore, we have to give them our all, tell the best story, and share the most knowledge.” For Yummy, the true value of a tour guide is not just “to guide a tour,” but to accompany and experience with the travelers every step of the journey.
Talking about the most unforgettable experience, Yummy laughed and said that there is too much to share! “The first time being the driver, the car broke down; the first time being the guide and taking the clients to Jiu-fen, a storm came and broke off the plan. Of course I was nervous, but when I found out that that was not going to help me with my situation, I stop being nervous.” Speaking of his growth, behind the laughter is the attitude of facing the crisis heads on, calmly assessing the situation, and taking the best solution rather than being panic and ruining the whole trip.”
“Before becoming a guide, I was a driver. At that time, when chances of visiting different scenic spots presented themselves, I always insisted on taking every opportunity. I absorbed knowledge from many guides and developed my own style of tour-guiding.” Yummy recalled that one weekend, when he drove the guide to pick up a group of travelers at the Port of Keelung, the client’s debit card was stuck in the ATM. “The guide stood so firmly on his ground that the bank was persuaded and was willing to help with the problem even on holiday. This was a huge lesson to me.”
One time, Yummy himself received a family from Singapore. Their one-year-old son was sick during the trip. However, the nebulizer machines they brought was not working due to the incompatible voltage, and the client, Gladys, was very worried. Yummy, with his quick thinking, managed to borrow the only one and available transformer from the hotel they stayed in the morning, and convinced the hotel to let them bring it along for the rest of the trip. This was the saving grace, otherwise they would have to admit their son to the hospital and cancel the rest of the trip. At that moment, Yummy showed his ability of crisis resolution, which was the accumulation of his past experience. Yummy also mentioned that for the trust he gained from this event, Gladys assigned Yummy to be in charge of their family trip next year.
Before the interview ended, we asked Yummy to recommend us some ways to explore Taiwan. He said that in comparison with walking, he thought that the speed of bicycle was more suitable for taking in the different paces in Taiwanese city and country. Next time, look forward to exploring Yummy’s hometown, Chiayi, with him on a bicycle, and experience the unforgettable taste of journey together!