People are such an important part of the travel experience, and at Topas Riverside Lodge we pride ourselves on treating each guest like a member of our own family. Get to know our team by browsing their introductions below.
Our lodge manager Christian hails from Denmark where he first trained at the 5 star Ruths Hotel. His resume includes Spanish, French and Nordic cuisines, plus organic farm-to-table. Since 2019 he has been creating dishes at both Topas Ecolodge and Topas Riverside Lodge, leading the kitchen, managing the seasonal organic gardens, and working with farmers nearby who raise free-range pigs and chickens to ensure the kitchens have the very best of locally available produce.
“I love being a chef and lodge manager in Vietnam’s most remote mountains. Previously, I lived in Saigon, a city with over 10 million people. Being here in the mountains takes me back to my roots and helps me be at one with nature. Here, I can follow the process of all my ingredients, literally from seed to harvest, from egg to full grown chicken. Having this privilege gives one much more respect for each ingredient and challenges you to use every bit of it.” – Christian Milling
Hai, our guest relations manager at Topas Riverside Lodge and English-speaking tour guide, started working with us in 2003 as a member of the stone-cutting team from Ninh Binh that turned Topas Ecolodge from a dream into reality!
“I love my job because it allows me to focus on many different tasks, from arranging marathon events and researching new running trails to developing new tour experiences and organizing charity projects.” – Kien
Our Running Guides
Hailing from Ta Van village, Huong started out as a Sapa trekking guide in 2012, falling in love with trail running only recently, since 2019! So much in fact that she placed 5th in the 2020 VMM 42km race, her first marathon ever!
She loves running not only for its health benefits but also for the beautiful landscapes and peaceful villages just waiting to be explored.
“I’m very happy to run with you on Sapa’s beautiful trails, sharing knowledge of ethnic minority culture and local stories along the way!” – Huong
Hau Ha started running when she attended high school in a small town south of Lao Cai, crowned champion of 3 different short races of 3km! After attending tourism college, she worked for a travel agency in Sapa, first as a tour guide before opening her own trekking gear shop.
In 2020, she decided to start running again, trying out longer distances, resulting in many 2020 first place finishes, such as the 21km VMM, 5km Lao Cai Newspapers Run, 11.5km Fansipan Mountain Race, Lao Than Mountain Marathon, and 6km Sapa Marathon.
“I love running because there is nothing more exciting than discovering a new route, meeting new people and enjoying my life in nature. You don’t need anything except a pair of shoes and your own two feet.”- Hau Ha
Linh Giang has been a trekking guide for over 10 years, showing guests the most beautiful routes around Sapa.
Discovering her love of running in the spring of 2020, she soon developed a passion for running longer distances, challenging herself to run as far as 50km!
Her best result so far is second place during the 2020 VMM 21km race, also placing 2nd during the Mt. Fansipan 11.5km Marathon and Lao Than Mountain Marathon.
“When COVID-19 hit, I missed my job so much as I no longer had any clients. Running provided an outlet for me which I am so pleased to be able to share with others!”- Linh Giang
Mai first discovered her passion for running in 2014 while studying at Sapa O’Chau, learning about tourism and trek guiding.
She has participated in a number of Vietnam Trail Series events, most notably the 42km VMM in 2019, coming in 8th place, and the the 10km VMM in 2020, where she placed 5th.
“I keep running every day as it is a great sport and good for health.” – Mai