Manuel and Thao

We are the founders of Mekong Retreat and Mekong Life Balance.

Manuel and Thao

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Manuel at a glance

  • 12 years experience in working and living with Vietnamese

  • 5 years leadership experience in multinational teams in EU & VN

  • Fluency in Vietnamese and 5 other languages

  • Academic degree in “International Business Communication”

  • Proven project management experience in Vietnam (and Europe)

  • Founder of Mekong Retreat

  • Program Leader Retreats and Intercultural Coach

  • Address: Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh-City, Vietnam

    Age: 31 years

    Skills: In-depth understanding of Vietnamese culture (12 years of working and living with Vietnamese abroad and in Vietnam), Project Management, Fluency in 6 languages incl. Vietnamese

    Hobbies: Travelling, skiing, volleyball, baking, family

  • 2006-2011: Client relationship management for private and institutional customers, A Swiss bank, Switzerland

    2011: Intern, Business development management for “Dariu Mobile Schools”, Dariu Foundation, Vietnam

    2012-2016: Project management for 2 strategic banking projects, A Swiss bank, Switzerland

    2016: Interim-Managing Director, BDG Vietnam, Vietnam

    2016: Founder, Managing Director and Program Manager, Mekong Life Balance, Vietnam


  • 2017: PCC certification by the International Coach Federation

    2009-2012: Bachelor of Arts “International Business Communication”

    2006-2007: Certified banking education by the Swiss bankers association


    • Because there is so much that can be changed and improved in Vietnam
    • Because I was looking for a different level of independence at work
    • Because I perceive Vietnam as a secure country 
    • Because I believe that South-East Asia will be of higher relevance than Europe in the coming years
  • For our private customers:

    • Because the countryside offers a unique environment for recovery
    • Because what you experience there can change your life and view of the world
    • Because we offer a different kind of holiday

    For our business customers (cultural integration):

    • Because you will have better success with a better cultural understanding
    • Because I can help you bridging cultural differences
  • The two of us could not be more different: different cultures, different educational backgrounds, different countries, often different opinions, different lives. This difference is the source of creativity and unique solutions for our guests.

    Thao sometimes has such simple answers to problems and she has a very good intuition.

    She is a loving and caring mom and often makes us laugh. Working and living together with her is a gift.

Manuel and Thao

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Thao at a glance

  • Vietnamese citizen, learning English and German as foreign languages

  • 12 years of working experience with local and foreign customers

  • Proven negotiation and project management skills in Vietnam

  • Co-founder of Mekong Life Balance

  • Address: Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh-City, Vietnam

    Age: 31 years

    Skills: Negotiation skills for Vietnam, good insight into human nature, expert in Asian physical therapy methods

    Hobbies: Travelling, cooking, eating, parlor games, family

  • Because I do not want to end up in a golden cage like many of my friends who followed their husbands abroad.

    Still, I flew to Europe to visit and live with Manuel in August 2012 and another time between 2014 and 2015 when we needed to go there for work purposes. 

  • Manuel has such a diverse education and experience in life. He is carrying a positive attitude with him – almost in any situation. This is good for us – especially for our girls and for our guests.

    Combining his and my strengths just like we should take the best from Asian and European culture will create an unforgettable experience for our guests. We want to help people to live a better and more successful life.

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