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27/12/2017 - 08:40

Backpackers from the ancient capital

Backpacking (Phuot) has become so familiar with the young people in Hue. Now, this form of travel is no longer strange to the older generation in Hue.

Ready to set off

A healthy way to relax

Backpacking in groups, from five to ten people, is becoming a trend for young people who love to travel and explore new places: watching the sun rise on Hai Van Pass; indulging in the paradise on Canh Duong beach with its clear blue water; setting camp at nightfall on sandy beaches, the music from the guitar along with the dancing campfire and the sound of the waves.

Quoc, a "philosopher" of a backpacking group from the old capital said: "There is no strange place; only the traveler is a stranger, seeking peace in the wilderness...” After days and nights spent on the road trip along Ngang Pass – Quang Tri – Hue, the last point is camping on Thien An hill, a girl named Nguyen, a student at Hue University of Foreign Languages, asserted to friends: "A true journey is not counted by the number of miles traveled, but is counted by the sincere friends who share joys and sadness along the way."

In the process of traveling, Hue backpackers will "touch the hearts and souls" of others when showing them the beautiful selfies of the majestic landscapes of this strip of Central land. A student from Hue University of Economics has the philosophy: "Backpacking helps me to open my heart and soul to the world. The opportunity to be in harmony with nature helps me to love life more.”

Hue rain is always a challenge for tourists to Hue, but for the “backpacking-obsessed”, Hue rain proposes an interesting challenge. It brings unforgettable memories of playing in the rain, wading in the floods in Duong Mong village, lighting the flashlight to catch fish for a pot of mushroom porridge. The young people often joke that this is the “lovers’ porridge” as it is cooked with a “specialty” which is Hue’s rainwater.

Experienced travelers in Hue assure that backpacking in Hue is a budget-friendly way to travel. On average, it costs at minimum VND 200,000 per person to travel for 24 hours, granted that the travelling group has around 10 members.

If the weather is not favorable, they can sleep in hostels for backpackers with the cheap price of VND 80,000 per person. These are also the places where more “seasoned” backpackers as well as young ones can meet and share information, experience and travelling tips, or draw lessons to prevent uncertainties on their trips.

Backpacker Nguyen Dinh Mao (left) and his companion on Mount Fansipan

Old backpackers

Backpacking is not only reserved for young people in Hue. Recently, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Mao, aged 70 (Phong Hien - Phong Dien), with his friend Trinh Duc Ngung, a pensioner from the same hometown, have gained a lot of admiration from young people by travelling two trips lasting 52 days, 7200 km from the south to the north of Vietnam on the old Honda Future motorcycle.

Coming back from the 27 days trip, 3,500km from Hue to the North, Northwest and Northeastern provinces, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Mao still cannot forget the memories and feelings of his fellow countrymen on each part of this travel.

Retiring after 32 years of working in the post and telecommunications industry, Mr. Mao wanted to visit the scenic spots of the country by backpacking on his motorbike. Supported by his family and friends, in September 2016, he invited his friend who is a retired teacher to take his backpack with him on his old Honda Future. With wonderful experiences after a 25-day trip with stopovers in 20 provinces and cities in the South and the Central Highlands, Mr. Mao had written his name on the list of U70 backpackers.

Mr. Mao recalled, on his 25-day trip to the South, he only stayed three nights in guesthouses. For the rest of the time, he was welcomed into the homes of his friends and relatives. Simple but warm meals along the way and sleeping places arranged in a hurry contained a sincere love among the country fellows. The trip was successful as he was able to visit famous historical sites, such as Phu Quoc prison, Ca Mau cape, Cambodian border, Da Lat flower city.

After the success of his first trip, at the end of October 2017, he and his friend decided to take a 27-day journey, travelling to the provinces of the North, Northwest and Northeast with a distance of 3,500 km. With five sets of clothes, some medicine as a precaution, and the old motorcycle, the journey started from the central provinces. They stopped at famous destinations such as Thien Duong Cave, Dong Loc junction, Bai Dinh pagoda, and continued on to the Northwest and Northeastern provinces.

Throughout the journey, he saved the images of the destinations on Facebook and received thousands of likes and comments. Many young people admire that even at the age of 70, he was able to reach the "roof of Indochina" -  Mt Fansipan - at an altitude of 3,143m, or visit famous monuments such as Pac Bo, Dien Bien Phu victory monument, Hung Temple in Phu Tho, or Tam Thanh cave, Lung Cu flag pole by motorbike.

The trip was met with many obstacles due to the travelers’ old age and limited health. In addition, the northern roads have many steep slopes, and the weather was changeable. However, with their will and determination, Mr. Mao and his friend reached places famous not only in Vietnam but in the world, such as Mount Fansipan, Lung Cu flag pole, Sapa love market, and returned safely after 27 days backpacking.

“As long as I am still healthy, I will continue to travel.” With Mr. Mao, the two backpacking trips through Vietnam had left many memories. He explored new places, and the result is a backpack full of love.

By Anh Tuan - Thanh Huong

 

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