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The boy in Saigon fell in love with Da Lat, leaving the street to the forest

After the trip through Vietnam, Hung Duc realized that he loved life with the sound of birds singing every morning, the mushroom picking sessions, and the growing of vegetables more than the hustle and bustle.

In March 2021, the 21-year-old boy quit his office job at the family company, moved his furniture to Da Lat to live. He applied to work as a bartender on a farm, combining a cafe, camping in the woods. This is also the job he loves since his school days. In his free time, he is in charge of taking photos, preparing for camping, guiding visitors…

During the epidemic season, the coffee shop is stopping to welcome guests, Hung Duc still stays here with close friends and the family of the farm owner. Every day, the main work of the members is to clean after planting, take care of the garden, and harvest fruit. Many days, the group went deep into the forest to pick mushrooms, pick fruits, camp, and sing among nature.

Every morning, Duc is awakened by the sound of birds singing instead of the loud sirens of Saigon. Around him were always tall pine trees swaying in the wind, instead of skyscrapers and crowded streets. When in the city the epidemic was tense, in the middle of the mountains, only a group of German people lived, did not meet anyone.

The boy in Saigon fell in love with Da Lat, leaving the street to the forest

The decision to change from the trip

Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, bold urban and no concept of wild nature is what Duc described himself before. At the end of 2018, when he was still a student of hotel management, he started taking self-guided trips to Vung Tau by motorbike to gain more experience in the industry. After the trip, he realized that he was “addicted” to travel, enjoying driving to new lands, away from traffic jams and city smog.

In his free time, Duc drives to Da Lat again to learn about how to plant trees, take care of coffee, serve his passion for making and taking photos. One year, realizing that he was not suitable for the field he was studying, Duc left school to focus on fulfilling his hobby. Every weekend, his familiar destination is still Da Lat, a 6-hour drive from where he lives.

Each time, Duc chooses to stay in a different homestay, the criteria is quiet, far from the city, with mountain views. Later trips, he switched to buying tents to camp in the forest.

Vegetable harvest day at Makakamp . farm

In June 2020, Germany had the first trip across Vietnam, lasting a month. From Ho Chi Minh City, he followed National Highway 1A to Da Lat, Khanh Hoa, then ran along the sea route through Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ha Tinh, Nghe An… to Hanoi and explored the northern provinces.

Regrets the places that have not been visited, the same year that Germany drove through Vietnam for the second time. This time he chose the Ho Chi Minh trail, to admire the majestic beauty of the Truong Son mountains with his own eyes. On this trip, Duc also spent time living with the H’Mong ethnic people in Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai), then explored Lao Cai and Lai Chau.

After the trip, Duc moved back to the family company to work in the office. Having to wake up in time to go to work every day, the office space is 4 walls that made him realize that he loves nature and is more suitable for trips. He rode a motorbike through the night from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot City (Dak Lak) to travel and learn about coffee.

“Coming here, I was a bit disappointed because the imaginary majestic thousand had become bare hills, the elephants were chained to do tourism services. Fortunately, I later read an article saying that Dak Lak will quit this service,” Duc said.

Across Vietnam, Duc finds he loves Da Lat the most because it has a cool and pleasant climate all year round. Nature and people here are also very harmonious, it can be seen that every house has a few flower pots. In addition, this place is also a suitable land for farming, coffee research and not too far from Saigon, so that he can visit his family.

Peaceful scene inside the farm.

Forest days

Duc shared, living in the middle of the forest is not too difficult for him, because he has had experience from the jungle before and is familiar with Da Lat like a second home. Even so, the rainy season is also very affecting to him. Crops. Once a storm passed, the entire farm’s 1,000-tree corn garden fell down. Or on a rainy day, the newly planted seedlings are crushed, and the strong wind uproots the larger trees.

In return, after each heavy rain in Da Lat, the wet weather creates favorable conditions for the growth of specialty mushrooms in the pine forest such as beef liver mushrooms, jackfruit mushrooms, milk mushrooms, termites… It was a beautiful sunny day after the rain, when the whole group wrapped up in the forest to pick mushrooms.

Photography and bartending are Germany’s greatest passions.

Nearly 4 months in the forest, the biggest thing Germany received was a relaxed spirit, no pressure. Health is also better when breathing fresh air, eating clean food on the farm, in the forest. In addition, living in the middle of the forest also helps his work. The forest offers many ideas for him to be creative and find more natural ingredients in drinks. Especially every time he goes to the forest, he acquires beautiful photos and knowledge about nature.

Sharing his experience about going to the forest, Duc said that it is advisable to go with a companion to assist in dangerous situations such as falls, exhaustion, snake bites… Before going on a picnic in the forest, you should equip knowledge and survival skills such as the structure and topography of the forest, in addition to the endemic plant and animal species there. Appropriate clothing is high boots, closed limbs to avoid insects. In addition, it is also necessary to bring rescue tools, flashlights, compasses.

Finally, Duc believes that when going into the forest, only footprints should be left, not a piece of trash or broken trees and grass. “The rate of regeneration of the forest is much slower than the rate of human destruction, so please respect the forest, respect nature as you respect yourself,” he said. Follow vnexpress

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