Viet Reader.


Premier Newspaper for Vietnamese Worldwide

U70 Travel through Vietnam

A group of 4 friends, all nearly 70 years old, went on a trip from Lam Dong to the Northwest by a pickup truck and returned after 15 days.

Returning home to Bao Loc, Lam Dong for 3 days, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung (68 years old) still remembers the roadside meal, the hastily erected tent or the nervous time with his brothers crossing the zigzag and dangerous Northwest Pass. All are small but memorable memories of his journey through Vietnam and his three brothers Tran Van Chung (66 years old), Nguyen Ngoc Quang, Tran Quoc Khanh (65 years old).

The mountains and forests of Viet Bac are waiting for us

“The vast southern plains, the high green central mountains, the Viet Bac mountains and forests are waiting for us,” they sang. This is a sentence from Nong Lam Muc, the march that all 4 members still remember from their school days, which is also the motivation that motivates them to go out together after 50 years of being friends.

U70 Travel through Vietnam
Four members take commemorative photos on Lo Xo pass, Kon Tum on February 5. From left to right are Mr. Khanh, Mr. Trung, Mr. Chung, Mr. Quang.

They are students of Bao Loc Nong Lam Suc School. At that time, Mr. Trung and the other 3 people studied 2 courses apart but were very close because they studied in boarding schools and lived together like brothers. They are like many other students of the school, sharing a love of the forest, nature, and the country. After graduating from school, the four still met regularly, especially during school visits. Many times they intend to go through Vietnam together, make an appointment and then stop because they are worried about the economy and taking care of their family.

During the conversation on the 29th of the Lunar New Year, memories of the days of students and young people once again flooded. Mr. Quang suggested going through Vietnam right after Tet because now all of them are old, have plenty of time and have enough economic conditions. After listening, Mr. Trung nodded quickly. “This has been their wish for a long time. I’m like the eldest brother, I also like adventure, so I agreed to take the pickup truck to take you guys,” Trung laughed and said.

The schedule fixed the 5th day of the New Year to set off, but because of excitement, they decided to go a day earlier. On the day of departure, relatives were worried but still very supportive. Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Hanh Dung, Mr. Quang’s daughter, also packed more sweets and cakes for children in the highlands. “Daddy’s traveling for a long time, so I also worry about him being sick, he’s tired, but when he goes with close friends, my whole family supports him. All his life he has worked hard, so now I just want him to enjoy his old age and be happy.” Ms. Dung said.

On the 2-wheeler pickup truck, there are more clothes from short to long-sleeved, warm clothes. The members also bring full tables and chairs, cooking utensils, camping tents in case they need to rest along the way. From Bao Loc, they drove along Truong Son road towards the Northwest and Northeast border areas.

5,714 km across the country

In the afternoon, they passed through Dak Lak, Kon Tum, Quang Tri, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Ha Giang and Cao Bang. When they returned, they chose the route along the coast of Vietnam to Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thua Thien Hue, Binh Dinh… In total, they traveled 5,714 km, through 32 provinces in 15 days.

During the trip, they visited many scenic spots, historical and cultural sites such as the Pilgrimage Center of Our Lady of Mang Den, Tomb of Hai Thuong Lan Ong Healer, Ban Gioc waterfall, Lung Cu flagpole, Cua Ong temple … In the winter of the North, they are also fortunate to see the sea of ​​clouds in Lai Chau and plum flowers in Moc Chau, Son La.

During the trip, based on their strengths and personalities, the 4 members shared the work. Having traveled many times through Vietnam by motorbike, the responsibility of “pilot” was assigned to Mr. Trung and Chung. As Mr. Trung drove, Mr. Chung sat next to him and talked and looked at Google Maps. Mr. Khanh is the treasurer and takes care of health, prepares medicine and medical supplies, and Mr. Quang will help with logistics and keep the travel diary.

They do not fix how far they will have to drive, as long as they are tired, they will rest. Therefore, many times the group experienced “eating on the shore and sleeping in the dust” such as camping, roasting chicken in bamboo bushes along the road before going to Pha Din pass or in Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang).

Before the long trip, the members were worried about safety and health, but unexpectedly, the more fun they went, the more energy they had. “On the road, the driver is the most worried, but strangely, he has never seen him tired, even when the brothers are asleep, he still drives until 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” Quang laughed when talking about Mr. the group. He said that the “suitability”, listening and respecting each other helped them forget all their fatigue.

Sharing the same opinion, Mr. Trung shared that he had traveled alone many times before, but traveling with many people, everything needed a common opinion. “Despite my experience, I followed you. The last trip we had, we were happier and more united,” he said.

During the journey, each person has their own impression and feelings about the land they go through. Mr. Quang remembers the image of the West Truong Son, the road that many years ago the government called for people to resettle here, now the house is modern, like in a foreign country. The second image that made him sad, the most touching was the miserable life of people in remote areas in the North, who sowed each seed under the cat’s ear when it was cold.

This is also the first time that Mr. Quang has been able to see firsthand the beauty of the Northern mountainous region, where the winding passes hug the majestic mountain. He said emotionally: “This is really an eye-opening trip, I can see the scenery that I have only seen through TV and radio before.”

Mr. Trung was also excited when he returned to the Northwest and Northeast. Many places he went to before were attractive rural areas, without conditions for transportation, land, and soil. “Seeing with my own eyes the efforts of people living in difficult places and the development and rise of my homeland, I remind myself how to live, how to share with people around,” he said. Therefore, during the trip, the members also brought many gifts that the former students in the school sent to celebrate the new year for children in the highlands they met on the way.

The whole group gave lucky money to highland children accidentally met during the trip.

At the end of the trip on February 20, the whole group was healthy and safe to return to their families. Friends, brothers and sisters from the same school year inquired, they excitedly talked about the long journey. Many people expressed their desire to join in the next trip, to return to the North or to the West. Each time, Mr. Trung smiled and said, “You have suggested, just move if you like”.

About author
You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.
View all posts
More on this story