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‘This world is waiting for you to explore it your way’: Vietnamese solo camper

Saturday, November 05, 2022, 10:00 GMT+7
‘This world is waiting for you to explore it your way’: Vietnamese solo camper
Lu Hoang Thong enjoys hot coffee while camping alone in the forest. Photo: Supplied

Lu Hoang Thong, from Ho Chi Minh City, has spent the past three years spending his weekends camping alone.

Thong, a 30-year-old avid photographer, believes the time he spends alone in the wilderness is the first step in discovering who he truly is.

A video Lu Hoang Thong makes of one of his solo adventures

“Only when you know who you are, will you understand your value,” Thong said, adding that his solo trips give him the opportunity to experience new feelings and discover what he loves and cares about.

“Personally, I prefer traveling and exploring nature rather than exploring modern architecture," Thong said.

A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong carrying his camping gadgets while walking into the forest alone.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong carrying his camping gadgets while walking into the forest alone.

Thong sees his travel experiences as important steps towards feeling fulfilled, primarily because of what he learns from the new people he meets and places he sees.

“That’s the meaning of travel,” Thong said. “Don’t hesitate to pack your stuff and send yourself to a wider world.

A video Lu Hoang Thong makes of one of his solo adventures

“Someone said that happiness is a new kind of wealth, peace of mind is a new kind of success, health is a new kind of prosperity, and kindness is a new kind of lifestyle.

“I choose to travel because it makes me happier and more mature.”

A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong carrying his camping gadgets while walking into the forest alone.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong carrying his camping gadgets while walking into the forest alone.

According to Thong, traveling alone allows him to be independent in his decisions, gain confidence, and practice problem solving.

“I have good memories of most of my trips, but the most memorable might be the one I took to the Central Highlands City of Da Lat,” Thong shared.

“My initial plan was to stay for three days but it turned into a week because Da Lat is just so beautiful.”

Thong said he tries to stick to places where he can fully immerse himself in nature without being surrounded by too many people, meaning he often has to travel deep into the forest to find a campsite.  

A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food in the forest during a solo camping trip.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food in the forest during a solo camping trip.

According to him, the experience accumulated from traveling helps with his creativity and allows him to see life in new and interesting ways.  

“To those who have the same interests as me, if you want to camp alone, be brave. Going alone is not really as difficult or as dangerous as you imagine,” Thong said.

“If you want to take a journey alone, start with familiar places you have been to with family or friends.

“This big world is waiting for you to explore it your way.”

Of course, solo camping also comes with its disadvantages, like loneliness, homesickness, danger, and equipment issues.

“Since I travel on my own, I usually bring a tent, cooking tools, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and camera,” Thong shared, adding that his kit cost about VND30 million (US$1,207) for his gadgets.

A supplied photo shows Thong camping under the rain.
A supplied photo shows Thong camping under the rain.

As Thong goes camping almost every weekend, keeping in good shape is one of his top priorities.

Thong currently has 11,000 followers on Facebook, where he shares stunning photos and videos of his solo trips.

A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food by a spring during a solo trip.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food by a spring during a solo trip.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food by a spring during a solo trip.
A supplied photo shows Lu Hoang Thong cooking his food by a spring during a solo trip.

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Duyen Phan - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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