​Young Vietnamese choose trekking for better health

Trekking has become a favored outdoor activity amongst young people in Vietnam thanks to its health benefits

A group of young Vietnamese trek in Nui Chua National Park in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan. Photo: Tuoi Tre

An increasing number of mostly young, urban residents have chosen trekking, an outdoor activity involving long distance walks in nature, as a way to keep their bodies in good shape.

The exercise has long been integrated with other sports such as marathon running and cycling for a more diverse experience. 

Nguyen Dang Duy, a flight ticket seller, said his job requires him to sit in an office for eight hours a day, while his wife is also tied to her office chair every day.

“We often get a cold whenever the weather changes,” Duy stated.

Through a friend, the couple became members of a trekking group named K’Ho and have been taking part in journeys on foot into the forest, hills, and streams.

A short trip often lasts two days and one night, while longer excursions can take up to four days.

A journey on foot at Bung Thi Forest in in the south-central Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A journey on foot at Bung Thi Forest in south-central Binh Thuan Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Duy recalled journeys to Bu Gia Map National Park in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, Bung Thi Forest in south-central Binh Thuan Province, and several woods in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

“These trips give me the chance to witness the beauty of nature and escape from the stressful city life,” he elaborated.

Duy and his group organize a trekking tour once every month.

The couple have also formed a habit of jogging two hours a day for better health.

“Our group has over 30 members aged from eight to 70 years old. Thanks to its activities, I am no longer affected by common illnesses,” Duy said.

Trekking and running are a good combination as more marathons take place in nature, namely the Ho Da Trail in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Gio Marathon in the city's Can Gio District.

Young people cross a stream in Bung Thi Forest. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Young people cross a stream in Bung Thi Forest. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Participants take part in these competitions not to win prizes, but to push their own limits and enjoy the unique experience.

“I often practice running at the park or stadium, which can be quite boring sometimes,” Pham Van Hung, who has registered for the Ho Da Trail, said.

Pham Anh Tuan, member of the Sunday Running Club (SRC), said that the organization organizes running trips on a monthly basis.

Their destinations include famous streams and mountains in the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Tay Ninh, Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands, and Sa Pa Town in northern Vietnam.

With a similar goal, members of the Vietrunners club also spend their free time on long distance walks in a variety of locations across the country.

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