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Urban camping a new hobby of busy Saigonese

Urban camping a new hobby of busy Saigonese

Thursday, June 06, 2024, 16:13 GMT+7
Urban camping a new hobby of busy Saigonese
Phan Du and his daughter eat their sandwiches joyfully while camping in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: An Vi / Tuoi Tre

It is stated that Ho Chi Minh City's specialties are traffic jams and noise; nonetheless, many dwellers may locate green spots where they can camp out with their family and close friends amidst the bustling and noisy streets.

On Saturdays, Duong Xuan Thi, 26, a resident of Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City, wakes up at the same time as on weekdays. She does not go to work as normal, but rather prepares for city camping as a hobby.

Thi begins her weekend by opening the refrigerator, grabbing a bottle of coffee, and some ready-to-eat goodies before heading to Go Vap Cultural Park with two other friends. 

It is convenient to camp in the city. 

“It sounds 'fancy' to go camping, but no one knows that we just go to a park located around three kilometers away,” she added. 

It took Thi and her friends all night to discover a clean and green area just three kilometers away that would only take them 10 minutes to reach by motorbike. 

The park appears to be secluded from its surroundings due to the abundance of trees, a lotus pond, and a lot of chirping. 

This is not Thi's first-time going city camping. She frequently changes locations from week to week, including Gia Dinh Park and farther-flung destinations such as Can Gio Beach or the Sai Gon Riverside in Thu Duc City. 

"In fact, there are numerous places for camping out in this city, the important thing is to find a suitable place," Thi stated. 

With two years of urban camping experience, Thi believes it is most effective to identify sites on social media, as there are always people who know about every area of the city. 

After gathering information, Thi will search for it on Google Maps to learn more about the reviews before deciding on the best campsite. 

The shade allows them to sit under the trees without the need for tents for practically the entire day. Camping in the city is relatively simple to arrange, as meals can be prepared at home, and tents can be simply transported.

It seems incredible that Nguyen Thai Phuong Nghi, 13, a resident of Go Vap District, and his five friends can camp out for free. 

The parents assist the group in preparing everything for camping, including food, beverages, and modes of transportation. The only thing the squad needs to do is spread out a tarp, set up a roof in case it gets too sunny, and then start partying. 

Before the trip, the team discussed where they would camp, with their parents' only stipulation being that they camp within the city. At first appearance, it seemed tough, but the kids were able to find a good campsite after browsing the Internet. 

Going camping, everyone eats and plays cheerfully with one another; no one is glued to their phones. Nghi stated that camping here was safe because the campsite was close to their homes and there were guardians around. Their parents urge them to perform outdoor activities instead of remaining at home and constantly checking their phones. 

Enjoying a relaxed life in the city 

Camping in the city is also a popular choice for Phan Du, 31, and his family due to their hectic work schedules, making long trips practically impossible. 

A day of city camping for Hieu's family lasts about 8 hours. Photo: An Vi / Tuoi Tre

A day of city camping for Vu Trung Hieu's family lasts about eight hours. Photo: An Vi / Tuoi Tre

It only takes them dozens of minutes to go a few kilometers from his house in Tan Phu District to Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, where they can easily find a suitable camping spot for relaxation. 

Du considers camping to be simple, requiring only a tent, hammock, and portable table. He can put them all in a bag, and his small family will be able to surround themselves with fresh natural surroundings while leaving the city noises behind. 

He believes that the benefits of camping near the city center, such as the availability of parking and public restrooms, make him feel more at ease. Because of these advantages, he is able to incorporate a variety of enjoyable things into his trip. 

"If we want to go camping further away, we need to be more prepared. Although distant areas may have purer air, I am nevertheless hesitant to travel there," Du noted. 

City camping provides visitors with a unique experience that combines nature and urban life. When campers leave work behind and participate in urban camping, they can have uncommon opportunities to think for themselves and release emotions. 

Duong Ngoc Hong Hau, 30, enjoys city camping despite having previously slept in the forest or at the beach. Camping in the jungle is both exciting and risky due to the presence of snakes, mosquitos, and leeches, requiring extra caution. In contrast, city camping is completely safe and free of hazard, Hau noted. 

The man's sole reservation is the time restrictions at city campgrounds, which prevent him from enjoying a full day and night as he does when camping out in remote locations. 

Camping to heal

A bunch of friends went city camping in Go Vap District. Photo: An Vi/Tuoi Tre

A bunch of friends go camping in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: An Vi / Tuoi Tre

Many campers view urban camping as a healing medicine and a means to reconnect with family members in a noisy city like Ho Chi Minh City. 

For example, every weekend, Du takes his daughter to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens to camp out in order to provide her with an area to play, look at animals, and learn to swim. At the same time, the young father can spend time staring at trees to relax and unwind after a week of hectic work. 

During these hot days, the zoo becomes 'an isle' that many campers use as a campsite. The young father takes his five-year-old daughter camping and spends virtually the entire trip caring for her. When she gets weary of playing, he prepares food and fruits for her to eat. 

Du takes advantage of camping to encourage his daughter to stay away from electronic devices. The child enjoys eating more throughout the journey as well. 

Despite several visits to the zoo, the daughter continually has questions for her father. "Papa, why does that bird have a long beak?" Anh her father patiently answers all of her queries. 

Last but not least, city camping is not expensive. It would cost approximately VND500,000 (US$20) for a family of three, such as Thi's. She often gets products online to have them delivered to the campsite, but the total cost is seldom more than VND1,000,000 ($39). 

Vu Trung Hieu's family tent is located near Du's. The 33-year-old Binh Thanh District resident said his three-member family spends about eight hours at the zoo. It took them approximately an hour to find a good campground, and they spent the next two hours eating and conversing. It is surprising that they spent five hours sleeping there. 

When asked why they had to come to the park to sleep instead of sleeping at home, Hieu smiled and responded, "Sleeping at home is pointless. We want to do something different this weekend, but we do not want to go far because we are weary and sick of going to supermarkets. So, we bought a two-million-dong tent, and my three-member family rides to the zoo by bike every weekend to get some fresh air." 

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An Vi - Le Tu Ngoc Sang - D.Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News


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Urban camping a new hobby of busy Saigonese

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