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Tree trimmer dubbed ‘Monkey King’ in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Tree trimmer dubbed ‘Monkey King’ in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Sunday, November 08, 2020, 20:08 GMT+7
Tree trimmer dubbed ‘Monkey King’ in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Pham Thanh Tung cuts a tree branch with a chainsaw in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

A man from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has been dubbed a ‘Monkey King’ given his excellent tree climbing skill, which is essential for his job as a professional tree trimmer.

Residing in Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province, Pham Thanh Tung has been a tree trimmer for more than 27 years.

At the age of 50, Tung is not planning on retiring any time soon.

“I didn’t choose this job, it chose me," he said. 

"I will just keep working until nobody hires me."

Pham Thanh Tung often travels on his motorbike packed with ropes and chainsaws in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung often travels on his motorbike packed with ropes and chainsaws in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

As safety always comes first in this occupation, Tung has his own rules, planning and preparing everything carefully.

Before climbing any tree, Tung usually spends a long time calculating the direction of the fall.

This preparation sometimes takes longer than the trimming.

Pham Thanh Tung climbs on a tree to cut it down with his chainsaw. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung stands on a tree to cut it down with his chainsaw. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

“I am blessed with this ability to come up with the fastest and safest way to trim or cut down a tree,” Tung elaborated.

The man is also very good at climbing trees with only a coil of rope and positioning himself as he chops off tree branches with a chainsaw.

He usually gets paid VND200,000-500,000 (US$9-22) for the job, but he sometimes receives very generous tips from his clients.

Many people in the locality who admire his flair have given him the nickname ‘Monkey King.’

His team also includes two to three other trimmers. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

His team also includes two to three other trimmers. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung shows his scars left by injuries while working as a tree trimmer in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung shows his scars left by injuries while working as a tree trimmer in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung climbs on a tree to cut it down with his chainsaw. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung stands on a tree to cut it down with his chainsaw. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung (C) is picture during a meal with his teammates. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung (C) is pictured during a meal with his teammates. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung’s son helps him prepare for the job.  Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thanh Tung’s son helps him prepare for the job. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

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