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Vietnam boy, friends cycle more than 400km in five days to meet his parents

Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 12:46 GMT+7
Vietnam boy, friends cycle more than 400km in five days to meet his parents
The three students have now returned after a 400km journey. Photo: N.H. / Tuoi Tre

Being apart from his parents for too long, a sixth grader asked two of his friends to join him for a bicycle ride of more than 400km, from Ca Mau Province to Ho Chi Minh City, to look for them.

Twelve-year-old boy Pham Van Ngoan, along with his two friends, finally found his parents after the five-day journey, but not before their families reported all three boys as missing persons in their hometown.

On December 9, Dang Van Khang, head of Kien Vang Hamlet in the southernmost province, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the three local students previously reported missing had returned home.

The three kids are sixth graders at Tan Hung Tay Middle School in Viet Thang Commune. When they left, Pham Van Ngoan wanted to visit his parents and enlisted his friends, Do Nhat Huy, 11, and Phan Van Hau, 14, to accompany him.

“After their return, we visited their families and gave them some support. I advised the parents not to scold the children too much to avoid emotional breakdown,” Khang told Tuoi Tre.

Due to financial difficulties, Ngoan’s parents left to work in Ho Chi Minh City to make ends meet.

Ngoan, who is now living with his grandparents, felt sad being apart from them for so long, so he convinced two of his friends to cycle from Ca Mau to Ho Chi Minh City to look for them.

They started their trip on December 1 without telling their relatives, who later reported the boys missing to local police.

This screenshot from a video show the reunion moment of a boy with his mother.

This screenshot from a video shows the reunion moment of a boy with his mother.

After the five-day journey, the three kids arrived in Ho Chi Minh City and managed to find Ngoan’s parents’ rented house in Binh Tan District; however, they had already returned to Ca Mau to look for their missing son.

In Ca Mau, Phu Tan District’s police launched a search for the missing kids. Some local residents also posted the missing cases on social networks to seek the kids’ whereabouts.

Later, officials in Binh Tan District found three young kids wandering near the place where Ngoan’s parents lived, so they kept them and informed their families.

The three boys were sent back to their families and arrived home on the night of December 7.

The boys rode three bicycles at first but one of them broke down, so the oldest had to carry another.

They set off with only VND15,000 (US$0.65) in the pocket, so they had to borrow another VND40,000 ($1.7) from a friend.

During the trip, they stopped on the side of the streets to take a rest.

When Huy, Ngoan, and Hau arrived at the house Ngoan’s parents rented, they had as little as two pieces of bread, one cucumber, and one bottle of water.

According to a leader of Tan Hung Tay Middle School, the three students have yet to return to school.

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