By Quynh Mai   October 29, 2023 | 07:40 pm GMT+7

Nguyen Ngoc Minh, his wife, and their daughter set out on a 45-day trip across 22 provinces, camping for 35 of those nights to take in the natural splendor along the way.

The family set out from Soc Trang Province in the south on August 16, 2023, after planning their departure for an entire year. The group set out on October 9 with the intention of making it all the way from the southern to northern tip of the country.

This road trip was different from their others because they didn’t stay in hotels. They spent 35 nights camping instead, only staying in hotels or with host families when absolutely necessary.

Nguyen Ngoc Minh, his wife and daughter camp at Mui Yen Cape, Phu Yen Province, with their vehicle packed for the trip. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The driving force behind this extraordinary journey was Minh’s 18-month-old daughter. He aimed to introduce her to various weather, strengthen her adaptability, and help her slowly get familiar with the world in her early years.

Initially, the plan was to go from south to north. However, fate had other plans. Minh met friends who shared his passion along the trip, forming a group. They started in Can Tho City and ventured through various central provinces, Hanoi, and the stunning northern mountains.

Choosing less-visited provinces and cities, Minh’s family aimed to experience the unspoiled beauty of nature. “If we can’t find a campsite or it’s too late, we will rent a room,” he said.

While they typically spent one day and one night in each province, some locations, such as Ha Giang, Yen Bai, and Cao Bang provinces, captivated them so profoundly that they lingered for two to three days, taking in the breathtaking golden terraced fields.

Their campsites were carefully selected, offering proximity to pristine landscapes and beautiful scenery. They chose camp spots near stunning nature, like Mai Nha Island in Phu Yen, Hai Van Pass in Da Nang, Khau Pha Pass in Yen Bai, Suoi Thau Steppe in Ha Giang, and more.

Hoang Su Phi District in Ha Giang Province boasts stunning terraced rice fields. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family’s journey commenced on Mai Nha Island, Phu Yen Province in the south central coast. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family paused at Gianh River’s ferry terminal in Quang Binh Province in central Vietnam to admire a stunning sunrise. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

In Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam, the family discovered a serene spot surrounded by nature and ponds. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family and their friends camped at Hang Tau Village in Moc Chau Province, which resembled a movie scene. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Y Ty Commune, nestled in Lao Cai Province, reveals its breathtaking charm when viewed from above. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Suoi Thau Steppe in Ha Giang Province captivates visitors with its stunning landscapes. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Phung Village in Ha Giang Province offers breathtaking views and a romantic ambiance. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Hoang Su Phi District in Ha Giang Province boasts stunning terraced rice fields. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family’s journey commenced on Mai Nha Island, Phu Yen Province in the south central coast. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The beauty of the northern mountain regions left a lasting impression on the family, who lived in the south. Suoi Thau Steppe’s blooming buckwheat flowers and Hoang Su Phi and Mu Cang Chai districts’ mature rice fields were among the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

From seaside sunrises to the mysterious beauty of mountains shrouded in white fog, the mornings spent sleeping among the majestic yet poetic mountains and hills were among the most memorable of their lives.

“Witnessing those moments makes me even more eager to go to more places and see more beautiful sights,” said Minh.

Hang Tau Village in the northern province of Moc Chau left an indelible impression on them. There were wood H’Mong homes scattered throughout the mountains and forests, and herds of buffalo, cows, chickens, and pigs grazed freely on the verdant lawns.

There was no way to contact the outside world from this secluded haven. Compared to the hectic pace of modern life, the traditional, self-sufficient way of life offered a profound sense of tranquility and slowness.

From the time their daughter was three months old, the couple began taking her on short camping trips of two or three days. They prepared for her comfort on long trips by packing a car seat, extra layers, and other necessities.

Minh had previously ridden his motorcycle throughout Vietnam, stopping at various hotels and homestays along the way. On the other hand, there were advantages to taking a car camping and traveling because it was economical, could fit all of their gear, and was easy on the gas tank. While it offered greater freedom than motorcycles, it also came with a higher price tag for things like camping gear and narrower roads.

Camping in Bui Hau Steppe in the central province of Quang Ngai on their return, they were treated to a panoramic view of nature. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family pose for a photo at Tan Uyen tea hill in Lai Chau Province in northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Minh and his daughter enjoy a horseback ride at Hang Tau Village in Moc Chau Town of Son La Province in northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family camp at night on Chieu Lau Thi Peak in Ha Giang Province in northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family camp in a water-surrounded location at Co La Waterfall in Cao Bang Province near China border. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family stops near Mat Than Mountain (Holy Eye Mountain), also known as the “Mountain with a Hole” due to the presence of a circular hole running through the mountain about halfway up. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Mau Son Peak in Lang Son Province is renowned for a cool year-round climate and captivating scenery. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family camp at the base of Am Ngoa Van Pagoda in Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Camping in Bui Hau Steppe in the central province of Quang Ngai on their return, they were treated to a panoramic view of nature. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family pose for a photo at Tan Uyen tea hill in Lai Chau Province in northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Minh

The family spent roughly VND1 million (about US$40) per day on food, lodging, and transportation. They bought things like generators, water tanks, cooking utensils, a fridge, and camping gear like roof-mounted tents, tables, chairs, and sleeping bags before setting out on the journey.

Minh hopes that this trip will encourage families to go camping together and develop closer bonds through shared experiences. In the not-too-distant future, he and his loved ones plan to take a mobile home across Europe.

Source: vnExpress