Seeing Thanh Nga on crutches, tracing each step on the slippery slope to go down Nho Que River, the water vendor advised “stop going down”.
Duong Thanh Nga, from Gia Lai, decided to make a solo trip to Ha Giang to celebrate her 30th birthday, last May. Because Russia has only one leg, many times Russia is suspected and dissuaded.
The name “one-legged” was given to her by Russia. Two years ago, after a visit to the doctor due to fainting at work, she was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to remove a hip joint in one leg. “Heaven and earth were dark at that time” because, from a person with a complete body, she now lost a limb. She worries more when thinking about travel, business, a young daughter to take care of, and unfinished trips.
“But the doctor advised that the joint removal should be done early to avoid metastasis and to have more time with family and loved ones, so I decided to have surgery,” Nga said. On the day of surgery, she looked at her full legs for the last time, keeping her mood very comfortable.
After the surgery, there were months of “pain like dying and coming back to life” when the anesthetic had run out and then lost sleep because of aches and pains. Her family has always been her biggest source of encouragement during her recovery. After the wound healed, she returned to yoga, her previous favorite practice. Gradually, when she was able to walk well with crutches and live, as usual, Nga continued to travel from Da Lat, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City… until recently Ha Giang .
When announcing that she was going to Ha Giang, many people said that Nga was “crazy” because she had never gone out before, let alone in the high mountains and difficult terrain. Even during the trip, many people saw her climbing the slope with crutches and climbing the cliff and advised her to stop and watch from above. She just thanked them and then continued on her crutches to continue, determined to go on a boat ride on the Nho Que River.
She shared a small road stretching for a kilometer that was steep and slippery, but didn’t want to give up because it would be a waste to come here without fully experiencing it. Tourists met her on the way, the guide supported and assisted her down to the marina. After looking back all the way, she also surprised herself because, from the day she had one leg, she had only walked the furthest few hundred meters.
“I understand my abilities and it won’t be difficult if I really want to. This trip has so few obstacles, most of which is the joy of surpassing my own limits,” she said. laughing. So in three days, Russia’s schedule is packed with visits to Quan Ba heaven gate, Bac Sum slope, Pao’s house, Meo king’s mansion, Dong Van old town, Ma Pi Leng pass, Du Gia, Lung Tam weaving village, dragon cliff… She shared a little regret because she couldn’t get to “the cliff of death”.
Sitting on a boat on the Nho Que river through Tu San alley or from a cliff into the clouds, Nga feels like “losing her soul”. “Images and words can hardly describe the majestic beauty of this place, the river, the rows on both sides of Happiness Road, the cornfields on both sides of the road… make me fall in love. Coming here, I understand more and more. Vietnam’s nature is so beautiful, “she said.
During the three-day trip, Russia booked a motorbike tour for one passenger and one guide for 4.5 million VND. She shared her experience on the Ha Giang tour group and knew that riding a motorbike would clearly feel the atmosphere and beauty, so she chose this tour. After three days of traveling about 350 km and the first day it rained heavily, just wearing a raincoat and walking, but Nga did not feel tired, instead, she felt refreshed when the beautiful scenery appeared right in front of her eyes.
The sincerity and friendliness of the locals also make Nga love Ha Giang more. Nga said that when riding a motorbike along the road, many highland children waved hello, every baby’s face is innocent and radiant, and the daughter is beautiful.
She stayed for three nights at a local homestay, leaving a good impression everywhere. The first day at Dong Van Eco Stone House, Russia was secretly celebrated by the host and guide for his birthday. She shared that although the party was simple with black chicken hot pot, corn wine, a small but warm birthday cake, she laughed so much that she forgot to take a photo. “This will be a birthday that I will remember forever because of my emotions and meaningful new year greetings,” she said.
Nguyen Van Nghiep, a tour guide, shared that in 5 years as a backpacker in Ha Giang, for the first time he met a special guest like Russia. Although her hands are on crutches, she can move on her own, even on steep terrain and difficult rocky roads. “The whole trip to Russia didn’t need much help, full of energy and energy,” he said. So after knowing about her trip to celebrate her birthday, he secretly contacted the homestay to organize a small celebration party together. He also hopes that Russia’s trip will give more motivation to people in the same situation so that they can love life more.
Nga shared that because of the change of schedule, she could not conquer Lung Cu Flagpole. Later, she will definitely return to Ha Giang to visit the places that have not been visited, and at the same time will explore many northern mountainous provinces and cities such as Moc Chau, Son La or Cao Bang.