With the goal of setting a record for the first person to visit all 87 cities in just one trip, Pham Viet Anh made a 7-month journey across Vietnam.
To celebrate the age of 40, Pham Viet Anh (freelance worker, Hai Phong) had the idea of making a trip across Vietnam in 2021. However, due to the influence of Covid-19, the plan was postponed. By mid-2022, when the situation was better, he began his journey.
Not only crossing Vietnam from North to South like others, Viet Anh has set 5 goals. That is to set foot in all 87 cities (including 81 cities under the province, 5 cities directly under the central government, and one city directly under the city), conquer 6 extreme points, meet all 54 ethnic groups, participate in Visit 8 World Heritage Sites in Vietnam and visit 5 regions of Vietnam’s capital.
Talking about the purpose of the trip, Viet Anh said: “There are some people who have set a record of walking, cycling, and motorbiking to 63 provinces, but as far as I know, no one has traveled to all 87 cities in one trip. Because I wanted to make a difference, I was determined to achieve this record.”
The trip started on June 27, 2022 in his hometown – Hai Phong city by electric car. In 206 days, he drove to all cities across the country, visited cultural heritages and met and interacted with ethnic minorities. At each stop, he filmed and took photos to record the record trip of his life. At the end of the nearly 22,000 km journey on January 19, Viet Anh completed 4 of the 5 initial goals.
He has set foot in 33 cities in the North, 24 cities in the Central region and 30 cities in the South. In which, with the only island city in Vietnam, Phu Quoc, Viet Anh had to put the car on the ferry. Besides, he also researched in advance information about some towns being proposed to the city and went there to ensure the setting of records such as Tan Uyen, Ben Cat (Binh Duong), Ky Anh (Ha Noi). Tinh), Go Cong (Tien Giang). In which, Tan Uyen was approved by the National Assembly as the 88th city of Vietnam (effective from April 10).
The 6 poles of Vietnam that he conquered are the North Pole – Ha Giang; southernmost – Ca Mau; westernmost – Dien Bien; extreme east – Khanh Hoa; Northeastern pole – Quang Ninh; South West – Kien Giang.
He also visited all 8 world cultural and natural heritages in Vietnam recognized by UNESCO, including: Complex of Hue Monuments, Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh), My Son relic site (Quang Nam), etc. Hoi An ancient town (Quang Nam), Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (Quang Binh), Thang Long Imperial Citadel (Hanoi), Ho Dynasty Citadel (Thanh Hoa) and Trang An landscape complex Ninh Binh).
In addition, he also visited 5 regions of Vietnam’s capital: Phu Tho, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, and Hue.
Only the goal of meeting all 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam in one trip has not yet been completed. After meeting all the ethnic groups living in the Central and the South, the time to return to the North was close to Tet, so he stopped this goal.
Seven months of traveling across the country, going through all the terrain in Vietnam, from muddy roads to beautiful straight highways, from hot summer days to when the temperature drops to -2 degrees Celsius in the area. At the beginning of Lung Cu, Mr. Viet Anh had deep impressions of the nature and people of Vietnam.
For him, the North has places with majestic beauty of highland nature such as Ha Giang and Lai Chau. From the central strip to the south, there are beautiful and peaceful sea villages, some places have not yet exploited tourism. Among them, the beaches that impressed him the most were Vinh Hoa, Bai Xep and Mui Dien all in Phu Yen province.
His favorite experience is meeting a lot of ethnic minorities in different provinces, being invited to stay to taste local dishes and listen to their life stories. “Vietnamese people are really warm, sometimes when I have difficulties, I get enthusiastic help.”
His most memorable memory is when he reached the western pole of A Pa Chai (Dien Bien), the car could not climb the slope because of the rocky road, the wheel slipped and smoked, and there was no rescue. He was helped by local youths, who teamed up to push the car uphill safely. “Once in the middle of the night I called at the door to ask for a bed in Dien Bien, and the owner was very happy and welcoming,” Viet Anh shared.
Anh Viet Anh used his savings for the trip and made a detailed spending plan. Regarding accommodation, he prioritizes cheap rooms under 200,000 VND ($1=24,000 VND)a night. In some provinces, he stayed at the house of an acquaintance. In other places, he asked local people to help him sleep. In many places, he rests right in the car or sets up a camping tent at the beach to watch the sunrise. In terms of dining, Viet Anh prioritizes discovering famous local street foods, limiting going to high-priced restaurants to save money. He just rewarded himself with a meal of hot pot on a conveyor belt in a restaurant in Gia Nghia City (Dak Nong) on his birthday in November 2022.
Currently, Pham Viet Anh is being instructed to declare information as a dossier and send it to the Vietnam Record Organization (Vietkings) to register for record certification. Ms. Lan Uyen, the Vietkings employee, said that after Mr. Pham Viet Anh submitted his application, the Vietnam Record Organization would consider the conditions to issue an official recognition result.
Photo: Internet (Vinlove.net)