Vietnam recluses – update

In 2013, two men, father and son, were discovered living in reclusion in a Vietnam jungle. They were brought out of the forest and obliged to be rehabilitated. But the father has not been pleased with civilization and the many visiting gawkers at their village dwelling and longs to return to isolation.

original entry:

Vietnam forest recluses

Vietname forest hermit

An 82-year old man, Ho Van Thanh, and his 44-year-old son, Ho Van Lang, lived as hermits in the Tra Bong District of coastal south-central Vietnam since 1974. They were known to live in seclusion about nine years ago, but efforts to persuade them to emerge from the forest failed at that time. Now the two men have been persuaded to leave the forest and will “reintegrate into the community,” according to the Vietnamese Tuoi tre News website.

The elderly Ho Van Tranh was a war veteran who apparently fled to the forest in a bout of mental instability in quarrels with his family. He took his then year-old son Lang with him into the forest. The two hermits lived in a tree hut and used a variety of makeshift tools produced by Thanh, a blacksmith. Thanh is weak and receiving medical attention, but both father and son, while expressing wishes to return to the forest, are apparently accommodating to society, benefiting from public services that will enable them to built a house. One aspect of connecting to the modern world for Ho Van Lang is replacing betel with cigarettes, learning to operate a television set, and listening to music on a mobile phone.