Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country with a long history and rich culture, is also a hunting paradise with diverse natural scenery and wildlife. Last month, my two friends and I went to Vietnam for hunting at night, experiencing an unforgettable journey. During this trip, we not only appreciated the historical sites and beautiful scenery of Vietnam but also tasted delicious Vietnamese cuisine while feeling the charm of Wildguarder infrared binoculars. Wildguarder is an excellent Chinese brand that allows us to observe the movements of wild animals clearly in the dark, improving our hunting success rate and safety. In this article, I will share our experiences and insights on night hunting in Vietnam with you all, hoping to provide some useful information as well as entertainment.
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with a long history and rich culture. According to archaeological evidence, there were human activities in Vietnam during the Old Stone Age period around 700 BC when Dong Son culture emerged among which Lạc Việt was one of its important ethnic groups. Vietnamese mythology mentions Hong Bang dynasty appeared about four thousand years ago.
From late third century BC until early tenth century AD,Vietnam was under Chinese rule where Chinese culture had been heavily imported into it.Currently,the central-southern region used to have Champa kingdom (2nd-15th centuries) while Mekong Delta area used to be territories belonging to Funan,Zhenla(Kampuchea),etc.In 938AD,Wu Quan defeated Southern Han army at Bạch Đằng River Battle which marked an important step towards independence for Vietnam.In 968AD,Dinh Bo Linh established Dai Co Viet Kingdom marking official independence for Vietnam.
Afterwards,Vietnam entered feudal era undergoing development through various dynasties such as Dinh,Ly,Le,Tran,Ho and so on.In early 15th century,it was occupied by Ming Dynasty of China for a while before regaining independence and reaching its peak in the feudal era during Early Le dynasty.Subsequently,Vietnam experienced long periods of division and war with various dynasties and regimes such as Mạc,South-North Dynasties,Zheng regime,Nguyen regime,Xi Shan regime etc. until Nguyen dynasty reunified the country in early 19th century.
Throughout Vietnamese history, various dynasties have used different names for their country, such as “Dai Co Viet,” “Dai Viet,” “Dai Ngu,” and “Dai Nam.” The country was known as “Jiaozhi” or “Annam” to outsiders. In the feudal era, rulers adopted a Chinese-style system of governance and integrated Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism into their culture. Local culture also developed with the use of the native script called Nom. Vietnam has fought numerous wars to maintain its independence and expand its territory. It resisted countries like China and Mongolia in the north while gradually conquering Champa in Indochina Peninsula and invading Laos. It also competed with Champa, Siam (Thailand), among others.
In the late 19th century, France began colonizing Vietnam until it was occupied by Japan during World War II. In 1945, the Communist Party of Vietnam (then known as Indochinese Communist Party) launched an August Revolution that established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). This regime ruled over northern regions with support from communist countries such as Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China while southern regions were controlled by Bao Dai’s government supported by Western powers.
Bao Dai declared independence from French protection on March 11th but his imperial rule did not gain widespread recognition nor support from Vietnamese people nor true independence or autonomy.
After Japan surrendered at end of World War II ,the Communist Party launched another revolution demanding Bao Dai abdicate his throne which led to establishment of North Vietnam under Democratic Republic rule while Bao Dai became temporary head-of-state for South Vietnam supported by France upon returning Saigon in 1949 . However he lost power after Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem manipulated a referendum vote abolishing monarchy in favor republicanism leading him to exile until his death.
The modernization and development of Vietnam refer to the period after 1945 when Vietnam underwent a series of political, social, economic, and cultural changes. It gradually transformed from a colonized, divided, poor, and backward country into an independent, unified, prosperous and progressive nation. This process can be divided into several stages:
From 1945 to 1954: National liberation and independence of Vietnam. During this stage, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese people launched the August Revolution which established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and fought against French colonialists for nine years until they achieved decisive victory in Dien Bien Phu battle forcing France to recognize Vietnamese independence in Geneva Accords. However due to US intervention at that time,Vietnam was temporarily divided into two political entities – North Vietnam and South Vietnam with the dividing line being set at the seventeenth parallel.
From 1954 to 1975: Unification and construction of Vietnam. During this stage,North Vietnamsocialist path carried out social reformsand economic development achieving goals such as land reform , industrialization , education etc while SouthVietnamestablished pro-Western RepublicofVietnamwith Ngo Dinh Diem as its leader implementing capitalist system but also facing problems like wealth gap , corruption ,social unrest etc.In order to achieve national unity,the North Vietnamese army along with Southern Liberation Front (Viet Cong) waged a twenty-year war against America finally capturing Saigon(now known as Ho Chi Minh City)in 1975 ending American interference & support for SouthVietnam.
From 1975-1986: Difficulties & adjustments in Vietnam.During this phase,Vietnam achieved national unification establishing Socialist RepublicofVietnam.However,due to war destruction,economic depression,isolation in diplomacy,political rigidity etc.,it faced serious difficulties.Vietnamese military conflicts with neighboring countries Cambodia&China consumed a lot of manpower and resources. In this situation, Vietnam began to make some policy adjustments and reforms such as strengthening cooperation with the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialist countries, restoring relations with ASEAN and Western countries, relaxing restrictions on private economy & foreign investment etc.
From 1986 till now: Reform & opening up in Vietnam.
On the first day of our trip, we flew from the United States to Ho Chi Minh City. After a long flight, we rented an off-road vehicle at the airport and drove north along the highway towards Dak Lak Province located in central highlands which is one of Vietnam’s largest wildlife reserves with rich biodiversityand magnificent natural scenery.We stayed overnight on the way and arrived at Buon Ma Thuot city,the capital of Dak Lak province,onthe second morning.
Day 2: We found a local hunting club in Buting City and consulted them about the hunting license, rules, fees and other information. We learned that to hunt in Dakla Province, we must have a government-issued license and can only do so in designated areas and times. After spending some time processing the relevant procedures, we rented equipment such as firearms, ammunition, tents, sleeping bags etc from the club. We also hired a local guide named Anan who is an experienced hunter familiar with the local terrain and animals.
Day 3: Together with Anan driving us there, we headed towards the hunting area while enjoying beautiful mountains and lakes along the way. We arrived at a place called “Elephant Valley”, which is a wide valley with dense forests and clear streams where elephants, buffaloes, deer etc often appear making it an ideal hunting ground according to Anan. We set up our tent on flat ground near the valley entrance prepared some food and water before taking out our most important equipment – WildGuarder infrared binoculars.
Days 4-6: During these days we hunted in Elephant Valley every morning and evening while resting or observing during daytime hours. The WildGuarder infrared binoculars brought us great help and surprises throughout this trip. It’s a professional night vision instrument that allows us to see targets clearly even in complete darkness thanks to its 3x optical zooming capability combined with 4x digital zooming for close-up observation of animal details. It also has adjustable red light brightness (up to level 7) depending on different lighting conditions as well as high-definition camera recording functions allowing us to capture what we saw or caught for future memories.
We observed many types of animals through WildGuarder infrared binoculars such as elephants,buffaloes ,deer,pigs ,foxes ,monkeys etc.,and legally hunted some game like wild boars ,deer, foxes etc. We brought them back to the campsite, grilled some meat over a fire and shared delicious dinners with Anan. The WildGuarder infrared binoculars made our hunting trip more interesting and successful thanks to its clarity, stability, durability and ease of use as well as lightweight design and long battery life making it very suitable for outdoor activities. We were all very satisfied with this product which we considered an essential tool for hunting.
Vietnam is a food paradise with rich variety of snacks and dishes influenced by multiple cultures such as Chinese, French, Thai etc., forming unique styles and characteristics. Vietnamese cuisine mainly uses rice,noodles,fish sauce ,herbs ,lemon etc.,with light yet fragrant taste that stimulates sweet,sour,and spicy flavors while providing refreshing moisture comfort.In Vietnam we tasted many mouth-watering foods below are some of our favorites:
Pho: This is Vietnam’s most famous dish made from thin flat rice noodles cooked in beef or chicken soup along with fresh beef slices or chicken pieces.The broth is prepared by slow-cooking fresh beef brisket,bones mixed with various spices creating concentrated essence combined with smooth rice noodles & tender raw beef served alongside coriander,cinnamon basil leaves enhancing natural fragrance gradually spreading in your mouth.We ate at Pho Thin noodle shop in Hanoi where the pho was authentic & delicious.There were always long queues waiting every day.We tried both raw-beef pho & stir-fried beef pho which were both tasty.The broth was rich but not greasy,the noodles soft but not mushy,the meat tender but not tough.It was truly satisfying.
Goi cuon: This is Vietnam’s most popular cold dish consisting of shrimp,pork,rice vermicelli lettuce,cilantro wrapped in rice paper then dipped into peanut sauce or fish sauce.Vietnamese spring roll skin is made from rice flour,making it soft yet elastic.Paired up with dipping sauce: lemon juice and fish sauce, mixed with finely shredded red & white radish creating a taste that is unforgettable.We ate at Quan An Ngon restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City where the spring rolls were fresh and delicious.The shrimp was large and sweet,the pork was tender and juicy,the rice paper was thin and transparent,and the lettuce & cilantro were refreshing.Dipping it into peanut sauce or fish sauce made it even more mouth-watering.
We spent an unforgettable time in Vietnam, not only enjoying its natural scenery and cultural landscapes but also experiencing its hunting culture and food culture. We found that Vietnam is a vibrant country full of charm with a long history,multi-culture, hospitable people who are hardworking & innovative as well as having refreshing fragrant cuisine with complete color,taste,& aroma. We left Vietnam with deep impressions & good feelings hoping to have another chance to explore more unknowns & wonders of this beautiful country.