Welcome to my video series Van Son’s Adventure. Why do we meet here? Vietnam has 63 provinces and there are many beautiful places and there are many special food. I love traveling. I have been traveled around the world but today, I came here I decided to make the series Van Son’s Adventure. I will travel to 63 provinces in Vietnam in the next episodes. I think it will takes me 2 years to finish this adventure. Today is the first day we meet here. You may not know where I am. I will tell you now. I’m at Rach Gia City in Kien Giang Province. Why did I choose Kien Giang? Why did I choose Rach Gia City to make the first episode? You’re wondering why, right? It’s not thing much. Now, I invite you to explore Rach Gia City, as well as Kien Giang Province with me. Van Son’s Adventure
Kien Giang Episode 1
U Minh Thuong Forest When I came to Rach Gia City, my friends and local people said that Rach Gia is a transfer city. I asked them why. They answered me that it was because Rach Gia City had historical sites. For instances: The Temple of Nguyen Trung Truc, three-arched-entrances gate or old houses that present the development of Rach Gia City. There is a vast land heading toward the sea in Rach Gia City. Another reason that makes Rach Gia a transfer city is when tourists come to Rach Gia, they only stay here for a night then they go to U Minh forest in the next morning or Phu Quoc island or Ha Tien or other islands in Kien Luong such as Ba Lua island. There are many beautiful island offshore. U Minh Forest. It’s a scary name, right? U Minh means ‘no light’. It’s really scary. Actually, U Minh Forest is divided into 2 areas U Minh Ha and U Minh Thuong. U Minh Ha is in Ca Mau. U Minh Thuong is in Kien Giang. This is the first time I have been to U Minh Thuong. It’s so fantastic. Hey. Good boy. This monkey is the fatest. He is the leader. No monkey fights with he. Let’s see. You see it. He is chasing. This area is U Minh Forest. This kind of monkey lives in the forest but now this place is a tourist area, so there are many people go here. Tourists often feed them like this. Sometimes there are small shops along the path, the monkey will play the mischief with food. They will make it a mess. Maybe it’s hard to search for food. So they will play the mischief with shops along the path. Hey. Hey What are you jostle for? This is for you. He doesn’t eat banana skin. He doesn’t eat banana skin. How many bananas did you eat? You eat them up, huh? He is good at fighting. He has scar on his face. He is aggressive. You can see his legs. He is really aggressive. How can he be this fat? It’s strange. It may be because of tourists feeding him. Come here. It’s funny. I’m at U Minh Thuong Forest. It’s unique. This is one the forest that have special structure and recognized as one of the rarest forest in the world. I’m telling you the truth. We will prepare to go into the forest. But we won’t go on foot, we will go by canoe. The special thing is that we have a guide. This is Miss Nhi. Miss Nhi is guide of U Minh Thuong National Park. Nhi, today we will go into the forest by canoe. We have boats for tourist those want to go fishing. Wow. There are boat. Boat for one person each. 20-30 boats will be tied to this canoe and the canoe will pull them all. When they arrive a place where there are many fishes, they will spread out. They go on their own and go fishing. Snakehead can be as big as this. It can also be as big as this. It’s fantastic. We will go fishing later. Wow. We have birds here. The birds are singing. There was a fores fire in this area before. It used to be cajeput forest. Local people and guides in this area are trying to regenerate it. They are trying to reafforest it. It’s stuck in the land. It’s stuck. It’s stuck in the land. Go backward? Let’s go backward. It’s an accident. This is cajeput forest. There are water everywhere. It has a channel for us to go but by the time, water hyacinths grow and it become like this. The canoe is stuck in the land. So we have to use these sticks to push the canoe out. Otherwise, we will be stuck here forever. We are going backward, right? Do it now? There we go. Good. Wow. So beautiful. It’s so beautiful. I can’t say any thing more. It’s so beautiful. Look over there. He is a tourist. Tourists buy tickets to go here and go fishing. We can fish 3-kilogram or 4-kilogram snakeheads. We are at the core of U Minh Thuong Forest. The core is the inside, which is opposite to the egde is the outside. When we go into the core of the forest, there are no local people here. There are only special staff or guides like her, special staff. We can see belvederes. Staff stay here to watch out if there is fire or any dangerous things happen. There is a belvedere every several kilometer. Each staff is response for an area. They take turn to watch the forest. There are local people live here. No one is allowed go deeper in the forest. It’s a wild site. No one is allowed to go there expect special staff. This is a port of call. We will go in to have some rest and get to know about this forest. The most interesting thing to do when we go into U Minh Thuong Forest is watching birds. We won’t just stay here. We will have to climb high up. Over there. We will go up there. There are 188 species of birds and storks in this national park. Now we will go up there to enjoy the view. It’s a wide view. So fantastic. Let’s go. Wow. So fantastic. Going to watch birds twice a day equals to going to the gym all week. Climb up and down 2 times. But to be honest, it’s really fantastic. Up here, we can the see a total view. This way, there was a cajeput forest fire in 2012 and it left a large lagoon. The reason we have that lagoon is that when the cajeput forest burnt in the dry season, brown coal under it also burnt. It burnt several meters deep down so cajeput trees can’t regrowth and it left a large lagoon there. There are many fish over there. This way, there also was a forest fire before but cajeput trees can regrowth because there was vegetation under it. It wasn’t brown coal so cajeputs can regrowth. When cajeputs grow, birds come to live here. And today we have 188 species of birds and storks here. Each year, they reproduce 1000 individuals more. So we don’t exactly know how many birds are living here. If we make a noise like clapping, they will fly up. Let’s see. You see it? I told you. The most interesting activity here is watching the birds. You must try it when you go to U Minh Thuong Forest. You must visit U Minh Thuong Forest when you go to Kien Giang Province to see this view. It’s so fantastic. We finish watching the birds. It’s so interesting to go into U Minh Thuong Forest. They say birds are on the sky, the fishes are underwater. After watching birds, we will go to fishing. The fish are underwater. But now, we won’t fish underwater but we pick vegetables which are underwater to eat with the snakehead in the pool we have already had. Over there is ‘rau dừa’. Go backward a little bit. It’s ‘rau dừa’. We will pick their sprouts. OK. This is ‘rau dừa’. We will eat this with fish cooked with sauce. Can you feel it? So delicious. So delicious and fresh. It will satisfy my mouth. Local food?
Do you have eel? This is ‘Ngổ’. You see it? So fresh. I have just cut it. A bunch. We will braise it with eel. Nothing can be better than it. It’s really fresh. It smells really good. You wanna try? I almost forget. This is duckweed. This duckweed is really fresh. We can feed ducks with there duckweed. We can take this for ducks. It’s a good meal for ducks and pigs. There are numerous. Do you know what it is? It’s a vegetable that we can make salad or eat it raw or stir-fry it. This is ‘bồn bồn’. We can eat it raw, make salad or stir-fry with garlic. It’s delicious. They say it will be more delicious if it is steamed with snakehead. I have never tried ‘bồn bồn’ steamed with snakehead. I will try it later. I will try to steam it with snakehead. It’s so haevy. Here we go. It’s cool, right? Here we are. What a good harvest! Now we will go back the port of call and take some snakehead in the water tank. We will also find some eel. It will be better if we have water snake. Are you fishing? 6 fishes? Snakehead and what else? – It’s all snakehead?
– Yes. – They are real natural snakeheads, right?
– Yes. Let me see. How long have you been fishing? From the morning? – From the morning.
– What time? About 5 AM. They began to sell tickets and I went here. From 5 AM? It’s 12 AM now. It’s 12 AM now, right? It means you have been fishing for 6-7 hours. How is your harvest? Not bad. – Can I see it?
– They can jump out. Can you help me with it? Spill some water out. – They can jump out.
– Look. They are really strong. They are really strong. They are wriggling violently. The matter is not how much it costs but how regret you feel when a fish jump out, right? – Regret your effort to fish these.
-It’s not always that I can fish this many. No amateur can fish this many. Wow. Look at this. This weighs about 1 kilogram. – What?
– There are more than 2-kilogram fishes. Yes. I said there were some fishes weighed 600-700 gram – Yes, there are.
– Look at this one. Look at his head. Look at its head. Its head is as big as my knee. In America, they call it snakehead. It’s like a fish with the head of a snake. Why? Because it can open its mouth this large. It can bite every other fishes underwater. It’s aggressive. In America, if snakehead live in a pool or a river, they will kill it all.
– I know. It’s so aggresive. You know what, I fished snakehead in America, it could be up to 90-kilogram. It’s big like this. But black snakehead is smaller. Yes. Snakehead. It’s cool. But you can fish this many here. You are a professional. No one can fish as many as you from the morning till now. Fifty-fifty. Your face look lucky. There are some unlucky days. Tell me honestly, what bait did you use to fish them? Frog. Frog? Yes, frog. Wow, frog. Let me see it. Can you take a frog out for everyone to see? Ọh my. It jumps. You will die. You can alive in this bag. You will die when you jump down there. You use a frog to fish a snakehead? Yes. Sometimes I have to use more. When I fail, I have to use another one. You come here every week? You come here a day a week? 2 or 3 days. Is your wife ok with it? No. I don’t have a wife. – You’re so happy.
– Yes. – You are the happiest man in the world.
– I know. – You are the happiest when you don’t have a wife.
– Yes, I can go freely. Do you know how many men wish to be like you? Including me. Today, I go to U Minh Thuong Forest and have a chance to meet Mr. Thoi. He lives in Ho Chi Minh City. He lives in District 6 and so do I. Mr. Thoi lives in Ward 4, District 6 and I live in Ward 12, District 6. Do you see that? He went all the way to Kien Giang. He went from Ho Chi Minh City to U Minh Thuong Forest in Kien Giang City to go fishing That is how U Minh Thuong attracts fishermen. Just go buy tickets and catch as much as you can. Tell me, how many fish have you catch here from time to time? About 30kg to 40kg. 30kg to 40kg? That means sometimes up to 50, 60 of fishes. Maybe 20 to 30, up on it’s size. Oh! It has bigger size and heavier, so the number is less. But how different between wild fish and these at the market? Much different! Why? The fish here is very chewy and tastes like chicken. Fish in U Minh Thuong is the best. There is no fish as good as the fish here. Snakehead fish is the best. Best of the world. Best of Vietnam. Tell me why? I have no idea. Maybe due to the water. Probably due to indigo water and mud make them live strong. That said, thank you! Let me tell you, the fishermen are connoisseurs. They are luring fish over there. Bait, net, everything for fishing. But this man just go here to show booty. Fishing alone since the morning without showing off anyone. Must show off. Better than no fish. Today, he caught alot of fish so he want to show off immediately. That’s all! Thank you and good luck! Sell me one. Sell me the biggest one. Any price. I will buy. How much does it cost for 1kg? This one costs 300.000 per kg. So how much here? More than 2kg? Let me see. More than 2kg, more than 600.000. I will buy the biggest one for 900.000. Is that ok? Catch it! It’s easier to catch here. Let see it! Oh God! Oh God, look like a snake! Its head looks like a fist. Awesome! There are more big ones. That awesome! Where to find a snakehead like this? You can never buy snakehead like this at the market. See? No need to go fishing. Thank you so much! I will transfer the money to you. This is U Minh Thuong’s snakehead fish. More than 2kg. This snakehead I can steam, make hotpot, fry poach with pepper, cook soup, just one fish make all of these dish. Thank you so much! See you tomorow. This is a canal. This canal was once a small road, barely a boat to row. But since the forest fire in 2002, they started digging out the canal. There two missions to make this canal larger. Firstly, it is responsible for conducting water. The depth is about 6 to 7 meters. Deep enough to keep a large amount of water. Secondly, it has two banks apart so if the other side is on fire, it can’t spread to this side. Especially, boats easily pass to promptly fire. But I don’t talk about this canal. I want to talk about the water of the canal. In fact, if you don’t know, it will be very scary when looking at the water. Because it’s in black. But it’s not black. It is the red color of indigo. Especially down here, U Minh indigo forest has a vegetation and peat ground. This type of peat is particularly rare in the world. When water flows out during water retention, it will be black in color of peat. So it looks black but very clean. No impurities. There is no stinking smell of mud. It’s a red-brown color. A little bit brown. Look like color of wine. Whisky color. How beautiful! So awesome! You’ll see, before I cook this snakehead fish, we will visit a special place of Upper U Minh forest, to discover more rare animals here. Let’s go! Let me tell you more than what I already showed before, U Minh forest still very special. There are 258 species of premium plants, which means rare plants. 32 species of animals. 184 species of birds. 50 species of reptiles and amphibians. 64 species of fish in the water. 203 species of insects. And 45 endangered animals. In Red Book list. They also live here. Surprised? Follow me to see those animal at this center, exactly Wildlife Rescue Centre. Injured animals, or suffered some hurts, will be saved and healed,
then be brought back to the wild life. Let’s come inside and see them, to learn more and see all the rarest animals at first hand. Let’s go! The more I go, the more I discover beautiful places of Vietnam. We just don’t know it yet. We travel oversea and enjoy the foreign life, but we forget the precious Vietnam’s landscapes. Many undiscovered places. One thing matters is the transportation method, is still insufficient and inconvenient. If we exploit them properly, Vietnam’s tourism will be no.1. Everything can be found here. OMG! Wow, stunning! It is a wild cat living in Upper U Minh. It has the same family with panthers. People call it Jungle cat. Look at its eyes. A threatening look. Here I am at Wildlife Rescue Center of Upper U Minh. And next to me is a handsome, kind animal carer. He has a sweet name, Ngot. Can you introduce the center quickly to me? The center’s purpose is caring for the most endangered wild animals. All of them are the rarest. – You mean the rarest in the Red Book right?
– Yes, in Vietnam and the world too. Both? For example, what is it? It is viverridae. So you save them, and improve their health and heal broken arms, legs. or suffer incidents, all will be saved. What is it? It is hairy-nosed otter. So adorable. It was brought here since newborn. When it was a baby couldn’t drink milk. Its mother left it? Right, that’s why we saved them. And give it a shelter. How long it’s been raised? – Just a few months.
– A few months? So you will return it to nature after it grow up? Or still keep it here? It will be trained to live in nature. That it can find food in natural habits. We won’t keep it here forever, until it recovers and get better. Look! How cute it is! Wild animal is never friendly to human, But it is tamed since baby, so it’s so pleasant to us. Especially seeing Ngot, right? Because he cares for it and gives it food. How lovely! It looks so cute. It depends. Not the same case with strangers. It still has it wild-life instinct. Not approved. Those long-tail monkeys can’t join the clan. Why not? Because it only live with its clan, and the leader chooses the members. If it want to join the clan, it has to be accepted by the leader. If not, it can’t join the clan. – So now it’s living seperately right?
– Yes. When it lives alone, it can’t find food? You see, discrimination not only happens to human, but also animals, That monkey is discriminated by its relatives. Racist or class unfainess, also appear to those monkeys. It is so ferocious. It is wild actually. It grabs stuffs. Take their belongings. It is primate. It is male right? Look at it. – Don’t do that.
– Well, no use. Until it is adult monkey, the male has black hair, and female has yellow hair. Okay, the first time I heard about it. I just know in general, not specific. So amazing. Here’s the white python. White python? It is sick now. I just injected drug into it. Oh it is sick? How do you know? Just look at ít appearance and behavior. And its skin saying that it suffers heat stroke. He’s such a master. This is Siamese crocodile. It may has origin from Thailand. So it has the name Siamese crocodile. It lives in those countries…. Southern provinces, Gia Lai, Dong Nai… Lao, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand. You see? That’s it. This is small-clawed otter. But what is its difference from the former? Mainly the hair. And the weight. – So it looks smaller right?
– Yes. This is its maximum size. The former otter can have bigger size. And has hairy-nose too. But it doesn’t. This otter can catch fish so well. People say ‘diving deeply as otters’. I just wonder why people raise otter for themselves? For food? If it is tamed, it can be excellent fish-catcher. It catchs fish for the owner? It is the main purpose when taming it. Wow, I just know that. A fun fact. Raise otter and tame it, then leave it outside, it will bring home fish, instead of go fishing. It can catch fish and bring to its owner. I must find one. Or find some owner to see it catching fish. After taking tour and seeing animals, actually visiting patients. Because they are sick now. So I mean visiting patients. And particularly Ngot, a loving person. People can’t stop hunting wild animals for food because they think their meat are real good. But Ngot always saves and cure the weak animals, then release it to the nature. Actually, I have to tell you meat is only protein, you can eat pork, beef, duck or chicken, or even lamb, goat meat. It’s enough. You don’t need to eat other animals’ meat. They are wild. Thank you Ngot for today, I can come to the center
and visit endangered animals in Red Book list. I had a chance to show you this video. Please don’t eat them, but rescue them. No Red Book animals. Thank you. Now I’m at Huong Tram restaurant. Tram means cajuput tree, and Huong means aroma, cajuput aroma. This restaurant is located inside Upper U Minh. It also provide lodging for visitors. That they can have a place to relax, eat and sleep, then go back travelling. Especially, this restaurant has a special dish. It’s ok if I finish the snake head fish, and eat it here, toegether with the eel. But U Minh forest’s specialty must be this dish. Oh my god. Oh wow. It won’t harm you. Here. Nothing happens. There’s nothing. Oh my god. Hold it. I’m afraid. I know it doesn’t hurt people. But it look damn scary. Can I hole it? When looking at it, you can see it is unharmful, due to round-shaped head, and it’s water snake. Water snake has no poison. It’s called sunbeam snake,
who’s not scared by snake? Like King cobra. They have the same Elapidae familia. Or mean venomous. Don’t move. But not venomous at all, jut paper snake. Definitely it. Actually it looks so creepy. Long, slippery body. So scared. Look at its tongue. Here. It’s flicking tongue. Look! I’m in cold sweat. I have to be brave to show it on screen. Eel stewed with cilantro. Snake can be cooked with green bean porridge,
or stewed with lemongrass. And the snake head, weighs 3 kilograms, will be steamed. Fry the body. Poach the tail and eat with polypodies or creeping primrose-willow. Very delicious. Ok. Let get started. I’m Van Son. I’m 35 years old. I love eating, love sharing, love laughing, love poaching fish with pepper,
love crab fried with tamarind love sweet and sour fish broth
and fish cooked with sauce, love eating shrimp and
fish soaked in boiling vinegar, love dried shrimp poached with fish sauce. This is the head of snake head
we just caught earlier. It weighs 2.5kg. We will steam the head with bulrush. I mix it with fish sauce,
sugar, broth mix, pepper. Cover the pot. 25 minutes and it’s well done. But after 22 minutes, we have to
put bulrush on the top. The bulrush will be soft
and crispy at the same time. They will cover the head with their aroma. Very delicious. This is bulrush. I also mix it with fish sauce, broth mix, sugar and let bulrush absorbs all.
Then after steaming the head for 20, 25 minutes we put bulrush on the top and
stop cooking after 3,4 minutes. This is boiled water
with green peas. Put it in. Look like it’s still alive. This is pressure- cooker
so it only takes 15 minutes. Then the green peas will be tender,
the broth will be tasty. There are only green peas,
boiled water and snake. That’s all. Look. Mix it up carefully. Leave it here. Stir it to extract milk better. This liquid is very special,
it’s from the coconut. A lot. The eel is covered with coconut milk. We will stew it for about 20 minutes. Then we put rice paddy herb
when the eel is almost ready. After 20 or 22 minutes,
the fish is almost ready, then we add bulrush. Leave it around and on the top. On the top. Place the eel on rice paddy herb. Here is the eel. This is the head. See? This is eel poached with rice paddy herb. Look. There are green, red, yellow from peanut, color of turmeric and
the milky color of coconut milk and the eel is in center, covered with rice paddy herb.
Later, we take the rice paddy herb out and enjoy the tasty eel! So Yummy. Look. So amazing. Stir it. Love traveling, love singing, dancing and wandering. Love flower and lanceolate goby. Love aroma and fish sauce. I have to try rice Vermicelli Soup with
Fermented Fish and Seafood from Soc Trang. Let’s eat. Take your weapon! There’re nothing left to say. We should try snake head first. Try the snake head with bulrush first. Eat the bulrush first. That’s what make it special. Steaming the snake head is easy part. Very delicious. Try it. To be honest, I cooked these food under mentorship
from best cook in Kien Giang. Here is she. Normally, she will cook but I sneak into the kitchen
to learn how to cook the fish or other special dishes. This is the first time I eat
snake head with bulrush. So yummy. Oh my god. Look at its head. Oh my god. I’m speechless.
I don’t know what to say. Look. Everybody, try. This is my happy face when eating good food. Try vegetables first. Rice paddy herb. Dip it into the sauce. It has a particular smell with coconut milk which
smells so good and has creamy flavor and the signature flavor of lemon grass the pungent taste of chili and tasty peanut. Oh my god. So yummy. Let’s eat. This is green peas. Spoon out a piece of snake. Sunbeam Snake. But it’s not toxic. Don’t worry. So amazing. It will be so good. It’s crispy and so sweet. Very delicious. Can’t eat without beer. Drink some beer. Do you want some? No? Okay. Drink some? Okay. Eat well, drink well. Okay. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers for the food. Eat well, drink well. Thank you so much. The food is so delicious. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. In front of us, there’s a lake. A handmade lake which is so large. It’s not correctly a handmade lake.
But human created it. During the war, in 1972, a bomb exploded here. A massive explosion
created a large bomb site. Later, residents in this area
came up with an idea which is creating a lake shaped
like apricot blossom. They took advantage of this bomb site to create smaller lakes like apricot blossom to bring luck. Just standing here,
it’s already so beautiful but when you go up there,
it’s much more amazing. It’s 25m in height. 25m. We can see
the whole lake from there. So beautiful. Okay. Let’s go. Earlier, we climb up to watch the birds, now it’s the lake to watch. Let’s go. 112 steps. 120 stairs. It’s not easy to enjoy the beauty. But it’s harder to conquer these stairs. 112 stairs. Although it’s not as much as it seems, but going up here makes me so exhausted. But it’s worth. So beautiful. So amazing. Look around. Vast stretches of forest. Indigo forest. So beautiful. The skyline is so clear. So beautiful. Amazing. You’re the best. You don’t need to put effort like me, climb 112 stairs to enjoy
this beautiful landscape, you just need to watch my channel and enjoy the scene filmed my camera. So nice, so easy. What are you waiting for?
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