Fancy hanging from a rope ? Or abseiling down a 30 metre high waterfall . No . Then , how about walking through a forest in the dead of night or conquering a steep mountain peak ? All these challenges and more are included in an adventurous 15 kilometre – long survival tour near Da Lat . According to a tour guide , only tough , western tourists dare attempt such a tour . However , recently a group of 80 Vietnamese staff from a local company ( plus our intrepid reporter Dang Khoa ) braved it . How did they fare ?
CHALLENGE 1 – CONQUER A MOUTAIN
Split into groups and provided with a flashlight , a raincoat , two drinking bottles and snacks , the mud in their shoes making it event harder to walk . Then , suddenly at the foot of the 1596 metre Pinhatt Mountain they were ordered to reach its summit by sunset . Fighting their way through a heavy pine forest and sweating from the heat , they finally reached the peak . Some of the female teammates having been “ carried ” by their make colleagues .
Although tired , none of them could resist the beautiful view from the peak . To the north was romantic Tuyen Lam lake . Nearly , the beautiful scenery of Da Lat . To the south and west , immense pine forests and primeval jungles . Their conclusion , “ walking 10 km on a “ concrete ” road was much easier than climbing 3.3 kms up a mountain like this ”
CHALLENGE 2 - TREK THROUGH A FOREST AT NIGHT
The whole group rested and enjoyed the imposing scenery Pinhatt peak . But then it was time to head back . Through a forest ! In the dark ! It was raining and fog covered everywhere . The temperature dropped to 10 Celsius . Eache member , equipped with their raincoat and flashlight , started to descend the greasy track .
After passing through a 1 km pine forest , they went to a heavy primeval jungle . The mist at this time looked frosty under the light , from their flashlight . People kept tripping , but spirits remained high .
By 10.45 pm the last person arrived at the destination , Nam Qua resort , next to Tuyen Lam lake . deep in the forest , some 3km from Pinhatt mountain . Some emotionally said : “ is was the first time we experienced the feeling of crossing a misty forest at night . It was tiring , but lots of fun ” .
Later , they ate , sang and danced until 1.00 a.m . Finally , exhausted , they fell asleep in tents ercted in the ancient pine forest .
CHALLENGE 3 – FACE A CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
The next morning , the group woke and enjoyed hot coffee while watching the spectacular scenery . However , there was no time for daydreaming , Quickly finishing their Pho Bo ( beef noodle soup ) breakfast , the groups departed in ten small boats , across Tuyen Lam lake .
Arriving at the other bank , they were guided through pine forests , local farms , and even jungles .
Suddenly , a shout rang out “ Be careful ! This is a rare carnivorous plant ! ” . They stopped to watch teapot – like –plants that grew along the track . An expert member helped to explain : “ This is called a “ tea – pot plants ” . It can kill any flies , bees , ants or insects that fly in to it with its poison “ .
While discussing this strange botanical plant , the group were interrupted by another voice . Amember of the team who said that she heard the sound of a waterfall . Everybody then quietly listened to the murrnuring sound .
The track that led to the waterfall was very steep . Somebody added : “ If we slip , we’re dead ” , as one by one they grouped their way down the steep , so the climbers had to hold onto a rope tied to a tree just to keep going
CHALLENGE 4 – CLIMB A STEEP CLIFF
Having passed that obstacle , the group arrived at a small piece of land in the middle of a waterfall that was swiftly flowing to an abyss . It took their guider about two hours to instruct the group how to use equipment to ascend . They were practiced climbing a gentle slope before actually trying out the 30 metre – steep cliff .
They were all anxious as this was their first time experiencing a real mountain climb . One after another gave up . In the end , only the 20 strongest and bravest members managed to complete the adventure .
They followed the track to the bottom of the waterfall , skirting along the stream passing through beautiful rock reefs .
CHALLEGE 5 – ABSEIL DOWN A WATERFALL
Eventually they reached a 30m high fall . It was about 70m wide and some 4 km from the first fall they had encountered .
The group of 20 ( who had just successfully completed the previous climb ) were now requested to wear life vests , put on their helmets and safety belts , and head to the crest of the waterfall .
The first member to try was a young man . Standing about 1.5m from the fall crest , he slowly stepped back while controlling his safety belt . The water was only at knee level . By the middle , the water came up to his chest . Then he was asked to face upward , amost in lying position , and slowly move towards his destination , a sparkling water pond under the fall . His colleagues , now onlookers , felt nervous for him , as they experienced this heart wrenching , yet adventurous , moment .
The second member to try , Ms Thach Thao , anded up being thrown into the fall . She shared her fellings with the group : “ It was an emotional experience . My feeling was so strong , especially when I got half way and was “ attacked ” by the swift flowing water . Sometime , the heavy water pushed my feet away from the cliff . But having succeeded in such an adventure , I now feel that I can overcome any difficulty ” . Sentiments probably shared by many of her colleagues after a grueling few days ! .