A big thanks to our Aussie trekkers!

Hot on the heels of our UK trekkers to Vietnam, came our friends from Oz! Their trip involved several hours on site at our sanctuary in Tam Dao National Park before beginning the trek that would see them heading out of their comfort zone and experiencing the “real” Vietnam. 

Although I wasn’t able to be there for this initial visit, I heard from the team how well it had gone – and how much the trekkers were looking forward to starting their incredible journey.

After dinner at a local restaurant, the visitors climbed Tam Dao Mountain. Then they were off – heading out on an unforgettable trek through remote hill tribe villages and experiencing a vivid journey challenging body and mind. 

Luckily I was at the sanctuary in Tam Dao when they returned, exhausted but absolutely glowing with excitement that they’d overcome every difficult challenge and had helped the bears with each and every step. It was wonderful to see them and to hear their stories of hours of physical excess, while sharing the lives and homes of local Vietnamese villagers along the way.

Then it was off to the see the bears in their dens one last time and to enjoy the antics of the cublets (Taurus, Angus and Maggie), and to see the incredible progress of one of our latest bear arrivals – “Yen Bai”. Although he wasn’t yet integrated with the bears next door – there was no doubt that he couldn’t wait for this to happen, and all the signs of putting paws and noses through the bars were positive and fun to see. 

No one would have guessed the bleakness and boredom of his previous life as he tore around the den shredding his browse, standing on still-wobbly back legs and destroying his toys, showing his audience how their faith and funding has helped him on his way. 

As he plunged his bottom into the large water bowl meant for drinking and sat blissfully in the water like a child in a paddling pool it was the perfect way of saying a grateful thank you and fond farewell to our friends from Oz. 

Please see here for a report on the trek and some great photos that just might inspire you to join one of our future treks - the next one being organised by our Australian team is to Chengdu and includes hiking through some amazingly beautiful surrounding countryside. And of course a visit to our bears!

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