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Name: Ngujen Hoai Bao, Vietnam
Age: 29


What does he do?

He's a conservationist, a teacher and a guide!


Where did we meet him?

We met Bao in Cai Be at the only hotel in town. Koos, Ilona, Kat and myself were having our afternoon beers while playing Cho Tai Ti. Bao came up and started peering at our cards wondering what we were playing. So I ask him to take a seat and learn the game, turns out its very similar to a game they play in Vietnam so he catches on fast. I give him a go at playing my hand and offer him a beer. We ended up spending a very nice evening together in the sleepy town.

 
 

His story.....

He was born in Hue, the ancient Citadel and spiritual heartbeat of Vietnam. Like many Vietnamese he was born in a village in post war Vietnam. It was a time of hardship and labor. He describes being sent out to hunt for wild fowl and birds to supplement what little they had to eat. Little did he know that he would be involved in protecting those very birds one day.

In his teens he left to study in Saigon. He ended up doing a degree in zoology. During the SARS Avian flu epidemic, the WHO started a study of migratory birds in Vietnam and many other Asian countries. As part of his masters program he then started doing field reports of birds in the delta region, a project which he continues to work on till today. When we met him in Cai Be, he was on his way to collect blood samples of a particular bird somewhere in the Delta. Part of the research also involves tracking where endangered birds are being caught and sold as this is a big problem in Vietnam and the whole region.

Bao is also a lecturer of zoology in a university in Saigon. He spoke to us about the need to create awareness amongst the you of the plight of birds and other wildlife in Vietnam. At the same time he also has his own company called Wildtour Vietnam. Basically he act as guides for people interested in going on birding tours, wildlife photography tours and trekking.
You can visit his website at www.vietnamwildtour.com