Shocking interview: a Vietnamese guy who has survived from the blizzard in Slovakia in the winter

Anne Truong

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This is an amazing story about a 28 – year – old Vietnamese guy who is studying in Griffith College Dublin. The Circular.org had a short interview with Bao – the luckiest man alive after 3 hours stuck in the High Tatras mountain in December 2015.

1/ What’s your wildest adventure memory?
I’ve travelled to many countries in the world, from Asia to Europe. But my trip to Slovakia last year might be my most memorable travel moment.

Bao - Vietnamese guy on national TV of Slovakia - Credits: interviewee provided
Bao –  a Vietnamese guy on national TV of Slovakia – Photo Credit: Bao Nguyen

2/ What was your first impression of Slovakia
The High Tatras mountain in Slovakia left a great impression on me, I knew about it when reading Lonely Planet Traveller magazine, it’s one of the most popular places in Slovakia and Eastern Europe with over 5 million people visiting each year to walk, climb, cycle or ski. There is a 600 km network of hiking trails, chairlifts and cable cars, offering breathtaking views of the alpine scenery.

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Bao and adventurer Korean guy – Photo Credit: Bao Nguyen

3/ What happened in Slovakia
I used to think I was going to die in that situation. I don’t know how I survived. I have never forgotten that experience.

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Bao and his amazing trip Photo Credit: Bao Nguyen

4/ Could you tell us more about this?
I got in an accident when hiking there because that was my 1st-time snow hiking. As you know, there’s no snow in Vietnam; I didn’t prepare adequately for my trip. With my 1st, 1000m had no problem, so I was quite confident for next 1000m though many people warned me not to hike up at night, especially if doing it alone. So at 4 pm, the sky became darker faster than I expected and the snow storm became stronger, so my visibility was reduced, I lost the footprint’s of the forerunners, and the patch was more slippery. My boots didn’t have ice creepers and I forgot to bring a trekking pole, so it was more dangerous to go down than to go up. I was exhausted, so I decided to call mountain rescue with the hope that they would send a helicopter, but unfortunately the answer was that the helicopter couldn’t fly at night in that Mountain area. There was a guy at the cottage above, maybe he could help me out. I receive a call from that guy who told me to wait there for 30 min. He was the only one at that time in the mountain and 30 min later he reached my location. I was covered by snow at that point and he took off my rucksack, carried it for me and gave me some tea to wake me up.  My body was too weak and cold. I couldn’t take any steps therefore he pulled me up the rest of the way.

Bao and the rescuer who save him from snow storm in Slovakia
Bao and the rescuer who saves him from snow storm in Slovakia Photo Credit: Bao Nguyen

5/ How do you feel about that situation
When I got into the cottage, I thanked God I was still alive; he said I was a lucky guy because the weather that day was not so bad, no strong winds, if the wind was stronger, he wouldn’t have been able to help me. A day later, we met a journalist by accident in the cottage; he was making a report about risks of travelling to the High Tatars during the winter, there was 32 people that died since January, He did an interview with me and it was aired on national TV of Slovakia on that same night. When I left the cottage and went down to the town, a lot of locals recognised me and gave their seat to me, they talked with me; one old man said: “You have a lucky life ahead.”

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Bao – a – 28 – year – old Vietnamese guy who is studying in Griffith College Dublin. Photo Credit: Bao Nguyen

6/ What make you still survive after then
I did not think about it much. I was just thinking how I could get back home. I was really scared in that situation.

7/ Whats next trip for you? Do you have anything else planned for the future?
Maybe, I am going to visit Paris and Hungary.

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Anne Truong