Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Pair in village after decades in forest

10 August 2013, 16:38

Hanoi - Vietnamese authorities are trying to reintegrate a father and son to their home village after they allegedly fled war four decades ago to live deep in the forest, an official said on Saturday.

Ho Van Thanh, aged 82, and his son, Ho Van Lang, aged 42, emerged bedraggled from the remote mountainous region on Wednesday in an emaciated condition, wearing loincloths made from tree bark.

The former communist soldier Thanh ran away with his then 2-year-old son Lang in 1972 from a communist village in central Quang Ngai province.

He was grief-stricken following the death of his mother and two of his other children in an American bombing, local official Hoang Anh Ngoc told AFP.

"The son is afraid of the crowds. He will not talk to strangers... but he talks inside their family," Ngoc said, adding authorities will spend about $2 300 to build the men a house near their relatives.

While the older man is frail and under medical supervision, Ngoc said officials still have to "keep our eyes" on Lang to prevent him escaping back to the forest where the pair lived in a hut 5m off the forest floor, reportedly surviving on foraged fruits and corn they cultivated.

Television footage showed authorities apparently taking the pair against their will from their forest hut several hours' walk from their home village, with the frail old man carried in a hammock by local people while the son was pictured with restraints around his hands.

Yearly visits

The pair were "were dressed only in loincloths made of tree bark", Tuoi Tre newspaper said on Friday, adding they were found with several handmade tools including axes made from war-era shells.

The pair can speak little of their ethnic Kor language.

The men were first brought back home by a younger son in 2004, Dan Tri online newspaper reported on Friday quoting local authorities, but they could not adapt to living in the village and returned to their forest home.

The pair "preferred their independent life to that of the traditional Vietnamese family", the report said.

The younger son visited them once every year, providing some necessities.

But they were recently spotted by local residents and reported to the authorities who drew them from the forest on Wednesday.

After being captured Lang reportedly "chewed betel nut and smoked continuously, glancing at everybody around him with a dull look", according to the Tuoi Tre report.


Tags vietnam

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Kenyans demand action after femal...

This comes a few days after a female passenger was drugged and then robbed in a matatu plying the Kenyatta – Kencom route. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Natural aphrodisiacs to boost lib...

It is advisable to take them before sex in order to achieve maximum benefit. Read more...

Submitted by
Man defiles girlfriend’s daughter

The two-year-old girl sustained serious injuries due to the forceful penetration. Read more...

Submitted by
Bernard Lugagah
How your birth order affects your...

Mismatched birth orders may be the simple reason you and your significant other don’t seem to get along.  Read more...

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
Raila has lost his remaining bull...

He added that Jubilee and Cord are like day and night. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Changamwe OCPD collapses, dies in...

He had complained of some pain in his body around 11am. Read more...