In Vietnam, people [urban mostly] are getting acquainted with the idea of holiday and travel. They go explore their country and the region. If leisure and comfort are often the keywords, adventure and sport also start to count. Hiking for pleasure is a new trend coming strong among youths of big cities in quest of scenic places and big outdoors. Equipment shops are popping up, all with good spirit but often wobbly businesses yet, with irregular supplies of random quality products. In Hanoi, one shop stands out providing hikers with constant high quality equipment. The guy who runs the shop lives for hiking, mountain is his ground. As every outdoor addict, he couldn’t be caged in an office and so turned his passion into a way to earn a living. He opened this quality hiking equipment shop and quickly became a trendsetter in the Hanoi hiking community. He agreed to join the Travel Activists network, we are very happy about it, please meet Thang Hiker.
Please introduce yourself. Who you are, what you do?
My name is Thang, Vietnamese national; I’m a Hanoi-based hiker. Besides I’m running a small business, dealing outdoors equipment. The Hiker Shop.
How came to you the idea of the Hiker Shop?
I spent my whole life hiking and trekking. I never had any stable job, my entire time was dedicated to travelling and exploring new hiking spots. My girlfriend (who turned to be my wife) complained too much, so I started up my own business based on what I know and love best.
Where do you find all the equipment you sell and how do you select your products?
It’s an old story. I started up collecting them as a hobby. I bought them everywhere, every quality shop I came across, online, ect. for 5 years. So when I decided to get going with a shop, I already got many good leads to select the best possible suppliers and products.
What could you tell us about your conception of travel?
Off the beaten track, be a pioneer, dare and get no fear.
More specifically and from your point of view as an equipment dealer, how do you see travel is evolving in Vietnam?
Leisure travel is a new but powerful trend in Vietnam. If for the majority leisure rhymes with luxury hotels and abundant meals, the “phuot” [exploration] movement is getting wide and popular. People get more and more experienced in outdoor travel and understand that good equipment is the base for a fun and safe travel. They choose the quality over the price and for me it is a sign of maturity in travel.
Some one-shot questions:
Your favorite spot/region in Vietnam? Northern Mountains
Mountain, jungle or beach? Mountains
The one essential product from Hiker Shop to travel around Vietnam? Quick dry clothes in monsoon and summer. Rain Jacket and heat clothes for winter
Your next destination? Nepal hiking
The place you dream to go to? Everest Base camp first – The summit I will see
Your best advice to future travelers in Vietnam? Do not think too much, read too much in advance. Prepare for good surprise!
In need of outdoor equipment or just curious about Hiker Shop, please follow the trail http://www.hiker.vn/