Woken up by my phone notification, I turned on the screen to check what was new. There was an invitation from a friend of mine to Tram Berg – a place where the deep, deep valleys reside, where nature breaks free of the intrusion of human urbanization and also where lies the suburban lifestyle. The thought of rediscovering the natural beauty that had been long forgotten in this thick skull of mine suddenly felt so liberating and exhilarating. The thought of being free from this four-walled concrete building where I sat and entering the limitless skyline excited me. This was quickly adopted by my friends. And so it materialized, our determination to venture into the wild.
“BR…BR…BR.” The alarm clock ticked 5am. We quickly prepared our sandwiches for lunch and went to the parking lot to get our vehicles. I went to the back of the motorbike seat, as my commute to places only consisted of public transit and free rides from my parents, which has resulted in my lack of understanding in operating a personal vehicle.
We set out under the dimmed purple sky and brightly lit towers that were still turned on from last night. The navigation was simple. Tram Mountain was straight ahead of our road.
After a 45 minute ride, we went into what seemed like a small alley that led to the smaller villages and rice fields. Initially, I thought the place was only a small hike up to the rocks that were higher than the growing trees. However, my opinion soon became invalid as the vast array of hills hidden behind met our eyes. We ventured into the valley as they wrapped around us. Grass patches below our feet spread throughout the bumpy earth that softened each step of ours. As we went, each higher rock quickly appeared one after another, making a beautifully stacked image of nature – a combination of the grey cold stones and the grass below that fostered growth.
Climbing on top of one rock quickly revealed the wide image of the suburban scene that is nowhere to be seen in Hanoi city: the peaceful rooftop houses where people were still wandering in their dreams, the small road that connected houses and temples together, the green overview of growing plantations including massive rice fields that have been blessing us with food through time. It was such a breath-taking moment for us to temporarily halt our busy lives and reflect on nature’s beauty that has been long forgotten. Everything seemed to be on its natural course of life where nothing can interfere with its perfect circle.
The cold wind ran through our warm hearts erratically and the occasional rain shower poured down our enchanted hearts. Nature had gotten a hold of us, which is often unlikely considering that my short attention span would have me quickly looking for the next thing flashing on my phone screen. This time, I had been overwhelmed by the grace that was newly discovered.
We continued to watch the skyline as it transformed from a dreamy purple colour to a bright blue sky with layers of grey clouds. The sun greeted us as a new day with its warm beam of energy.
Oh, how time flies when you are caught in such a dreamy vision. The clocked ticked one in the afternoon as we reluctantly climbed down to prepare our meal at home.
Indeed, our hunger for exploration has been satisfied by Tram Mountain’s grace and beauty as we recounted our bedazzled moments in our overjoyed heads.