Man hands free water, tissues to people heading home for Tet reunion in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Nguyen Van Thanh gives a bottle of drinking water to a man on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam
Nguyen Van Thanh gives a bottle of drinking water to a man on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam

A middle-aged man in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta on Wednesday started giving free bottled water and tissues to motorcyclists to help them drive safely at a time when a flux of people are gravitating back to their hometowns for Lunar New Year family reunion.

As Vietnam’s longest and most important public holiday Tet is just a few days away, a number of people working in Ho Chi Minh City and other major cities are traveling long distances to return to their homes in the Mekong Delta.

They may cross Dong Thap Province’s city of Sa Dec, where Nguyen Van Thanh is standing on the road offering complimentary water and tissues to any riders who pass by.

They were the gifts from a collection of 7,000 tissues and 5,000 drinking water bottles the 53-year-old local had bought using money he solicited from donors.

Thanh erected a sidewalk sign emblazoned with large-sized text that reads “Free Drinking Water.”

And around 50 meters before it, he placed another sign saying the gift-giving point is near, so that drivers can slow down and pull in without road incidents.

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A sign Nguyen Van Thanh puts ahead of the location where he gives free drinking water to motorcyclists is pictured on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam, January 30, 2019. The sign reads “Sa Dec City – Tet 2019. Bottled water given with affection. Please stop to receive free drinking water 50 meters from here. Have a good journey.”
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Nguyen Van Thanh talks with a woman who is holding a water bottle he has given along road crossing Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam

“I wish to help young and disadvantaged people a safe homeward journey by making them maintain their attention on the road,” he said.

“Hope everyone can go home safe and sound and have a happy Tet with family”

Several college students volunteered to join hands with him in the activity, which will last through Sunday, the penultimate day before the beginning of the new lunar year.

“Although a drinking water bottle and tissue given do not cost much, I really appreciate the deed,” said a motorcyclist Nguyen Van Toan.

“I hope this act will be seen again in the following Tet holidays.”

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Nguyen Van Thanh offers bottled water and tissues to motorcyclists on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam
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A college student places water bottles into a box on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam
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Nguyen Van Thanh’s iced bottled water is seen in a box on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam
Nguyen Van Thanh gives a bottle of drinking water to a woman on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam,
Nguyen Van Thanh gives a bottle of drinking water to a woman on a road in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam

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