Ho Van Lang, the “Tarzan” of Vietnam, passed away due to liver cancer at 52. He and his father, Ho Van Thanh, resided in the jungles for four decades and only returned to civilization in 2013. His early demise is attributed to today’s unhealthy diet and the stresses of the modern world.
The father and son duo evacuated deep in the jungles of Vietnam in 1972, following the loss of half their family during the Vietnam war. They made a living by cultivating corn and foraging the land. Throughout their time in the wilderness, they clothed themselves in loincloths made from bark and constructed a timber hut for shelter.
Returning to Civilization
During their 41 years of living in the jungle, the two were unaware that the war had ended. They were discovered when locals encountered them while gathering firewood. According to media reports, the pair were convinced to return to the village after Thanh’s health declined. There they received medical attention and slowly learned this new way of life.
The father died in 2017 of unreported causes at 86.
The Vietnamese Tarzan
In 2016, Lang made headlines for his brief return to his childhood home in the Tra Bong jungle. Explorer Alvaro Cerezo accompanied him in hopes of learning from the wilderness expert. After the camping experience, they stayed in contact, and Cerezo went on to tell the story of the real-life Tarzan. In the book he published, he refers to Lang as “a little kid with the skills of a superhuman.”
Lang chose to spend his final years in his hometown, living next to his brother and working on a farm. The 52-year-old was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer in November of last year. He died on October 18, 2021, surrounded by his family. Cerezo expresses his condolences but is somewhat relieved that Lang no longer must suffer.
Art Daniella Sison