Phu Quoc - the largest island in Vietnam attracts thousands of visitors annually. Tourists come here to see its biodiversity and its local specialties such as seafood and fish sauce.
One thing that not many tourists are aware of Agarwood.
Many years ago, there are thousands of wild agarwood harvested on this island.
The local called it "trầm bắp".
They called it this way because the Agarwood harvested from the Aquilaria tree on this island was large. Once the local chipped out the white wood, the resinous part was as large as an adult calf.
In 1980, people came to the island and started buying this "Thigh Agarwood" to make incense and burn alone. Words spread fast about its quality, and it attracted many traders. They bought even more.
Unfortunately, as high demand, after many years, this natural agarwood has almost depleted.
And agarwood has been forgotten.
Until one day, a monk, named Thich Giac Nhi decided to re-grow them.
The legendary Monk, Thich Giac Nhi
Little known about him, but the local told us that he was born and raised in a coastal suburban. When he was 16 years old, he became a monk. Years later, he arrived at Phu Quoc Island to live in seclusion.
One day, a biologist visited the island and met him. This biologist talked about how to grow Aquilaria tree and make agarwood out of it.
The monk who has been growing his own vegetables to support himself became interested. He has been dreaming of building a hospital for the poor, but he had not figured out how to do it yet. Seeing this opportunity, he agreed to work with the biologist.
To grow a tree, he needed to find some seeds, but he could not because the oversea customers bought all the seeds every time.
So the monk started to raise fund many years but failed constantly. He did not give up. Finally, a group of hunters felt the monk's passion and agreed to help him. They sent 2000 Aquilaria samplings to the monk's land near the Chua Chan Mountain to cultivate agarwood
Thanks to the hunters, the biologist and the local government, the monk succeeded in growing Aquilarlia tree and creating Agarwood. He also showed some locals how to grow them too, and he has been helping growers ever seen.
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