Prince William spends time with local children on day one of Vietnam visit

By Ainhoa Barcelona

Prince William spent a wonderful day in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday (Nov. 16), visiting with local children at Hong Ha Primary school.

The dad of two, 34, sat down with a group of children who were learning about important conservation issues. The focus of William's trip is to raise awareness about combating the illegal wildlife trade.

TAP FOR GALLERY Prince William bonded with local children at Hong Ha Primary school.

The Duke of Cambridge joined a class of eight year olds in the library who were being read the storybook I'm a Little Rhino and he took the opportunity to ask them what they thought about protecting wildlife.

Hong Ha is one of the schools that is consciously educating children and their parents about the need to reduce the demand for rhino horn.

The youngsters were learning about important conservation issues.

As he toured the old quarter of Hanoi, William took a walk down Lang Ong Street, the home of traditional medicine. He was given a tour of some of the medicine shops that use plant-based ingredients; many practitioners are speaking out against the perceived medicinal properties of rhino horn and tiger bone.

William discussed these changing social attitudes as he sat down in a typically Hanoian coffee shop. He was joined by traditional medicine experts and celebrity activists, journalists and NGOs who have been campaigning against the illegal wildlife trade.

The focus of William's trip is to raise awareness about combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Vietnamese singer, songwriter and wildlife activist, Thanh Bui, said: "Having travelled to South Africa and experienced the tragic plight of the rhino first-hand, I can only condemn the barbaric trade in rhino horn. As a nation, Vietnamese people must take action to protect these critically endangered animals by not buying or using rhino horn."

William arrived in Vietnam – his first trip to the country – on Wednesday. He began his visit by calling on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh.

William visited medicine shops on Lang Ong Street.

His two-day visit is centred around his attendance of the Third Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade on Thursday.

As he did in China last year, the Prince will bring a positive message to the people of Vietnam about their ability to play a leadership role in saving iconic animals for the benefit of future generations.

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