It was a random decision to run away from Hanoi, Vietnam. And to travel with Jesse also kinda random for me. What supposed to be a 3D/2N getaway became 2D/1N due to some Jesse’s health problem.
We left Hanoi at 8:15am and reach Ninh Binh 11:00am. It was a pretty bumpy ride. Well, as some know, the road in Vietnam is pretty effed up so at certain road we gotta slow down. After a brunch we made our way to a small town (Nho Quan) in order to reach Cuc Phuong National Park.
Nho Quan is really a very small quite town. We settled in one of the guest house right on the right hand side after the bridge to Nho Quan. 250,000VND (approx USD12) per night and off straight away to the Cuc Phuong National Park which 12km further inside between small villages. It was a very bumpy, dusty ride but we finally made it there at 1.50pm but pretty disappointed to learn from the park’s office that the park will close at 4pm which mean we couldn’t do much of stuffs such as jungle trekking. Sad.
We paid 40,000VND (approx USD1.90) for entrance fee each and shared 30,000VND (approx USD 1.40) for a tour officer that brought us to the monkey and turtle sanctuary.
Those monkey in the sanctuary (or should I say rehabilitation center) are beautiful!!! They are from various type of species and some of them are endangered. What I learn from the tour officer was, those monkeys were rescued from a greedy Vietnamese hunters that gonna sell them to Chinese traders for good amount money. The rescued monkey will be keep in the center for certain duration before release to the semi-nature life and when the officer think they are “fit” enough to go back to the jungle life, they’ll be fully release into the wild.
Same goes to the turtle sanctuary. Those turtles are from number of species and saved from the hunters. According to the tour officer, those turtles sold to Chinese people were normally ended up in boiling hot pot or dried up for traditional medicine purpose. Anyhow, from my knowledge, I didn’t think those (in the sanctuary) are turtles as they look more like a tortoise. Well, whatever but still, to kill them for money is inhumane.
We also climbed up 200 steep steps to the pre-historic caves which 7km away from the park’s main gate. It was really tiring but to reached the top, it made me feel good as I know at least I still capable of doing it although I was pretty slow. It was steep tho! But sad to see that no one really care about that beautiful not-too small cave. The evidence of people that still believe in superstitious belief destroying the cave. Lots of praying sticks and Vietnamese Dong (in small denominations) notes on the ground and rubbish too.
As we moved further inside the cave, it getting warm and super pitch dark (we rent a torch light for 10,000VND at the entrance) and at certain point, some of the floor area was pretty wet and slippery. Jesse tried to find the evidence to support the “pre-historic” claims but to none avail. We didn’t spend so much time inside the cave as we felt kinda out of oxygen. Fuh! Fuh! Fuh! Oh, before we left, Jesse saw a big spider but I’ve seen bigger than that before 😛 Anyway, I am not really afraid of spiders so I’m pretty alright with the eight-legged creature.
As it was pretty late, we decided to leave the park before dark. It was drizzling on the way out to the main entrance of the park and was alright after that zone. As we rode down the bumpy road, something funny happened.
Jesse accidentally killed a chicken (we believe it was a rooster) on the way back to Nho Quon. I didn’t take a picture as a prove because if we stop, they might (certainly will, I guess) make us pay. So I just “keep on driving Jesse!”. Oh poor rooster… Jesse even had this weird idea of “we should just grab that chicken, bring to the town and ask the local to cook and feed everyone”. LOL!