This weekend we went to Cuc Phuong National Park. Jane, Henrik, Cuong, Fiona, Sara and me set out at 8am Saturday morning from Hanoi and arrived around 9 hours later! Why it took us that long I have no idea. It is normally a 4 hour ride we were told. But it wasn't important because we all enjoyed the ride and had the weekend. We stayed in a nice guest house outside the park for the first night and also ate there because in the village they had no food. It is late in the season so they probably weren't expecting too many visitors. We sat around drinking fruit wine and beer and play Pass the Pigs and then some dodgy card game Henrik suggested, gradually sinking down into inebriation before heading off to bed.
Early the next morning (10am) we paid 40,000 Dong to get into the park and rode the 20 kilometres to our chosen guest house along a concrete road with lovely views of the forest, which had no hot water but was only $12 a night a room, whereas the accommodation with hot water was $25 a night. We were only stopping one night as we all had to be back at work on Monday so no problems.
We had a fantastic walk through the forest and really Enjoyed the trees, ferns, rocks, and beautiful scenery. It was so powerful it felt like we were under the influence of something. Cuc Phuong is a lovely place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone. At the end of the path there was what is called a 1000 year old tree and huge and wonderful it is. We heard and saw many birds and butterflies and animals.
In the evening there is only electricity from 6 til 10pm but it is enough. We had dinner at the park restaurant, which was tasty then retired for music and beer on our balcony as Henrik had brought his guitar.
Next morning it took us 4 hours to get back to Hanoi, a bit of a nap and ready for work at 4ish. Henrik Jane and Cuong left earlier because of work. Altogether a fantastic weekend spent with good people and everyone having lots of fun. Next weekend is my last weekend in Hanoi (and Henrik is leaving for Sweden, too) so we are hoping to get a big group together and go back to Cat Ba for another good weekend.