21st April Cuc Phong National Park – rest day

The photo:

Let me out!

The chat:

Today’s rest day was spent in the park hanging out with monkeys, turtles, and 200 Vietnamese teenagers who were doing their best to recreate Spring Break in the jungle. We spent the morning watching monkeys chase each other/do double flip half pike somersaults  in Cuc Phong’s monkey sanctuary. The sanctuary housed those monkeys heading to china destined to be made into soup/medicine who were fortunate enough to be intercepted at the border and rehomed, and they seemed pretty happy about escaping the soup pot.  The sanctuary housed about 75 different types of monkeys, and slow lorises (ridiculously cute koala/monkey hybrids who love being tickled – see this video for evidence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ5ACLVjYwM). Sadly the slow lorises were all asleep when we visited and guarded by park rangers so my plans for a 3rd tandem team member remain on the back burner.

After a quick tour of the turtle sanctuary (nowhere near as cute), we headed out for a little bike ride to take the edge of the withdrawal pangs Boydy was experiencing. One cave and some rather steep hills later we headed back to our lakeside hut for an evening of blogging and dinner at the National Park’s cafe -rated by the Lonely Planet as being in it’s top 3 in the region (although given the culinary delights we had so far experienced in Vietnam this would not be saying much). The menu was hilariously optimistic as the staff only had ingredients for about 10% of the choices offered, but the food was better than anything eaten so far in Vietnam (again, not saying much).

We swapped our bike with these kids in return for the speakers for their karaoke machine. It was worth it.


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