Breakfast at Yen Nhi hotel, definitely not The Marriott. Paul’s very accurate description of the coffee – ground up burnt varnished door steeped in warm water (tea, marginally better). Topped off with cold fried egg, sweet bread and sour pineapple.
On the bikes at 8:00 am for short cycle to the 10C pagoda, capital of Vietnam for 40 years until moved to Hanoi cos the King saw a vision of a dragon rearing out of the Red River. Strong drugs, but a big decision. Hanoi celebrated it’s millenium as the capital in 2014. It’s spent it’s history defending itself mainly from the Chinese. The Vietnamese like the French and Americans, now, but seem to deeply mistrust China. Odd that.
A 50 km ride to Cuc Phuong national park, a grey day and slightly drizzly, temp average 15c. Brochure promises sight of “maybe one of the 95 mammals who inhabit the park”. Sadly, the only ones we saw were in the primate centre for the langurs, gibbons and loris. Some of them are saved from smugglers, re-homed and occasionally released into a national park where they may be protected from the insatiable desire of the Chinese for weird medicines or questionable dishes.
Staying in a guest house in the park. A bit functional, but a warm shower. Bliss.
Now for a beer. Again.