29 November 2008

The perils of forgetting which day of the week it is

On our second day in Ninh Binh our driver took us to the Cuc Phuong National Park. Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Covered in a dense forest it forms a habitat for some of Asia's rarest species. First we went to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. The EPRC is home to more than 140 primates including six species which are kept only at the EPRC and in no other facility in the world. Other than the captively bred primates, all of the animals at the EPRC are victims of poaching and the illegal animal trade. The animals are confiscated in cooperation with Vietnam’s forest protection authorities all over the country. More than 50 infants have been born. My favourite monkey was the red-shanked Duoc langur which name translates to monkey wearing red shorts! We couldn't get close enough for pictures but found this one on the internet, what a handsome fellow!

After the monkeys it was off for a but of trekking. We were thinking this would be a back to nature experience in a remote Vietnamese National Park. Apparently on a weekday it would have been but as it was Saturday, which we had forgotten, the trail route was full of screaming, shouting and giggling tour groups of teenagers who all wanted to shout hello at us, that was when they weren't busy smoking, dropping litter and playing loud music on their mobile phones!

However they only went as far as half the trek to the 1000 year old tree and we had the last hour of the trek in peace and the forest was very beautiful. Si decided he wanted to take an arty shot of me in some long grass. I wasn't too keen as there were a lot of insects about and I was concerned there might be snakes too. 'Of course there isn't any snakes' stated Si, and complained that I looked a bit scared on his picture. The next info board we came to, only a few meters away, did indeed warn of several types of poisonous snakes found all over the park! I think I'd better be a bit wary of that husband of mine!


  1. Hope the track was worth it! Do you remember our trip to see the Icod tree in Tenerife? Driving miles out into nowhere and arriving to find a shrivelled dead looking branch!!!

  2. Liz - you want to watch him!!! How many other young women has he tried to lure into the long grass on the excuse of let me take your photo?!!! Has he asked if you want to see his etchings yet?!!!