June 13-15th Northern Vietnam

by - June 15, 2019

We were woken multiple times by the loudest thunder we have ever heard.  It was echoing through the valley.  When we woke, the river was raging even more so.  The power had gone out earlier in the night and was still off.  We couldn't get money from the ATM or get breakfast.  We tried to wait for the rain to subside, but it didn't so we packed up and put on our ponchos.  We saw many landslides, fallen trees, and flooded rice paddies.  It rained the first half of our drive, which made it pretty miserable.  We were cold for the first time in SE Asia.  The only positive was that the pho we had for lunch tasted better than normal.  Once we arrived in Ba Be National Park it was a long ride on a small paved road to get to the guesthouse.  Every bump was torture for our rear ends.  We checked in and then relaxed for a while.  The view was great.  We went on a mission to find Jun Cafe, which got amazing reviews.  We paid to use a rickety bridge and then had to go through a flooded path.  When we arrived it was closed.  We settled on the only other place to eat and it was nothing special.

We decided to spend another night here because our rear ends were screaming for a break.  We went on a hike to a cave, which was super overgrown.  A local farmer tied his water buffalo up in the middle of the jungle and that meant that we finally got to pet them.  We walked up the bat shit covered stairs tot he cave.  It was creepy.  It smelled terrible and the bats were flying all over the place above us.  Then we rode on some terrible roads to get to a "grocery store".  A kid about 7 years old came up to us and asked us where we are from.  After we responded with the United State he flipped us off and told us "fuck you".  We have been getting stared at a lot more in Vietnam than in any other country.  We relaxed for the rest of the day and started to plan what we want to do in Europe because we are running out of time and money.  We ate at the same restaurant for dinner.  A side note: Vietnamese do eat dog.  We saw a restaurant on google with a picture of grilled dog, saw dogs being sold next to chickens and ducks, and also saw a cooked dog at a market.  We tried to convince ourselves that it was a pig, but the tail was just too long.

We woke to the sound of a jack hammer.  So much for sleeping in.  We have had a run of hotels with the hardest beds and haven't been sleeping well.  It was also raining.  We took our time getting ready, but decided to hit the road even though it was raining.  It only rained for the first hour.  These were the best roads we have have yet.  They were smooth and we cruised right along.  We stopped in Thai Nyugen for lunch.  We at at Jobilee, a fast food chain that we have had before.  We decided to stay the night here.  We checked into our fancy $13 hotel and then went back to the the mall to see Godzilla.  It was a terrible movie and they don't have the dream loungers that we prefer.  And of course the popcorn was sweet.  Everything is extra sweet in SE Asia.  If you buy a bag of Lays potato chips, they are sweet.  If you eat cheese rice crackers, they are sweet.  You get the idea.

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