Waking Up in Ba Be National Park

The overcrowded mini-bus drops us off (five-hours late) about three k’s from Ba Be National Park.  Pack raft on my back, I scramble up and down hills with my friends through the quiet starlit forest toward a bobbing light in the distance – our boat driver.

We board a small wooden boat and stretch out as the boat sputters across a glistening Ba Be lake to Pulong, a Thai minority village.  “Turn off your headlamp,” the boat driver jests, “the American helicopters will spot us.”

We arrive at our home stay for the night, eat a delicious dinner of free-range chicken and sticky rice, and promptly pass out on our mats.

Tired but too excited to sleep any further, I awake early to catch the first glimpse of the sun over the lake.  Because we arrived in darkness and I didn’t view any pictures of Ba Be before the trip, I have no idea what to expect.

My friend Tung pours me a fresh Vietnamese coffee from his french press, and I wander out to the veranda of our stilted house.

~ by responsiblenomad on April 15, 2012.

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