Not So Easy Riding

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Even with the already early-ish start, I had to crawl out of bed, well off really, (not slept under any covers since entering the sweltering heat sink that is Vietnam) since my room was already booked for tonight and had to switch hotels where I would end up paying a whole dollar more per night - scandal!

My easy rider's (see previous entry) name was Phong but for some reason had the nickname of windy which I hoped was due to his driving and not the other possibility with me going to be sitting in close proximity behind him most of the day.

First stop was at a giant Buddha statue (wonder how many there are in Asia) which was complete with a Vegas-like neon halo around the head of the seated Buddha inside the temple. It seemed like I was the star attraction however with one person asking for the photo with me and so kicked started a rapidly forming queue of excited Vietnamese waiting to be snapped with the weird looking giant. A few months ago something like this would have been a real wtf moment but it has happened so often now that I've gotten used to it and it at least lets you know what it is like to be a minor celebrity.

After quick stop at the cringe worthy named 'Valley of Love' we stopped at the much more appropriately named 'crazy house'. The crazy house may not have had padded walls but is instead exactly what is sounds like, a crazy 'Alice in Wonderland' like house built by Hoh Chi Minh's successor's daughter with hardly a straight line to be seen or sense of colour coordination.

On our way to Dalanta Falls we made a quick stop at a scenic reservoir (I think) with nought really worth mentioning other than the cute girl wanting my number - had to squeeze that in there.

Following the Dalanta Falls was another more impressive waterfall at Prenn Mountain Pass which you could walk behind and get a refreshing blast of cool spray and almost test out your travel insurance for a ruined camera in the process, doh.

As we drove through the beautiful mountain scenery with Phong pointing out the tea and coffee fields the peace was suddenly shattered with a loud crunch as we stopped and turned to see the motorbike we had just passed past coming in the opposite direction lying in the road with the typically helmet less driver sprawled out beside it. There was quickly a group of people around the bike and driver who was sitting upright un-aided so could not have been too badly hurt but was still another reminder of the risk they take here with they way they drive with nought protecting there noggins other than their lamp shade hats.

With Phong driving off repeating "oh my god" for the next 5 minutes we soon arrived at the Chinese Pagoda which despite having seen my fair share of pagodas so far still managed to impressive me with its elaborate decoration and huge funky garden dragon which beats a garden gnome any day.

With one last stop at the oldest train station in Vietnam, despite the trains not actually going anywhere useful, I said farewell to Phong and ended up spending the evening competing with the 101 other Internet cafes in the area for bandwidth with everyone of them filled with students playing games.
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