Highlands Motorcycle Tour Day 3 - Dog Anyone?

Trip Start Feb 27, 2012
Trip End May 19, 2012

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Flag of Vietnam  , Lâm Ðồng,
Monday, March 26, 2012

Today we got a new rider to take over from Spencer. He calls himself "Mr Water" because his name (which I can't pronounce) is Vietnamese for water and also because he prides himself on giving out free water wherever we go. Conversations with Mr Water a very difficult and mostly involve hand gestures due to his limited English. He’s a total crack-up of a guy though, much less serious than Spence. Sadly this will be the last day of our motorbike tour, then we’re off to Ho Chi Mihn city (aka Saigon).

We started the day off by exploring the local markets around the city. The fish market by the wharf where all the local fishermen dump their catch was absolutely insane with stingray’s, sharks and people everywhere – especially Russian tourists, my god so many Russians! Russkies have a bad reputation here. Locals have told me that their impression is that they come in with a lot of money and expect the Vietnamese to worship them like rock-stars. I'm sure the independent travelers are much better than the tour groups.

After the fish market we checked out the local food market. The place was packed but parochially everyone stopped to stare at us when we arrived. The SPCA would have had a field day - live chickens tied up on the side of the road, roasted dog for sale at the butcher...

We then headed up to an amazing stream fed naturally from ground water spring, while we were there the local children practiced their English on us "Hi, where you from?" We attempted (badly) to reciprocate "Xin Chow.....??"

Further on we stopped to visit another minority village where we met a local who had a grand total of 12 children (not uncommon apparently). After visiting another waterfall we sadly had to finish the tour. The option was given to us to spend another few days exploring the Mekong Delta and the border with Cambodia but we decided that unfortunately we will not have enough time (not long now till the full moon party!!).

In the evening we headed out to dinner by ourselves, thinking that our guides were going to a private dinner with their friends. Later on we found out that we actually were invited so went with them for a drink. Somehow while we were there I managed to very badly offend Jack. I'm not sure what I did wrong, it might have been that I pointed at him by mistake (a very rude gesture in their culture), more likely it was a combination of Jack having too much to drink and basic culture clash. Whatever the cause it resulted him completing losing the plot which was a real shame as he had spent three really good days touring with him.

The other guides were really apologetic and wished us well as they dropped us at the sleeper bus (in retrospect they probably were in no state to be driving a motorbike).

What a jam packed three days! Next stop Saigon.
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