Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
145Trip End Ongoing
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What a journey, I love local transport! I walked up to the bus station and managed to get a bus to Pleiku as there was nothing apparently to Kon Tum, and being a local bus took it was going to take around 7 hours on a road which was hellish, if there was no hold ups
I get on and off the minivan with all the locals when it stops, whether it’s a comfort stop, food stop, or any number of the 'unexplained stops’. A few people talk away to me in English although it’s very limited but I’m ashamed I don’t speak any Vietnamese except for basics of Hello (chao), yes( phai), no (khong phai), do you have a room? (anh co phong khong), too expensive (dat qua) I always bargain for my room, and basic foods whether its noodles (pho (regional) or rice (com) and beef (bo) chicken (ga) etc. that’s about the limit which I am sure I will quickly forget. And I eventually reach my destination after around 10 hours, but by now it’s midnight and I’m walking around trying to find somewhere to sleep, which I did only after walking a few kms and was ready to give up and just dive into the darkness somewhere. So I awoke in Pleiku which isn’t the nicest of places and once again sussed out the local transport for a bus up to Kon Tum, then a motorbike taxi on arrival to take me out to the Rong Houses which are amazing, truly and made it all worthwhile.
The Rong Houses are traditional to this part of Vietnam and can hold 200/300 people inside so are mainly used as communal or gathering places, community meeting to celebrations
I love Da Lat… after a fairly peaceful and 14 hour overnight journey, I arrived and checked into my guesthouse, straight away I feel it’s a nice place, beautiful and set up in the mountains makes the air nice and clear despite daytimes being very hot. I do all the tourist things here from having a trip in the cable car which gives a great outlook over the lake and the town which is renowned for its flowers and markets and manage to meet up with Michelle again and head out exploring the following day. I visit the Crazy House inspired by Italian Architect Gaudi which was a highlight of my trip so far, to nearby waterfalls, a seven storeys Pagoda and temple complex which was really impressive, to the Big Happy Buddha overlooking the town, we covered a lot of kilometers and had a fun day.
Since hearing all about the Easy Riders in Vietnam I have to admit having a day off from me navigating, concentrating and riding, to just sitting on the back of a motorbike for the day being shown around was really appealing
I went to a couple of local view points, which I climbed up (although Kong didn’t) in which I had clear blue sky views of the surrounding area which is immense, I went to the silk factory which shows you the whole process from silk worms to the finished products which was an amazing experience seeing in action how they get the silk and make it into cloth… wow, I left here and my tour in absolute awe of the place.
I would recommend Kon Tum and Da Lat must do experiences in Vietnam, even though they are ‘out the way’ loved them.