Continued…..A drive to Dalat

Poor Tien…. 400000

Tien and I arrived to pick up Lindy and Gordon early as we were setting out to Nui Ba Den at Tay Ninh. It is a less visited destination but an interesting one. There is a war history attached to the black widow mountain, but we were there to experience the Templeand to have fun on the wheeled bobsled. We left the Duc Vuong Hotel at 7 am  and headed out. We knew the route that would take us out ofSaigon, past Cu Chi and to our destination but what we did not know is that a single city block was a one way. Tien drove straight into it and lucky for me, I was able to stop and veer into the correct traffic.  Poor Tien had the unfortunate luck of a foul humored cop. The fine was 400000 and after payment, we were again on our way. Lindy and Gordon enjoyed the cable cars upthe mountain but were disappointed (as am I) that the bobsled has been shut down. Oooo what a pity. Travelling down a long track at breakneck speeds was a riot. I imagine someone got hurt and that was enough to close it. Now we needed to make our way to Dong Xoi. This was to be the first test of my 8.9 inch Galaxy tablet and it gps capability ties to the inserted 3g SIM card. I have to tell you that it functioned perfectly and we were led on some pretty rough and damaged roads on a journey that saw us follow a dike that held a man made lake and over a section of road under construction that was so bad, Lindy and Gordon were forced to walk while Tien and I

Tea Comrad?

grit toothed probed to discover a path the motorcycles could travel. Eventually we found our destination and tiredly booked into our hotel. The evening was a free one for all of us. I told them a story of another couple and a night of Karaoke. Lindy and Gordon made sounds about there being no way they would do Karaoke….. my response….. We will see…. Hmmmmm.

The drive to Gia Nghia was one I have never done before and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The landscape was nice and as is usual as you get into the highlands, the people very friendly. It was a nice day of cruising and sometimes picking small roads that most likely have never seen a tourist. Lindy and Gordon carried a pack full of candies and small Koala bears. The kids were ecstatic to receive the treats and we had a great day. I enjoy very much seeing the reaction of visitors toVietnam. Things that amaze and delight them are daily events for me…. It helps to remind me that I am truly

Hiding from the rain

lucky to live and work in such an atmosphere. The only real event of the day was a small red clay road we were traveling on. The road was all holes and the rain was coming down. I have driven such roads many times and am confident in driving them but in this instance, an unsure driver stopped in front of me and I was forced to veer to the edge of a hole. I stopped and slowly my motorcycle slid down until in slow motion, Lindy and I tumbled into the mud. We were up again momentarily and with only bruised ego’s and muddy bottoms and on our way. We skirted the Cambodian border on part of the original

Karaoke god with Thang and Quy

Ho Chi Minh Trail and were forced to seek shelter from an afternoon rain in a small wooden house owned by a man with communist certificates and pictures of Ho on the walls. We were served tea and rice whisky before we continued to Gia Nghia almost as sun set. The third day originally had us heading for Dalat but we found out that the roads had become impassable and therefore we decided to divert to Buon Ma Thuot ( the place I intended to ambush them with Karaoke). The ride was beautiful and we stopped along the way at interesting places. As we neared BMT , I called my friend Thang and there started my devious plan. She was

Preparing a rice field

invited to dinner with us with the intent of helping me convince reluctant Lindy and Gordon to give an evening of Karaoke a try. Well my efforts paid off and Thang was able to place a call and have a Karaoke room opened for us. The night turned into laughter and everybody got into the singing. Gordon especially shined with the effort he put into his songs, his new status as Karaoke god was well earned. Lindy even had some trouble trying to sing her songs because of Gordon glued to the mike.

The next morning we met for a buffet breakfast and laughed about the time had the night prior. We then spent a very enjoyable day descending from the highlands with our fist phase of the trip. Things workers out very well for me as I have another group that want

Ahhh this is the life

to tour from Dalat to Nha Trang. Our forced rerouting has us now heading up to Dalat this day where We will meet and there will be 6 of us heading down From Dalat to Ho Lak………So, Owee, Thien, Lindy, Gordon, Chau, Binh, Tam, and Hai are headed to Dalat this morning to pick up Leanne, Karen, Mark and Robbo. We’ll be coming around the mountain when we come.

 

More pics from Lindy and Gordon

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

4 thoughts on “Continued…..A drive to Dalat

  1. Hi Owee! Thanks again for a brilliant blog and so much fantastic info on Vietnam. I often stop by to get ideas for travel and wanted to ask some advice/info on a few days travel through the Central Highlands.
    My partner and I are planning to arrive in Buon Ma Thuot from Da Nang in early April and looking for ideas for a trek/tour/experience through the Highlands and villages ending up in Da Lat after about 2 or 3 nights before returning from Da Lat to Hanoi.
    We’re both (fairly) young and fit and not worried about a few treks or hikes as part of the experience. Elephant rides are not of interest – still can’t find any info to confirm the ethical treatment of these animals. But we are keen to have an experience around Lak Lake and overnight stays in the villages before making our way to Da Lat.
    Let me know if you have any advice! It’s greatly appreciated
    Cheers,
    Alan

    1. The elephants are well treated in the Dak Lak area. I know many or the handlers. Without some kind of guide you will miss a lot of things however, you can go on your own. From Buon ma Thuot take a bus to Lien Son. There is a newer homestay located in Jun village you might want to check out for accommodation. A good route from Danang is Overnight in Kham Duc, Kon Tum, Buon Ma Thuot, Lak Lake, Dalat, and finish in Nha Trang.

  2. Hi there Bob

    Thanks so much for a lovely evening and very very delicious food, it was a pleasure to meet both you and Phuong. Perhaps it’s just as well the bob sled was no longer working, I was so eager to have a ride on it but not that eager, we thought it was a maintenance issue at the time but it’s much much more serious than that.
    Vietnam is the most amazing country and despite very sore butts we enjoyed every moment we travelled by bike, would do it again in a heart beat. Hope you two enjoy your trip around the Highlands, it’s my most favourite place!
    Lindy

  3. Owen, that ‘thrill ride’ in Da Lat closed because they killed 2 tourists on it last year. Maybe it’s a good thing you missed it?!! We’re probably gonna close down for a week or two, end of the month, and do our little trip in the highlands, Phuong will enjoy seeing more of her country as always.

    The cooler was in trouble but we’ve got ice cold beer once again. Had the ‘service’ guy come and check it when it got worse and worse, he said ‘it’s the heat’. Funny but it wasn’t that bad last year and the heat was just as bad…huh? ‘It needs new fan’…nope I can feel the fan running, not doing much but running. Pulled it out and the condenser was plugged (30+ years of dirt packed in it) told him to get an air tank or compressor and blow it out for us.

    He had a paint brush and a tooth brush ‘good enough!’…nope. We found a place that rented us a compressor for a few hours, two guys to deliver it ha ha. When the dirt-storm was over it took an hour to clean-up the kitchen but…the control is now set to ‘low’ and the beer is beyond cold ;p See ya soon.
    Bob

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