Motorcycle Backpacking in Vietnam Part 2: Da Lat to Kham Duc

By , March 2, 2012 5:46 pm

IMG_3166I previously wrote about our trip from HCMC to Da Lat here.  Lets continue north with the coolest  fucking road trip of all time….

Part 2: Da Lat to Khan Duc

Ride 4: Da Lat to Nha Trang

Our fourth ride was a 140 km trip through the mountains, across the plains, and back to the beach.  After about 3.5 hours and getting lost twice (fuck!!), we arrived in Nha Trang.  The ride was amazing, except for a few patches of road construction and a few buses that ran us off the road.  Check out this lady with a masterfully loaded bike…IMG_3194


In Nha Trang we stayed at Sons and Duaghters Guest House.  It was next door to “Backpackers”  and seemed like a pretty good deal at $15 for a nice private room with a private bath and AC. 

In general, I like Nha Trang, but I was bored after a few days.  The beach is super nice, but touristy.  There are a few cool things to check out including riding the gondola to Vinpearl Island, and drinking on the beach at the Louisaine Brewhouse.  The brewhouse has a $4 sampler of 4 beers, which are seriously some of the best beers I had in Vietnam (the pils and red are really good).  Also, Omar’s Indian food is really fucking tasty.

Ride 5: Nha Trang to Buon Ma Thuot

IMG_3201 Next stop: Buon Ma Thuot.  The ride was a mediocre 190 km, which took us almost 5 hours, but we stopped for an oil change.  Buon Ma Thout is not really a great place to visit, but not terrible either.  It’s a big-ish city, with nothing particularly interesting to see.  We basically stopped here because it looked like a good place to stop.  The only other white people I saw in the whole city were also on bikes, doing the same thing as us.  There are actually so few tourists here that people would point me out to their kids when I walked down the street.  At first it was funny, and I felt kinda cool, but after the third or fourth time I just felt stupid.  Whatever.  The best thing in town is a fresh spring roll resturaunt called Thanh Loan.  You just sit down and order a beer or soda, and they bring out plates of rice paper, veggies, and pork (since that’s the only thing they serve).  You roll your own, and they’re super good.  I was stuffed for a few bucks. 

We stayed at the Thang Binh Hotel.  It was $9 for a nice room, and they had really fast wifi.

Ride 6:  Buon Ma Thuot to Kom Tum

235 km and only 5 hours after leaving Buon Ma Thuot, we arrived in Kom Tum.  The ride was ok, but slow with lots of bus traffic.  I think we stopped here because we were exhausted, and there was nothing else around.  We stayed the “Family Hotel”, which was ok.  The main problem with Kom Tum is that no one there speaks english, and I can’t seem to communicate in Vietnamese, no matter how hard I try.  Even asking for rice (in Vietnamese) just doesn’t work.  I just can’t get the tones right.  Due to this, and the fact that there are no menus at restaurants in small towns, we tried dog for the first time in Kom Tum.  We ordered a couple dishes, but (I think) they were out of some type of meat we wanted, so they prepared something else.  The mystery meat came out, and we ate most of it.  It was stir-fried with vegies, and well seasoned.  Not a light meat, not a dark meat, and kinda tough, but not bad.  After we were done eating the waitress came by and I tried to ask her what we were eating.  Eventually I just started acting out different animal noises and she would say no.  Process of elimination, plus google translate = we were eating dog.  I know a lot of people are against eating dogs because they like dogs and cows are stupid and deserve to die, but I’m not really interested in that argument.  Bottom line:  dogs make great pets and ok dinners.


4 Responses to “Motorcycle Backpacking in Vietnam Part 2: Da Lat to Kham Duc”

  1. Steve Mc says:

    Sounds like a great trip and we are following your blog avidly! 4 of us guys are all booked and heading to HCMC on the 6th August 2012 and planning on riding up to Hanoi over 3 weeks! Looks like your route is roughly similar to what we have planned.
    One of our group is a frequent visitor to Vietnam with a lot of business contacts, so we will have bikes etc organised prior to leaving. (Our Vietnamese partner may also travel with us, which will make the translations a hell of a lot easier.
    Can’t wait to read about the rest of your adventures! We are planning on not riding much after 2ish or 3ish in the afternoon as we consider that to be well past Beer O’ Clock!

    I have downloaded Sygic Vietnam GPS to my iPhone, so hopefully it will get us where we need to go without too many sidetracks.
    When the time is nearer we’ll get our Blog up and running also.
    Stay Upright & Stay Safe!

  2. Jules says:

    Aww, you were going so well, then you gave up? What’s with that?

    Wife and I are just starting to research the Vietnam leg of our journey. Should be in Bangkok before the middle of next week and we’re still trying to decide whether or not to ride all the way through Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos or just do the Vietnam leg. Looks like you guys had a cracking time, I appreciate the info from your first post on the subject (although the link to your pet dealer doesn’t appear to work) but I was just enjoying your journey here when you stopped writing.

    I assume you did make it alive?

    Safe journeys and happy travels

    Jules´s last blog post ..Chereting – A Place To Stop

  3. Kien Nguyen says:

    A great report. I rode this part many times and Kham Duc is a “cowboy town” in Vietnam due to the crimes and gold mining like anywhere. This is also a sensitive area which requires a permit if you want to ride close to Lao border or stay/visit a hill tribe village. The roads are crowded so ride slowly and watch out for the trucks and buses.
    Kien Nguyen´s last blog post ..Late Availabilities

  4. Tracy says:

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    Tracy´s last blog post ..Enjoy silkie steamed with coconut juice and chilli in Ben Tre

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