I 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…
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
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.