Winter 17/18 from Bảo Lạc to Đồng Văn

Limestone road at Đồng Văn Karst Plateau

After Mitsos had breakfast we left Bảo Lạc on the QL 34 and drove further North into the mountains. It was another one of those gray Vietnames days before summer.

A new dam from the QL 4B
A new dam from the QL 4B
A dam under construction
Another dam
And another dam
And another dam
Another one of those cloudy days
Another one of those cloudy days
A village from the QL 4B
A village from the QL 4B
Not sure where the forest workers work?
Not sure where the forest workers work?

The Đồng Văn Karst Plateau Geopark

Located over 1,000 meters above sea level the Đồng Văn Karst Plateau with narrow valleys and high rocky mountain ranges up to 2000 meters above sea level. Over 80 percent of the surface in the area is covered with limestone.
Fossils found here date back from 400 to 600 million years ago. Archeologist excavations found many stone tools from the Son Vi Civilization, dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years.
Makes you wonder why the prehistoric men setteled here otu of all places.
17 ethnic minority groups live within the geopark, such as the Hmong, Dao, Lô Lô, Tày, and Nùng

Stone fields outside of Mèo Vạc
Stone fields outside of Mèo Vạc
Limestone fields of the Karst Plateau
Limestone fields of the Karst Plateau
Two more curves to Mèo Vạc
Two more curves to Mèo Vạc
Monument juts outside of Mèo Vạc
Monument juts outside of Mèo Vạc
Agriculture and mountains
Agriculture and mountains
Fields in Vietnam
Imagine this a few years ago – this view makes for a grim future
Limestone mountains with a bit of green left
Limestone mountains with a bit of green left
Cow working in the field
Steep fields – hard working cows
Little houses dotting the mountains
Little houses dotting the mountains
Deep down a river - you guessed it - with a dam
Deep down a river – you guessed it – with a dam
The dam
The dam
Motorbike and Bird Cage
The farmers brought the bird to the field. This way the bird is not alone at home and will see something new.

Small village at the slope
Small village at the slope – makes one wonder if they are not afraid of a mudslide
Road and Mountains in Vietnam
The landscape is still nice – if you overlook the bits and pieces
White cliffs at the Đồng Văn Karst Plateau
White cliffs at the Đồng Văn Karst Plateau
Mountain road in Vietnam
The trees on the mountain look like a heard of – horses or something…
Extreme farming
Extreme farming
Karst Landscape
One day I have to go there with blue sky
View along the river
Farming all the way to the water line
The winding road in Vietnam
The upper road in the middle is the one I took the pictures before this one
Code of conduct for tourists in Vietnam
If only the Vietnamese would read this as well
More stones and fields and houses
More stones and fields and houses
And another war monument
And another monument
War monument
If you look here you see how much forest there was before
Monument
Not sure what they build – a road? But there is one soldier looking for the enemy.
Detail of Monument
The first truck arrives and all the Hill Tribes are happy!
The guy that holds the light
The guy that holds the light
Farm House
I like his stone wall

Nha Nghi Ngan Ha in Phố Cổ Street

Hotel room in Đồng Văn
Our room
The rest of the room
The rest of the room
Shower
Shower and toilet
Dinner in Đồng Văn
A happy Greek is waiting for more food to come

Today’s drive:
We drove 99 kilometers in 4 hours, 9 minutes with gas and food stops.

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From Saigon over Bao Loc to Da Lat

Tower in Dalat

Since my bike was now in Saigon it was time to move North! First stop Bao Loc
The clock: 59582 KM – start in the morning towards Bao Loc
I did get up early and had breakfast early. Put the stuff on the bike before 9:00 and it was hot!
Later the temperatures went up to 38 in the shade. Could somebody switch of the hair dryer please?

I am a wanderer
Funny – last time I was in Vietnam they did not have these street signs. Somebody was in Germany and did like them I guess. We use them at parking places from where you start to hike. The guys represent hikers but here they put them in front of each pedestrian crossing

Rest stop
The Vietnamese rest stops – they might be the best in the world! All along the smaller streets here in the South of Vietnam you can find these kind of rest stops. Hammocks! Very comfortable to give your ass some rest when you travel on a bike. And great for a nap when you are tired. The usual suspects come with it. Fresh coconuts, coffee – hot or with ice and fresh sugar cane juice is the standard. Of course you can get also soda, beer and water. Most of them have not even snacks but some serve hot and cold food as well.

Rest stop

Rest stop
I had my black coffee and a coconut. They empty the coconut in a jar and put some ice and sugar into it. I dig the ice but sugar? Next time I have to watch and intercept

Fish farms
Fish farms as far as you can see up and down the stream

Farming on the hills
Cutting into the forests

Minh Nhung Hotel in Bao Loc

For the first night I decided to stay at the Minh Nhung Hotel in Bao Loc. A double room was 6€ for one night with air condition, fridge with mini bar, private bathroom, table and closet. The hotel is really close to the city centre and only 2 minutes to walk to the hospital where you find plenty of street food in the evening. Do not get confused there is a Minh Nhung Hotel 1 and Hotel 2 – they both have their own entrance but it is only one hotel.

The clock: 59768 = 186 km today

Parking in the lobby
The lobby and entrance of Minh Nhung Hotel II – yes if you bring a car you park in the lobby!

Bike parking in the lobby of Minh Nhung Hotel II
This way to the entrance of Minh Nhung Hotel I. If you bring a bike you park here!

Car in the house
They like to park inside the house in Vietnam

From Bao Loc to Da Lat

The girl at the reception was a bit confused. She wanted 150.000 Dong for the room. When I put the stuff on the bike she came over and wanted 50.000 more for the room. After the bike was ready for the road I checked the booking.com app – 6€ – should be 150.000. So I went back to her and she looked at the app – her screen and the app and “Oh sorry sorry – gave me back the 50.000” Thank you lady – that is 5 cans of beer 🙂
Time to move – 10:00 in the morning and 29 degrees – another hot day on the road ahead.

On the road again
On the road again

Coffee break
Coffee break! Had my coconut first and then coffee. But did not look so the old woman did put sweet condensed milk in the glass first. But she was so happy when she served it so I did drink it with the milk. If you do not stir it – it is still drinkable 🙂

Thao Tri Giao Hotel in Da Lat

Did book at the Thao Tri Giao Hotel for my night in Da Lat.
6 € for a room with two Queen size beds, air-condition, closet, table with chair, private bathroom with hot water and a balcony. It is the corner room on top of the hotel with side window. Close to the lake and plenty of food options in 5 minute walking distance.
The clock: 59893 = 125 km today

Dalat Hotel
In the afternoon I did arrive at the hotel in Dalat – happy to find a Vegetarian place next to it. Turns out – they do sell meet and the food was not really good – 40.000 for a mixed plate.

Thao Tri Giao Hotel room
Thao Tri Giao Hotel room

Dalat Hotel room

Dalat Hotel room
They expect 6 Japanese without tooth brushes

Tower in Dalat
Does that tower remind you of something? A tower in France?? Hmmmm! Funny thing: they have loads of towers like that here in Vietnam – only smaller than this one.

Lake in Dalat
The lake in Dalat – note the Swans

Big C in Dalat
You will never guess what that is. I was thinking about a sport stadium of some sorts but no – it is the roof of Big C! A supermarket! Of course you can sit a few thousand people here – so it might be used for some functions as well.

 



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