Pictures of the second Day at Lăk Lake

A farmer comes home with his water buffalo at Lak Lake

The second day at Lăk Lake started how the last evening ended. It was hot! Did meet a nice French couple at breakfast. The guy is also into photography and has a Canon as well. So we had plenty to talk about. He is into wild life photography and showed me some very good pictures from his trip to Yellowstone park in winter.
They did leave the same day and I could drive them to the bus stop. Finally I could pay back a bit for all the times somebody did drive me to the airport, bus station or train station.
Did spend the afternoon in the room organizing, blogging and emailing since it was simply to hot to enjoy the outdoors. In the afternoon I took a walk to Bao Dai and some pictures.

Lak Lake in the afternoon
Lak Lake in the afternoon

Lak Lake in the afternoon

Baby pig looking for food
Baby pig looking for food

Not everybody has a long house at Lăk Lake
Not everybody has a long house at Lăk Lake

Since it was still super hot I decided for a break at the restaurant at the end of Bao Dai village. A cold beer to fight the heat!

A beer with the pigs at Lăk Lake
A beer with the pigs at Lăk Lake

Traditional dugout canoes
Traditional dugout canoes

A female dog drinks water in a lake

Farmers return home from a day of work in the fields
Farmers return home from a day of work in the fields

Two pigs search for food in Lăk Lake
Two pigs search for food in Lăk Lake

Cleaning of the farming equipment
Cleaning of the farming equipment after a long day of work

Why use the hands if you can use the feet?
Why use the hands if you can use the feet?

Coming home from the field - a farmer and his buffalo
Coming home from the field – a farmer and his buffalo

A man with his farming machine on his way home
A man with his farming machine on his way home

And yes - the pipe is quite long!
And yes – the pipe is quite long!

Children play in the corn that is out in the sun to dry
Children play in the corn that is out in the sun to dry

Sunset over the rice fields
Sunset over the rice fields

Sunset over the rice fields

Clever Mosquito net
Clever Mosquito net! The top part of the net stays in place and you can move the side parts to one side of the bed when you not need it.

Bike parking in the night
The usual bike parking in the night

 
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From Da Lat to Lăk Lake

At Lak Lake

Today’s mission: Drive from Da Lat or Dalat to Lăk Lake
The clock reads 59905 km and the temperature was already 26 degrees at 9:00. Another hot day on the road.

Pine forest after Dalat
First part of the trip is back to the same pine forest to the valley.

Coffee plantations eat into the forest
Coffee plantations eat into the forest

Coffee blossoms smell magic - a bit like Jasmine in the night
Coffee blossoms smell magic – a bit like Jasmine in the night

Butterflies ♥

There was a two-hour stretch of road with butterflies – not hundreds or thousands – millions.
I never saw that many all my life together than today! I made a video for a few seconds so you can imagine how it was – magic!

They do slow you down since you do not want to kill them but that is no problem. You will look all over the place and not at the road all the time so you better go slow 🙂
If you watched the movie you might noticed all the wood next to the street. Almost the whole day I did pass cut down trees – they make land for more coffee.

Rainforest meets the coffee plant - the rainforest does loose the fight
Rainforest meets the coffee plant – the rainforest does loose the fight

More houses on the river
More houses on the river – they look like homes not farms. Should be rent free and you do not need to purchase land. And never worry about a flood any more! Your house will simply lift with the water.

River Home
River Home

If you get closer to Lak Lake the land gets flat again and the main crop changes from coffee to rice
If you get closer to Lak Lake the land gets flat again and the main cash crop changes from coffee to rice

Rice fields close to Lak Lake
Rice fields close to Lak Lake

Rush Hour close to Lak Lake
Rush Hour close to Lak Lake

Lak Lake

I did stop at Café Duc Mai for a coffee and a cold 333 beer. It was 38 degrees and I needed to hydrate. The guy sitting next to me was an Russian tour guide and he did speak a bit English. His customers where Elephant riding and a few minutes later another bus arrived with more Russians and Elena – their tour guide. They stop here only for the Elephant riding and then drive on.
I hate Elephant riding and do not understand why one would ride an Elephant. They should ride a bicycle or motorbike if they must ride anything.

In front of the hotel - Elephant riding
Now I had the whole circus in front of me. Everybody got a few sticks of sugar cane to feed the Elephants for the pictures.

They even have two hooks to control the poor animal
They even have two hooks to control the poor animal – and the hooks have two spikes.

A mahout on an Elephant

A mahout on an Elephant

A mahout on an Elephant

A mahout on an Elephant

They have a heavy steel cage on the poor animal and up to 3 fat tourists. Way to much!
They have a heavy iron cage on the poor animal and it has to ride around with up to 3 fat tourists and the Mahout. Way to much!

Sugar cane for the Elephants at Lak Lake
Sugar cane for the Elephants – for a last picture. After that: Back to the bus and Adios!

My bike in the middle of the action
My bike in the middle of the action

Elephants at Lak Lake
Now the tourists are gone and they take the Elephants back to wherever they keep them.

Café Duc Mai

A few houses down from Café Duc Mai is a Homestay in a traditional long house. It is 5 US $ a head. You sleep on a mattress with a mosquitoes net in the big long house that is actually only one big room on the inside. There are a few more Homestays in the villages at the lake where you can stay as well. Since I did my long house stay on this trip already I opted for Café Duc Mai for the next two nights. 5 US $ for a room with shared shower and free WiFi. They have also a good set dinner for 3 US $ and the beer is only slightly more expensive than in the shops around.
The clock: 60070 = 165 km today.
Still time to see the sun set from the hill round the corner.

Sun set at Lak Lake

On the way back I passed the other hotel in the village – they had a cultural show for a bunch of French tourists that did have dinner over there.

Cultural show at the hotel on the other side of the street
Cultural show at the hotel on the other side of the street. The Mnong believe that their music and specially the Gong has supernatural power. So with it they can communicate with the superior God! UNESCO did recognise “the area of gong culture in the Central Highlands of Vietnam” as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

And a little movie so you get a better understanding of what is going on over there:


 
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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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