From Lăk Lake to Kon Tum

The mission for today Lak Lake to Kon Tum. After the breakfast it was time to get the stuff on the bike. 09:00 in the morning and already 28 degrees. Another hot day! The clock 60088 KM.

Coffee with Green Tea at Lak Lake

Coffee and Green Tea for breakfast at the Lăk Lake

Open road after Lăk Lake
Open road after Lăk Lake

Open road after Lak Lake

The humble farmer
The humble farmer – should have stopped for a talk. Fuck – missed opportunity 🙁

Rush hour
Rush hour

More forest goes for Coffee
More forest goes for Coffee

A cab driver takes a picture of me taking a picture of fish in a bag
A cab driver takes a picture of me taking a picture of “Fish in a Bag” shop on wheels

Do you like a bird?
Do you like a bird?

Rubber trees in the front
Rubber trees in the front

Rubber trees in the back - and my bike - and traffic!
Rubber trees in the back – and my bike – and traffic!

A very hot day again today. The clock: 60360 = 272 KM. Was quite tired and very thirsty!

Found a vegetarian restaurant in Kon Tum!
Found a vegetarian restaurant in Kon Tum!

When I checked in there where 5 girls cleaning the stairs and I had to pass all of them with the girl who showed me to my room. “Hello Sir”, “Good afternoon” and “Hello” – Happy welcome!

The room at Hong My Hotel - small but clean

The room at the Hong My Hotel – small but clean and the air-con working very good. I did need it – we had 39 degrees outside today.

The next morning the girl at the reception was a bit confused. She wanted 200.000 Dong (8,20€) for the room and I told her I had two 333 beer and two Heineken as well as some Bird whatever that looked like Ice Coffee but tasted like Bubble Tea – so it went down the drain since I could really not drink more than one sip.
Somehow she did not understand nothing. After I wrote down 333 x 2 and Heineken x 2 and 1 x Bird something drink she understand and went to work. While she was busy with her calculator she walkie-talkied somebody of the stuff to check the mini bar. Than she was ready and I gave her the cash – the same second the girl on the other walkie talkie reported back from the room – saved me 5000 from the Bird drink since is was only 25.000 and not 30.000.

 
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Pictures of the second Day at Lăk 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

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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