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Jamie's Global Adventures

Central Highlands - Easy Riding

VIETNAM | Thursday, 12 March 2009 | Views [1181]

Originally, Sebastian and I planned on riding the bus to all of our destinations in South Vietnam. It’s not a bad way to travel, but we wanted to venture off the standard tourist trail and see some different sights. What better way to do that than on the back of old motorcycles driven by knowledgeable and friendly locals. They call themselves Easy Riders and they were certainly a highlight of our trip.

Quick Highlights:

  • The guides – Our guides were Tony and Tho. Both have been easy riding since 1992 and have endless stories about their adventures around Vietnam. Tony’s English came with a bit of an Australian accent and plenty of humorous Aussie slang. Tho didn’t speak (or sleep) much, but he made sure we were very comfortable our entire trip. Almost too comfortable, insisting we choose a hotel over a village home-stay.  
  • The scenery – We went from sea to pine forest mountains to lush valleys to desert sand dunes and back to the sea. The highlands are very beautiful, with Dalat getting up to 1800 meters above sea level. It felt like being in parts of Oregon or Northern California.
  • The stops – Almost every half an hour we would stop to rest our sore rumps and take in the sights. These included a brick making factory, wood workers shop, several villages of ethnic minorities (M’nong and Kaha), a silk factory, fruit stands, pagodas, churches, waterfalls, and more. We wouldn’t have seen any of these things from the bus. One sight was particularly cool – The Crazy House of Dalat. Hang Nga (as it’s known in Vietnamese) looks like it belongs in Barcelona. It still functions as a hotel, with each room having a separate theme based around the design of the fireplace.
  • The food – Anytime a local is picking the food, you’re in for an excellent meal. So many different dishes, each with a unique taste that all blends together so well. Tho promised us we’d each gain two kilos during our time with him. He didn’t disappoint.

If our schedules and budgets allowed it, we would have extended our trip with the Easy Riders. Seeing the back-roads of the Mekong Delta on a motorcycle would be an amazing experience. I guess we’ll save that for the next trip.

Tags: easy riders, mountains, tours

 

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