Ho Chi Minh Trail, Viet Nam ~ Day One: From Hoi An to Kham Duc

The night before we embark on a big adventure — namely a motorbike ride form Hoi An in the center of the country, across the Central Highlands of Vietnam I have mixed feelings about this upcoming trip.  Of course, I am excited about the adventure, but, on the other hand, I (P) am a bit nervous too.  
The Central Highlands are renowned for their beauty.  This is a 5 day trip, over 1,000 kilometers, which entails at least 5 to 6 hours of riding per day.  We have a rough idea of which cities we may stop in, each night of a 6 day trip.
Our destination is Dalat, “the city of eternal Spring”.
Reading another traveler’s blog about this route, the overall message is of “Oh shit, I don’t want to get lost in the middle of the jungle or have my motorbike breakdown.  This writer’s solution was to hire a guide to go with him (at $75 per day)  as well as a motorbike mechanic (more $$).  He also provides a whole laundry list of “must have items, such as   spare plugs, belts etc… ” all sorts of motorcycle repair solutions which he considers categorically required.
Oy! We don’t have any of these things.  In fact, we don’t have a map.  Hmmmm…At the hostel, I meet an Italian woman, who is about to embark on the long journey, solo!  I also think of my friend  Brook, fearless adventuress, probably surfing some waves in Indonesia.  We met in Nicaragua, and she was always showing up at our door, covered in scrapes and bruises from spills on her bike.  Did that stop her? Absolutely not!
So I don’t have a map nor tools to repair the bikes, but  I DO have Ben and Adam.  So, I figure, I am pretty set.  Both are highly resourceful, good problem solvers.  What more could a girl need? (well, maybe a map…)
Outside our hostel in Hoi An, getting ready to leave for the big trip along the HCM Trail all the way to Dalat.
Peanut season is from January to April 20th. We are just catching the last harvest. Farmers are spreading the freshly picked peanuts out to dry in the sun, in front of their homes.
Once we get out of Hoi An, the scenery reflects the rice fields which blanket the countryside in a luminous shade of lime green.
After a few hours in the full sun, when we cross a bridge over this river. Peta insists on a swim before we continue on the road. Good call!
Refreshed and ready to continue on the road….
The great advantage of traveling in Viet Nam is that one can get iced Vietnamese coffee in every town in small cafes on the side of the road. We alternate Cafe sua da with sugarcane juice and coconut water…
Slash and burn agriculture is a traditional method of exploiting the land. Viet Nam faces a high rate of deforestation as the economic growth of Viet Nam leads to increased demand for food source, thus the need for more land to be converted from forest to agricultural land.
Twisting and turning through the mountains, we stop to stretch on the side of the road in the shade.
If the view is good, pull off the road to get a better vista.

Stopping for fresh coconut water in one of the many many little storefronts along the road.
Always time to snuggle with a puppy…
How cute are these water buffalo wallowing in the cool water and mud?
We often stop to see and interact with animals along the way. For us, one of the great joys of the journey!
This region is known for a variety of commodities: one of them being rubber, collected from rubber trees.
We see numerous rubber tree plantations along the way.
Day one:  A long and tiring day, but a good start to the trip.    We pull into a small town at end of the day, and find a small hotel for $15 – clean, comfy beds, hot shower, AC…  Then a short walk down the street we smell something delicious: grilled quail for dinner.

5 thoughts on “Ho Chi Minh Trail, Viet Nam ~ Day One: From Hoi An to Kham Duc

  1. Sharon Rosenzweig

    Adventure suits you – – you look radiant. It seems you acquired a map at some point, with just one road! Is this going to be a round trip? It looks like you’re traveling light even by your standards. I’m not going to worry about you and the menfolk. I hear the people are friendly…

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Well thank you Sharon!

      Not a round trip no…we are heading South all the way to eventually the Mekong Delta. The First week will be via motorbikes.

      Definitely traveling ultra light… who wants a big backpack on a motorbike? Not us.

      Everyone we meet has been friendly and helpful too.

  2. Pingback: Slipping comfortably into life in Hoi An, Viet Nam – Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek

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