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Old 06-16-2008, 09:26 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysailor
:fre aky:slur pWhat more needs to be said! Great report!


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Old 06-16-2008, 09:28 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery Goat
oh man, you went to BMT and no obligatory visit to Trung Nguyen?

great report.


Don't worry - stopped for a coffee at least twice a day, then there was the coffee with breakfast and a coffee before dinner :) I should have gone to the plantation/factory though. Next time.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:42 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Josh69
Don't worry - stopped for a coffee at least twice a day, then there was the coffee with breakfast and a coffee before dinner :) I should have gone to the plantation/factory though. Next time.
just yankin yer chain man.

there's no better coffee in the world to me.

you've got a great photographic eye, your pics are taking me back.

speaking of breakfast.

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:02 PM   #154
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The Pictures and Story are Great Josh!


More please



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Old 06-17-2008, 08:00 AM   #155
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Great write up and pics. Really enjoying the culture and many smiles. Such ashame our world has borders.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:55 AM   #156
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The Ho Chi Minh Trail continued
Around 17 degrees North

Some pics all within about 15km of the last landslide photos - really pretty

Lots of jungle:





The road - this is typical single lane (if two cars were passing, one would have to pull over) but sealed. And no traffic.

That whole 30 mins I spent clearing the landslide in the previous post, not one single vehicle went past me.






You can see the road and another landslide off in the distance:




And looking back the way I have just come, more jungle and a landslide over the road.




With all those landslides, you need a few workers to do road maintenance. Don't know what these guys were doing though, this bit of road is pretty good.



A bit further along and a stream near a village:


An isolated house



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Old 06-18-2008, 04:26 AM   #157
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Awesome trips, great images. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:46 AM   #158
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waiting for more...


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Old 06-18-2008, 08:55 AM   #159
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This part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail is very remote - there are no hotels, no shops, no cars. There is a scattering of small villages - everybody here is Montagnard (ethnic minorities). The only Vietnamese seemed to be soldiers manning the many small army camps; every village had an army camp and there were a few in the middle of nowhere too. Remember this part of the trail is very close to Laos.

Driving along I overtook some people and stopping near their village, turned around and took this picture:




Here is their village:
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:59 AM   #160
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A few short minutes later, this guy came out to say hello. Well I think he was saying hello as we didn't have a common language, but we shook hands :)




And a close up of houses in this same village.




Leaving the village and driving on a little further, some more jungle as far as the eye can see.

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Old 06-18-2008, 09:22 AM   #161
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Your photos, especially of the people, are great. I hope I can ride this area someday before it gets too modernized.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:28 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by AK2theWorld
Your photos, especially of the people, are great. I hope I can ride this area someday before it gets too modernized.
I think you will have a good few years yet before there are too many changes in this area :)

There are just too many mountains/too much jungle in this area for it ever to be a main north-south route to rival Highway 1.

The Ho Chi Minh East Trail or Highway 15, farther east and near the existing Hwy 1 - now that could become a major road.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #163
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Map

Area Map

Here's a map of the area which I meant to post before, showing the major routes and also the locations where I took the pics :)



Oops, that should read Khe Sanh
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:00 PM   #164
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Day 5 - Tues 13 May 08 continued.
Late afternoon on the Ho Chi Minh Trail


OK, continuing on from the pics I posted earlier I kept on riding North along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The scenery was really good :) Jungle everywhere, mainly the Vietnamese ethnic minorities when I did come across a village.

After a while I came to something I hadn't seen for a few hours. A big village - with a SHOP!! I stopped the bike and went in to buy some water and some sweets.

As I said before - I hardly saw any westerners the whole trip and there were none at all on this section. So I was probably the western shopper of the week or the month when I stopped off to buy drinks - so one of the fellow shoppers didn't mind having her photo taken:



Continuing along another small Mongagnard settlement with traditional houses. Despite the isolation, everybody seems to have electicity - and with electricity you can get a TV and satellite dish.




Check out the haircut on the little one.



Other houses in that same settlement; it is about 5pm in the afternoon here.




A short distance further down the road.




I continued along this road for about an hour more. Being so remote there were no hotels or any settlements bigger than a village, but I was guessing that they would still have some sort of guesthouse to stay in.

I reached the village of TANG KY. The next village according to the map was a good way on, so that's where I decided to stop for the night.

Apparently in Vietnamese "Tang Ky" means literally "increase kilograms" Maybe it means get fat!

I pulled up at the village shop and made a hands beside the head sleeping sign. These girls at the Kang Ky village shop got the idea and showed me to a guesthouse down a dirt track through the village.

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:17 PM   #165
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My home for the night

Here's my home for the night - it was the house of a local Montagnard family. The whole house is 1 large room used for eating, watching TV, singing karaoke, sleeping, drinking and socialising. That night I slept on mats on the floor, with the rest of the family.

I couldn't work out if they regularly used the house as a guesthouse or not (I can't speak Vietnamese and nobody there spoke English). Regardless I felt very welcome. The head of the household didn't want any money the next day for me staying the night and them giving me dinner, but I made him take VND100,000 anyway.

Here's the one room house - outside communal toilet and outside communal bath.




Here is the head of the houshold; going by the number of certificates on the wall, he must have done a lot for the local party. Everybody had a few beers over dinner. He might look 50-something, but you see that satellite TV and karaoke machine in the house. Well he still had enough energy to get up at 3am and switch it on to the karaoke channel!


Luckily I had anticipated having a bit of trouble getting to sleep laying on a floor mat, so I took a sleeping tablet and the 3am karaoke satellite channel didn't bother me too much....



The next door neighbour.




My bike parked out the front. Everybody else had a smaller bike which was low enough to park under the house, but mine was too tall.




That night after dinner, some Vietnamese teachers in the local school found me and we had a few cups of tea - one of them could speak English too. There were 3 x married couples in the teacher compound plus one other single teacher to spoke English. The teacher-couples thought a foreigner turning up was a big laugh - they were joking about which one of their wives I'd like to take home for the night
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