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Old 06-05-2008, 06:26 AM   #61
Josh69 OP
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Buon Ma Thuot

I reached the city Buon Ma Thuot about 1.30 in the afternoon. One of the first things you see entering the town is a war monument, commemerating the entry of VC and North Vietnamese troops into the city on 10 March 1975. According to the Lonely Planet guidebook, the tank in the picture is a concrete replica. There was originally a real tank there but on the other side, facing the opposite direction, towards Saigon. When it was replaced with a concrete tank, it was turned to face Hanoi.

I remember I saw one other foreigner in B.M.T. - a guy filling up his bike at a gas station with his Vietnamese wife. He was carrying a big suitcase on the back - travelling local style :) That makes it only 8 foreigners I saw on the trip (excluding when I want to Hue).
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:55 AM   #62
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Ethnic Minorities

There are a large number of ethnic minorities in Vietnam. They don't look Vietnamese; they speak (among themselves) a different language.

From Buon Ma Thuot onwards, I'd get most of the people I saw were from a minority and were not ethnic Vietnamese. You will be seeing some pics of remote villages further north later in this trip report.

This is a village on the outskirts of B.M.T. By minority village standards, it is very deluxe. They have actually built normal brick houses behind their more traditional houses. The village name is Ako Dhong and it is home to Ede people.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:58 AM   #63
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Some of the houses looked very tidy indeed.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:01 AM   #64
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Traditional long house.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:05 AM   #65
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Away from the main village however, the dwellings were far more modest.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:14 AM   #66
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So I'd seen the Ede ethnic minority village, gone for a coffee and a cool drink and it was about 4pm. I could stay in B.M.T. city or I could press on for a little bit. I wanted to detour to the west of Route 14, taking a secondary road then a dirt road and meeting up with Route 14 again further north.

In what turned out to be a unfortunate decision from a getting-to-bed-at-a-reasonable-hour point of view but maybe not so unfortunate from an adventure touring point of view, I decided to press on to the west.

Have to continue this next episode, but here is a pic from the initial sealed section of the road - Route 681 - heading to the west of Route 14. What should come trundling down the road but an elephant!
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by roninwva
Great pics.
Do you have any trouble with the police stopping to check your papers. Seems like all I read about when people travel to South America is being stopped continually by the police just to check there paperwork.
No trouble. There was one check point way further north near the Lao border where I had to show my passport but other than that nothing. When you check into any hotel though, the hotel owners have to register you with the local police. For the average tourist and even biking in remote areas (provided you don't get to close to the Cambodia/Lao border), it's not a problem at all.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:31 AM   #68
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Fascinating

I'd love to visit, too . . . . .

For now keep the pix coming !
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:21 AM   #69
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Great RR, thanks for tagging us along.

I wonder why it is Buon Ma Thuot not Ban Me Thuoc, has the name change?.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:16 AM   #70
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Great ride report. I look forward to reading more.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #71
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More, more, more, please!!!
Excellent report so far.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh69
Bike in the waterfall car park. I just left it like that with the jacket on the seat and tank bag with another $400 camera lens inside. I did that several times during the trip. Nobody touched it.
That's a change. Once in Saigon I was riding in a cyclo mai and a couple of locals on a motorbike came alongside - the passenger grabbed my Nikon, I grabbed his arm, the bike rider hit the throttle and the cyclo driver hit the brakes.

Having significantly more mass than the bike's passenger, I stayed put.

Speeds, luckily for the would-be photographer, were low.

I miss cyclo mais and Saigon traffic. EVERY trip was an adventure.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:15 AM   #73
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Great report and some very nice pictures, can't wait for more.

Whate camera and lenses did you use?
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Old 06-05-2008, 01:59 PM   #74
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Good stuff!
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:01 PM   #75
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Nothing like going thru Siagon traffic being the front bumper on a Cyclo.
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