At home when you flash your headlights to an oncoming car, it means “ after you, be my guest”. Here in Vietnam it means “get out of my way, I’m coming through” usually at some Kms/hr over the speed limit.
Overtaking is interesting and Best tackled by assuming the the car behind the vehicle coming towards you is going to pull out and overtake at the same time that you do.
Big beats small! So bikes will always find a way of avoiding you, even though you are surrounded by a thousand of them. Just don’t stop, because you will never get moving again.
Everyone hoots their horn all the time, even the mopeds. It is a cacophony of sound. We have been instructed to hoot and honk when approaching any and every vehicle, so they know you are there. The lorries and buses have a ululating horn, and I want one. It commands attention!
No doubt there will be more examples as we carry on!
But today was a another gentle day of just over 200kms from Kon Tum to Buon Ma Thuot, following Ho Chi Minh Road again, through the central highlands. The route also allowed us to see the Bien Ho lake, once a volcanic crater, known locally as “T’Nung” or “Ea Nueng” which means “a sea on the mountain”
There are several different stories and legends told about the lake’s origin. Kinh people say the lake is so deep that it reaches out to the East Sea. Rumour has it that if logs of wood are cast into Bien Ho Lake people can fish them out of the Quy Nhon Wharf 170km away and sell them. Some local people earn a living by fishing on Bien Ho, providing hundreds of tons of fish to Pleiku City every year.
Well that was after the slight delay for Neil this morning who had managed to “temporarily misplace” the keys to the boot of the car the night before and needed the assistance of a local welder and an angle grinder in order to free the boot. Don’t say we can’t fix any eventuality on this trip! Olivia managed to find a sunny spot to supervise and they caught up with the rest of the group in no time.
Talking of support vehicles, when asked how much of contents of Bruno, our Tour Director’s vehicle, is medical equipment, Dr Luc said “virtually all of it”. A travelling hospital then! Not just the cars that we need to think about looking after on these trips, we always ensure we have medical support every step of the way too. So all our drivers and navigators are in very safe hands with Dr Luc, Bruno and this vehicle.
Not sure the same could be said of that one though. Maybe next year?
We also stopped to see the impressive Minh Thanh Pagoda. Built just a few years ago, this large and splendid Buddhist temple is surrounded by water features and statues. Its proudest feature is a gorgeous nine tiered pagoda and fearsome dragons curl up from the corners of the roof of the main temple building.
One fun feature was working out the emotions of the 18 carved Buddhas. The most animated was “Mr Angry”.
Lunch was next to the charming Khu Du Lich lake featuring pedalos and fake blossoms
Not quite sure what Alan was so surprised about here! Sitting with Julie, David and Jan
And our final shot today is of Tracy, our Vietnam agent who is always on hand to help