Vietnam Roadtrip - The Central Highlands
Hello everyone. I am going to split this post up in two. One before we arrived in Hoi An, and one after. Picture comments do not work with firefox 8.0. Use Internet explorer or opera instad. or Firefox 3.x

Before arriving to Hoi An

We're still on the road! Today we arrived in a little town called Kham Duc. I am really tired.. The last 3 days we've been driving all day long, starting at 9am untill 3 or 4pm. Due to good road conditions and good weather we could get all the way from Quy Nhon to Kon Tum. That's about 240 kilometers. The way is the destiny, and so we're driving all day long, and going to bed early. Highway number one's road condition is really bad. The weather was going to turn as well, and so we decided to add two nights to our trip and go through the central highlands!

I think that was one of the best decisions I made in the last couple of weeks. It's sure more expensive, but so worth it. Tom, our guide does a great job, as well.

One problem that I have, is that in the past couple of days so many things happened that I barely remember what exactly I wanted to tell you. It's like this with the whole trip. I am beginning to wonder what's better. Going on Holidays for a month, or longer. I have no clue.

Anyway, today was great. Kon Tum, a mid-sized city in the central highlands wasn't really too exciting or beautiful. A good reason to go ahead! Today we crossed the mountains north of Kon Tum and started to drive on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the trail which Vietnamese Solders used to deliver supplies from the north to the south. Ho Chi Minh's history is truly interestign and totally worth readin up on Wikipedia. Anyway, the road was in best shape, unlike anything else we've seen in the last three days! Going straight over the mountains, through the jungle. Sadly I couldn't look around too much because Tom set the speed really fast, and it was quite challanging to keep up with him. Fun tho. Windy roads, serpentines going through the jungle. Over huge waterfalls, on the edge of big cliffs wigh amazing views. Also the central highlands are less populated then the coast, and so the traffic is slower. But there are crazy bus drivers all over the place anyway!

I'm pretty suprised we didn't have any incident today, since so far, nearly every day something happened to our motorbik. The tires are pretty much in pain, because of the roads. Flat tires are nothing special, and fixing them isn't a big problem either, depending where you are. Yesterday we had a bigger problem tho.. I guess something happened to our ignition plug, Tom couldn't really explain.

We'll arrive to Hoi An tomorrow evening where we'll spend about 2 nights untill we both head north. I think that's where Emilie and I will go differetn ways again. I am going to visit a friend in Dong an, and she is heading straight to Hanoi. Also, I am not sure what I am going to do next...
People told me to visit the Halong bay, which is sure without question by far the most touristic area in Vietnam. I am sick of organized tours after Saigon and Na Trang, and probably won't bother to spend 150 bucks on a stupid tour, no matter what they offer me.. Sapa is cold i've been told, so I might just as well go to Lao directly! We'll see ;)

So, tomorrow.. One last day of riding the motorbike, doing the last 150 kilometers, out of 680. I am pretty proud on myself. I have never been a big motorbike driver, but after four days I am pretty much as any other Vietnamese driver. I sure don't have to mention that a driving license is something redundant here. You have a motorbike, you drive.

After arriving in Hoi An

So we finally arrived. Comming down from the central highlands, this is just a blast again. There are so many tourists! Everybody comes to Hoi An! It's a little city, five kilometers away from the coast, which is a big magnet to tourists. Probably because the tailors! You heard right, tailors!

Hoi An has about 100 custom tailor shops which are desperate do tail you anything you every wanted to have! "Armani, Gucci, Boss. We do everthing for you, no problem"
That's why someone would come to Hoi An. And yes, of course there are some beaches as well. A good place to visit between your fitting appointements!

After arriving here, we found a good palce to stay and then directly went to the most famous tailor in town to get something neat to dress.
First I was thinking to buy a full suit, but then figured out I do not really need it. Having to choose between 200 different models I got in a place where I could not really decide anything anymore.. So I just went with a stylish coat. Today we had two fittings at 11 am and 4 pm, inbetween we spend time on the beach doing nothing! ;) Relaxxing.

However, the road trip is over and yet didn't leave my head. It was an awesome experience and I am thinking about going to Hanoi by motorbike myself. Without a guide this time. I don't know how it will work out, but I am sure I'll figure out a way.

In general we're both happy with what we got for our money. We had a guide who could tell us stories, share his history and the history of his country. Who could show us around, translate, help us out with problems and recommend nice places to visit!

I will upload a bunch of pictures with comments worth to read this time. I think the comments might me the actual content of the post. I just noticed that the latest Mozilla Firefox does not work with my comments anymore. If you cannot see the comments under the pictures, please use Internet explorer or Firefox 3.x or Opera.

Tomorrow I am taking a six hour long train ride to Dong Hoi, the town where my friends brother lives. I am going there and will figure out what to do next! See you soon,

Entry by Joe from Valhalla
On 24.11.2011 at 09:17
Hey Luke,

amazing reports and pictures! Everything looks just like in Battlefield Vietnam ;) Hope you enjoy your last weeks in asia.

Oh and PS:
Pls get in contact with me as soon as you can. We gotta discuss some issues like New Year's eve and stuff.

Alright, take care!

Reply by Luke
On 24.11.2011 at 13:08
Thanks! Will do! I tried to reach you the last couple of days! It would be sure helpfull if you came online in Skype sometimes ))


Entry by Mateusz from Poland
On 22.11.2011 at 16:26

ALe fajowe :D nie umiales zalatac dziury w kole :PP nuacze cie :D pozdro
Entry by Liza from Russia
On 20.11.2011 at 20:57
I really like this post!I can't even decide what to start my comment with as i want to say so much))
Well, i have a nice advice for you, buy a voice recorder to help yourself remember places you visited and emotions you got ;))
"Windy road, serpantines going through the jungle" - sounds so good)You're my German Indiana Jones ;))
The next emotion i had reading your story was "oh my god!!", what a wild country are you visiting? they don't have driving licences, it's crazy))
I really can't imagine your new stylish coat, but you made a good advertisement and i'm very interested, looking forward to see you wearing it)
Spend more time swimming and lying on the beach. It's not that much time left and the weather in Germany will not be that warm to allow you that)And also i reccomend you to wear shorts more often, your legs are absolutely not tanned on the photos ;))
You made photos of strange plants/fruits or seeds, what is that and why do they grow hole fields of it?))
Vietnam is such an exotic place, it's definitely another world. Simple houses among the jungle. Looking at the photos i can't totally believe that they're real, made by you. And most of all i like the photo with a boat, looks like a desert island))
Have fun in your trip and come back sooner!)
Kisses from Russia
Your Liza