Two Illegal border Crossings, A Wild Ride, and Crazy People

One of the Many Bridges I crossed in the Central Highlands, Vietnam

One of the Many Bridges I crossed in the Central Highlands, Vietnam

I set off today on a pretty unorthodox path up the Vietnam Central Highlands. There are some well-worn roads north from Da Lat or Buon Ma Thout (where I was yesterday), like the AH17. But I tend to take alternate paths (and I’d been told many times the AH17 is a carriage ride through hell right now due to road works).

So I took a different path. Continue reading

Kopi Luwak – It’s Shit

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is a category of coffee produced from….(ahem)….the excrement of Asian jungle cats called Civets. It’s also known as Weasel Coffee and Cat Shit Coffee.

Who was the first person to think…..’hmm, I bet that might taste good?’ And who were the idiots that believed his lies and tried it next? Continue reading

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Maria Enjoying the View and the Day - Road to Bai Dai

Maria Enjoying the View and the Day – Road to Bai Dai, Vietnam

My friend Keren and I were recently discussing how the people we meet on the road can shape the opinions we have of certain locations. And while I agree in principal, I try to separate those personal interactions from my views on a town. It’s not always easy, but in the case of Nha Trang, it was.

I love the people I met. And now, as I leave, I can tell you with equal confidence, I do not like Nha Trang.

Cruise ships, amusement parks, a wannabe Miami Beach strip, and lots of Russians. Continue reading

Mui Ne to Lien Huong

Sand Dunes Outside Mui Ne

Sand Dunes Outside Mui Ne

But wait a minute; I thought Vietnam was all jungle??

Today was the greatest day on a motorbiking in my life. It was spectacular for these reasons: landscape, solitude, variety, and the physical and mental challenges it presented.

There is a quick route from Mui Ne to Lien Huong. I didn’t take it.

Google maps says to get on the A1 and head north. Everybody knows the A1 is the least desirable way to travel Vietnam for reasons of traffic, the lunacy of truck drivers, and unpredictable construction or road conditions. Besides, the last time I took Google Maps advice, I ended up in a Vietnamese Prison. Continue reading