Time: 7 hours
Route rating: 8/10
Today was to be the longest and at points most remote ride of the trip by some distance so we got up early to set off. The final destination we had in mind was Kham Duc and we wanted to reach Kon Tum by lunch to stock up on food and fuel before getting on the Ho Chi Minh highway.
We were making good headway in the morning when disaster struck and my accelerator cable snapped again! The previous mechanic must have done a shoddy job and I was again stuck not able to accelerate. Fortunately in Vietnam you’re never far from a mechanic and I was able to wheel my bike down the road to a mechanic who fixed the previous ones mistakes.
After this quick pit stop we were back on the road. The road we were on was well off the beaten track and subsequently was delightfully quiet. As we sped past the locals wooden houses with thatched roofs they came out to watch us drive past with a mixture of curiosity and amusement on their faces. The highlight of the morning was when we drove past a school just as the kids were leaving and they ran over to the road cheering and waving at us. One brave lad put out his hand and I gave him a moving high five.
The road took us through tiny villages and it was fascinating seeing the many different houses and buildings. My favourite building was a rong which is a traditional community building with a ridiculously large thatched roof.
After a lunch and pit stop at Kham Duc we picked up AH17 the Ho Chi Minh highway which we then followed for the rest of the day.
Ho Chi Minh Highway
The Ho Chi Minh Highway is a road that stretches from the north all the way south along Vietnam. It follows the old Hi Chi Minh trail which was used as a supply route for the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam war. It is a great alternative to Highway 1 for those looking to go from north to south (or south to north) along Vietnam as it is has a fraction of the amount of lorries/buses and takes you through more beautiful remote countryside.
We arrived into Kham Duc and found a little Nha Nghi for just 150,000VND (£5) for the night. The rooms cleanliness was definitely questionable but at that cheap price we didn’t feel the need to ask those questions. Again there is not much in the realm of tourism in Kham Duc but we had a great evening eating and drinking here. We found a place that did the best Banh Mi I had in the whole of Vietnam. The bread was fresh, pate was delicious, meat was well BBQ’d and it came with a healthy dollop of homemade mayonnaise (no other Banh my I had came with mayo). It was so good that as soon as I finished my first I went back and ordered a second. If anyone reading this is travelling to Kham Duc I implore you to go there for a Banh Mi, you will not be disappointed…
After this culinary delight we found a bia hoi (place that sells cheap fresh draft beer) on the corner and spent the night drinking and eating with some locals. Their English was brilliant and we spent the night laughing and drinking far too much of the £1 a jug beer.
For all sections of the trip click here