Rach Tram

Rach Tram Travel Blog

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Beach near Rach Tram
 

From Thom Bai, I doubled back a mile or so to take another road toward the north. Its turn-off was marked by a tall unmanned watch tower flying the Vietnam flag. I believe the tower was used primarily in the dry season for spotting forest fires. Most of the top half of the island is very mountainous and well-preserved as a National Forest. I climbed up, over, and around densely wooded hills toward the village of Rach Tram near the top center of the island. My only map was a poor copy of a dive shop advertisement. It was fun seeing where random trails led - sometimes to a house, sometimes a small village.

 

 One side-track ended at a nice beach with clear and calm blue-green waters sheltered from the winds by Cape Du Bac at the top center of the island.

Spreading shredded sand crab
Several crab farms were fenced-in with net walls twenty yards from shore.  A few fishermen emerged from crude beachside huts to gawk curiously like I was an alien from another planet but they seemed friendly. A woman and young daughter spread shredded crabs across a large mat on the ground to dry in the sun. The smell was pretty rank and seemed way out of place in such an amazing tropical setting. 

 

I could see the island's western land mass and proceeded in that direction but the dirt road ended at the small village of Rach Tram. At its first hut, the road became a narrow foot path so I followed it on motorbike. It was a bit strange because everyone stopped what they were doing to watch me pass as I looked for a bridge to cross the Rach Tram River.

Rach Tram boatyard workers
Young kids cheered and screamed with excitement while many of their parents glared unwelcome stares. I found no bridge and there was no where to turn back as the trail fanned into soft sand.

 

I kept moving toward a small house under scattered palm trees near the beach as though it was my intended destination. An elder woman in a hammock returned my wave so I parked the bike to have a look around - primarily for a bridge, there had to be a bridge. There was no loop back to the road. I followed the noise of hammering nails to where workers were repairing the hull of a fishing boat. They paused work to point and stare with confused expressions. I gave them a casual nod then pretended to study the boat hull until they eventually went back to work. Still no bridge along the stretch of narrow river that I could see so I returned to the bike and doubled back through the village to the road. Somewhere there was a bridge but I never found it and had to backtrack all the way out to the main road and turn south at the watch tower - about five miles.

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Beach near Rach Tram
Beach near Rach Tram
Spreading shredded sand crab
Spreading shredded sand crab
Rach Tram boatyard workers
Rach Tram boatyard workers
Basket boat
Basket boat
Drying crab meat
Drying crab meat
View north to Cambodia
View north to Cambodia
Rach Tram
photo by: rotorhead85