Rach Tram Travel Blog› entry 52 of 94 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.