Kon Tum Travel Blog› entry 11 of 11 › view all entries
There is a solid line between that which is â€śthrillingâ€ť and that which is â€ťterrifyingâ€ť. Riding along a muddy, freshly-drenched dirt road on a motorbike clearly meant for concrete is completely the latter, and not the former at all.
It was worth it, though. In short, we were out visiting the minority villages when the rain hit. We ducked into someone's shack at the side of the farmfield â€“ nobody was using it at the time, and these folk don't mind. The rain picked up like heck, creating a furious roar on the tin roof. We could see rice terraces, and gardens from inside, the view was great. However, it muddied up the road for our ride back, and I still haven't quite recovered from THAT experience yet.
The people in this region are great. Between Pleiku and Kon Tum, we stopped to take pictures of a rice field. Some locals caught sight of us and ran out to drag us to their place for tea. They were taking pictures of us with their cell phone cameras like they'd never seen a foreigner. We didn't have time and had to go on, but it definitely put a smile on us. We also visited a scrap collector, who collects shrapnel and metal from the hills. Very dangerous job. People die. We took some pictures of old rusty bullets, shells and terrifyingly heavy pieces of shrapnel from bombs. We also got to see some of the stuff people make out of it â€“ two huge bomb shells formed the posts on a gate across the street. At the cafe where we had breakfast today, scrap metal was used to make strange, convoluted statues.
The minority villages have been fantastic. The Bahnar people have these longhouses with gigantic, thatched roofs that rise above all surrounding scenery â€“ you can see them for miles away! We also got to meet an old man who has a very strange, Seussian bamboo mallet instrument, which he played for us and which we got to play. Quite remarkable.