Oct 142009
Being Groped on a Moving Motorcycle: Central Highlands, Part 8

Well. I hope you all have been reading parts one through seven of this Central Highlands motorcycle saga, because that context is important to understand the full dimensions of what happened next.

It was the evening of day three of Lulu and my four days on a motorcycle across Vietnam. I had just cried from exhaustion after traipsing through four jungle waterfalls by the border with Cambodia, and Lulu was [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 7: Fury and Waterfalls

This is the point of the four day motorcycle ride through Vietnam’s Central Highlands (see my expression to the right) where things started to go downhill.

For hours, Lulu and I drove deeper and deeper into the Vietnamese jungle, towards the famed four waterfalls. The day wore on and the sun pounded down. Lulu pointed, as we drove, to a clearing in the thick green. “Cambodia just over there,” [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 6: Granite Work, Paprika, and Pepper

From Lak Lac, our motorcycle purred Northwest, towards the Vietnamese border with Cambodia. We were getting deep into the countryside, headed steadily towards the jungle and waterfall-filled Yok Don National Park.

One of the most touching moments of the trip occurred as we pulled over on a mountain shoulder near a towering heap of granite blocks. A lone man swung a weighty hammer over and over in the sun, and [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 5: Lak Lac

“You want do homestay for first night?” Lulu asked as we wound down the mountain road. We had left Dalat at eight in the morning, and it was now five pm. My motorcycle-sore rear and I said simultaneously, “Any bed is fine!”

On the edge of a mountain we pulled over and Lulu pointed to a sparkle amid the green far below. “Lak Lac down there,” he said. [...Read More!]

Oct 132009
Dragonfruit, Road Hellos, and Homework Toiletpaper

The road wove on through Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Inside the misty blue plastic bag strapped atop our backpacks, I could vaguely make out a spiny magenta shape. What was it? Lulu stopped the motorcycle at a mountain cafe and pulled it out, wiping the condensation from its plastic cage: DRAGONFRUIT.

How is this fruit not the rockstar of all food in all the world? It is ravishingly sexy [...Read More!]

Oct 132009
Central Highlands 3: Ethnic Minority Villages

In the Central Highlands of Vietnam, there are thirty-one different “Ethnic Minority” villages. In the Americas, we refer to these groups as Indigenous Peoples. Each of these Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam speaks its own language, has its own customs. Each has very little to do with Vietnamese country or city life.

As Lulu put it, “Ethnic Minority don’t like Vietnamese to be near. If Vietnamese move close, Ethnic Minority [...Read More!]

Oct 132009
Vietnam’s Central Highlands 2: Greenly GORGEOUS

For the second half of the second day on the road, Lulu and I wove slowly up, up, up and through the lush green mountains of Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

To clarify, I cannot drive a car, and I sure as heck cannot drive a motorcycle. I was on the back of Lulu’s machine, letting the expert of nine years (and over 150 such journeys) do the put-putting for both of us. [...Read More!]

Oct 132009
Across Vietnam's Central Highlands, Part 1 Holy sweet heaven and earth. After four days on motorcycle and foot through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, I am ridiculously thankful for the experience and the new understandings gained, and ridiculously happy to now be in Nha Trang, showered, reuniting with old-new friends, and chilling the heck out.

After the initial day of test-driving the motorcycle through Dalat’s immediate surroundings, Lulu and I strapped our packs onto the [...Read More!]