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Vietnam flagPhoto essay:
Vietnam Bicycle Tour: Imperial Roots (Central)


Kon Tum - An Khe (110km, 66mi)

Points of interest: Bahnar minority area, pepper, coffee, cassava, cashew and rubber plantations, Bien Lake, and pine forests.

  pepper growing These are the elements of pepper growing. From around Pleiku to Buon Ma Thot is the pepper capital of Vietnam. pepper growing
  Sandalwood bark is drying on the roadside (right).  It will be used to make incense.


Sandalwood bark is drying on the roadside
  Cassava Cassava is also dried along the road, but in these photo is it drying in a front yard (left) and being sorted and cleaned by a family (right) Cassava
  typical house This is a fairly typical house (left) along the road, but there were also a fair number of modern mansions -- eight to ten times as big.  Enormous hay stacks (right) in the side yard are also very common. hay stack
  road in the Central Highlands For this stretch of the trip the surrounding countryside was still pretty rugged, but the road followed a route that rolled much more gently.  You could make a photo essay just on the interesting loads being carried by bicycles, motorcycles and tractors.  This motorize tricycle is carrying a couple of large cabinets (right). motorize tricycle
   Bien Lake, near Pleiku Bien Lake, near PleikuBien Lake, near Pleiku, has a garden and pavilion for relax -- if the crowds are not too big.. Pavillion, Bien Lake, near Pleiku
  Selling fresh corn Selling corn: fresh (left) and roasted (right). Selling roasted corn
  Beating something  
  Fish ponds Fish ponds (left) and brick factory (right). brick factory
  High school students arriving at school for the afternoon session High school students arriving at school for the afternoon session. High school students arriving at school for the afternoon session
  High school students arriving at school for the afternoon session   High school students arriving at school for the afternoon session
  Kitchen - preparing lunch Mr. Hung (right) pitches-in in the kitchen at a lunch stop. Hung did everything; drive the van, handle logistics, take people shopping, and generally made sure everything worked -- what ever it took.  
  Forbidden road Jarai village near Pleiku The map shows a numbered road that bypasses Pleiku and cuts off dozens of miles off the trip to An Khe.  Except for being dirt, a lot of scenery along the road was similar to the day before, include ethnic minority communities and rong houses.  As are the rules we never left the road and went into the communities.  But for reasons that aren't clear, and apparently not having anything to do with the ethnic communities, the local authorities (we aren't sure what 'authority' they were) didn't want us (foreigners) to take this road and escorted us back to Pleiku (arrgh), but not before treating us to an superb lunch and countless shots of rice wine.  We are still trying to figure it out. Traditional men's rang house, Jarai ethnic group, Kontom
  Temple, An Khe Shrine, Buddhist Temple, An Khe The Buddhist temple in central An Khe is said to be a memorial to King Quang Trung.  He is a local 18th C hero. From a peasant upbringing around An Khe, he rose to be a great general who unified the north and south of Vietnam and became emperor of a unified Vietnam.  As Emperor he used the family name: Nguyen Hue. Shrine, Buddhist Temple, An Khe

Return to Kon Tum Continue to Pleibroum

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