Dong Xoai – Buon Ma Thout (160km by van) (elev 580m). Scenic van trip into the highlands.Points of interest: Ethnographic Museum (there are over a dozen ethnic groups in the district)
|Buon Ma Thout was the first major city captured and held by the Vietcong during the war with America. It turned the tide of the war. This is commemorated by a monument at the traffic circle in the center of town.|
|Rush hour in Boun Ma Thout is a river of two-wheeled vehicles, some with motors and the quieter and cleaner ones without!|
|The reality that the country is becoming increasingly motorized is reflected the fact that there are twenty motorcycle shops for every bicycle shop, but here (right) are three bicycle shops in a row. There are still a few smiling bicyclists to be found around town.|
|Buon Ma Thout has a compact commercial district and a good size covered market. Both offer interesting "window shopping." Rarely are you looking though a window because most shops are fully open in front and there are no windows in the covered market.|
|Around the market: vegetables (eggplant, squash, onions, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower), fruits (dragon fruit, Durian, pineapple, apple, lychee, rumbutan, grapes, lime, orange), flowers, eggs, meat, fish and more.|
|This home appliance store (left) specializes in
"Alaska" brand freezers.
LG (a Korean company) store selling TVs and other household appliances (right).
|To the right is a photo of a shop specializes in Buddhist shrines.|
|Boun Ma Thout has a number of places to eat "al fresco". Their home-style cooking offers some of the best tasting food for the price in town.|
|Adults tend to eat breakfast in restaurants and student tend to eat at the fresh air vendors. Note the size of the stolls -- common around Vietnam, they are a challenge for Westerners to fold themselves into.|
|One of my favorite features of town is the fresh fruit juice (smoothie) stands (right).|
|One of the more tranquil locations in Boun Ma Thout is the Buddhist temple grounds, which like so many temples includes a courtyard of bonsai trees..|
|At dusk the woman on the right went around the placing incenses and saying prayers at the Buddha, pavilions and other statues and shines on the temple grounds.|
|The Cao Dia religion is concentrated in the plains around the Mekong Delta but there are followers of the religion dispersed more widely. There is the temple in Boun Ma Thout.|
|A funeral procession makes it solemn way through the neighborhood.|
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