Easy Rider trip - Dalat to Moc Bai

Trip Start Jun 01, 2007
Trip End Jun 01, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, June 29, 2007

After a few sleeper trains and long bus journeys we decided to head to the Cambodian border on the back of 2 Honda 100cc's.
We met up with 2 guys in Dalat, Mr Hien and Stephane - 2 founder members of the "'Easy Rider's''. A group of guys who bring tourists all over Vietnam on the back of their motor bikes.  
So early on Sunday morning we packed up the bags  and headed off. It was a relief not to be on another bus and with the wind blowing on ur face and the backpack acting as a pillow u wouldnt notice ur bum getiing numb!
We did alot of travelling the first day, first around Dalat city stopping off at some buddhist temples, minority villages and local houses but the aim was to get down out of the mountains and do most of the site seeing on Day 2 and 3. We were happy enough sitting back and taking in the scenery.
On Monday morning our first stop was to a local house to see silk worms in action, spinning cocoons of silk. We pulled up outside the house to be greeted by a family row. Things were just heating up when we arrived so Mr Hien and Stephane went in to cool things down. Myself and Col were a bit weary about heading in but I think we were a bit of a distraction for them. Inside there were about 8-9 shelves made out of wood covered in silk worms forming cocoons.  Once they form the cocoon they are taken to the silk factory where they are put into boiling water, the silk is seperated and the worm is chucked in a bucket to be eaten later! The silk is then put onto coil rings, dried out and dyed.
After the visit to the house we headed to the silk factory to have a look at this in action.  It was pretty cool seeing the whole process from start to finish. Bought a lovely silk scarf and Col bought a tie.
After here we visited a rice wine making factory/shed where we nearly knocked oursleves out with the taste of pure alcohol, a blacksmith making tools for the local farmers, another budhist temple, rubber and tea plantations and to 2 women making bamboo baskets. A pretty action packed day!

On the last day we headed to the Cu Chi tunnels, one of the most famous battlegrounds of the Vietnamese war. These were amazing. First we went and saw a video of the Vietnamese war where you can see B52's dropping strings of bombs and villagers running from cover. It was odd cause we could hear the gunfire in the film and also from the nearby firing range where we went and paid $1 per bullet to shoot and AK 47 rifle. Oh my god they were so loud and unbelievably powerful. My ears were ringing for about 30 mins afterwards.
All around the area there swimming pool sized holes in the grounds labelled "B-52 crater'.
The tunnels are about 75 miles long and include kitchens, `meeting rooms and an operating theatre. The tunnels have been widened in parts (for the American tourists!)  and illuminated. We headed down into them for about 60m. We had to crawl on our hands and knees for parts of it. It was pretty hard going and the sweat ran from both of our faces. There was barely any air and most of it was in darkness. We came up at the end gasping for air and covered in dust!
We then had a sample of some tapioca dipped in salt andcrushed peanuts - this is what the soldiers ate when they were fighting. After tasting it I realised how they stayed so thin!
Once out of the tunnels we washed off and headed towards the Cambodian border. We had about 3 hours to make it. It was lovely though cause the sun was shinning and the wind was drying the sweat up from the tunnels.
However, this all changed. We ran into our first monsoon rain storm. With 3 hours to make it to the border in torrential rain and wind, on the back of a Honda 100 cc and 2 tour guides not having a clue where we were going it wasn't looking good!
We made it though, just about! Once we arrived at the border it was mayhem. Thank god we had Stephane to sort everything out for us, he did a bit of asking around and sorted out where we got our visas and a car to take us from the border up to Phnomh Penh. So we said our goodbyes to the 2 lads and headed off!

Day 3
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