I hit the road at 8. The first 60 km was on the stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Highway I rode yesterday, so I sped through without stopping. When I passed Phoenix airstrip, I was finally getting into new territory.

It took a while for the Ho Chi Minh Highway to get good, but it gradually got more interesting. I started going up into the hills, past plantations. But there were many settlements. There were also many industrial things like warehouses, piles of rocks, and sides of hills that were removed. Vietnam is less rural than Cambodia.

The road went up, and spaces between towns opened up, with views into valleys with rivers and rice fields at the bottoms. The hills along the valleys were green, with fields going most of the way up, and trees at the top where they got too steep.

I passed several traditional minority houses. The minority villages looked poor, with small, simple houses. Some kids said hello, but not many.

Getting on the Ho Chi Minh Highway.
Getting on the Ho Chi Minh Highway.

I got up into the mountains, going up winding roads. There were no villages, or anything else. There was very little traffic. It got cool and windy. I stopped many times for photos, being very careful that Tién wouldn’t fall over again.

I rode to where Google showed the small road going into Laos, which was practically on top of the mountain. I was only 10 km from the border. There was a small minority village there with simple wooden buildings. There was indeed a small dirt road, which quickly winded behind a hill. It looked like the road got really small and rutted before it turned the corner. It probably got worse around the corner. There was nobody going down it. It would have to be an adventure for another time. I didn’t want to ride my fully loaded bike on a horrible, hilly dirt road.

The road headed towards the mountains.
The road headed towards the mountains.

The final 30 km to Kham Duc had no civilization, just scenic views. Kham Duc is a tiny town. I quickly found the incredible Be Chau Giang Hotel, which is only $10. I cleaned up, then found a place to fix my phone’s screen and replace the battery. Only $35. I had grilled chicken on the sidewalk for dinner. They guy gave me some strong wiskey.

I decided I will stay here another day to work on photos. It’s a quiet, pleasant place.

And past fields.
And past fields.
There were minority houses.
There were minority houses.
Which were fun to photograph.
Which were fun to photograph.
A scenic bridge.
A scenic bridge.
Views of the road winding up the mountains.
Views of the road winding up the mountains.
The mountains were beautiful.
The mountains were beautiful.
Traffic was light.
Traffic was light.
The road passed over rivers.
The road passed over rivers.
And looked down into valleys.
And looked down into valleys.
The road went up and up.
The road went up and up.
But there were still fields.
But there were still fields.
It took a long time, because I kept stopping for pictures.
It took a long time, because I kept stopping for pictures.
Terry
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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