Sunday, Jan. 17th (Kon Tum to Dak To)

  • We all woke up feeling worse for wear after the wedding celebration the night before.
  • Cory and Dries went to pick up Cory’s motorbike then went out for some breakfast.
  • I stayed behind in the room to do a workout and take a cold shower in an attempt to reset my system.
  • Checked out of the hotel at Noon planning to relax with some tea for an hour or two before hitting the road to Dak To which is only an hour away.
  • Meanwhile, we got a message from a girl named Yu Len that we had met at the wedding the night before.
  • She invited us to have coffee at Hien Vi, a small cafe in her village with a beautiful location overlooking the Song Dak Bla river next to a scenic suspension bridge.
  • We met up with Yu Len and her friend Mika, who was also at the wedding, and spent the next 4 hours drinking, eating, and chatting. Even with their minimal English and our next-to-nothing Vietnamese, it was still quite easy to joke and laugh together without any awkwardness.
  • At some point a big pitcher of lightly alcoholic fruit juice was set on the table along with one shot glass. In Vietnam, the social drinking isn’t always one personal drink per person like we do in the West. Here, when it’s your turn, you drink the shot then pour another for the next person (we were scolded for forgetting to pour a few times which is considered rude). You can relax with the shot in front of you for a little while but wait too long and someone is bound to apply a little peer pressure.
  • By 5pm we were way past our intended departure time and finally said goodbye.
  • We returned to the hotel to strap our bags onto the motorbikes then hit the road.  
  • Most of the drive was done in the dark due to our late departure, but we arrived at Phu Gia hotel roughly an hour later with no incidents.
  • Found some street food to hold us over then spent some time relaxing in the room before heading to bed.
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