June 28, 2007
When we left Lak Lake at midday, it was a clear day and visibility was good. We headed further north and stopped with regularity as the bikes became uncomfortable. We passed by a boat builder yard and Sam asked to stop to take a few shots (there is one in the gallery). When we carried on we nearly ran over a cobra that was slithering onto the road.
Now I must make the point of how safe we felt with Peter and Sang. They would not go above 55 km/h, (I think the speed limit for bikes is 60) because they knew behind every blind corner, or dip in the road a water buffalo, or a wild dog could be standing there.
We rode for most of the afternoon and visited various military monuments. We came to a small township and the Easy Riders parked up at a Christian Church, or so we though — actually arrived at an orphanage.
The Bahnar Orphanage sits behind the Tan Huong Church. Nuns from the Bahnar minority tribe run the orphanage. Most of the kids here were either abandoned by their parents or their parents died. According to Sang the kids learn how to read and write, and learn how to make craft work. We stayed there for about half an hour. There would have been about one hundred kids of various ages that we saw.
Next the Easy Riders took us to see an old musician and his bamboo drum kit/xylophone. With the light beginning to fade we found a hotel and parked up for the night. For tonight’s meal Peter would take us to a Thit Cho (dog) restaurant. Now I will make a point on how the Vietnamese eat:
When entering a Vietnamese restaurant it is not uncommon to see bones, tea leaves, tissues, pawn shells, nut shells etc all over the ground. When they eat they just turf the rubbish under the table and carry on like normal. We got used to this on the last days, but still it was a little weird.The Vietnamese commonly accompany meals with tea. They would rinse their small cups with tea, swirl the tea around in the cup, then fling this waste tea under the table.
At this dog restaurant we were the only customers. Dog meat looks like pork. The rubbery skin and marbled fat was not at all appetising. To top if off we were shown to to dip the dog meat in a seafood sauce that made Sam and I gag. An experience, but I won’t be eating dog again.