View From the River Ferry

All day, every day, thousands of cars, motorbikes, and pedestrians cross the Nha Be River on ferries. I crossed with a motorbike on my way to Vung Tau, a coastal resort town south of Saigon. In an idling pack of motorbikes at the terminal waiting for the next ferry to unload, riders have plenty of refreshments to choose from: pineapples, banh mi, fresh-pressed sugar cane juice — just don’t get stuck mid-transaction when the light turns green, the gates open, and the idling pack pushes forward: there’s no sympathy for the famished.

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Epic Journey: Stage Two: Dalat to Mui Ne

At a roadside shop outside of Dalat, a family finished their midday meal, helped us with directions and told us the proper way to pronounce chicken — ga — in Vietnamese. Their mutt was too cute not to photograph.

Descending from Dalat treated us to some amazing scenery, and the ride was much easier going down than climbing up — though once we hit the lowlands again it was one pothole-peppered dirt track after another. At one point Arron got squeezed off the road by a large construction vehicle and had to execute a graceful crash landing in a fortuitously placed pile of barley. And thus our adventures in Vietnam continued.

By the time we hit the streets of Mui Ne — after a final stretch of gorgeous winding, well-paved road — it was well after dark and we were beat. By the time we actually found our hotel, hunger and fatigue had fully taken hold. We grabbed a quick bite across the street — one of the best cold beef salads I’ve ever had — and headed back to the hotel.