We spend three nights in Pleiku, which is known locally as Gia Lai. The town only has a population of about 250,000. Few foreigners visit and, it is said that most who do only pass through en route to somewhere else. But Pleiku is a delightful base from which to explore the surrounding highlands.
You will not go hungry or thirsty in Pleiku. There are more street stalls and local restaurants than you can poke a stick at. We eat beef soup served with lots of fresh vegetables for dinner, sizzling eggs with beef for breakfast and bread rolls for lunch. There are also plenty of mid-range restaurants where the locals eat until their cartons of beer are empty. And, if you need a fast food fix there is even a Jollibee (Asia’s answer to McDonalds). Everything we ate was delicious.
Fly a kite
Every afternoon kites soar above a vacant block on Trãn Nhât Duât. We come across it by coincidence while out riding. We pay 70,000VND for a kite (we later learn the local price is about 50,000VND) and join the fun. There isn’t much wind but the lady who sold us the kite is determined to help us fly it. It’s a lot of fun despite us not getting much air time. The kits do fly though because some are way up high (probably launched earlier when there was wind).
Pleiku is a real town with real people going about their lives. Ladies sell fruit and vegetables on the side of the road. Men on scooters wait for fares from passengers. We get an excellent foot massage at a legitimate place. I join locals taking a morning walk through Công Viên Diên Hõng.
Accommodation: Hoang Ngoc Hotel