Pleiku / Gia Lai to Kon Tum

Being unable to take a bus from Pleiku to Kon Tum we do as the locals suggest: ride the scooters. We could ride 50km down the highway but opt for the more scenic 80km route along DT671 and DT670. Chůr Đăng volcanic crater is a 20km side trip off our intended route. The crater is…

Pleiku / Gia Lai

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. Food…

Lake Bién

Lake Bién translates to Sea Lake and is sometimes called the Gem of Gia Lai. It’s easy to see why. We arrive early to find the perfectly calm lake surface reflecting the sky. Later, when we return to eat our packed lunch, locals will be roasting chickens for their picnics over open fires. We spend…

Buon Ma Thuot to Gia Lai/Pleiku

A big red sleeper bus takes us, the only foreigners on board, from Buon Ma Thuot to Pleiku (aka Gia Lai). It’s a swaying four hour drive along mountain roads. We have top bunks on opposite sides of the bus. The views are brilliant, making this trip good for daytime travel.  The only stops we…

Lake Ea Kao

A short 12km ride takes us to Lake Ea Kao. Crossing the dam wall we are surrounded by beauty: reflections of sky on water, green rice and brown mud, men fishing under umbrellas and skinny cattle grazing. Across the lake there is a lovely park. For 3,000VND we park our scooters with the guard and…

Dray Nur Waterfall

We ride rented scooters south from Buon Ma Thuot on AH17 through moderate traffic. We turn left on a small road just before crossing a big river. Country roads start to disintegrate into a muddy red track the closer we get to the falls. Dray Nur Waterfall is a short walk from the carpark. It’s…

Buon Ma Thuot

On paper, Buon Ma Thuot provides no reason to linger. Yet we manage to enjoy three awesome nights using it as a base for explorations to Dray Nur and Lake Ea Kao. The city was more than just a place to sleep: it’s too full of life for that. Night lights Arriving in the evening…