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sgvcns

Vietnam Central Highlands exploration

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sgvcns

Last year in September I travelled with my wife to explore the central highlands region from Dalat To Phong NhaP1000841.thumb.JPG.6713e546bc45f3bec7651ecfd5091ffb.JPG 

This was a mostly new area for me and was mainly to plan this years trip in more detail.

This is the area Henderson has been collecting new species.

One night in Saigon

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Next day to Dalat

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sgvcns

Dalat is at elevation and a major coffee growing area.

I was here briefly a number of years ago.

Firstly some locality shots around Dalat

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The palming began on the road to Nha Trang

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Since the year before there had been a large typhoon which went through Nha Trang and over the top towards Dalat

My usual access up a logging track was somewhat changed

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The palms were still there but not very happy.

I'm hopeful that this year they will be bursting with reproductive energy

Lanonia hexasepala

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This was thought to be Licuala glaberrima but I believe it has a new name

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Newly described Pinanga spiralis

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A view of the jungle from above the road

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Next stage was the road trip north along the western Ho Chi Minh Highway

 

 

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sgvcns

I had found a Canadian guide who has since left Vietnam. The advantage was that unlike a native driver he was OK with off the beaten track and potential army questions.

I was confident that if he said not possible it wasn't. Thanks again Owen. Talked our way through 2 guard posts on the trip

The view to Dalat

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Lunch guest

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We were on the way to Buon Ma Thuot 

Lots of stops before there though

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Love the wedding planners in Buon Ma Thuot

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After Buon Ma Thuot we took a detour to the coast to The area north of Nha Trang looking for Lan verrucosa another recent discovery

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No luck with the Lanonia 

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Did see the recently described Licuala parvula

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This was thought to be robinsoniana but is now classed separately

WE had the aircon compressor seize up and so were slowed down for the trip whilst the cars were changed over.

Reinforced my belief to never travel at night on Highway 1.

My wife Liked Tuy Hoa

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Next day was off to Kon Tum which was one of my main must sees

This is quite remote and has mainly hill tribe people.

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First a stop for limes for the gin

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We came across an interesting cemetary with a mix of buddhist/christian and local iconography

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The locals stopped and took photos of us. They did not speak Vietnamese but a local hill tribe language

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sgvcns

Kon Tum is great and the next day we headed east palming with great scenery

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Pinanga annamensis is fairly common from Dalat north and locally prolific

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Near Kon Ka Kinh National park it was spectacular

Firstly what I believe to be the newly described Lanonia gialaiensis

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Next the spectacular Pinanga kontumensis

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Pinanga annamensis again

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We stopped at a village to walk through on the way back.

Very basic living and obvious they did not see many foreigners 

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Some Kon Tum scenes around the cathedral.

The town is growing fast and the hilltribe long houses are now surrounded by suburbia. Didn't really get photos of them though

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Went west towards the Cambodian border to try to access a national park there but the 400mm straight drop at the entrance stopped our progress.

Back east again

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My favourite spider shot

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More kontumensis around

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Unknown Licuala

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Nice leechy forest with the damp

This is an area I will spend way more time in in September

 

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Next stop was Kham Duc but lots of stops

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This is all the centre of fighting in the American war and the locals visit the area.

This was a tank that was carried in pieces up reassembled and won battles apparently

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Locals just hanging

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Local temple

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dmc

Some good stuff right there thanks for sharing 

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After Kham Duc we kept heading south towards A Luoi

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More P annamensis

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My wife was particularly excited about the seeding Zing

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Now for the climb down and across the cassava field

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We detoured by the Song Thanh Nature reserve on the road to Laos.

The scenery is spectacular and from here we basically followed the border at one stage the GPS saying we were 300m from the border.

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In we go

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Finer leaf form of Lanonia centralis

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Lots of interesting tribal architecture also

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Just lovely vistas

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The road is so quiet for Vietnam.

Quite eerie almost. Not even many buses

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Captured/abandoned USA truck still being used

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Came across this weird graveyard that was just finished. Reminded me of Mexican images I've seen.

Looks they relocated it and went to town

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This is the area of some serious conflict in the war.

Drove past Hamburger Hill and Khe Sanh

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Lunch

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Caryota monostachyaP1010149.thumb.JPG.f26f49270de44078e5f5b8834bcfaef1.JPG

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Getting to the start of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

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Pinanga baviensis

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Livistonia jenkinsoniana

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Well in the national park now

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Butterflies found something to there taste

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Home for the next few days in Phong Nha

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We had Owen for another day so went along the road to Laos

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Furniture delivery

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The rest of the trip was relaxation as that was a pretty full on 10 days through some spectacular country.

The scenery was great but not very pristine so lots of little pockets to explore but the standout for me was around Kon Tum.

No surprise that is where I'll be this year for longer.

The rest are scenery/ holiday photos

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Great place we stayed. Easy to sit with a beer  and watch life go by. From memory it was $30/night for 2 with breakfast

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Couldn't do nothing however so arranged a boat tour so not too strenuous

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Collecting weed for the fish farms

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Cross river ferry

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Next stop Dong Hoi

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Dong Hoi is just north of Hue and was blanket bombed during the war and just the church was left standing

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They kept it as at was as a memorial.

The rest was built new. We stayed on the water front for$20 a night

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Next stop Hanoi before flying out.

One of my favourite asian cities

 

 

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I always stay in the old quarter which is very busy but still has a "village" feel.

Families still living in extended groups with the business down street level.

Crossing the road is something you get used to.

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Arrived for the moon festival which is about the kids

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On the weekends the roads around the lake are closed and everyone enjoys the less hectic pace

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Time for a beer

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And a wander

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And more beer

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That night was the biggest moon and tradition says the kids need to be out for good luck.

Never had pedestrian grid lock before

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Another day wandering

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Old city gate

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My favourite lunch Bun Cha about $3

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And most locals treat their dogs as well as anywhere. Not all destined for Thit CayP1010393.thumb.JPG.af20b4e699446bdafb48dad45edbfc7c.JPG

Can't wait to get back in September.

Just sorting July in Sarawak to hopefully solve some palm puzzles

Cheers

Steve

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Jeff Searle

I love this topic. Thanks for sharing and hope there's more to follow. Beautiful scenery!

Jeff

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Palmarum

Great topic. Vietnam is definitely one of my favorite places I would want to explore. Everything there is to see, plus all the Licuala and Lanonia.

Ryan

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sgvcns

May have room for 1 more in early September.

I'm there for 3 weeks

Talk's cheap as they say in OZ

There are heaps of coconuts 

Unheated

Steve

 

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Tyrone

When were these pics taken Steve?

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sgvcns

September last year

Cheers

Steve

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Tyrone
On 3/25/2019 at 4:22 AM, sgvcns said:

September last year

Cheers

Steve

The reason I asked was I was still in Vietnam in Saigon and if you were still in the same area and our paths crossed it would have been great to catch up. I got back on Saturday morning. Took quite a few palmy pics. When I get them organised I'll start a little thread as well.

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sgvcns

Tyrone

Could have enjoyed a Bia Ga(rooster beer) stout at their craft beer bar.

5 months and I'll be tasting in preparation of all the asian lager ahead

Steve

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Alberto

Very nice habitat pics from this interesting country. Thanks for sharing.

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