It’s becoming a routine, wake up, have some breakfast, pack our bags, strap them to our motorbikes, and hit the road. What’s not routine are the startling views that hit you with a punch around every corner (or maybe that’s the jolt of nerves when there’s another speeding motorbike coming at you).
With every curve in the road comes some beautiful new landscape that’s more gorgeous than the last. The winding roads lead you up and down mountains, through rice terraces, corn fields, villages and onto the high ledges of rock faces.
At one moment you’re driving through jungle like foliage and the next you’re looking out at a valley that extends for miles in every direction, with a green river snaking between the mountains.
For good reason, this is a UNESCO Global Geopark. It also is home to 17 ethnic minority groups (some of which you’ve already seen in the blog). Tourism is just starting in this area, only really having foreigners come for about 5 years now. I’m very happy that we’re getting to do it now because the more people find out about this beautiful place, the more it will change. You can already see some signs of change. We were stopped on the side of the mountain and some children were coming down on a bicycle. They stopped when they saw us and we attempted to have a conversation with one of the kids. He wasn’t interested, only saying “Mun hee” and rubbing his fingers together. In an instant, the innocence of the situation vanished. Luckily this is a rare thing, as all of the other children we have stopped and spoken to have been interesting, friendly and overall quite delightful.
A short post, but really, photos say it better than anything (and even they don’t do it justice).