Ecotourism Kotam Zone

Exhausted after 3 days of intensive driving (average of almost 200 km a day), I decided to spend some more time in the mountains, before heading to the seaside.

Those days should totally be called “no plans at all”. I would only wake up in the morning, browse google and trip advisor for some time, then make a quick decision on what to do.

This time was no different. Being woken up at 6 am, I started browsing the things to do on the way I had a rough plan to take. I decided to visit Ecotourism Kotam Zone. It was supposed to be Dak Lak (a major natural park) in miniature. And since my leg was still not 100% fit after the crash a couple of weeks before, I decided to take it easy and follow the beaten path.

On the way here I had the quickest police control ever. Yeah, I was speeding a bit. Might be that overtaking the cars on both sides of the road didn’t seem like the best idea for the officer. So he waved at me. Bearing in mind what I heard from fellow travellers, I was already preparing the speech in my head. After a full stop, I turned off the motorbike, took the key into the pocket, and turned around, ready to confront. I was only waved the international signal – go away. Not hesitating, I did so.

The rest of the road was going in peace, in spite of passing 4 more patrols on the way (and I wasn’t driving any slower). I took a stop at the bar next to the road when the feeling of exhaustness was literally making me sleepy. Imagine – falling asleep at the motorbike, incredible! Yet, I was almost at that point of fatigue. But the hammock and a sugar cane juice made me ready to run.

It took me another hour, or 60 kilometers (I started hammering the machine properly these days) to reach the destination. In the meantime, the fuel gauge started reaching zero. No gas station in sight. But no worries, this is why I have a large bottle of gasoline with me, in case I run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. The gauge passed zero. Still running. Started counting the kilometers beyond passing the “zero, null on the gauge. It was over 20. And I have to say, I wasn’t driving slowly. The gauge went from zero to the high point of letter “E”, then middle, making its way down to the bottom. Then the station appeared.

I usually fill up 2,5 liters, which equals 50,000 VND (bit above 2 USD). This time, I refilled almost 3,3 liters.

Only now it started making sense what the seller told me – that this bike can run 150 km on one tank. In this case, according to the GPS, it ran 122 km, but I wasn’t eco driving at all, so good result still. If I only knew before that there is a hidden liter in the tank beyond the zero point… Then I wouldn’t have to pay the astronomical price for the fuel (see the link).

When reaching the destination, I left the bike (as always) with the guards, showing them in universal sign language to watch the bags for me, taking just a small one, with passport, money, laptop and other electronics.

The Kotam itself wasn’t impressive by any means. It was a family park, blasting the loud karaoke style music, which would mute all the sounds of nature.

I had a walk around, the park itself was just regular, but I had a luck of finding the group of locals who were playing their instruments.

In the meantime I tried a local speciality, according to the waitress. It was nothing else than sticky rice, without mango.

After spending 2 hours, eating a bamboo pork, it was time to move on.

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