Up in the Highlands
Trip Start Dec 13, 2009
32Trip End Apr 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
On Wednesday January 20, we took a bus to Da Lat. We were ready to leave Mui Ne and the constant rain. The ride was certainly exciting (really scary) on this very narrow, very twisty, mountain road. I was surprised we stayed on the road, given our excessive speed and type of road. I never knew a bus could lean so much, in a curve.
Da Lat is located in the Central Highlands and at an elevation of 1475 meters. Compare this to Banff Canada where the elevation is only slightly higher at 1583 meters. Weather is great here, nice and warm during the day and comfortably cool during the evening. We would need to wear our jackets every evening walking around Da Lat and also whenever we were traveling by motorcycle. Yes, we again rented a motorcycle for a day. I just cannot keep Karyn off the those things.
We needed the motorcycle to visit some waterfalls, to explore the rural area and villages, and to hopefully to meet some of the indigenous peoples that live in the hills around Da Lat.
I had a tour company book us a hotel in Da Lat, as we unable to get any response to our emails while in Mui Ne. MISTAKE, MISTAKE, MISTAKE… The hotel was not up to Karyn's expectations. (You would think that for $15.00 US, you would be able to get a Hotel that should satisfy just about anyone.) But Karyn refused to stay there more than one night. So the first thing we did, after booking into this Hotel, was go looking for a better Hotel. At times like this, I just keep quiet, carry our small bag, and follow Karyn from Hotel to Hotel, and always agreeing with everything she says. Fortunately, (and much to my surprise), the first Hotel Karyn looked at was perfect. In fact, better than perfect. $25,00 for large front room with Balcony, and it also included a great Buffet Breakfast. Oh yes, and there was a Hot Tub and Saunas on the roof which we made use of. The hotel was so nice we stay there 4 nights.
Da Lat is a very pretty town, and is a top destination in Vietnam for honeymooners.
There is a beautiful large man made lake running into the downtown area. We would sit at a lakeside restaurant and enjoy watching the local people fishing and collecting snails
……Snails was another MISTAKE I made. These freshwater snails are considered a delicacy and are served in the better restaurants in town. (I should have listened to Karyn when she told me not to order them…..Instead, I spent my time in the bathroom listening to Karyn repeatly tell me "I told you so." But I got better real quick, once the snails were gone.
We again visited a Pagoda. This one located a short distance out of Da Lat which we traveled to by train. (I don’t care if I never see another Pagoda). What made this visit a little more interesting was the large stature made out of flowers, celebrating the recent Flower Festival. (The area around Da Lat produces a lot of flowers as well as vegetables.)
Most of the farming seems to be done with irrigation in this area, and with extensive use of greenhouses. Plots of land are cut into the side of hills (terraces) so as to allow for farming on the side of these hills.
We were fortunate to be in Da Lat to witness something that only happens every few years. The Dam is opened and the lake drained. This allows for cleaning or repairs to the lake. The lake will refill during the next Rainy Season. As the water disappeared, the local people waded through the mud to catch/grab the stranded fish. Hundreds of people and thousands of fish. Quite a sight…. The pictures we took better show all the people in the mud, catching the fish or struggling to drag the sacks of fish out of the mud. I expect the price of fish has certainly dropped in this town.
I jokingly said to Karyn “”we should get into the mud and help them catch some fish". She would not even consider it. And yet, some days later, she gladly wallows in the mud, even pays for the pleasure of doing it, See later entry for details.
On Monday January 25, we left Da Lat took a bus to Nha Trang, a beach city on the South China Sea