City of eternal spring
Trip Start May 18, 2003
272Trip End Ongoing
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If you are taking one of these open tour tickets don't believe the hype about tourist attraction stops along the way. It's very much a case of you get what you pay for
As it happens, the Lamson guest house we were delivered to in Da Lat was pretty good and quite reasonably priced (US$7 or 110,000 Dong per night for an en suite twin bed room with tv and hot water). Walking around the city at night there are an abundance of hotels and most of the patrons seem to be domestic tourists. I get the feeling Vietnamese holiday makers like coming here because of the relatively cool climate, but it still feels warm enough to be out and about with just a t-shirt and shorts during the day. The market is quite lively and seems to be a focal point during the early evening, with outdoor food vendors lining the streets.
Cycling around Da Lat was the perfect way to explore the city and see some of the surrounding region today. Our guesthouse arranged fairly average mountain bikes for US$1.50 for most of the day. The more we saw the more this place reminded us of Vietnam's answer to Disneyland (complete with Vietnamese guides dressed as cowboys). Anyone who has been to RotoVegas in New Zealand can probably relate to this. The tourist attractions are abundant and over the top.
Surprisingly we still haven't encountered the intense anti-western attitude from anyone in Vietnam yet. Locals and Vietnamese tourists here seem genuinely friendly and nearly everyone says Hello as we pass by. Perhaps all the agro is yet to come the further we go north.