Saigon baby gone!

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For our final night in Saigon our tour leader, Bau, took us to the crappiest restaurant in the ritziest part of town. 
Afterwards we headed down to the riverside to see the giant piranha looking dinner cruise boat bedazelled with glittery lights and tacky flowers.  We could have gone on that boat for dinner, but Bau tells us that one recently sank and killed a few passengers. Our dinner might have been a little disappointing, but hey, we're still alive.
Crossing any road in Saigon is like playing Russian Roulette.  It's impossible to wait for a break in the traffic, so you simply step into the street and pray. Walk slowly, steadily and don't make any sudden movements. Keep calm and the traffic will somehow flow around you. Easier said than done with a gazillion motorbikes, trucks and buses beeping and whizzing around you.
We were packed and ready by 7.30am for the 8hr bus journey to Dalat. Unfortunately upon loading our bags into the bus there was an explosion, my hair mousse, confirming to those that had already suspected, I am not a backpacker but what might be called a flashpacker. Not exactly doing it 'rough'. After I cleaned up the aftermath of white fluffy bubbles it was onto our 'Local' bus ride, in which we were told we may have a chance to mix with locals, chickens and other travelers, but our 'Local' bus turned out to be a fancy aircon job with not a local in sight. The only chicken I saw was the one in my noodles at lunch. 

Higher into the mountains we ascended, beeping at moto drivers and overtaking large trucks on blind corners. 
The entire area has a very colonial feel, nearly as if you are in Europe. Coffee beans lay drying in the sun while women in conical hats picked tea leaves. The village people appeared to dress more traditionally than those in Saigon. Long silk dresses flowed from their slender bodies as they whirled past sitting side-saddle atop rusty scooters.
We wandered down to the lake for a beer before dinner. The air crisp as raindrops speckled my poncho. A very attractive look might I add, my little head popping out of a giant blue plastic sheet
Art Cafe was the dinner location. The owner, a short Vietnamese artist with a quirky french looking mustache, was a beautiful person. He took time to show us how he finger-painted with ink and vodka and explained some of his paintings on the walls. The food was amazing and my 2 course meal and Dalat wine set me back a whopping $10. We tried to have a drink at a bar but everything was truly lost in translation. Some of the group got drinks, but the rest of us gave up trying and headed across the road to a club called Envy. Envy boasted fluffy lounges and a band with 4 different lead singers, 2 in the tiniest of dresses, one old lady singing in French that had been around the block once or twice and a man we thought was singing in Vietnamese, but was actually Laotion. The temperature up here, 1500m above sea level, is a freezing 20 degrees so I'm getting out my woolies and shaking out the old poncho for a day adventuring in Dalat. Scan down for photos and feel free to leave a comment. x
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