We spend a few days here, and this is it. Occasional tourists come to ride the elephants, but otherwise we have the place to ourselves.
If there's ever a beautiful city to spend some time in, Da Lat is it. I think we all agreed we could live there. But we needed a break from the city, especially after our miserable stopover in Buon Ma Thuot. So we set out for Lak Lake, a few stops removed from the typical tourist route (we hope). We alight in a town square that has the cheerful air of suburbia, or the communist equivalent thereof. As we head down the road, though, the feeling of civilization deteriorates as quickly as the road beneath us crumbles to dirt. At the end of the road, rural paradise: Lak Lake sits placid between foggy mountains. An elephant swims across its surface. A Vietnamese cowgirl prods her cows along by beating them with a bamboo pole. A boy fishes with a string tied to bamboo. A woman tosses wheat to the wind, removing the chaff.