Central Highlands of Vietnam: Delat

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Flag of Vietnam  , Lâm Ðồng,
Tuesday, June 8, 2010


From Saigon we jumped on day bus to Delat, gateway to the central highlands. I like to think that I was heading to the Huntly of South East Asia, and we were met with some seriously heavy monsoon rains which seemed fitting. Delat itself is a big time Vietnamese tourist spot so we were amoungst loads of tourist but not many Caucasian, mostly Asian. We got bikes for day one, visited the Hang Nga Crazy House, this surreal hotel/touristy house that was been designed and redesigned over the years getting more and more bizarre as time goes by.  It's interesting as usually the Commies wouldn't allow this type of self expression but the women architect whose work it was was the son of some important dignitary. “Some are more equal than others” in this Red Country.

We met Max and Marc, two ladz on their gap yeaaaaas at the royal holiday residence of one of the old school Emperors which was pretty non descript. The highlight of which was Bryan getting dressed up as the aforementioned Emperor and kidnapping a small Vietnamese child.

We peddled our way a few Ks out of town (got lost) but ended up at the wrong end of a Swiss made cable car that took you right up to the top of a ridge which gave you an epic view of the Highlands. Unfortunately we didn't time it that well and managed to get caught up in the monsoon which was my first experience of the rainy season.  Savagely fierce winds and rain forced the cables to stop so we were stranded up on the top station for a couple of hours. Freezing but twas all good as there was tea and beer. Needed the warmth. The cycle back was a fairly hairy 6k up hill slog in the rain whilst being overtaken by trucks honking their horns. One Vietnamese guy offered to give us a tow off the back of his moto.....that's just asking for trouble really so we politely declined.

Next day saw us grow a pair and actually rent out some motos to try to do a bit more before the inevitable rains. Bryan and I tried to go went to the Valley of Love as we'd had a bit of a tiff so need to make amends.  Na, just joshing. We went as it was meant to be hilariously kitsch but we actually went to the wrong place which was actually an exact copy. Loads of statues, Vietnamese style mickey mouse characters, the monkey warrior in particular and some fairly picturesque views that the domestic tourist were intent on getting in on our photos, or getting us in on theirs. The whole town was a bit kitsch actually. They had a radio tower in the shape of the Eiffel Tower which was amusing too.

Next day we saw me get trounced 3&2 in the inaugural Delat Bryan Adam's Open at the range in a stunning golf course. It was in such pristine condition mainly cause there were about 20 greens keepers walking around picking up leaves and roughly 3 people actually playing the course. Not played in so long got 4 massive blisters on my fairy soft hands.

Next off to Nah Trang. Boozing and Beaching.

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bozoontour on

Good post son!
However I realize you forgot to mention that you got your ass kicked on the putting range... hehehe
And that in order to start a "healthier" diet, we drove for hours, seeking to buy some of the well renowned Dalat Jam, which has, as of today, yet to be tasted!
Keep 'em coming my man!
Talk soon,

wandering_feat on

I certainly did sonny jim. Said I got trounced 3&2, rightly conceeded to the Happy Gilmore of the Dalat Golf scene!

Hannah Biggs on

Did you have any Dalat Bia Hoi? The best I tasted in Vietnam and only 10p a litre. A weird place Dalat but some awesome waterfalls (one with a rollercoaster to get to it) and temples though - and of course, the Crazy House : )

wandering_feat on

Unfortunately the heavens opened up as we were about to get our rollar coaster on :-( Next time. Diddn't try the beer hoi there but got fairly tipsy in Saigon on it, it was so weak that we had to spice it up with some Mekong Whiskey before a trip to Apocolypse Now! Happy days!

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