Dalat, Vietnam (Part Two)

The Groovy Gecko trek – we were lucky to even make it to the mountain to start with after a very close call with a minivan on a corner!  After the drive to Dalat I was certainly not fond of being on the local roads.  My hiking tour was most definitely best done without children. It was long, uphill most of the way and difficult due to the slippery pine needles and leaf litter that we walked along. We were led by two young guides that were very funny guys and kept the 6 of us entertained.  There were 3 Italians and 2 French Canadians on tour with me. 

Mountain view after a challenging hike.

Our group of hikers and guides.

We had a wonderful lunch of fresh fruit and baguettes when we made it to the top of the first large mountain.  We walked down and then up a smaller mountain before arriving at a small tourist villages with bungalows for overnight hikers.  We then got a small boat across a lake to visit a very busy pagoda before heading back to our hotels.

Along the trek we met up with another group of hikers, 2 Swedish girls and their guide.  They were most excited to hear my family and I would be in Sweden in June.  We now need to visit Elvira at the Kosta Boda Art Hotel, famous for glassware!

Elvira and Karin from Sweden.

That evening we dined out again and by now we had become regulars at the Lien Hoa Bakery where we could grab a quick pastry for 5,000 VND. A taxi ride back to our hotel was 28,000 VND. 

On Sunday we had booked a private car and guide to take us to Elephant Waterfall and a few of the other local attractions.  We booked the tour through the hotel and were greeted by our lovely driver; who had great English and an even better 4WD vehicle.  We saw a flower farm, coffee plantation; walked to the waterfall and to a pagoda to see a large Happy Buddha; silk factory; rice wine factory; waterfall and back to town for lunch. Now just to clarify … when I say we went to a flower farm etc I mean we pulled up alongside the road, walked down a street, stuck our heads into a greenhouse and took photos of flowers. Same with the coffee … we stopped on the side of the road and stepped into someone’s paddock and looked at their coffee trees!  That is how you do a tour in Vietnam!

The Baigries and Elephant Waterfall near Dalat, Vietnam.

After lunch we headed to Langbiang Mountain, the tallest in the region. We decided we didn’t need to hire a jeep to 4WD up the mountain for extra $, and as our driver put it, the view would be ‘same same’ from where we were.  The most interesting thing was watching the horses that had been painted with stripes to look like zebras and avoid being hassled to ride one. 

Our driver then showed us part of the local village where a minority group of Vietnamese people live. We saw the locals, who are Catholic, in their church and then went to a house that is set up with a display before returning to our hotel for a rest.

We shared our last evening in Dalat with a huge crowd of local tourists as it was a holiday weekend to remember the death of the last king (so I am told). The number of people in the city in the evening was unreal and worst of all was the number of buses in tiny city streets to transport them all. Made for dangerous walking along crowded streets.

Our last day in Dalat was spent walking into town; checking out the central market; buying some great jelly lollies at Lang Farm shop and finding some bargain Pokemon characters; eating our last lunch and getting a taxi to the airport. Again the drive was a little hairy but we made it safely to the airport and I was ever so glad that I had, by some miracle, decided that we would fly out of Dalat to our next destination … Danang.  More to come on our less than 24 hour Danang adventure.


1 Comment »

  • Win Bartholomai April 16, 2011

    You sure have been busy. I remember when we were in Mexico that they painted donkeys to look like zebras – they called them zonkeys! Keep safe and enjoy yourselves
    Love from Jimboomba.

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