Vietnam…Simply Divine (part two)

Dalat…

The next day we took what was supposed to be a semi-private tour (max 2 more than the 4 of us) of some of the surrounding hillside highlights, ended up being a blink-and-miss-it tour with about 25 Vietnamese tourists.  Despite our disappointment, we made the most of it and saw lots of sights in 5 hours!

Dalat is known for it’s flowers – so we visited a flower farm, then to a coffee farm (civet poop coffee – smooooth!, silk worm factory, tasted strong rice wine, viewed a tumbling waterfall, visited a Buddhist/Hindu pagoda with the happiest Buddha I’ve ever seen, a protective dragon and ate fried crickets:Dalat_Flower Farm1Dalat_Flower Farm2Coffee drying.Dalat_Coffee DryingCivets.. and their coffee poop.

Dalat_Coffee Farm_Civets Dalat_Coffee Farm_Civet PoopDalat_Coffee Farm

The worms spin their little white cocoons and then they are boiled and the dead worms are extracted and the silk cocoons are then spun into long thread.Dalat_Silk Worm CocoonsDalat_Silk Worms_Extracting Worms & SpinningDalat_Silk Thread

Really strong rice wine.Dalat_Rice Wine Factory

This Buddha was so jolly, you couldn’t help but smile and feel happy in his presence.Dalat_Happy BuddhaThe dragon protecting the Buddhist/Hindu temple.

Dalat_Dragon

Elephant WaterfallDalat_Elephant Waterfall

This silk bags and materials vendor near the waterfall was such a happy soul.  We saw her and her friends playing cards and asked where we could get a deck, she promptly gave us hers.  Such nice people.Dalat_Card LadyAnd we ate fried crickets…Dalat_Gretchen Eating Cricket

A post touring walk around the hilly city and it was time for wine (they actually have decent wine!  Vang Dalat was cheap and perfect for tired tourists) and to think about our next day, Christmas day, and our mountain biking trek from Dalat (5000 ft) to Nha Trang (sea level).

Dalat_Wine Night Out

Early the next morning, Christmas morning, we were picked up by Phat Tire Ventures and whisked out of town to our starting point in the chilly, foggy hills to start our, uphill (lots and lots of uphill) and happily a 3o km downhill into Nha Trang.

Dalat to Nha Trang_PreDeparture Group Shot Dalat to Nha Trang_No Town Sign Dalat to Nha Trang_Group Shot with ValleyIt was an AWESOME Christmas day.  So much fun, incredible exercise and that 30 km downhill was simply out-of-control fun!

Nha Trang – a not memorable beach-side town full of Russian tourists, which WERE memorable.

But after climbing five stories with our bags to our hotel rooms (our quads were wiped out!) we had cocktails and then found a lovely French restaurant to toast Christmas and our fantastic day.

Nha Trang_Coctails post bike rideTomorrow – we take sleeper bus number two to Danang – see you for Part Three, coming soon.

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Filed under Adventure, Photography, Travel

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