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:Coffee drying.Civets.. and their coffee poop.
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.
This Buddha was so jolly, you couldn’t help but smile and feel happy in his presence.The dragon protecting the Buddhist/Hindu temple.
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.And we ate fried crickets…
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).
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.
It 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.
Tomorrow – we take sleeper bus number two to Danang – see you for Part Three, coming soon.