Wednesday, November 10, 2010


On day 5 of our tour we spent the best part of a day travelling north from Saigon to Dalat. The bus ride was probably 7-8 hours but much to our surprise the bus actually was really nice and comfortable which made the ride more pleasant. A good proportion of Vietnamese honeymooners visit Dalat but I wasn't totally taken with its charm.

Our hotel was by far the worst we have been in so far and on the first morning we were woken and kept awake but a group of touring university students yelling at the top of their lungs from the wee hours. Even though the town of Dalat was not my favourite, the activities and food we had here were great. Our tour leader Minh organised a sightseeing tour around the town and the first stop was the railway station ... luckily we only stopped there for 10 minutes because there was nothing too exciting there. We then visited a temple which was interesting and it was amazing to see how immaculately clean the monks keep their buildings as well as the grounds. Next stop was to visit a waterfall where we had the option of walking down and back to see it OR taking a 'rollercoaster' ride. The ride was a mere $2 so we all chose that option. The rollercoaster was a windy course where you could control how fast or slow you were going by using the brakes or the accellerator at the sides. Just as each member of the group was starting to get in their seat and go it started to spit. I was 3rd last to go and the rain just got heavier and heavier. It was AWESOME. Probably the highlight of my trip so far. By the time I'd reached the bottom I was pissing myself laughing and was absolutely soaked. Some of the girls took photos of me arriving at the bottom which are classics. I can't wait to see them on facebook.
We all agreed that if it wasn't pouring rain we would have went on the rollercoaster again. The rollercoaster ride was more of an event than actually seeing the waterfall! After the rain had subsided we headed to a local village called the 'Chicken Village'. It is so named after a man and a woman from opposing tribes fell in love and wanted to be married. The groom's family said that if the girl wanted to marry their son that she had to go find a special kind of chicken, as well as 5 water buffalo and something like 20 hand made silk scarves. The unfortunate thing for the girl is that there is no way she could have ever found this particular chicken and she died searching for it. After that the two tribes decided to break their grudge and now live harmoniously together. The highlight of the boy's day was being told that he deserved 10 water buffalo if a girl in the tribe decided they wanted to marry him - he was pretty chuffed (even in these days the girl must give the boy's family 5 water buffalo and 20 silk scarves!)

(Since it is probably close to 4 weeks since I was in Dalat I might leave the post at that : )

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