Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
47Trip End Jan 07, 2011
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After leaving Nha Trang, we headed to the town of Dalat, which is in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. After finding the hotel that we'd booked, we walked over to a nearby tour-booking office. We decided that we wanted to do a trek in the hills around town the following day, so we booked that, grabbed some food, and headed to bed.
The trek the next day turned out to be really good. Our group was very small - it was only me, Sarah, a Swedish guy, and two guides. The trek was described as "challenging", but after our trek on Cat Ba island, we felt that unless there were vertical cliffs, we'd probably be fine. While there were some tough sections where we were hiking up hill, it wasn't too physically demanding...but crossing some of the bridges was a little mentally challenging
Crazy bridges aside, the trek was great. We walked past coffee plantations, where people were picking coffee beans, and drying them in the sun. There were all sorts of fruits and vegetables being grown which we saw (and in some cases sampled). One of our final stops was at the Tiger waterfall, so named because of the local legend of a tiger living in a nearby cave. Just to make sure that you didn't forget this, there were loads of tigers all over the place near the waterfall. I think my favourite one was a massive concrete tiger that you could climb into and stick your head out of its mouth.
Most of the sights to see in Dalat are spread out around the edges of the city, so the following day, we managed to book a car to drive us around
One of my favourites was the waterfall we went to. Our guide book described the pleasant walk down from the main road to the falls, through pine forests, with birds and butterflys overhead. What they failed to mention was the TOTALLY AWESOME ROLLERCOASTER which you could take down to the waterfall, in case walking wasn't your bag. The rollercoaster was pretty funny (and fun). We were each in our own individual car, which had handles on the side to help control your speed. I enjoyed the safety measures in place - on tight corners, they had a guy with a whistle reminding you to slow down so that you didn't go shooting off the track. Anyway, we both took it pretty easy, and made it down in one piece. Once we were down at the waterfall, we got to see something that - rather inexplicably - is at a lot of Dalat's tourist attractions: the opportunity to dress up like a cowboy, sit on a horse, and have your picture taken. Unfortunately, neither one of us felt like dressing up like a cowboy.
Oh - one last thing about Dalat: the place where we stayed had the most amazing breakfast we've had since we been here in Asia. Basically, it was all you can eat bread, cheese and fruit, served with an egg and tea. They also had peanut butter, which I basically had to prise out of Sarah's hand each morning before we left.