Getting higher in Dalat

Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
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Trip End Nov 15, 2005


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Where I stayed
Highland Hotel

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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Arrived in Dalat at 4pm on Friday 21st. Staying at 'Highland Hotel', as the name suggests we have climbed to higher ground and are now 1500m above sea level. The climate in Dalat is a pretty consistent 20 degrees all year round which is literally a refreshing change from the hot weather we have had. For the first time in 2 months I have needed to wear my fleece in the evenings.

We spent Saturday with self-named 'Easy Riders' who are knowledgeable local motorbike guides who showed us the immediate area of Dalat. I really like Dalat, as Nial pointed out, it has the feel of a ski resort (minus the snow). We visited 'Crazy House' which is more or less a guesthouse with 'feature' rooms built with curves instead of straight lines - or so the literature said! Then onto Dalat Railway Station. It used to have a direct link to HCMC (Saigon) but the line was bombed heavily during the war and the government says the lack of passengers from Dalat doesn't make it worthwhile to repair. You can still travel a few km's down the track on by steam train so we are hoping to do that. We then moved onto a Chinese Pagoda (temple) and a small coffee plantation. Then onto Chicken village that is home of an ethnic minority called 'Koho'. The population these days is 800 from 3000 a few years ago and the new generation seem to becoming more 'Vietnamese' although they still speak their own language. We entered a home of one of the families to see how they lived - this was slightly embarrassing as it felt like intruding.

After visiting Paradise lake and another Pagoda, the afternoon ended after a one way ride by cable car to the outskirts of Dalat. The cable car has helped in my mission of finding as many different modes of transport to travel on as possible during the year.

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It is now Sunday and we are planning to walk the 7km around the lake in the centre of Dalat. We are also preparing to leave Dalat tomorrow morning. After an enjoyable day with Hung and Hao, the riders from yesterday, they are taking us on a 5 day trip along the Ho Chi Minh trail, through the Central Highlands towards Hoi An. Looking forward to it as it should give us an opportunity to visit some remote places that we wouldn't do by bus/train (particularly as they would follow the coast).

Bye for now until the next update!
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