Goodbye Hoi Chi Min city, aka Saigon. Now time to start travelling north. Vietnam is a very narrow, long country, where you find some regional differences. The climate is quite hot of course in the south, and as you travel north the heat lessens somewhat. The south loves everything sweet, Im told the middle of Vietnam gets a bit more spicy.
I’ve decided to take an eight hour bus ride to Da lat, and then move up a little bit further to the coast in Commercial resort city Nha Trang to give enough time to get to Hoi An for Xmas.
Da Lat, home of flowers and coffee, once a retreat for the elite french when they were running the show. The french influence isn’t very visible today, apart from the railway station and an Art deco “palace” Otherwise it looks a little bit, dare I say, Tacky. However once you explore outside of the city then the views, landscape and terrain are just amazing. Da Lat is a big draw for Vietnamese, especially from the hectic Saigon, to get away from it all and cool down a bit, I had to get my jacket out it was only 20c! The Vietnamese tell you it’s very cold here! ha ha. If you’re the adventurous type, this is the place for you!
With just one day to explore I arranged an “Easy Rider” motor bike tour to see some of the surrounding area, it was very good and included once again new experiences for the stomach, including fried Cricket, very tasty with some Chilli sauce, and a silk worm, not the greatest texture I must say.
Flower farms, we saw many Roses and Orchids, Da Lat supplies all of Saigon.
This lovely lady told me I was handsome and gave me a rose!
Da Lat is absolutely full of Coffee fields, I sampled the infamous weasel coffee. The coffee beans are digested by the weasel, then their excrement still full of the beans is then made into a “special” coffee. Yuk I hear you cry! As always very tasty!! Their coffee is extremely good, a step up from Cambodia.
Coffee beans being dried
Surprised to see a porcupine
Monkeys also kept as pets.
The Elephant water falls with my guide Vinh
The Pagoda next to the water falls
Next onto the silk making factory. Here you see the moth and the eggs it lays to create the silk worms that go on to create the silk cocoon that is then washed in boiling water to be stretched into lines of silk, production then starts to weave the garment.
Da Lat has its own Flower park, full of beautiful, meticulously managed flowers.