Buon Ma Thuot to Da Lat

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Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat
November 27th 2008
Published: December 6th 2008
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Hi all, we've had a request for more photos of us. Now that we have 2 cameras it will be much easier. We have added more in this blog and you could go into facebook and see some video's too:


Yes, to all of you who think I'm looking a bit shoddy with my hair, I have since had a hair cut.

BMT did not have very much there for tourists it is really only a base from which to launch tours. 1 night here then off to Lak Lake for our tour. Our tour begins with a visit to a waterfall, now I thought another bloody waterfall! but was suitably impressed with the size about 200m wide and with all the recent rain flowing very heavily. Normally, during the dry season you can walk behind it but as you can see that was out of the question today.

Time for lunch, I wish we had this guide yesterday he showed us the way to eat cheap in this town which has a distinct lack of touristy restaurants. Off we go again and you have to ask for the details of the trip when booking. We thought we would see how the coffee was processed here but we just saw plants luckily we went past a processing plant asked to stop the and go in for a look....these are the smokey looking pics you see and the wind blew just hard enough for us to get a look at what was actually happening in the place Buddha only knows how they saw what they were doing! I would have like to see how the rubber was processed but that is done in Ho Chi Minh city so it may have to wait. Tomorrow would be our Visit to local village, dug out canoe tour and Elephant ride cooool!

Local Village not too exciting, the canoe tour....well the wind was blowing at about 40 knots so i was happy it was a short tour!!! Now for the elephant! I love these animals. I think they are the most amazing creatures on the planet! We board the beast and off we go, slowly we enter the water and the elephant is hungry so we stop for a while as it rips some moist floating grass from the lake top. The driver tries to encourage it, with a
Recently picked coffee beansRecently picked coffee beansRecently picked coffee beans

The drying process is quite simple. It takes one week if the weather is good, 2 weeks if it rains.
poke in the head, to move on but it is intelligent and big so it does basically what it wants and all the driver can do is poke it again and hope it doesn't grab him and squash him! We clear the reeds and the elephant gets a stride going, we feel like kings of old, we get into rhythm with the swing of the basket and the ride is almost comfortable. Back on dry ground we disembark the basket at the hotel and say our goodbye's to our guides and chill for the rest of the arvo on the back deck of the bungalow over looking the lake. Tomorrow we catch the local bus to Da Lat.

We arrive at Da Lat and there is a lot of things to see here. As we move further south there is an apparent trend to tourism. The cost of things from one place to another is so out of wack but you can only do what you can do. We stayed at a place recommended by the lonely planet guide book the Ai Nghia, 80 Phan Dihn Phung - Da Lat. Ph:063 520 529. This is a nice cheap place with large rooms and daily house keeping. Our saving grace is cable TV and the Discovery Channel. I mean you can only watch so much TV with out understanding the words and making up stories in your head. One thing is clear soap opera television is as big in this country as they were in Costa Rica and Aust.
In Da Lat we decide to go it alone with out guides, Buddha knows that we had enough offers!, armed with our trusty map and Lynne's good sense of direction we hire 2 bikes and roar off into the sun..........for about 100m! No fuel!! not happy! When you hire a bike you put fuel in. When you return the bike the hirer takes the excess out and leaves you enough to get the the lady around the corner who then sells i back to you at a higher price, capitalism at it's finest! Oh well Lynne returns with some fuel for my bike and we roar off into the sun again. Our first stop the crazy house! Aptly named as you can see from the pictures it does not follow the traditional lines of the Vietnamese. This is a beautiful house
The crowd watching the talent showThe crowd watching the talent showThe crowd watching the talent show

for the VNPT which is the Government department for post and telecommunications including internet. This 3 day show was aimed at the teenagers in this town.
and you can stay here it is a guest house at the dearer end of the scale and you shouldn't mind being woken by tourists at 8am when the doors open. Beware the builders friendliness, you can go into the newer areas and see how they construct but be ready he will hit you up for a tip for his efforts. From here we head off to the Valley of love. A funky place set up for couples seeking a place to cuddle and take some tacky pictures of each other so others can sit around the TV and their friends can tell them how cute they look! Be aware arriving at lunch will find you wandering the display huts in the lower section knocking on doors and looking at people eat lunch. So time your visit for the (8-11am or 2-6pm)shifts. We found a local tribe band which took over the xylophone Lynne was playing and belted out some rockin tunes. For this you will have to go into my face book site. We plodded around the place a bit more they have a mini great wall, and some concrete terracotta soldiers bu the thing we were looking for was the Wierd Zoo they had advertised. It cost an extra 5000VND but it was worth it. The 3 horned Buffalo you see is only the tip of the iceberg again my face book site has movies and i hope you have a strong stomach. One sad image is of the 6 legged pig one of the 6 legs was badly wounded and infected the smell of rotten flesh...well i had to move away. 4 legged chickens, 3 wings, ducks with beaks like daffy duck after the shot gun went off! You know when it sits at 90 degrees to his face.

Time to move on to the Tiger Falls, the trip here is most of the fun. It is 15k's out of town and the road (used loosely here) is slow going on bike. Murky brown falls small compared to the BMT falls. We move back to the main area and there is the big tiger. So i dare Lynne to crawl into the door in the rear HAHAHAHA! and lay over it's tongue at the front for a picture but nerves took over and there was not enough footing for her to get inside so down she came. Back on the bikes for the long slow ride home. We arrive in town just before dark and Lynne is leading me so i should have known we would end up at a Pagoda sooner or later. This place was cool we find our way inside and meet a monk who spoke great English so Lynne took it upon herself to ask about the meaning of life and discuss it's affect on the people of Vietnam. The sun is setting and we cruise off to find some food, the monk having put Lynne straight!
We find the best looking professional salon in town and say hello. I is odd here the women wash the hair and there are 1-3 guy's who do the cutting. Lynne sits in the chair and she tries to explain in broken Vietnamese what she wants done the poor guy at one stage stepped aside and another guy came out but Lynne kept trying to explain...It is not you it is me! LOL. Finally i think she just passed out and the cut her hair while she was asleep. They did a good job and she was happy. So much tension.
Home to the hotel and prepare for travel tomorrow to Phan Thiet.

Additional photos below
Photos: 71, Displayed: 27


They'll fish anywhere.They'll fish anywhere.
They'll fish anywhere.

zoom in on this one. The fellow in the water is right on the edge
Many scenes like thisMany scenes like this
Many scenes like this

Coffee beans drying in front of the house. (Long house on stilts)
In this culture, the house belongs to the woman, In this culture, the house belongs to the woman,
In this culture, the house belongs to the woman,

the children take the mother's name and the matriarch has her own step ladder. The ladder with the boobs is only for her only.

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