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Published: July 24th 2017
Our hopes that the rain would hold off were in tatters. From getting on the bus to getting off it didn't really stop. To make matters worse we were joined on the bus by piles of stinking Durian fruit. So with our eyes watering under the onion B.O stench we made our way on the 5 and a half hour journey (we thought it was 2) all the way to Da Lat. We had heard great things about Da Lat. It's a very pretty French influenced place with parks and adventurous activities such as canyoning. We would normally have spent a lot longer in a place like this but after trekking through the rain to our hostel (which was very friendly) and getting freezing cold I don't think we'd got a great impression.
We dumped our bags and asked the hostel if we could have some food but they were all out of safe options, so offerred to make us some Vietnamese scoff. Great we thought! How lovely..... Jack thought it may have been dog. It definitely wasn't anything we can confidently confirm. It wasn't all bad, we had tasty tofu, veggies and rice to go with it. After that we walked to a place called "Crazy House". It's design kind of mirrors Gaudi's Barcelona creations and crazy is definitely the right word for it. It was like walking through a Disney theme park come Alton towers rollercoaster come haunted house come magical fairy mushroom dream. You can even stay there and it made one of the top 10 worlds weirdest hotels. After this we wandered down to a very hipster coffee house (Up Coffee) and indulged in a hot chocolate which was the perfect cure for a drizzly day. We sat and sipped our hot choccys and green tea from beautiful handmade pottery cups (Char wants cups just like it now, good job we have a rucksack and no room for breakable tea sets). We had a beautiful panoramic view of the city and mountains and watched the clouds and mist come rolling through the valley until we could see only clouds and it began to get dark. Jacks dog and tofu then started repeating on him and we struggled our way to possibly our favourite meal to date. Quan Chu BBQ restaurant had got it spot on! We ordered (with a lot of help from our friendly waitress) pork, beef, beans and couple of salads. They arrived marinated but raw followed by a sizzling wooden board which we were then able to cook our food on. The flavours were amazing and after we'd been instructed how to eat it by another waiter (you scoop up the sizzling goodness with the various salad leaves) we had a great time!
That next day we arranged for a bus in the afternoon to take us to Nha Trang further north. In the morning we had a hearty breaky (no tofu thank goodness) and tried the local smoking technique of bonging the local tobacco. We tried it but didn't really see what the fuss was about.... We headed off to the markets to fill some time and made the most of it! We trawled through all of the wares and Char spotted the perfect coat for Jack for New Zealand and got it at an amazing price (gleaming). The only problem was she was actually hunting for one for her so it was a bitter sweet moment! Also we spotted some heavy duty rain coats which come down to our ankles (too little too late) but we're sure they will come in useful. Then off to Nha Trang we went!
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