Da Lat to Mui Ne by Bike

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November 20th 2012
Published: November 26th 2012
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Our two day bike ride from Da Lat to Mui Ne was certainly a highlight of the trip. Although it sounds very adventurous, really we just hired a guide service that rented us two bikes, provided a support vehicle, and helped us get to the coast by bike, while transporting our luggage as well.

Not only were we riding through beautiful country (though admittedly, we would not have minded our fancy road bikes over the clunky, rusty, mountain bikes they provided us with), but we also stopped at some of the places that make the Vietnam Highlands stand out. We visited flower gardens (they export flowers all over Vietnam and beyond), coffee farms, and a rice wine distillery. We had our first introduction to weasel coffee. The beans of weasel coffee have first been passed through a weasel (yes, all the way through). Apparently this process enhances the taste of the coffee. I’m not sure I would promote weasel coffee. Not only did I not taste the difference, but the weasels did not look so happy to be eating coffee beans, and considering they passed through their bodies whole, I’m not sure it was very beneficiary
Flower GardensFlower GardensFlower Gardens

Green houses speck countryside. Cut flowers are a big industry here.
to their bodies.

Night one we stopped in a small town in the highlands, where not so many westerners pass through. We were greeted with wide smiles from the children, and even offered a toast at the local eatery (where we enjoyed a hot pot with our guides Will and Phu). When toasting with beer in Vietnam, it’s not a ‘cheers’ and a sip, like Americans might do. Instead, the Vietnamese specify what percentage of the beer shall be drunk during that particular cheers. We were offered two 50%!c(MISSING)heers, which encouraged us to down our ‘Beer Saigon’ rather quickly.

As we descended from the coast, it grew hotter, and the farms changed from coffee to rice to cotton to dragon fruit. The dragon fruit farms were beautiful, as the flower that forms before the fruit is spectacular. We’ve eaten a lot of dragon fruit throughout our travels. It reminds me a lot of kiwi fruit.

Our first glimpses of the ocean were spectacular, as we looked forward to a true ‘beach holiday’ during the last week of our honeymoon.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Coffee plantCoffee plant
Coffee plant

Plump with coffee beans that aren't quite ripe.
Weasel coffee.Weasel coffee.
Weasel coffee.

Just in case there was any doubt of authenticity. . .

Not such a happy life.
Rice Wine distilleryRice Wine distillery
Rice Wine distillery

A bit more like rice liquor than wine.
Bike maintenanceBike maintenance
Bike maintenance

I think our guide was pretty happy with Philip's know how when my brake line snapped.
Coffee 'patios'Coffee 'patios'
Coffee 'patios'

Most homes had coffee drying out front. People walked through the coffee, androad their motor bikes through it. It was quite scenic, though.
Grave yardsGrave yards
Grave yards

We encountered more Christianity in Vietnam than elsewhere. Our guide informed us that there were both Catholics and Protestants. The gravestones at the graveyards were massive.
Our fearless guidesOur fearless guides
Our fearless guides

Will (he swore this was his real name), and Phu.

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