Blogs from Central Highlands, Vietnam, Asia - page 11

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Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat December 17th 2011

We left Nha Trang after a great few days and boarded a bus to Dalat, a town in the Central Highlands which has been described as "little paris" due in part because of the radio mast in the town shaped like an eiffel tower but mainly due the french influence. It is a place high in the mountains that became popular with the French, to escape the heat of Ho Chi Minh city. We have had some scary bus journeys throughout Vietnam, with mountaineous roads, high cliffs and sheer drops. However, none of them compared to the journey to Dalat. As the town is 1500m above sea level, we were literally ascending the entire 3 1/2 hour bus journey!! I was petrified for most of it. We were in a small minibus and to be fair, ... read more
Eiffel Tower
Lakeside
Vinny and the birthday boy!

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 19th 2011

Da Lat was just in from the coast by Mue Ne and was a small province with a small amount of sights to see. We ended up getting a tour of the city and visited coffee, flower, silk & cricket factories, which were all interesting in their own weird way. The coffee & flower ones were basic but I found the silk & cricket more interesting. The cricket farm showed us why, how etc they keep & breed crickets and at what age/size they send them off for food into towns near by. Obviously at the end of the tour we were given a plate to try, with chilli sauce....ofcourse! I had a couple, just tasted like burst bit of chicken or dog or something?! Dalat didn't have much of a night life but nice restaurants ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 16th 2011

Son, our potential Easy Rider tour guide was due to collect us at 0730 so we were up early on the off chance he showed up. We packed, checked out and I went out to make sure our motorbike hadn’t disappeared overnight. It was still sitting where we left it and furthermore still had the 3/4 of a tank of gas that we’d left the night before. The deal with motorbike rentals in Vietnam seems to be that your bike is collected and drained of petrol overnight necessitating a refill each morning. At 0730 on the dot Son showed up with a good helmet for me. It came complete with a clear, full face visor… something of a luxury. Jo jumped on board Son’s bike and I followed behind. Around 5kms out of Da Lat City ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 15th 2011

After an excellent nights sleep in a comfortable bed, we were up early to investigate the city. We arranged a motorbike rental through the front desk at Da Lat Hotel du Parc and within 10 minutes our ride for the next few days was delivered. We agreed on D80,000 (around NZ$5) per day and set off into the market area to find some breakfast. A street cafe was serving up bowls of Pho so we had a couple of chicken ones with a coffee – D70,000 for the lot. We only had the Lonely Planet and a map from the hotel to work off and as I was concentrating on trying not to get us killed, Jo was the tour guide and navigator. Hang Nga Crazy House was the first stop – it is well named. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 4th 2011

Dan says: Right so last time we met we were leaving Hoi An and heading to Nha Trang (honestly who comes up with these names!). We decided, well Andy decided he couldn't handle a 12 hour sleeper bus journey (he is too tall so can't sleep) so we decided to go half way to a place called Quy Nhon, sleep then do the rest of the journey the following day. Quy Nhon was ok, we arrived and got a taxi down the strip and told him to stop when we saw a KFC...that was dinner and potentially breakfast sorted out! We found a decent little hotel, 3 quid each! Dropped our stuff and headed to KFC...AMAZING! Weren't really in the mood for the true Vietnamese experience tonight! We then headed to a little bar where I ... read more
Our Mui Ne beach bungalow
Mui Ne beach
ATV hire-age

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat November 3rd 2011

Dalat – A relaxing bike ride of two different varieties. After the chaos of Saigon I was really looking forward to heading to Dalat to explore the mountains and surrounding areas. There are a group of motor bike tour operators throughout the majority of Vietnam called the Easy Riders and like most things in Vietnam there are also many people pretending to be the Easy Riders. Once I located the original Easy Riders, well actually they located me within about 5 seconds of me stepping from my bus I arranged a tour for the following day. The tour was exceptional, one of the best tours I have done so far on my trip. My guide Lam was so knowledgeable, friendly and spoke fantastic English and the 7 hours on a bike flew by. I also don’t ... read more
Dalat - Snake rice wine and dead bird??
Dalat - Silk Facotry Tour
Dalat - Lam and a hand made basket

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Gia Lai » Pleiku October 27th 2011

The road from Peliku to Buon Ma Thuot is proliferated with some spectacular scenery owing to the very fertile landscape created by the volcano. Here the locals grow all kinds – pepper, coffee, kosava, rice, bananas, dragon fruit and green papaya. On the way down Quang and I pulled over at a trucker’s rest stop (not the kind you get in the States!). This was a sleepy road side restaurant with hammocks and a few make shift tables. We chilled out here for a few hours while the family’s pet cat and puppy played chase around the hammocks. The pup actually hopped into the hammock with me for an hour while I had a snooze! After lunch we stopped off at a few places where the locals were using clay to make bricks the traditional way ... read more
Cats and Dogs Play Fighting
Room with a View
Bricking It

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Gia Lai » Pleiku October 26th 2011

Kontum is mainly famous for its wood sculptures and for being a main staging post for the French during their time in Viet Nam. Here the main religion is Christian and everywhere in the town are churches, but more often than not you will see a Buddhist temple next door. One church in particular, a wooden church, was built by the French in 1911. The mix of Christianity with Khmer and ethnic minorities is very evident here in the carvings and stained glass windows. Inside the church you can see elephants pulling logs, a community shelter and Jesus blessing the fisherman. Out the back of the church is the orphanage, home to over 200 kids from new-borns to 18 years old. The previous night I’d met Roz from London, a volunteer teacher there and she’d said ... read more
Inside the Wooden Church
Kontum Orphanage
Minority Village in Kontum

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Kon Tum October 25th 2011

The next day we were back on the bike and headed deeper into the highlands, this time to check out some of the minority villages on the way and offer a chance for me to learn a bit about the history of the area and how people make a living there. Quang recounted a little of his life also for me and of his family. His father had moved to the South before the Viet Nam war and was an officer stationed out of then, Saigon. His Uncle remained in the North and was a General in the Viet Cong. A family feud ensued as brothers essentially battled each other across enemy lines, but thankfully lived to tell the tale. Quang was only about 11 in the war and remembered that everyone was so poor they ... read more
Rickety Bridge
Rickety Bridge River
The Main Road to Kontum

Asia » Vietnam » Central Highlands » Lam Dong » Da Lat October 20th 2011

We wound our way down the mountains to a small minority village, , little old women lined the roads beneath colourful umbrellas selling piles of oranges stacked meticulously high. Such an abundance of oranges made me wonder why it’s absolutely impossible to get a fresh orange juice anywhere ‘round here. On our bus ride our guide, Bau, told us of his ‘Fried Rice’, the nick-name given to a man’s wife in Vietnam. A ‘Noodle’ on the other hand is a man’s mistress. He said that all the men love their ‘Fried Rice’, but only rice all the time becomes boring. So sometimes he has to go out and find some noodle. Seeing as though the Vietnamese always eat noodle for breakfast, he has noodles with his “Fried Rice’ and sometimes takes his ‘Noodle’ out for rice ... read more
School children at the village
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Photo 5




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