02 June 2012

Motorcycle Diaries: Dalat, Vietnam

Did I mention that I love motorcycle rides?  The drive into Dalat is beautiful, even if coming in by bus.  The town is small, reminding me of something between Eugene, OR and San Francisco.  It’s pretty laid back and that region specializes in fruit, so there’s lots of strawberries, blackberries, water apples and such at their markets.  Lots of fruity, sweet stuff!  The town itself is not all that exciting but once you get out on a motorcycle and start driving along all the winding mountain curves, it’s awesome!  It’s filled with a ton of coffee plantations, flower nurseries, fruit orchards, and a big muddy river.  

During the motorcycle ride with my hired driver, he took me to the tallest mountain there so I could trek.  It was a two hour hike up and it was certainly a hike UP.  We ended up being on the same pace as  a small group of Vietnamese guys so we hiked together with only two of them able to speak English.  But we all completely understood that we were all hot, sweating, tired, and two of us wanted to take pictures along the way.  I had a great time with them!  Interesting thing about outdoor activites with Asians, they wear the same clothes they would to go to the market in.  One guy was even wearing dress pants and shoes!... while hiking!  No one really had "hiking-appropriate" clothing except me.  That just goes to show me it really doesn't matter unless you're gonna go hardcore which the only thing hardcore of the trek was that I was breathing and sweating hardcore... didn't help that I had a cold on top of all the humidity, humility and lack of fitness.  The views at the top are stunning though!  You could see the entire Dalat valley.  Yeah, the view here is pretty incredible.  (See picture above)  Another cool thing is that they have some semi-wild horses roaming around there.  It's just so unfamiliar to see horses just roaming wherever they felt like it, including alongside the main roads.  Pretty spectacular really.

Afterwards, we went to check out the Elephant Waterfall, then had some lunch where we watched two guys fishing from the restaurant, and then enjoy the drive back.  Seriously a cool ride!  

View from our restaurant where guys were fishing (rod to the left of the shot)


A horse I saw out in the woods.  Surreal...

Can this guy put anymore on the motorcycle??

Behind the Elephant Waterfall

Walking back to the trail from behind the falls

Either this gal LOVES Jackfruit or she's going to the market

Cutie boys enjoying some ice cream and candy (even up his nose!) on the back of their parents motorcycle
Just some of the many strawberry vendors

Mmm, blackberries and strawberries!  

Some of the best produce in Vietnam with all of berries and now, AVOCADOS!!!!  

I don't know what this is called, but it's delicious!  It has rice paper with a mix of
vegetables, fresh egg, chili sauce, and dried shrimp floss (ok, the part I didn't like).

One part of the valley...

...and another part of the valley

This little cutie I met at the bus stop while on a swing.  She had no problems just coming to sit on my lap and play with my iPhone and touch all the different buttons on the screen.  It's the kids that really make Asia a great place.

Images in Dalat


At June 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Sam said...

I like your blog, even though it makes me very jealous, it also inspires me to get back out there : ) Happy trails.


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