Whistle stop tour
Da Lat Travel Blog› entry 88 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)
We arrived into Dalat on Wednesday afternoon and had a quick look around the city and booked a tour for the following day. For some reason, the town seemed devoid of budget eateries and when we did find a half cheap place for an evening meal, the standard of the food and service showed why it was cheaper than other places. Still, no rats or cockroaches, which had to be taken as a bonus!
We set off early on Thursday morning, taking a tour around the main sites of Dalat. The morning was spent visiting a Buddhist meditation retreat, which was at the end of a nice cable car ride, which gave vistas across the Dalat region. Just down from the monastery was Paradise Lake, which was picturesque and unlike many of Vietnams tourist attractions, free from hawkers ('wanna buy something' grabbing your arm people).
I'd thought the waterfall would be the worst site of the day, as Lonely Planet had strongly recommended not to go here due to badly treated animals. The truth is, there were a few elephants to ride, horses to have pictures with and some alligators in a large enclosure with plenty of water, a massive improvement on the way most animals are treated in Asia. Scrap that, around the World! Although not much water was gushing down the waterfall, it still made for a relaxing stop, where there was also a rope bridge to trapeze.
Our last stop before lunch was at the Lake of Sighs, named due to its tragic history, where 2 lovers drowned themselves rather than been seperated by arranged marriages. It was quite a peaceful spot and was followed by lunch back in the centre of Dalat. Refreshed, we moved on to Bao Dai's Summer Palace, the home of the former Vietnamese king, which although luxurious, was not as ornate as most palaces around the World. To be honest, it was a refreshing change and that actually made it quite nice to visit.
Next up was the Domain de Marie Church, which had some pretty gardens and interesting stories of religious people, including a nun who had died hundreds of years ago and her body had never decayed! Mao, Lenin and Uncle Ho, take note! After a prolonged stop at an embroidery shop, we made our way to our last destination for the day, the Valley of Love. There were some nice views and much like the whole day, it was pleasant and enjoyable without been anything spectacular.