The Dalat Cowboy Rolls Into Town
Da Lat Travel Blog› entry 72 of 117 › view all entries
Sorry, that was rubbish. It's been a long trip.
Into the Central Highlands of Vietnam I go, and an increase in altitude brings a much-appreciated decrease in temperature. It was weird leaving somewhere as hot as Mui Ne, where I was sweating from just sitting down, and arriving somewhere where I felt cold with shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops on. Dalat is known as the 'City of Eternal Spring', and the average maximum temperature is a relatively mild 24C. Mind you, I had worked up a cold sweat before arriving, just from the overtake-anything-and-anywhere policy adopted by our minibus driver as we were crammed into every possible space onboard. It reminded me of a movie I saw once about a bus that had to speed around a city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, it would explode! I think it was called, 'The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.
We were, again, dropped off at a hotel that would no doubt take a chunk of commission for the drop-off, but this time I was surprised that it was actually very nice. No need for air-con in Dalat, so the hot shower, free breakfast and TV sealed the deal.
I had a little nose around the market area of town. Despite the place having an influx of over 80,000 foreign tourists a year, I still felt like I was getting the old, "You're a long way from home, kid," look. I kept checking my flies, but I don't think that was it.
At first sign of sunlight (OK, truthfully: when I woke up) I headed off for a trademark ramble around the town to get my bearings. Having a bit more of a butchers at the market area, I purchased a pineapple to eat on my way. I swear I was getting more of those looks and people commenting. I don't think anyone in Vietnam has ever polished off a whole pineapple before. Either that or my flies were undone that time.
I circumnavigated the 7km trail around Xuan Huong Lake, overlooking the city, where some people fished, while others were taking tourists on horse-drawn colourfully-decorated carts past the giant golf course and flower gardens - which I didn't visit, cos it's pretty fruity for a guy to be looking at flowers at any time, but especially when on your own.
Still completely overestimating what 'Eternal Spring' is supposedly like in Vietnam, I ended up sweating and red-nosed, so retreated to a cafe for a refreshing fruit shake and a cheeseburger - that's right, I am now missing Western food; it was amazing. After a quick visit to the Cathedral and a walk to a vantage point to see Dalat from up high, I set off back to my hostel, for once not desperately fantasizing about air-con.