The Dalat Cowboy Rolls Into Town

Da Lat Travel Blog

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The Central Highlands

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.

Dalat town
' (Sorry, that was stolen from the Simpsons like a true geek.) Afterwards, I made a joke about the dodgy driving in front of everyone on the bus. You could hear the tumbleweed; the reception wouldn't have been warmer if I had told them they were all terminally ill.

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.

Xuan Huong Lake

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.

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The Central Highlands
The Central Highlands
Dalat town
Dalat town
Xuan Huong Lake
Xuan Huong Lake
The Market Square (circle)
The Market Square (circle)
Fishermen at Xuan Huong Lake
Fishermen at Xuan Huong Lake
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
Da Lat
photo by: Biedjee