Could it be magic... No..... No.....

Da Lat Travel Blog

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So... full moon party number 2 but 3rd moon party overall in a month and it was as exciting as chinese water torture!  Well... we went for dinner and found one out of a million restaurants that did proper food-NOT stuff that wiggled about on your plate or hissed when it was boiled.  Then headed up to Wax BAr where we met the mum and daughter team who had recognised us earlier in the day from the full moon party on koh phangan.  We dove into an ice cold beer and sat watching the waves crash on the shore while some wannabe spun fire and ried to juggle but was definitely not up to the usual high standard.  After aaahing and oohing for a few minutes, mum and daughter left for bed while us two "hellraisers" stayed out and consumed another glass of ice cold bgi beer!

A hairy austrian guy approached me from behind with a fire extinguisher of fanta and vodka-well... it'd be rude not to, wouldn't it??  I swallowed hard and let the fruity concoction fill my hot mouth before summoing him to leave when he missed and squirted me in the eye!  But he came around again and so i delved deep once more and swallowed hard until i tired and went back to my beer.  The party was like an unorganised frat party with hairy young men, drunk young girls and the odd scantily clad asian girl gyrating on the ugliest bloke in the house but was well worth a laugh!!  It hit 11pm and being the good girls that we are-we headed back to the mansion and fell deep into our squidgy beds watching a clive owen film and clutching bottles of water before bedtime.  Suddenly the room began to spin and the temperature rose and i spilled out of bed realising that the air con wasn't on-we spent hours trying to fathom it out but in the end, gave it up and attempted to sleep in our sauna.

Next morning we eclipsed our room and went in search of lunch but it was pouring it down and we were getting sogged so we had to cancel our trip to the sand dunes and our sledging-i moaned all day but getting back into my mushy bed and waching movies all afternoon didn't seem such a bad thing.  Later on we hit the town for dinner-known as the "sunset strip", we followed the flood waters to a cosy little bar hidden in a wooden hut-for now it wasn't raining so the hats and umbrellas were off and we were dressed like normal human beings-not people on poseidon!!  After dinner we strytted down the boulevard and went in search of t'internet but everywhere closes around 11 apart from the bars and shops so we went late night shopping and then flew back to the hotel to get some shut eye before our latest early morning was upon us! 

On the way back in we found Mr. "I'm a manager" american guy (blatant lies-we saw his boss bully him!)  and pulled him up on the turning off of our air con, on why our toilet wouldn't flush properly and why we had bed bugs-yeeeesss... it was the only explanation for our hives and he agreed but defended the hotel and said that the bed had been changed but we saw otherwise as they made up messed up beds on the day we got there and they were definitely not changed!!  He was getting miffed about the air con and said he was on our side but said not to whine at him in the morning as there was nothing he could do-yeah right...!!  He got someone to sort out the bathroom but it took 4 attempts and them running away each time before it was actually fixed!  Then he checked that said air con was on and stood chatting to us in a state of undress with his shirt lapping his chest-he may have thought he was hot-we had just eaten, on the other hand and just wanted him to sort out our problems and sod off.  He eventually took the hint and so we settled down into our bug ridden beds once more.

Next day, bright and early we flew out of our beds and did another early morning dash for the bus to Dalat.  On paying our bill the guy couldn't find our passports so we waited calmly for what seemed an age before he finally flung them towards us and off we went to catch a minibus to the main bus about 2 hours off mui ne.  The mini bus filled up gradually at each passing hotel until we were full to the brim and we shuffled off on our way to dalat passing mountains of sand, blissful beaches and dunes from ear to ear on our escape.  The bus swerved all over the road, tossing and turning like it was having a bad night's sleep-yeah... felt WELL safe but it wasn't until we got out later that we realised the bus had a huge tear in it's tyre-hmmmm... said driver was a plank!!

After 2 hours we stopped at a restaurant for a toilet break HOWEVER there were no toilets so that was pointless and in actual fact, it was just an excuse for the driver to get some grub!  I stumbled out of the bus in my unconscious being and found a puppy at my feet-a baby pekingese-that was it-i was kidnapping him!!  I played spider dog with him (he climbed walls!) as you do, superdog (he flew) and tried to make him growl at lindsay but i had to do it instead!!  He nibbled on my fingers and fluffed around me wanting attention-clearly i was going to give him it THEN over trots a moggy, what am i?? Dr. Dolittle??  I've been attracting animals left right and centre since i came away!  Even the cockerels wouldn't shut up when around me!!  After having another round of growling at lindsay i patted him on the head and off we shot to the bus station where we joined a big, tougher bus.

The next bus was marginally more comfortable but it grunted rather loudly and the horn was over used for the entire journey.  We hit 1pm and stopped for road food and tucked into rice and coke before piling back on to the sound of the stupid horn again!!  After another 2 hours we had made Dalat-only an hour out!  We headed to the hotel where we were dropped off but it was winter here, it was cold and there wasn't a chance in hell that we were going to cuddle together for warmth so onto the next place but it was on the very top floor so that one was out before we even started up the stairs and when we did eventually get up there-it looked like a scene from fawlty towers.  We tried one last place and found a lil piece of heaven-ok, so it wasn't that nice but it didn't look like many murders had occurred in this room so we took it for $6 and fell back onto our bds before a quick change and out to see some sights.  It was getting fairly late now but having only one day here restricted us so we carried on regardless.

Some easyrider guys from a tour company had followed us around since we got there but after me announcing we were leaving next day, they jogged on and went to prey on some other unsuspecting tourists!  We bartered with a couple of motorbike guys on taking us around the city and for 50, 000 dong we got to go to 4 places so we hopped on the back wearing our oh so cool helmets and jetted off to our first stop-eiffel tower and Dalat Cathedral.  The eiffel tower is a telecoms tower that's been built to look like the big one in paris but all the telecoms towers are the same so i found out today so what a waste of a photo-i'm just too trigger happy!!  The cathedral was a cop out too as it was being refurbished so you couldn't go in but it was pretty all the same and worth a visit, the gardens were littered with benches dedicated to fallen soldiers from germany and the us, was very sad.

Next stop was the bla bla bla pagoda (can't remember the name) but my driver kept flying up hills or leaning hard round corners and i was wondering at this point what my gravestone should say... i could think of a few unmentionable limericks!!  Suddenly we came to a halt and i could feel the ground again but this wasn't the pagoda.. nooo... the drivers had taken us to a place called crazy house!!!!  Were they trying to tell us something!?  It was all very confusing!!  Some guy ushered us in and we followed hoping that they weren't so mean as to sedate us or put us in the care of a menatl health facility.  We peered inside our legs trembling but it was just a playground, of sorts.  You got to climb through trees and see some fairytale themed bedrooms with scary bears climbing the walls or giraffes peering through windows-random!!  I climbed everything and threw caution to the wind while lindsay bowed her head in shame at my antics-i figured everyone else was being a big kid so why shouldn't i!!  To tell you the truth-this place had nicer rooms than our hotel ;) 

After prancing around under flashing spiderwebs and snowcovered trees we found our way out and clambered back onto our harleys (clearly not... probably as crap a bike as you can buy) and then fluttered off to the actual pagoda but it was closed-we tried to climb the gates but they were impossible and so the drivers took us up and over the hills, back into town and to another pagoda where monks clustered outside and watched us intently, as if we were going to rob something!!  I stared back, well... why not!?  Why should they have all the fun, then the drivers dragged us away and took us into town and dropped us off for tea.  We went into the first restaurant/cafe and got a hot chocolate that didn't even touch the sides-it was freezing here at this time of year but while i had shorts and a jumper on-lindsay had trousers and a strappy top so being the lady that i am-i donated my jumper to her cause as i didn't want another sick lindsay on my hands.

We headed to another restaurant for tea where the waiter was too busy staring at lindsay to remember our drinks and so we got our food first-randomly!  Then as we prepared to leave he slipped me a note to give to her telling her that she was very beautiful and to have a good day-bleurghhh!!!  Sickening!!  Then we piled into an internet cafe just to keep warm and see what was going on in the world but after attempting to edit my notes and get the grammar and spelling right-i got bored and so we went for another hot chocolate and huddled round the table like 2 little orphans in oliver.  It was very busy in town even at 10.30pm and we were told there were no taxis back but we walked down the street a little and found one to drop us home and it was cheap as chips-FOR A CHANGE!!  We spent the night in foisty beds watching people die on the poseidon film then we giggled ourselves to sleep before yet another crazy wake up call!!

At 7.15 we were stood outside hanh cafe piling our bags into a minvan which was taking us to the bus station where we were thrown off and told to take our bags over to the bus.  Lindsay being travel sick was looking on nervously so i ushered her over to the bus to get a front seat so she could see out and not feel sick so i promised to collect the bags from the boot and lob them under the bus in the luggage hold but 2 mighty rucksacks and 2 small one's later... my arms were full and the guys didn't look interested in helping me one iota.. I walked about like a bag lady wobbling from side to side with the full weight of our articles pressing down on me but then the guys told me to get onto the bus!!!  How on earth was i going to do that without help?????  So i wiggled my bum and squeezed my way up through the automatic door with a random tourist fighting thei way up behind me-not a wise move cos i fell back through the doors!!  I tried again and managed to lob 2 wee bags over to lindsay before getting wedged between two seats and cursing my wee head off under my breath then suddenly a guy who could've been mistaken for jesus came and helped me and i was on and ready, raring to go but no... he only took one bag so i threw the other one to the back in a grump and waddled off up the coach to my seat where lindsay sat looking confused, clearly having missed all the drama!

Soon we were off and being driven by Dalat's answer to Lewis Hamilton-he sloshed about the road like he had ben drinking and kept trying to overtake on bends or sharp corners with high rising cliffs but steep drops below.  We all clung to our seats occasionally praying for a new driver and at 11am our prayers were answered when the drivers swapped round at lunchtime.  While i sat being mauled by yet another cat who liked my cardigan, the driver threw water and soap suds on the windscreen-this would've been alright if they'd have actually cleared it off when done but instead he was now driving with a glazed over window but this driver didn't speed, he just used his mobile phone and occasionally swerved to try and hit a biker or 3, then laughed when he had scared them..  Where do we find these maniacs, i ask myself!!  We arrived at 3pm and a nora batty lookalike trundled over and took us to a hotel straight out of the saw movies.  Then we went to one that looked like Hitler's bunker and another that made osama bin laden's cave look cosy-hmmmmph... An irish guy sat in the street laughing his head off at my description of each place and the woman nodded as if she understood what i was on about-clearly not.

Eventually we did our own thing and found a sort of haven (better than the others at any rate) a bit more expensive but least i didn't feel as if i was going to die in the night by some gun wielding maniac.  We sat on the bed watching Casino Royale before attempting the ever startling Saigon full of bars and fun like khao san but we opted for peaceful and quiet and filled our bellies with cheap and cheerful vetnamese munch before heading to the tourist offices for quotes on how to get out of this place and now... i am going to try ring the family... even though they don't ring me-grrrrr...!

Next Edition... Cambodia!!!


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Da Lat
photo by: Biedjee