The bus arrived in Dalat at 4.30 a.m., that was two hours earlier as supposed so you can imagine, that the driver wasn’t driving slow. Coming to soon wasn’t that great, because you can’t check in your hostel and of course the taxi drivers… Once you are out of the bus you are surrounded by them and an easy bait. After getting rid of them, I set down at the bus station and waited there until it was 6.45 when I could walk to the hostel and leave my backpack there.
At the hostel, I saw a guided countryside tour and spontaneously decided to go for it. It was quite pricy (10€, I know it is not much in EU, but compared with the prices in Vietnam, this was overpaid) and as it started I remembered why I hate this kind of tours… You just go on the minibus, get out at one spot and hear a bit of blah blah, then go to another spot and the same procedure plays again and again. It has been a while from my last real touristic trip, but man, visiting places where everyone goes and having the same shoots, it’s just boring. Anyway, I saw a silk farm and as a vegetarian, I now know why I do not wear silk! The cocoons from what silk is made of are made by little silkworms. These cocoons get into boiling water where the worms get cooked alive! For me, this is a no go!
Next stop was a coffee farm and I saw the green coffee that is literally made from coffee beans that the weasel eats and shits out. Seeing the poor fellows lying in cages, made me realize, that the weasels pay the highest price for the shitty coffee… So another no go for me! All in one, I would say the tour was a shocker and made me doubt about the animal welfare in Asia…
Getting back to the hostel, I hooked up with two German guys that were also traveling on their own. We went on a night walk to discover Dalat and for Vietnamese beer. My opinion: Saigon and 333 (pronounced: bababa) are good and cheap (less then 1€). Dalat is a really nice city, where there are not that many tourists. I even didn’t have a feeling I am really in Asia, because of the French architecture in one part of the town, that makes it obvious that there was a French colony here. Another French thing here are the baguettes (Banh Mi)… On every corner are offered sandwiches filled with eggs and some veggies. It is also a typical breakfast you get in every hostel all over Vietnam. After a while you are in desperate need to eat something else and are thankful if you get a pancake.
The lady from RedHouse hostel suggested a hike to Lang Biang, so we took a taxi to reach the starting point and walked up the mountain. It was a nice hike in muddy conditions and reaching the top (2167m) was a great feeling. For sure a special hike in the jungle and seeing vegetation on the top is for me an unusual thing. The hike takes just 1,5 hours to reach the top by making around 600 altitude meters, since Dalat is already high.
One day after I went for a quick run around the lake in the city (5 km), because I knew that there is going to be a looong drive to Hoi An (15 hours) with the sleeping bus. One good thing about the sleeping bus is, that you spare the money for accommodation and at the same time, you move from point A to point B.
The drive started in the evening and well it was the same as other drives, really fast. There are no toilets in the bus, so the bus stops just few times… on this ride just twice in 15 hours… The first time it stopped, was at the restaurant and the second time… well in the middle of nowhere, they just said “toilet toilet” and once we stepped out of the bus, they just showed to the right for men and to the left for women, meaning find your spot 🙂 .