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Countryside tour of Dalat, Vietnam

Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam.

Visiting Giant Buddha, farms, coffee plantation, silk processing, Elephant Waterfall & Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam.

I don’t like fast travel. I don’t like repacking my bag every other day, spending hours a week on buses, leaving a place before I’m used to it.

But I’m running out of time.

Yes, in theory, I have all the time in the world. But some plans to go to India (hopefully) in March cut down my Southeast Asia time by about a month. And I wasted a lot of time in places I didn’t even care for, like Malaysia (though, don’t get me wrong, I met awesome friends there, it was just a lackluster locale). And my plans to be in Bangkok by February leaves me only a handful of weeks to tackle Vietnam and Laos.

And so I found myself, instead of taking the time that I normally like to take, leaving Saigon after just a day and a half and I boarded a bus to Dalat (Da Lat), a town in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, set among tree-lined hills and waterfalls.


When I got off the bus I was a brave girl, bypassed the normal taxis, and let a motodriver take me, baggage and all, to find a hotel. And soon enough I was being even braver and agreed to let the Easy Rider tour guide take me around on a Dalat countryside tour to all of the sites the next day.

My first night in Dalat all I did was hit the market. It was one of my favorite markets I’d seen thus far: very lively with lots of people selling anything you could want and many little carts with food vendors.

It was cold, on Southeast Asia terms, I guess. And so while I was still in a light sweater everyone else was bundled in winter coats and trying to sell me gloves.

Central Market in Dalat, Vietnam

Central Market in Dalat, Vietnam

 

I tried a few little things to eat at the market, but I’m still not quite sure what any of them were (minus the bag of popcorn that smelled so good but had a weird this-isn’t-quite-butter taste). And then I called it an early night to prepare for a long day ahead on the back of a motorbike…

Central Market in Dalat, Vietnam

Central Market in Dalat, Vietnam

Central Market in Dalat, Vietnam

 

In the morning, my guide picked me up bright and early for my countryside tour of Dalat. He strapped on my helmet and off we went to explore the countryside of Vietnam. I spent the day on the back of his bike, exploring local farms and minority villages, climbing hills, standing under a waterfall, learning and seeing how (incredibly sweet Vietnamese) coffee and rice wine and silk are made, wandering a Gaudi-inspired crazy house…

Photos from the Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam:

Giant Buddha in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Vegetable farms in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Flower farm in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Coffee plants in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Coffee farm Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Vietnamese coffee in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Silk processing in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Silk processing in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Elephant waterfall in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Elephant waterfall in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Minority village in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Minority village in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Monkey in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam - Dalat Countryside Tour in Vietnam

 

Dalat, so far, is one of my favorite places I’ve been on my travels. It makes me think that I should be spending more of my time out in nature. More time among mountains and trees and waterfalls. I probably should. And it makes me regret that I have only a few short weeks here in Vietnam, so I’m kind of rushing through it all. Only getting a taste. Ideally I would have let my guide take me by motorbike to Nha Trang. Or even to Hoi An. To see more of this countryside I didn’t expect to love, to have an adventure.

But maybe some day I will back. Maybe some day I will have that adventure…

 

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