Dalat

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We are starting to enter a time crunch since we have only a week and a half to make it to Bangkok but still have things we want to see in Vietnam and sites to see in Cambodia. For this reason we decided to high tail it to Ho Chi Mihn city. The bus was 20 hours straight there so I wanted to break it up with a stop over in Dalat. We were told it was the same amount of time from Hoi Ann to Ho Chi Mihn City through Dalat as it was through Mu Ne. However we just found out this is not the case and just extended our 20 hour journey by about 7 hours by stopping in Dalat. Oops.

Not all that torturous as the ride through the mountains is beautiful.

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We weren’t looking forward to Dalat since we were told it was cold here. During the day it was warm (70 degrees) but cooled down at night to maybe low 60s.

Only having one day in Dalat, we wanted to see what we could see in our short stay. From what I read in the book there are a lot of fun tours to do, but as usual, the tourist stuff is expensive. This wasn’t the place we wanted to splurge on a tour, so we opted for the usual motorbike rental.

Our hotel was pretty far from where the bus dropped us so it worked well that we used the scooters to bring our luggage to our hotel. We asked the hotel guy what we could do, if there was somewhere we could hike nearby,  and he sent us to Langbiang, which was about a 20 minute ride from our hotel.

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As usual, they nickel and dime you getting in, having to pay two dollars for entry, then 50 cents for parking, then once you hike up the mountain you have to pay again for access to the “better” view.

We were unpleasantly surprised to find out we would be hiking up a paved road that we could have easily taken our scooters up had they allowed it. Oh well exercise is good.

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Once at the top there were decent views nothing amazing.

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What was interesting was they were using old refurbished war jeeps to shuttle people up.

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The hike up was a strenuous hour each direction.

During the evening we walked around downtown Dalat.

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There weren’t many tourists here. Big bustling markets.

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What was interesting was the food. I read in the Lonely Planet that there is more diversity of food here since in the mountains they are able to grow a wider range of crops such as avocados and strawberries. And.. snails?

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While I was in the midst of negotiating with some guy for a pair of socks, everyone started scuffling about and quickly wrapping up all their goods into blankets and scurrying away. It was quite the scene. The cops showed up; I guess they obviously were selling where they weren’t allowed to.

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