From the misty mountains to the rainy coast

And we’re back online.  I had a great time in Da Lat, but was so busy enjoying my trip I didn’t make it to an internet cafe.  After our marathon bus trip up into the mountains (which took all day 8am til 5pm – breaks included) we finally arrived in Da Lat.  It is of course busier and bigger than the quiet little ethnic hamlet the guidebooks make it out to be.  We had a great time exploring though.  On our free day there our guide offered to organise us a motorbike tour of all the best sights around Da Lat. It was a great day – we visited a minority village where they speak very little Vietnamese, saw a very tacky waterfall (pictures to follow at some point), a summer residence of a former president, rode in cable cars to visit a pagoda and generally had a a lot of fun just motoring about.  Da Lat is a resort town in the mountains so comes equipped with a variety of kitsch and tacky outings, including paddle boats on the lake that are shaped like swans (there were some at the waterfall too – and a Vietnamese cowboy and a couple of elephants).  It has beautiful flower gardens but is much colder than Saigon, we all ended up wearing our hoodies and jumpers.

Today we hopped on a bus again, but this time it was a much shorter trip.  We arrived in Nha Trang which is a coastal resort early afternoon.  After so many bus trips with buses and drivers of varying quality (interpretive driving styles such as talking on mobile phones while manoeuvring down a thin, steep, windy mountain road with one hand) we decided to take the afternoon easy and six of us went a visited a local spa.  It was absolutely pouring with rain, so exploring our local surroundings wasn’t appealing.  The spa was fantastic, there were massages and mud wraps, which made for a very relaxing afternoon.

Tomorrow we will hopefully go on our planned boat trip but the weather will likely decide that for us.