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Southeast Asia

Da Lat, Vietnam |


We took a 7 hour bus from Saigon to Dalat. The ride up to to Dalat was
beautiful but the city itself is a little hokey. The gardens with cement deers drinking from a blue cloth river are something we are thinking Rod and MJ should consider for the back yard this summer.

We were in the city to hire a motorbike to take us into the country which we thought we could do for $10.00 each per day through a group of men who call themselves "The Easyriders". They offer tours of the countryside on their ancient Russian motorbikes. They have become popular since the last edition of "The Lonely Plant"and now want to charge us $20.00 each for 3 hours which we think is an insane price. We were disappointed about the country tour, but the worst part is you cannot find anyone else to drive you around. The "Easyriders" have a monopoly and from our experience if you don't wanna pay you ain't going nowhere!

We wanted to do a hike and decided to join a Sin Cafe tour for the transportation. The hike was to the top of a mountain and our guide
immediately let us know we could take an American Jeep to the top for
only $25 dollars! Great considering we just paid $11.00 for a hike!
There was a Vietnamese woman in our group of 4 and the guide kept trying to convince her she was too "delicate" for the hike and it would be much easier on both her and the guide if we took the Jeep.

The hike was more of a walk straight up a hill. It was one helluva work out and it felt great to get a sweat on. The view from the top of the hill truly was spectacular. You could also see sections of far off hills that were damaged by defoliants in the American war.

In Dalat we also visited a little coffee shop where we had our first taste of real Vietnamese coffee. The coffee percolates in a little metal filter that sits on top of your mug. The end product is a small amount of liquid that looks like black mud. If you order white coffee there is a large amount of "sweet milk" (condensed milk) at the bottom of your cup. After I finished my little cup of coffee I had a hard time walking straight and keeping my limbs from vibrating. There was so much caffeine in that little coffee that I felt nauseous. Brandon and I were both so wired we went on the Internet for 5 hours. Mmmm sweet nectar of the gods--Vietnamese white coffee.

Locations Visited: Da Lat

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