A Travellerspoint blog

The great escape

Dalat and beyond

sunny 29 °C

So I have to admit that I have been very slack since I last updated this blog and I am going to regret it as I think I probably have lost some of my faithful follows –which these days there are a few- but it is at last time to stop partying here in Auckland, dust off the old diary, pull up the pictures and finish my time in Vietnam and Singapore. Thank you for staying with me and I will do my best at stay up to date for you my readers, I promise…hopefully!!!

So last time I left you I was in central Vietnam, in the lovely seaside town of Nha Trang with my good friend Annie McIntosh and my bad friend the hangover! As I believe I said before Nha Trang was wonderful and fun, but only for a couple of days. The thing with me is that there is only a limited amount of time that I can spend on a beach before the level of boredom grows so much that I have to leave before I start playing games like how long can I hope my head under water just to pass time, two days was that limit this time around –it changes- and there wasn’t much more to do here. Also it is said to admit but my visa is running out for Vietnam and if I am not careful Ho Chi Ming City (formally Saigon) will be missed.

The problem with the way that I have been travelling in Vietnam and most of my travelling before is that I have a plan on where to go next but I don’t book until I am ready to go, normally the day of travelling. This plan has never failed me, well until now! Annie and I went to the bus station to book are next bus later that day to find out that it was fully booked. Now one thing that I haven’t mentioned is that all the buses that I have booked have not been full, some fuller than others and it seemed strange but didn’t think about. After a couple more full buses we decided to book a car and driver to drive us to Dalat (about a 4-5 hour drive) and I admittedly it was a strange and rushed decision but it only cost $30 between us and it was time to leave before I had another night out like the first. So after a interesting car journey with a driver who didn’t talk, some of the worst fog I have ever seen and a CD collection that was selected out of the finest wedding DJ’s ‘cheesy’ selection we arrived in the hill top town of Dalat to find out the reason for the lack of transport to there was due to the Vietnamese Independent Day celebration that is swamped by all locals to get out of the cities. Now when I say Dalat was busy, I really mean busy like Notting Hill carnival is and it wasn’t so much a case of finding a cheap room, at one point I thought it was a case of finding a dry spot to sleep but eventually we found a room and when we were walking to the basement I thought it was the last room in town situation but it was lovely with two double beds and a floodable bathroom. That night we went for food and drinks and the strangest thing happened, at 10 o’clock like most of Vietnam the streets emptied even though they were on holiday.

The next morning we worked out that the chances of getting a second night in this town was slim to none and it was time to bail on Dalat and head for the safety for the city and booked are bus tickets out for there ASAP. The rest of the day -as you can probably guess- was spent an the back of a motorbike whizzing around hills of Dalat like most places in Vietnam. One of the best things we found, or at least entertained me the most, was a waterfall that when inside offered Zebra riding, and even though a little out the ordinary and against at least one international law was amazing to my little mind. But I went looking and I looked and I saw it appearing from the other side of the waterfall I saw a child on the back of a Zebra and I ran to it, I ran and you know what I saw? I’ll tell you I saw poor beautiful white horse with black paint. The best thing about this is when I found the retired horse which I believe helped EL James come up with the title for his best selling book as because of the rain was really a 50 shades of horrible grey.

Heading back to Dalat after our day we encounted the worst traffic ever and had to feed my way around bikes, cars, buses and lorries. Made worse by the screaming Annie on my back and the angry drivers behinds the wheels. How ever I survive and that night we boarded the bus with emergency gin, Pringles and a Ipod –the bus journey survival kit- and headed to Saigon at the back of the bus and let the singing and drinking begin and as I have always said emergency gin is the key to happy traveller.

Posted by Joewhittaker 16:31 Archived in Vietnam Tagged dalat

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