I promised Liz I would write the post on Dalat, Vietnam and since it’s been over a month and 2 (going on 3) countries ago I thought I better get this up before I forget how awesome it was.
Dalat, sits in the mountainous western part of Vietnam between Danang and HCMC so the weather is not the hot humid jungle you expect in Vietnam but pleasantly cool.
We only had 2 nights to spend in Dalat so we started with a little hiking.
On our way back from the hike we finally learned why it’s important to have your “ducks in a row” apparently that’s how you market them to sell (hint: it helps if you tie up their feet).
The true highlight of our time was our easyrider trip. Motorbikes are in intricate part of the culture in Vietnam and no trip is complete without letting a local that knows the area like the back of his hand show you around. We’d done our fair share of adventures on a moto in Vietnam but I was looking to having someone that actually knew where we were going directing us. Our easyrider trip was arranged by the owner of the Wolfpack Hostel (seriously that’s the name and it is AWESOME!). I thought it’d be more fun if I drove a bike too (instead of sitting 3 deep all day). We meet our guide, Hung, first thing in the morning and we were off.
Our first stop was to see the amazing dragon sculptures at a temple in town. It was HUGE! And we learned about Chinese unicorns, the don’t have horns and look kinda like dragon/lion hybrids.
Then we were on our way into the countryside to visit a flower farm.
Then it was more riding (i really liked driving through the country side!) and a stop in a little tribal village with a really friendly family that showed us their home and let us take a few photos.
From there we rode to a place that makes civet coffee. That’s coffee made by weasels (the civet cats to be specific). I won’t go into details of how the weasels make it …
As part of the tour we got to see their homemade rice “wine” still… AKA Moonshine. I imagine the civet coffee business isn’t that profitable, but if you can make some rice wine, and in true vietnamese fashion, throw some dead things in it, you can sell it as an elixir. We tried it, sans dead things, and it wasn’t too bad. Our guide lit some on fire to show us how strong it was.
Our next stop was to a silk production farm. It’s was amazing seeing little worms go from devouring leaves to crazy machines and hot water unraveling their cocoons to machines weaving silk fabric like a player piano. The whole process was pretty neat, and Liz really like the boil silk worms, she said it tasted like a mix between pecorino and ricotta cheese, I think she hasn’t tasted cheese in a while then.
From the silk farm we went to Elephant Falls. A little waterfall that we were able to hike around and under.
We rode to another temple with a GIANT Buddha and some more dragons.
We stopped on the side of the rode and watch some farmers harvesting a plant that’s used in curry we’re were told it was sometimes used as lipstick, I made Liz try it.
More riding to another little waterfall, a mushroom farm, an orcid farm and a visit to a village that is named “Chicken” after giant statue of a roster with 9 spurs and a story of forbidden love.
We got a little rain on the way back so we suited up and then we ended the evening with a “family dinner” at the hostel sitting around the dining room floor.