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Dalat

Dalat

After 2 months of sweltering heat, non-stop street noise and urban landscape, we decided it was time to head north to the Central Highlands for cooler weather and fresh air.

Da Lat is a small, peaceful French-inspired town in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It is supposed to be 8-11 hours by bus from Saigon but thanks to the most terrifying mountainside bus ride of my life (in which I fell off my seat and still have a bruise thanks to the erratic driving) our driver got us there in 6. We were immediately taken with this town, it was cold! Cold in Vietnam! So cold in fact, we all wore North Face jackets to keep warm! This is a big deal coming from a city that requires at least 3 showers a day just to stand the heat. And everywhere we looked, it was green. The town is extremely charming and was once the honeymoon choice of Vietnamese. On our first day we took a cable car across a massive valley to a monastery on a lake. After spending the day admiring the massive buddha statues and lakefront, we headed back across the valley for our favorite part of vacation–ice cream.

On our second day there, we decided to climb to the peak of Lang Biang mountain outside of town. The current group is fairly outdoorsy and the smaller group we went went are all hikers. But nothing prepared us for the hike ahead. The combination of humidity in the jungle, the straight up the side of a mountain “path” and the altitude made this the most difficult hike any of us had ever undertaken. But my god, the views from the top were worth every bit of it.

Da Lat was also very, very different from the culture that we had experienced in Saigon. There are several minority tribes living in and around Da Lat making for a very interesting mix of people. From the hiking to the people, Da Lat fully exceeded my expectations. If you find yourself looking for an escape from the city, Da Lat is perfect.

To see pictures that won’t post here, please go to:

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