Da Lat

We arrived in Da Lat at around 4AM, after spending the night on a sleeping bus. The first thing we noticed was that, for the first time in 8 months, it was cold! We did not even know how to react to this, but our first reflect was to enjoy this forgotten feeling. With nothing to lose and being in no hurry, we decided to walk all the way into town. For this purpose we chose a very quiet street and started on our way. It was quite interesting to use this small road that took us downhill and back up, passing through a quiet village where after a while, the inhabitants started to arise and were very surprised to see two white people with huge backpacks on their road…

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We eventually found the hotel we had booked, had a quick nap and set back out to check out the town. We decided to walk around the lake and see what we found. The lake itself is quite pretty as long as you don’t look too close (as the water is disgusting if you do) and it was nice to have a cool breeze for a change. On the way around we contemplated and discarded renting a pedal boat.

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On the opposite shore, we reached the famous flower garden of Da Lat, and decided to check it out. We spent the next few hours lost among colours, taking hundreds of pictures, taking in the sweet odours, textures and beauty that surrounded us. It was by far one of the best flower gardens I have ever been in, finely manicured and expertly designed and even when Tim could not walk any longer I kept going until the Canon run out of battery on me…

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The next day we slept in, enjoying the weight of heavy blankets on us, as once again the night had turned cold. For breakfast we enjoyed some of the delicious fruit we had bought at the local market the previous day. Da Lat is famous for its strawberries, oranges and avocados, and after driving a hard bargain we had all of them in our power. We left the hotel around noon and headed towards the “Crazy House”. This place is the life work of a native architect, who dreamt about an unconventional sort of structure, without hard lines and more closely related to the way nature ‘builds’. The result is quite amazing, a hotel where each room is different, where the walls melt into each other and the openings are round. By any account, an amazing place out of fairy tales.

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We walked around further admiring this quaint little town and we found the Moulin Rouge! It was odd to find this replica here, but there are a few French style buildings around the place so it kinda worked regardless. We enjoyed our two days in Da Lat, among flowers and mountains, and I hope we can return someday with our own bikes to explore the surrounding area…

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