Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Riding in Dalat I

After the overnight bus, we arrived in the central highlands of Vietnam.
The cool climate was extremely refreshing and allowed us to recover from our long and crazy journey on the night bus (and the subsequent 4-hour bus from Nha Trang to Dalat with 16 Vietnamese people in a 12-person bus. but that's another story).

Dalat is the home of the "Easy Riders", a group of motorcyclist tour guides well-known throughout Vietnam.

Unfortunately, it's been raining on and off during our time here, so our guide suggested we take a car instead of a motorcycle.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat


Our tour started around 8:30 and we were picked up by "Stefan" and his driver. They basically drove us around the area north of Dalat and Stefan told us anecdotes about the history of the area and Vietnamese culture.

We visited a dragon pagoda with a cool Buddha statue. Although people in Vietnam practice a sort of "triple religion" incorporating Confucianism, Buddhism, and ancestor worship, most people will describe themselves as Buddhist.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


We visited a local farm and talked (via Stefan) with farmers growing roses and chili pepper plants.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


We also saw coffee plantations - Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of coffee, tea, and rice.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

Coffee:
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat

Another common sight, snake wine:
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

Next, we tried some local coffee. This was so rich and thick that it rolled off the spoon like syrup. I was only able to handle a few tiny sips.
From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat

From K - Hoi An & Dalat


Dalat was beautiful despite the rain and it was good to have a tour guide who could tell us interesting stories about the area.

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