Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Da Lat

As of yesterday, after 4 days in Ho Chi Minh, I am in Da Lat. It's a nice little town up in the mountains (the scenery was great on the bus until it was absorbed by darkness - 7 hours to get here) and it's alot like Pai in Thailand, except replace the hippies with bikers. There's a bustling market, a lake, lots of bars & cafes and it's generally very chilled out - Ho Chi Minh this is not. There's also lots to see around Da Lat (treks, bike rides, waterfalls) but sadly im only here for 2 nights because as of tomorrow im off with the "Easy Riders" on a 7 day, 1000km motorbike ride to Hoi An. The Easy Riders are like a Vietnamese biker gang who ride big old bikes, taking tourists on excursions to various places in the central highlands to see what they claim is "the real Vietnam". I've been excited about this since I arrived in the country as i've heard alot of praise for them from travellers i've met who say dont leave Vietnam without doing it. The only draw back (although I knew the costs before I even asked) is their non-negotiable price - $70 a day - which over a week will cost me an arm & a leg (I think i've said that before, that means im pretty much just a torso now then) but I know i'll regret it if I miss out. Oh, and although it pains me to say so I wont actually be driving (boo!), my guide's called Stefan. He's a bit of a dude and speaks really good English (aswell as French) so it's me and him on a 'Long Way Up' style adventure where im Ewan McGregor and he's that annoying one.

You might hear from me inbetween here and Hoi An but I dont know how frequently, I dont think they have Broadband in the minority villages yet... We shall see. I know im going via Buon Ma Thuot, Plei Ku and Kon Tum, but the inbetweens I dont know. I shall see you on the otherside... of the next 7 days... not like 'otherside' as in the land of the spirits. Gnarly X


  1. Hi Tom, hope your journey is going well. 1000 kms is a long haul on the back of a motor bike! Stefan doesn't sound like a Vietnamese name, hope he's a good driver. You haven't said much about the food, do you know what you are eating? I guess if you are hungry enough you'll eat almost anything. Really enjoying your blog, well written. love Christine xxx.

  2. Hi Tom your blogs are a pleasure to read, like Christine says 1000km is a long way on the back of a big old bike. Is it a Harley?? Motor bikes really seem to be the in thing for travelling around in the countries you have visited.I have never been keen on motor bikes so am not sure whether I would want to try that but who knows.For me Vietnam sounds better than Cambodia however it is probably different when you are actually seeing and experiencing it in person. We are keeping upto date on the maps and trying to look things up on the internet. We have certainly learned a lot about this area of the world from your blogs and looking things up. Amazed how much rice they grow in the Mekong Delta but seeing that can understand that it must become a bit monotinous.Really look forward to the next instalment and where you head to then, you might be feeling a bit saddle sore and fancy a bit of comfort on a bus or train but guese you don't see so much then or get off the beaten track to more rural places. Keep on enjoying yourself and take care. Malcolm