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Da Lat Country Side Tour

July 30, 2010

So we booked the Da Lat City tour, which appealed to both my romantic side (Valley of Love, Bai Dai’s Summer Palace, Datanla waterfalls, etc) and my love for history (The old railway station and Da Lat Historical Village). Unfortunately, on the morning of the tour, our guide requested to change my tour itinerary to one of the country side tour (an increased rate from US$11 to $17 at no extra charge). Oh well, why not…

So we were the first tourist on board the car, followed by a girl from China. It’s pretty cool cause we had a driver, a tour guide and an intern from the tourism university, so it almost feels a private tour, with a chaperon for each tourist. *gRiNz~

Guess what’s our first stop of the day?
(Hint: What Da Lat is famous for!)

Fresh flowers

Coffee Beans

That’s right! Flowers and coffee, the biggest export business for Da Lat. I especially love that they have they favourite flowers, baby’s breath! Especially since this is the first time I’ve seen it in its natural surroundings.

Also, the first time I’ve seen coffee beans being processed from plant to dried beans. It’s kinda unexpectedly red and green on the outside but gluey and yellow on the inside. In fact, if you see closely at the picture above, our guide has actually broken the skin of some beans, for us to compare the differences.

Next up, a silk “factory.”

Silk Factory

Since many Asian countries produce silk, and most of their tours include a visit to a silk factory, I shan’t dwell into the details of its process.

However, do you know that silkworms are edible? In fact they tastes like peanuts, or earthworms if you have ever tasted them. I tried one of them boiled, although the Vietnamese people usually have them fried, and I totally regretted not having shot a video of the experience!!! *pOut*~

Now, time for the Da Lat’s Elephant waterfalls!

Elephant Waterfalls

I wished I have the courage to climb up to the top, but I gave up half way. The last minute change in itinerary also meant that I was wearing the wrong type of footwear.
Note: Pretty slippers do not maketh good countryside companion.

Check out how slippery and steep the path is…

Slippery and muddy

My knees are were soft from trepidation halfway through the hike!

However, I climbed underneath the water fall, after taking a break to gather more courage!

Underneath the waterfalls

Looks like fun doesn’t it?

Check out our next crazy stop!

Crazy House

Hang Nga Tree House Hotel (Translation: The Spider Web Chalet) or Crazy House (a nickname by the locals), is designed by architect Ms Dang Viet Nga, best known as the daughter of Truong Chinh, former president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Inspired by nature, Ms Dang calls her creation an essential mingling of nature and people.

Do you think the house is a good representation of her sketches/ideals?

Inside and around the Crazy House

I think it makes a pretty neat guest house or a vacation home. What do you think? Would you call it crazy?

Our last stop was supposed to be the embroidery centre but due to some domestic affairs (they were worshipping ancestors), we ended up changing routes to a Catholic church.

Domaine de Marie

Doesn’t it feel like a European cottage? Or one of those nursing homes?
(Please leave me your reply at the comments section below.)

Now, that marks the end of my Da Lat country side tour.
Next up, central Vietnam!!

***

All pictures from this post are shot with a Canon TX1 and have not been digitally enhanced.

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