From Saigon we took a coach to the mountainside town of Da Lat, long a retreat from the Vietnamese summer enjoyed by locals and colonials alike.
The bus itself was somewhat of an experience. We had been booked a 'sleeper' coach, which in Vietnam is a normal sized touring bus split into two levels by bunks that can only be raised to 35 degrees, thus forcing travellers into a reclining position for the duration of thrune journey. Any attempt to raise oneself into a seated position will put all but the most diminutive Westerner in touch with the ceiling. This made for a most uncomfortable journey, other than the stroke of luck that allowed Greg to occupy the very back seats, which permitted the stretching of legs and the making of new friends simultaneously.
*Click on the pics below to see a slideshow!
We cycled around the famous lake, fluorescent green with unmentionable pollutants, and eventually stopped to take a 'pedalo' in the form of a swan for an hour. Much hilarity ensued as we found ourselves desperately trying to avoid Vietnamese drivers who were either unable to navigate their unwieldy vehicles, or paying more attention to their phones than the traffic. Nonetheless we passed without incident and spend a romantic hour drifting before heading ashore.
Finally we visited the Da Lat Flower Gardens, a pretty if strange Disneyland of floral arrangements interspersed with childish concrete sculptures, fountains, and a lake. It was clearly aimed at Vietnamese tourists who flocked en masse to photograph their posing girlfriends amongst the lavender beds. Greg became a minor celebrity as fathers or boyfriends cajoled their womenfolk into having photographs with him.
The following day we left early by bus to make the long trip to Bai Xep fishing village....although who can tell whether we got there? Find out by following this blog - top right hand column - sign up and get this in your inbox!
PS As always we would love to hear from you below!
Jade & Greg