Instead of doing one whole post of our favorite parts of the trip, because that post would be far too long and have too many photos, we have decided to break this 3-week trip into small segments of the cities we were in. The first segment deals with events that happened in Dalat, a smallish town of 200,000 people in the hills 7 hours out of Ho Chi Minh City, otherwise known as the flower city, because of all the flower greenhouses in the area.
This is where we took a countryside tour and ate the crickets. We did a lot more than that though.
We made it to coffee plantations, and were able to try some Weasel Coffee, some of the most expensive coffee in the world. Very flavorful stuff, just a bit disgusting how they get the beans. (For those of you who don’t know, the weasel eats the coffee beans, it ferments in it’s stomach, and then is excreted…from which coffee is made.) Even Brooke, who is not a coffee connoisseur, enjoyed this coffee.
We also went to a silk worm farm/thread spinning factory where they spin the silk from the worm’s cocoon into silk thread to be dyed and sold. Pretty amazing stuff. Oh, this was right after eating the crickets and our guide wanted us all to try a silk worm that had been de-threaded. She said they would taste better then the crickets and ate two, I don’t think so!
Of course we were able to visit a few of the thousands of greenhouses growing flowers. These places are huge and all privately owned by families, and the flowers are shipped all over Southeast Asia. (These are some of the richest families in Vietnam because they can grow and sell their crop all year.) Unfortunately, I was unable to pick a flower for Brooke because that was illegal, plus I don’t think it would have lasted.
On our second day in Da Lat, we rented bicycles and rode around town. These bikes were in rough shape since they were supposed to be 10 speeds, but only had one: high. We were peddling really fast. They did not give us helmets, which scared me being on the road and on a bike that may break at anytime. I was literally expecting it to fall apart under my weight at anytime. But we made it to a cable car a bit outside of town that took us to our first Pagoda on this trip, and a lake which was relaxing and beautiful.
After a day of biking we sat at the Peace Restaurant for dinner and talked with the owner and some other patrons watching traffic and people. The owner’s son and friends were climbing all over one of the Patron’s motorcycles. Yes, that is a true 600-cc motorcycle. You don’t see many like that here.
Again we did a lot more, but these are just a few of the highlights that really stick out in our minds. We really enjoyed Da Lat. The cool air, the mellowed people, the lack of traffic. It was definitely the right city to kick-off our trip.