We got picked up from our hotel in Nha Trang to take us to Da Lat, which is up in the mountains. The room for luggage on the bus was extremely small so it was a bit of a squeeze to get our bags on and the driver had to force the doors shut. Unfortunately, he had forgotten about this when he opened the door and Arran’s bag fell out and smashed his glass water bottle everywhere and dented the laptop! It was quite a bumpy journey but once we made it there in one piece we found a Mexican restaurant for dinner (we had had enough of noodles!) where there were parrots in the restaurant. On the way back to our hotel we went to the Maze Bar for a drink where we explored the different sections of the bar set out in lots of interlocking rooms that lead out to a roof terrace where we could see over the city. We also came across a music performance where the group were playing different traditional songs and some of the locals were getting involved with particular dances which was great watch.
We started our day with a trip to the Crazy House which is a group of buildings shaped like tree trunks interlinked with winding paths that look like branches. The bottom floor of the main building had underwater themed decoration complete with mermaid, sharks and turtles. The house was really fun to walk around explore. In the afternoon we went on the cable car that goes through the mountains, it was really nice to see the countryside and be out of the busy city centre. At the bottom there was a pagoda and flower garden to walk around and we ventured further down to the lake took a short walk around the fields. We could hear some odd sounds while walking around and as we made our way back to the cable car we found a group of men, who must have had a few drinks judging by their singing, who were having a karaoke session in the countryside!
Da Lat is located high up in the mountains and we arranged to go on a trip to see some of the beautiful scenery in the area. To start we were taken to a coffee farm which specialises in Weasel and Elephant coffee, not something I’d heard of before coming to Vietnam but it is famous in the country. The process of making the coffee isn’t very nice or considerate to the animals as the weasels are kept in cages and the elephants are chained to the floor. From there we went to a local bee farm where the very friendly beekeeper, who didn’t seem bothered at all by being stung, showed and explained to us how they make their honey. He even let us try some straight from the hive! After, we were taken to the Pongour and Elephant waterfalls which were both very impressive to see. The final stop was at a cricket farm where we saw thousands of crickets at different stages of their life cycle and were offered a plate of fried crickets to try! I couldn’t think of anything worse but Arran tried one but that was enough for him. The guide told us that these are a delicacy and popular with locals, however there was a Vietnamese family on our tour and they also didn’t look too keen on the crispy insects so I’m not sure how popular they really are!