Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I think I've found paradise

If you're ever in Vietnam during the heat of the summer (or anytime, I'd say) you MUST go to Dalat for refuge. At around 1500 meters above sea level, it's a cool oasis from the stifling heat of all the other places we've been. Hallelujah.

In Dalat there is a gang of motorcyclists called "Easy Riders" who speak English (and sometimes French and German) and take travellers on private tours on the back of their hogs. We took Thien and Phuong up on their offer and met them this morning bright at early, ready to ride.

Before Vietnam I had never ridden a motorcycle not did I ever really expect to. The first few times I held on for dear life but speeding through the mountains today with my hair whipping in the wind I felt free. We passed by people working in the fields, cows hanging out on the road side and water buffalo. Who ever heard of really seeing water buffalo?

During the day we checked out the old train station built by the French during their 100 year rule of Vietnam which ended in 1945, we saw a coffee orchard (it doesn't smell like coffee for those who are curious), we vistited a minority village which is much like a Native reserve would be in Canada, I imagine. We went to a waterfall, Thein's house and farm, a Crazy House, and then called it a day. My favourite part was looking out at the lush landscape while dodging oncoming vehicles. Mother would not approve. But really, the sky was so blue, the clouds so white, the grass and trees so green and the earth so red. It was truly an amazing contrast and we felt so lucky to be here. It's amazing what normal temperatures can do.

These "Easy Riders" really specialise in taking people on longer trips to nearby cities that allow you to get a better feel for Vietnam and its people. They offered to take us to Ho Chi Minh City but it would take three days and unfortunately we just don't have the time. I'm sure I would have loved it. Someone else, you should do it.

Instead, tomorrow we're jumping on the uncomfortable, stuffy bus to HCMC (formerly known as Saigon). We'll see what we see there.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home