From Mui Ne to Dalat – Vietnam

I know my previous post about Vietnam might not of sounded like I was enjoying it, this is far from the truth. I want to spend longer in Vietnam and am kicking myself for not giving myself enough time here. But maybe this will make me come back I certainly could but it will have to be at another time.

Over the last  few days I have been on adventures and once again been on the back of people’s motorbikes, this time with a helmet on you will be pleased to know. A few days ago I was in the seaside town of Mui Ne, a slightly stange venue for a seaside town. It was never ment to be one, the beach is very minimal and gets totally consumed by the sea during high tide. It became popular a while ago when Kite Surfers and Windsurfers figured out that it’s a good place to catch some wind on the coast. Now the whole town is pretty overrun with hotels, guest houses and the like, the majority of visitors being either European or Russian.

I stayed in a backpackers place, a nice one at that with a pool and direct access to the sea, on the second day I was there I arranged with a local rider to take me around the sights for about £6.50 ($10 US). He turned up on time and I spent the day whizzing around the town, visiting the sand dumes, a fishing village and the fairy stream. This really is an awesome way to see things and as a solo traveller you do not have to concern youself with others, if you want to stop just ask the rider andd he will do so. When I read sand dunes in the book I was expecting just a few hills covered in sand but what I got to my surprise was more like a desert environment.

In a desert?

I spent 3 nights here before taking a slightly delayed and bumpy ride up into he hills. My ride was delayed due to me oversleeping, the bus was scheduled for 06:30 and I set an alarm and even turned the alarm off at 06:00. My brain at the time wanted just five more minutes which turned into an hour and a half. Arse… oh well I jumped on the next bus up to Dalat. Dalat is a city in the hills, I wish I could say it’s a quiet and peacful place but it has a lot of traffic, however it is surrounded by beautiful coffee plantations, farmland and forests. Here I met up with a traveller that I met back in Cambodia, a woman from New Zealand called Brooke, like me she has taken a year out of her so called ‘normal’ life to get away and explore a lot more, she has her reasons which I won’t go into but I can certainly relate to them. We went to dinner to catch up on what has been happening and she told me to check out a guy called Mr Hung for a tour so the next day when Brooke left on an adventure of her own I went to go and see Mr Hung. I chatted with Mr Hung for a while and he showed me his little book full of recommendations from travellers, I agreed to jump on the back of his bike with a spare helmet he had to go and see some of the Dalat countryside. Mr Hung spoke fairly good english and he was not always able to answer my questions but he did take me to some cool places all for the princely sum of £16 (or thereabouts).

Coffee plantation

Serene views from the temple

Elephant falls

Dalat Countryside

Mr Hung really wanted to show me more, of course he needs to do it to make a living for himself but I had other plans. When I got to Dalat I signed myself up for Canyoning, something I had heard about via a bar owner I met in Mui Ne. It involves tying yourself to various bits of rope and then gradually abseil down cliff faces, sometimes coping with waterfalls and sometimes not. Sadly I have no pictures of me tackling this we were advised not to bring anything breakable, having already bust one camera I did not want to bust another just yet. I have no idea if my insurance covers such things (I probably should investigate this before I do them) but I had fun, it was hard, my whole body at one point was shaking with adrenaline. I am tending to push myself to some limits which I generally would never do, including jumping from a 7 meter high platform into the water below. Don’t worry Mum I had on a life jacket and did not go deep so I still have my hearing. There was a chance to jump from 12 meters but I thought that might be too much.

Ahead of me a very long journey, I leave Dalat this morning and get a bus to Nha Trang, I’m not stopping there I jump on an overnight bus to Hoi An, it’s a lot of time travelling on busses, I expect to get no sleep but I can sleep another time.

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