We weren’t able to book a trip to the Mekong Delta so we opted to head up to Dalat, a town in the central highlands of Vietnam that was popularized during the French colonization because of it’s significantly cooler, more pleasant weather and it’s closeness to the main agriculture belt of Vietnam.
We ended up getting an afternoon flight out of HCMC to Dalat for just $46, which saved us a 6 hour bus ride.
Dalat is beautiful. There was a 30 minute bus ride from the airport into town and the entire countryside was so green. There was an odd mix of banana trees, something that might have been coffee plants, wine grapes and evergreen trees (which looked kinda like redwoods).
We treked around what felt like half the town looking for a hotel last night, and settled on one with some seriously weird sheets. They were kind of silky, as were the pillow cases, so if you moved a pillow you ran the risk of having it slide right off the bed!
Despite the weird beds we were so tired that we slept close to 12 hours but we woke up in time to grab an early breakfast and take a couple hours long walk around some random neighborhoods and then out around the lake to the Dalat botanical gardens.
After that it was a very tasty lunch at a place not too far from our hotel followed by a quick hotel change in favor of some comfier beds.
We spent the afternoon touring first the Dalat Crazy House (which looks like something straight out of a Dali sculpture (Leanne and Miles said Gaudi)) and then the Summer Palace of King Dao, which is a gorgeous Art Deco era bulding.
Our new hotel (Dreams Hotel, highly recommended by Lonely Planet) has a rooftop jacuzzi with a bizarre view of the surrounding neighborhood (your typical mix of old slum sort of houses and newer hotels and businesses).
We’re about to go grab some dinner and I suspect that we’ll call it an early night. We’ve got a 9:30 bus to Nha Trang tomorrow morning, then we’ll head up the coast and check out the sights.