Arrived in Dalat yesterday in the pissing rain. The Open Tour buses that haul (mainly) tourists around Vietnam don’t really get you involved with the locals like some of the Laos transport does, but it does make travel extremely convenient, and ridiculously cheap. I even thought the hotels they would drop you at would be overpriced, but I don’t get that impression (although I haven’t walked around and asked others). Others also said they are really pushy if you want to select hotels that weren’t on their list, but in Dalat they openly said they’d point you towards your hotel if you had one pre-booked.
Illness has hit the trip for the first time, so we’re just vegging out and not doing very much which is a bit of bummer.
Like following the floods in Myanmar, and just missing a small earthquake in Chiang Rai, I moved away from the coast just as a 160km/h typhoon was about to hit, which was the cause of the rain and winds last night. With hindsight the weather had started to turn in Mui Ne with the waves coming quite close to the beach bungalow, so it’s maybe no bad thing we moved from there! Not a promising start, and doesn’t make the prospect of touring around with the local Dalat Easy Riders (motorbike guides) very appealing in the wet roads and rain. It may be we leave here not seeing much 🙁
Dalat is like a proper town compared to other places on route. It’s very popular with Vietnamese tourists, and sits very high on the tacky scale, with a small scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of town. Sounds like it may have quite an interesting market, but whether I’ll see that yet is another thing. Need to stop coughing and getting cold (it is actually cold here as it’s relatively high up in the Central Highlands). They even have taxis here – I mean real ones, that are real cars, the windows work, the doors work, and it all looks in pretty good nick! The last car taxi I was in was in Myanmar, and it’s safe to say it wasn’t the same there!