Dalat is a hilly town with 189 500 inhabitants, situated at 1475 meters altitude in the south of the central highlands of Vietnam, which is surrounded by pine forests. The cool climate (average 18-25 ° C) makes this place an ideal mountain resort for residents of Ho Chi Minh City, where they can escape the ever warm temperatures. One finds here many traces of French colonial period, on the outskirts of the town you will find many elegant French colonial villas, the radio tower was built in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Here one finds no rice production, but the climate is ideal for agriculture, fruit and floriculture. Strawberries do well. Orchids and roses bloom here throughout the year. Dalat not got nothing nicknames flowers, city of eternal spring, valley of love.
It is pleasant to stroll around in this cool little town, but the crowds of scooters has also penetrated here. We take a walk around the lake and visit the flower garden, which we both had much more expected. The area around the lake is quite bare, there are flowers … but that is it also said.
The ‘Hang Nha Guesthouse’ – popularly called ‘crazy house’ – on the other hand may tempt us indeed. Architect Dang Viet Nga was inspired evident in the design of this building by the Cathalaanse Antoni Gaudi. The complex consists of several separate irregularly shaped buildings, which are connected by equally irregular alleys, bridges, … a true labyrinth. The rooms are all decorated in a different style. A connection runs even on the roof of another building … sometimes we ask ourselves some questions about the safety of this.
When our hotel represents a special ‘secret’ tour, which is only accessible to their guests, yet we hesitate a while, because of our previous experiences less good tour. Only the adoptive son of the hotel can organize this trip. He comes from a mountain village with traditional Cil population and takes guests include to his village. It guarantees us that we are only at one of the many other tourists visiting the move will see. We are looking for some information about the hotel on the internet and soon persuaded to part anyway take this excursion, the testimonies of other guests are all positive.
At 7:00 in the morning then we leave with a small group of mopeds led by guide Rot, for our journey of 120 km through near Dalat. We can choose to sit behind a guide or even a moped driving. Marc prefer to drive, with Herlinde back. It is only his 2nd experience to drive a moped, but as director denotes much better and you can control how careful you are on the go … and he is the miracle quickly accustomed to descend other mopeds among the masses, gets there fast fun … and used his horn as a genuine Vietnamese. When we leave the busy road after a while through a narrow mountain road to ride by nature, the real fun begins.
Along the way several times stopped there. First we visit a cricket farm, the first and so far only place in Vietnam where crickets are bred, they normally are trapped in nature. Since the farm was founded, crickets are a number of restaurants on the menu. It shows us the whole cultivation process of the cicadas, the girl shows us how they eat live crickets. Nobody dares them … But when the tour is finished, we will put a dish for roasted crickets, where to taste the most surely dare. Marc also try it and find that they taste like roasted peanuts.
In Tha Long, we stop at the small market. Here we get a detailed explanation of the various typical issues that circulate here on a market. Thus we see sell a puppy, intended to be eaten … in Vietnam is namely as dog treats on the menu of many. We learn a lot about food, vegetables, meat, fish, … and get to taste some dishes. Especially the sweets, we can appreciate best. A very peculiar use has been selling all kinds of objects ‘paper’, you can not dream it … whether it is for sale. Thus we see ao clothing, toiletries, … toys, TV, cars, computers, karaoke facilities, and … money. All this serves as offerings to Buddhist belief, it is given to dearly departed at their annual commemoration … things they ever dreamed of and could not afford.
At the next stop we visit a silk factory. Here Rot shows us all the stages, from caterpillar to cocoon silk. The cocoons are usually grown with families in small villages between their rice fields. They buy eggs from the government, which has set up specialized organizations which are obtained qualitative butterfly eggs. Per family annually delivers it to about 708 tons of cocoons at a silk factory, where 4 USD / kg is paid. Depending on the dryness of the cocoons, there may be 240 to 400 a kilo. One silk cocoon contains +/- 1300 meter wire, a silk thread is made up of about 10 ultra-thin cocoon threads.
In the factory we have a guided tour where we will see how the cocoons into silk threads are processed, which are woven and dyed afterwards. In the shop one shows us the finished products and the different qualities. It is not thought of selling, is not a tour with commercial intent as many … what us is minimal.
And then we stop at the beautiful big elephant waterfall is the only place where we are confronted today with other tourists, but all in all this is still very good with it. A short walk over slippery rocks takes us to the foot of the waterfall. Through a sort of rock tunnel we enter under the waterfall … if we all stand under the falling water we are well splashed. What a force of nature!
After a drink we continue, now it goes into the mountains. With an impressive view point you stop for pictures. Rot ‘s native village we see in the valley, still a long way away.
What further we stop again along the road between the fragrant white flowers of a coffee plantation. After a brief tour, also Rot shows us a very special furry green fruit with red flesh and seeds, which grows here. This is used in food preparations as a flavoring. Rot is there to make a game of the green skin with some among us as false eyelashes and colors the lips red with their juice afterwards … this red proving difficult to sweep away …
We take a dirt road and stop again at some people who are at work on a rice field, what more to arrive in the native village of Rot. His friendly typical Vietnamese family receives us with open arms and with a glass of Vietnamese coffee … as punishment if they drink is almost impossible. Guide Rot wants to take us for a walk through his village, while dinner is being prepared, but a downpour stops us from this plan. And the food is soon finished, so the plans are adjusted. We are being presented with a simple but tasty noodle meal. After eating, they placed a large basket of fresh fruit from the garden center of the table. We have every kind of fruit some explanation, after which it is raised and distributed, so that we can taste it all. There are so many kinds of fruits that not everyone can participate till the end … Until the rain passes, says Rot freely about his country and its use in an authentic Vietnamese family. He is truly a gem of a guide that alternates seriousness and joking with each other and thus the entire group continuously animates. We end with some typical Vietnamese family games.
And then we’ll walk through the village of Cil Pao Dam, where we once again get a lot of explanation about the use in the Cil population. And we end up in the house of a family. Usually we find it quite inappropriate to go around looking into people’s home, but in this case it’s totally different. Rot makes contacts between the people and our group through each question / answers translated back and forth. It will be a fun afternoon, which ends with younger women, two sisters, begin to talk about their experience of giving birth in a hospital … that anyone was watching them, even men just looked inside … how one of them night fled with her baby, aided by her sister. We experience hilarious moments!
Then the oldest sister tells her story, her husband wants to divorce her. The family of the girl Cil pay a lot of money for a man to marry. Later when he applies for a divorce, he must return this money. When the wife wants a divorce, the husband of the family may keep the money. So will her husband encourage them to apply for divorce by her beating and abuse. So he thinks he can keep the money that her family ever to his parents paid for him … they really do not look, fat lip, black eye, bruises and injuries … this is so nice.
The afternoon is already well advanced when we drive away from the village, the road one last stop at an ‘elephant ear mushroom farm.
And it is becoming dark … lights and more difficult to ride. Tired but satisfied we come back at 18:30 at the hotel where Rot proposes to go out together for dinner. He loves to sing and wants to do this for us after dinner.
bus Mui Né – Dalat: 105,000 VND per person, 5 for hours
Pink House villa hotel: 15 USD per night for a clean and spacious two room with bathroom (hot water), room on a corner with very large windows, fully renovated hotel, TV, fridge, balcony, WIFI, very friendly and helpful welcome, family hotel, tel (063) 381 56 67 7 Hal Thuong Street, [email protected] Rating:. 5/5
flowerbed: 15,000 VND per person
crazy house: 30,000 VND per person
Rot’s secret tour: 30 USD per person, day trip with mopeds, price all in, unforgettable experience, recommended!