Sorry it’s taken me so long to write. It’s been a really really busy week here in Vietnam and I haven’t had time to stop and smell the roses until now! While I sit in the most adorable little coffee shop in Hoi An drinking my favorite Vietamese coffee, I wanted to fill you in on all my adventures in Dalat, Vietnam!
Dalat is perched up in the mountains and is northeast of Saigon. It’s a popular tourist destination due to its lucious waterfalls, coffee plantations and beautiful scenery.
I took the overnight sleeper bus from Saigon to Dalat and arrived at the bus station at 5am. It was pitch black and I was at a loss to find my hostel, having still been half-asleep. Luckily, I linked up with two english guys who were in the same boat as I. We walked about 1.5 miles together to realize that we had gone in the opposite direction of our hostels. I finally arrived at my hostel around 8am (after stopping for coffee of course) and was greeted by friendly bunk mates who asked if I wanted to join them in canyoning in an hour. I desperately wanted to sleep but then remembered great advice by a friend: Always saying “yes” will grant you remarkable experiences. An hour later, we were geared up in our harnesses, helmets and wetsuits and were learning how to repel waterfalls.
Canyoning was probably the most dangerous, exciting, scary yet adventurous activity I’ve ever done. The guides let us practice on a straight wall a few times and then we were on our own. Word to the wise: repelling down a 20 ft. straight wall is very different than repelling down a 100 ft. Uneven, slippery waterfall. I fell going down the second waterfall and was dangling in mid-air. It was terrifying and embarrassing all at once – thankfully I was able to pull myself together and get my footing back on the rock.
The canyoning tour lasted about 6 hours and in addition to the waterfalls, we went cliff jumping, floating in the “lazy river,” sliding down mini-waterfalls and probably hardest of all, trekking through the jungle. My group and guides were awesome and I’m so so happy I agreed to go!
The next day, I met two girls at my hostel and we decided to rent motorbikes and drive to Pongour waterfalls which are arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in the greater Dalat area. The drive down and out of the mountains was incredible and we couldn’t have had more perfect weather. We spent a bit of time at the waterfalls, taking pictures and cooling off in the water.
We joined forces with a Swiss traveler we met at the falls and decided to all head to the Weasel coffee plantation together. The coffee beans here are the rarest in the world. The weasels eat a diet consisting of coffee beans, bananas and chicken soup (random) and their poop is then collected, sanitized and processed. Apparently the enzymes inside the weasels’ stomach give the undigested coffee beans a distinctive taste. I splurged 100k VTD and tasted a small cup – you could say it tasted a bit like poo…not typically how I like my coffee.
The rest of my time in Dalat was spent exploring the local markets and taking cover inside different restaurants. Unfortunately, I was cursed with a TON of rain each day….
- The mountainous terrain reminds me of home!
- Not a ton of vegetarian friendly places, unfortunately
- Sort of eclectic (in its own little way)
- Would highly recommended a visit!
I’m off to the beach now but I hope to come back to this same coffee shop to write about my time in Hoi An thus far.
Sorry for the long post. Until next time!