090314 Thaikarl - Up in the highlands, it's like- COLD!

friends, we caught an early bus from Na Trang up here to Da Lat in the highlands.  the bus finally got away from the coast, and traveled across a big valley full of rice fields and up to the mountains.  the road was a rather beat-up two lane, and we were going only 40km/hr most of the time.  about as fast as we go on Toks old motor-bike.  when it got to the mountains, we went up a little switchback road that climbed and climbed.  the view out to the valley and the surrounding hills was beautiful.  when we topped out, we're in a highland area, hilly, with flat valley's in between.

we arrive in Da Lat, which is a highland resort town for the Vietnamese.  it's actually cold here. we're about 1500M above sea level (rond 3000 feet)  i'm freezing!  people are wearing puffy jackets and hats. we accepted an invitation to see the hotel of a pleasant young guy who walked us up the road.  nice big room for the usual 10 dollars a night.  no aircon... cause we don't need it! brrrrrrrrr.  we'll spend today and tomorrow night here and head back to saigon.

we went out for dinner after a little nap.  found a Vietnamese place and had vegetarian with rice.  didn't know it was vegetarian, it just worked out that way.  there are a lot of people out walking the streets, going every which way, and it's after dark already.  we walked up the hill to see where everyone was going/coming from.  there were cloths sellers on the sidewalks a the top of the hill, but mostly people just seemed to be out and about.  the vietnamese, like thais and Khmer live outside their houses and shops much more than other places.  you can go through a neighborhood in seattle and see one or two people, maybe.  not so here.  people sit out side their houses, congregate on the sidewalks, eating, drinking coffee and tea, hanging out talking, selling fruits and things. 

last night we ate at a sidewalk place.  just a few little plastic tables, with these little stools about a foot high to sit on.  one propane burner over next to the wall, and a charcoal brazier next to the tree.  barbecue pork, with egg, a few tomato, cucumber and carrot slices on a pile of rice.  wonderful.  $1.50 for two people.

there appears to be quite a few attractions around here, maybe we'll rent a motorbike and look around tomorrow.
Tok says she likes vietnam and we can come back again.  mostly because the food is "just okay".  unlike cambodia. there were a lot of dive shops in Na Trang, and the prices where much cheaper than thailand.  i'd really like to come back and do some scuba.  and see even more of the country.

ah yes.
Read my Thailand adventure ::: http://www.thaicountrylife.com

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