friends, we had a delightful day. rented a motorbike from our hotel, and motored off out of town to see the Prenn waterfall. up here in the highlands, pine trees dominate the hills. very lovely to drive thru. with mostly motorbikes on the roads, you aren't constantly squeezed off on the right side of the road to avoid cars and trucks. since they drive on the right in vietnam, it's like driving in the states, but it's all confusing, cause i'm used to driving on the Left in thailand, so i have to double think my intersections, and the round-abouts are crazy. the water fall was nice. nothing to spectacular, as it is dry season so not much water was coming over the falls. the area is well developed, with paved pathways, places to sit, restaurant at the bottom. they even had a small cable car that went from the top of the falls down below. the cool thing was a giant concrete elephant that you go inside, up some stairs and emerge from the upraised 'mouth' of the elephant, to walk across a cable suspension bridge over the stream. very safe and not to high, but wobbly fun. further down there was a place to ride elephants and ostriches. we just looked.
on the way back up the hill, i noticed a much bigger higher cable car up through the trees. when we got back into town, i found the upper terminus of the cable car, we parked the bike and went up. the cable car cost $4.00, and went above the pine trees, down the hill and up onto another hill. perhaps a km long. great view of the surrounding hills and mountains, and the town in the background. at the far end, we got out and walked up the hill. there was a Chinese Buddhist temple and meditation center there. much more subdued architecture than thai temples. where the thai temples and grounds are decorated with filigree and sculpted surfaces of ornamentation and gold and mirror glass mosaics, these buildings were rather plain, painted a cream color with tile roofs. the grounds were very pleasant, with grace and flower gardens. riding the cable car back, the wind blew up threw the trees and reminded me of skimming the trees paragliding. gave me the itch to get up in the air again, as i haven't been flying for a few years.
we motored back down into town and went to the market. quite a big and busy market. we had some food and wandered around a bit. like most markets, there were many stalls crammed full of merchandise. so much STUFF! i bought a cute Led bedside lamp. it's a neon green elephant, with a bendable stalk coming out it's head with a pod on the end that has white Led's. the three way switch goes from low to hi white light, and the click turns on a color changing Led in the elephant body. you flip a lever, and prongs pop out so you can plug the thing into the wall to recharge the battery. cool huh? about $3.00. there were lots of sweaters and jackets- cool weather gear for this climate. tok really liked some of the sweaters, but they were all to small. Vietnamese people are pretty small. most are only as tall as my shoulder. and they are thin also. haven't seen any fat people here- none. the girls are very cute. very. :-)
we had a nap for a little while at the hotel, and after dark went our for a little ride around town. drove around the lake that is in the center of the town, the lights shining across the calm water were beautiful. when we came to the market area, we were surprised to see that they had blocked off the roads leading into the market. people that had motorbikes inside were walking them out. it seems that this evening the whole area becomes walking streets only. don't know if it's every night, or just sundays. vendors spread out on the sidewalks selling cloths and food. we had some dinner and walked over by some steps that went up the hill. nearby were sidewalk food vendors, with bots of noodles and vegetables, those little plastic tables and tiny stools. as we were standing there, there was a shout from down the road, and instantly, people sprang into action, stacking up the tables and stools, and dashing off with the food pots. these places completely disappeared in 30 seconds. a girl told us it was because the police were coming. after a few minutes, the police truck passed by, and customers holding bowls of noodles, kids with stacks of tables and stools re-appeared and reset everything, and they were back in business in 2 minutes. we went up the stairs to some upper streets and the same thing happened with the clothing sellers. they had all their cloths on big tarps, and they suddenly dragged them off the street back to the fences, a police truck drove buy, and they dragged them all back again. amazing. it was really nice to walk around in the streets and look at things. there were lots of people out, lots of kids running round, riding bicycles, young kids and teenagers walking in groups, families. wonderful to be here.
it's 15 degrees Centigrade right now (60 F) but it feels much colder. brrrrrr!
tomorrow we bus back to saigon. i finally got an email from my young friend Luan, so we will get to see him when we get back.
Gorgeous the life!!!!!
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