Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rain, new friends, Easy riding and the Crazy house

On my last day in Nha Trang I moved rooms as I had an extra night to spend here. It was another general nothing day – a bit of lunch and planning before packing to leave.

Monday came and I got the bus from Nha Trang, by the sea, to Da Lat, a city in the centre of the Vietnamese countryside. Its somewhere I haven’t been yet and has a few sights to see as well as a nice hotel and it happens to be 1/3 of the way to Saigon, so seems like a good place to stop. I got chatting to a few other travellers on the bus and when we arrived at the Bus Station in Dalat, I ended up with Rebecca, from the U.S. sharing a minibus into town, followed by her fella Michael, who was riding a motorbike and had followed the bus from Nha Trang. Rebecca had got sick of the bike due to the constant rain and had made a good choice with the bus, as Michael was soaked.

The minibus was provided by the bis company and was supposed to drop us at our hotels, but the driver had other ideas, literally throwing us out in et centre of town, with just a point up a hill to where our hotels were. I decided to grab a map from a nearby hotel and saw that his directions were shit and he had just pissed off and left us in the shit! Luckily, I found my hotel without much bother even though I got soaked.

I dried off and had a look around town before grabbing some dinner later on and having an early night out of the rain.

Su's bike

Easy rider!

In front of.....

...and behind the falls!


In the morning I woke up to some lovely sunshine, so grabbed my gear, lobbed some food down my throat at breakfast and headed across town to find the 'Easy Riders'. This is a company of locals that take people out on motorbikes to see the local attractions. I was halfway to the shop when an Easy Rider pulled up next to me and asked if I wanted a tour!! Bonus! He introduced himself as 'Su' and after a quick chat to discuss where we were going, I was aboard and on my way before 10am.

Tu Anh and Rebecca at the Peace Cafe

Vies from the mountain

The mist at the top


It was a great day – we visited a couple of Pagodas and Temples – including a really mellow Buddhist one, that had lovely gardens and the sound of wind-chimes reverberating around it. We also had a quick look around the vegetable farms, had lunch by the side of a beautiful lake and visited two great waterfalls – Prenn falls, where I walked behind the falls themselves on a really dodgy, waterlogged path and Datalna falls, where for a quid, you can ride down to the falls on a little Roller Coaster thing, then ride in a cable car down to the bottom, before back up to the top, using the cable car and the returning cars on the roller coaster – a really lazy but fun way to see a spectacular series of waterfalls. On the way back to town, Su, explained about other trips and tomorrow he is picking me up to go out again for a half day trip!

After a couple of hours rest I went out to get a bite to eat. I ran into Rebecca and Michael from the bus yesterday as they sat outside 'Peace Café', the café advertised Pizza, so I joined them for a while. Just over 6 hours later we finally left after chatting all evening with them, the owner Tu Ahn, who is a crazy woman and a guy from Dublin called John. It was a really nice evening, with a few beers and certainly a good way to stop me feeling lonely. All in all it was a good day out from the motorbike tour in the morning the unexpected evening out.

Roller coaster to the falls

Cool trees are actually grown like this

Haahaaa! What not to wear to a Buddhist temple!!

me

cool view at lunch


I met Su again at 9am and we headed out for another tour of the local sights. The 1st stop today was a 20metre high golden Buddha statue. Followed by a Jeep ride up to the top of the highest peak in the area at LangBiang. The views from the top at 1950m above sea level were really good, until the clouds came in. Next, was a stop at a local village where they have a gorgeous little Catholic church to look at as well as a few of the ladies showing us how to weave their goods that they sell everywhere. It was then a 30 minute ride back into town before the last sight of the day. This is The Crazy House. Its a strange house, made up of themed rooms like 'Kangaroo Room', or Tiger Room' and my favourite The Ant room! The Kangaroo and Toger tooms have Kangaroo and Toger with red lit up eyes making it even stranger!!

All the rooms are part of a big building that is joined together by walkways over the roofs or around the outside of the house passing a massive Giraffe or a home-made spiders web. The walkways sometimes stop at a window, where to carry on you have to climb through and then down or up a flight of steps on the outside of the building. The house also doubles as a hotel, but I’m glad I didn’t stay there as is is a bit decrepit!! Its a cool place to visit though and a really unusual end to the days trip.


Crazy house

The bear room

Walkway across the roof

On the walkway

Tiger room

Another view

I was dropped off by Su and after taking a few pictures he headed off and I took a walk into town in the afternoon rain. I got some dinner and then sat watching the traffic go by whilst enjoying the peace and cool air. I was joined by 3 school-kids who tried out their English on me and tried to encourage me to give them a beer – which I refused to do!!

Later on I was opening a can of beer and for the 2nd time here the ring-pull broke off as I tried to open it. I then realised that it was because of the height we are at above sea level. The air expands inside and causes more pressure, making it hard to open. The same happens with packets of crisps here – all the packets are bloated and hard to open as they are full of air!! Strange but true!!

Me and Su at the end of the day

Bloody kids!! haahaa
Check out my youtube page for videos of The Crazy House!! 

1 comment:

  1. This place is one of the best to spend my Christmas vacation together with my family and children. Thanks for sharing this!

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