Dalat, one of the central highlands of
Although paddle boats can be rented at the edge of the lake near Thanh Thuy restaurant, I haven’t seen any tourists paddling the giant swan looking boats on the water during my stay. Along the way, the Dalat flower garden was the first sightseeing that ruined the reputation of the flower city. Obviously, it was the wrong time to pay a visit; it was like a deserted garden just not too long ago, flowers in the garden looked lifeless even the fountains had been drained out, leaving only one pumping water helplessly at the entrance. The road next to the garden leads to a golf course and
I gave up my breakfast to catch my flight in the morning and I got lost finding the road to
Back at my room, I was excited for the first 10 min then I felt regretful for staying over night in the crazy house. I had Kangaroo room for a night which is in an irregular shape with a small living room, fireplace in kangaroo shape, bathroom and bedroom in about 4 meter squares. Outside the room, a long bench and a small space with one tea table and two chairs for a nice afternoon tea time. Sounds great? Well, the mattress and blanket were damp because of the humidity; mosquitoes in the room because the room was opened for tour before anyone checked in; no TV in the room, it would be odd if there was a TV in the room though, and the light in the room was just too dark to read without feeling sleepy. I was the only guest there that night, no TV, books, not even a person to talk to for killing time. I even let tourists come into my room for a tour just to be able to talk to someone! Moreover, the shower water was small and not to mention caged turkeys in this complex making this surreal sound all night long as the house wasn’t crazy enough. The good thing of staying in Crazy House was no tourists showed up at 7:30AM. I got up and explored every room without having tourists taken in my photos. There are honeymoon, ant, tiger, eagle, termite, bamboo, kangaroo, bear, gourd, and phoenix rooms in this complex; each room was named after the shape of the fireplace in the room. Due to not enough guests accommodating, the crazy house now only opens the bamboo room, 19USD, kangaroo room, 24USD, bear room, 39USD, and gourd room, 45USD, for rent. New construction is being conducted now and new rooms are only for visiting.
My knees hurt from too much walking on hilly terraces, the wound I got from last year traveling in SiChuan wasn’t really healed and waterfalls, tribal villages are spread out in Dalat so I rented a motorbike, 5USD per day, and hired a guide leaving navigation to someone else, 10USD, from the state run travel agency Dalat travel bureau which is located across the road of a 4 stars hotel, the golf 3. There is something about golf 3 hotel that is worth another blog entry later. I had the guide pick me up at the crazy house, and we drove down through a green pine tree forest to the Dambri waterfalls (10000VND). There is a cable car, 5000VND, right after the entrance, although the waterfall itself is easily accessible. Horseback and elephant riding photos can be taken as well as dressing in a tribal costume can be arranged, which lots of Vietnamese tourists have some kind of obsession about. You can rent a paddle boat for drifting down the river, however 20 meters is as far as you can go. Up the hill, there is a mini zoo filled with monkeys and some furious animals living in captivity behind bars.
Thien Vien Truc Lam is one of the largest Zen Meditation study centers in
To get to the Datanla falls, 5000VND, I chose to walk down the path through a rainforest and took a slide up the hill. The slide was adopted from
After visiting the
Advice: The best time to travel to Dalat is around Xmas till the end of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. At that time, with no afternoon showers to shortening your journey and all kinds of flowers blossoming, the city becomes not only very colorful but worth visiting.