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Sun, 20. Aug 2006 13:15

Tea and Scones in Dalat

Mathias & Nina Dalat is in the central highlands of vietnam at 1475m above see level. It is cold here, we wear long trousers and pullover while writing this!
The bus journey from Mui Ne to Dalat should have been 5 hours (for 270km) but took over 7 1/2 hours. That's Vietnam!
Today we spend the day on a motorcycle disovering Dalat and surroundings. The hills around the city are covered with terrasses and greenhouses where vegetables are grown and then sold all over Vietnam.
The first place we wanted to visit were the Tiger Waterfalls, about 13km from Dalat. We soon noticed the downside of driving the motorcycle ourselves (and not taking a driver): we missed the turn to the waterfall 2 times and had to ask 3 different people until we found our way there.
Architectural highlight of Dalat was a guesthouse that was build in a strange "organical" style including a concrete giraffe and artificial spider nets. The architect (who obtained her PhD in architecture in Moscow) is the daughter of a high Vietnamese official, so she can do whatever she wants, even though the governments considers her buildings "unsocialistic". The complete opoosite style was the former summer palace of the Vietnamese emporer, which was built in plain 1930's design. The French have also left their traces in Dalat, lots of French-style buildings survived US-bombardement during the Vietnam war and are now mostly used as residential buildings or hotels. We enjoyed coffee and scones at the terrace (overlooking a beautiful garden and a lake) of one of these villas which is now a five star hotel.

Tomorrow we will continue to Nha Trang, from where we will hopefully take the night train to Danang. We tried to book tickets at the local train station, which seems to be impossible.