My first full day in Da Lat!
After being stranded in Mui Ne for so many extra days it was nice to wake up in a new city finally.
I woke up to find the other two people in my 16 bed dorm room packing to leave. I ended up having the whole room to myself the entire day and most of the evening.
It wasn’t until I came back from dinner at 9pm that my whole “I’m sleeping by myself in a 16 bed dorm room” dream was shattered as another guy had just checked in. Meh.
My plan for today was to take the motorbike and bike around to a few different attractions here in Da Lat.
I had a very basic map and my trusty GPS on my phone. Problem is, GPS on your phone is really hard to use when you’re riding a motorbike.
Yesterday I would pull over to the side as forks in the road appeared and I was only doing that every 10 or 15 minutes. In some stretches I was good for an hour.
Today, however, being in a city I had to constantly check as the roads were winding and street signs were sparse.
Long story short – it was hard as hell and very frustrating!
I realized later in the afternoon that after all these months of travelling here and in Europe that this was the first time I was actually navigating in a city in a motor vehicle. I’ve just walked or taken public transport everywhere.
When you’re walking you can take your time, look at the map and ask people.
Not so much on a motorbike. I was pulling over at almost every intersection and while I knew what direction to be heading, there were alot of times where I just couldn’t tell what street to turn down.
What was supposed to be a quick 5 minute ride to my first stop ended up taking me about 20 minutes but I did, eventually, make it to the Crazy House.
The Crazy House is an actual accommodation for visitors but people (like myself) also pay the 40,000 dong ($2) entrance fee to look around.
The place looks like it comes out of Alice in Wonderland or some Tim Burton movie. There are uniquely designed staircases that take you all over the place inside and out.
Outside of taking pictures of food, I also love taking photos of unique architecture, shapes, designs and colors so this place was like heaven to me. My camera just clicking as I turned each corner.
I actually just went and looked up their room prices online and they range from $25-$50 for a single guest. Of course that’s way more expensive than my $5 dorm but in the scheme of things I’m kinda kicking myself for not even looking it up beforehand and booking at least one night there.
Oh well, back to my 16 bed dorm for me…
Which, ironically, is what I did soon after my trip to the Crazy House.
You see, my plans to see the other two things on my list kind of got pushed to the side when I got lost yet again looking for a cable car to take me over to a pagoda.
I ended up riding up some dirt road past little shacks and through the back roads of Dalat looking for it. I could once again see the little marker on my GPS but just couldn’t figure out how in the hell to get there.
After driving for what seemed like forever I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. I mean, how badly did I want to go in a cable car on a hot day, anyway?
The last thing on my list was Datanla waterfall where you can apparently do a little toboggan ride around it but I’ll be going there for something else tomorrow so I decided to pass on that too.
Honestly, I just wanted to return to the hostel and drop off the bike. I had had enough of driving around a strange city looking for specific places. Get me back on my feet!
I embraced the afternoon to myself in the dorm room and it was actually sunset by the time I left to go out for dinner.
Aside from the obvious physical problems the recent food poisoning bout gave me, it also mentally affected me – I am now gunshy when it comes to street food.
My adventure for food has shriveled up. This is obviously not a good thing! That adventurous spirit with the food was one of my favorite parts of my travels.
The last 3 dinners have been in sit down restaurants with westernized menus and not the amazing hole in the wall places I had sought out earlier in the trip.
Tonight’s dinner was no different as I ended up having goulash.
I thought about it afterwards and I just have to get back on the wagon and get into some street food again. I can’t let this one food poisoning experience effect me this way!
So, tomorrow – I’m going back to a hole in the wall place for some authentic Vietnamese food again!
Oh, and I’m rappelling down a waterfall!