As with all good travel plans, there must be some last-minute changes and February 18th was one of those days with our flight to Da Lat delayed by a few hours. All the better though, as our ever-thoughtful guide for the Ho Chi Minh City component of our trip, Jessica, had several adventures lined up to make use of the extra time. The people who missed out on the cyclo journey through the city the previous day had the chance to take an hour cyclo ride; others took the chance to hang out, visit some museums and get some boots polished.
Ho Chi Minh City is truly an intense city of activity, culture and motorbikes. After three days, everyone was ready for a little piece and quiet.
We packed off to the airport, said our goodbyes to Jessica and headed for the highlands of Da Lat. Da Lat is approximately 1500 metres above sea level with steep hills and rivers running through it. Everyone was quite relieved to see the country side when we landed at the airport. We met our new guide Tom, who proceeded to introduce us to the lifestyle of the high country in Vietnam.
Off to the city we went, not quite sure what to expect. The countryside is quite picturesque and quite unlike the region around Ho Chi Minh City. Due to the delay of our flight we had to miss the visit to the potato and tomato farmer, which fortunately was postponed to Monday. Upon arrival into Da Lat city we checked into quite a respectful hotel in the middle of town and in the middle of the 'night market'.
We had thought we had left the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City behind us until we walked the night market of Da Lat. Completely intense with thousands of people buying up cheap clothing, trinkets, food and what ever else you could imagine. It didn’t take long for our team to have a quick taste of the market craziness and head for the pub or an early night in preparation for a very interesting day of visits around the Da Lat region.