Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 2 in Da Lat, Vietnam

Hiking again today, this time with guides. We hiked up Pinhatt mountain to a village area near the lake.

I wish I would have realized we could have camped there. It was beautiful!

I think you have to camp with a guide though and that can be pretty expensive. I had a big of a hard time with the rapid elevation change today. It wasn't nearly as high as yesterdays hike but we ascended much faster. Our guides were determined to get to the top.

Both out guides were college graduates. one had a degree in English and Eco tourism; he also teaches night classes in marketing at a the university. This seemed a little odd as neither one of them looked older than 17.
When we got to the resting point at the top I was all but assaulted by this little guy:

He loved having his picture taken and people here love handing over their babies. Probably doesn't help that encourage this kind of behavior :).

Later on that evening I did some lovely, solo street wandering and met up with Collin again for dinner. Bland food-that's what I think of when I think of Vietnam. Any flavor the food seems to have to me is added nearly entirely by red chilies. We tried the rock grill thing again at an attempt at some flavor-not as good. Colin's was good, he said-seafood style. Mine was pretty bad :). beef jerky, with fat. We tried to regain the gift of taste by finding some ice cream. But the one sure thing about Asia and it's "western food"---you never know how it's going to turn out-or even what it's going to come out looking like. Needless to say, "ice cream" was a bust. The pictures on the walls of the shop were deceiving, as is often the case. They didn't even have the items pictured on the walls listed on the menu.
Off to bed again to sleep. I haven't been sleeping well. I noted early on in this trip there is a constant LOUD noise. ALL. THE. TIME. The fans all squeak not so subtly, but you can't sleep without them because of the heat, and the noise they provide to drown out other noise, which they don't. Cars all hours of the night. And when I say people lay on their horns here constantly, it's not an exaggeration. They literally drive down the street constantly honking. At nothing. For no reason. I heard it rumor it's considered polite. I don't think it's very polite, especially when I'm trying to sleep.
That and I probably go to bed way earlier than the rest of the world.

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