March 21, 2006


I would rate today as one of the best on my top 10 list. Paid more than I would have normally, but having my own driver to take me around the country side on a moto was so worth the experience. Once in the area, everybody knows Easy Rider, the company that takes travellers around Dalat on a day tour or or even several days (backpack and all!) from Saigon to Hanoi. The drivers are also guides with excellent English and a positive attitude.

Eric, NY, on his moto and I toured around the fresh, cooler climate of the city and it's surroundings set atop some mountains. There are a few volcanos in the area that have provided rich, orange earth to grow fields of organic vegetables. So crispy and flavourful in the local pho (soup pronounced "fu"). Groups of coffee, avacado, jackfruit and pine trees. Lettuce, basil, mint, beans, strawberries and mulberries planted in lines. Roses and hydrangeas growing tall and brightly under the plastic-roofed green houses.

Walked behind a roaring waterfall with the spray swirling in circles. Was grossed out by a few bamboo walls filled with crawling white silk worms building their cocoons. Admired the factory where they speedily unravelled the oval shapes into large wheels of pure, natural silk. Walked through long lines of hanging bags of sawdust for the growing clusters of mushrooms. Was facinated by the young, uncomplaining children weaving baskets so fast and accurately. Wandered through the maze of twisting hallways and unusual shaped rooms of the "crazy house", designed by the daughter of Vietnam's previous leader. Was inspired by the quantity of paintings created by the "crazy monk" who will one day travel the world off his profits to visit tourists who bought his paintings. Shared a delicious hot pot of simmering fresh greens, meats, fish and noodles in a tasty broth. Ah... P


  1. Anonymous10:34 pm

    i envy all the wonderfully fresh vietnamese cuisine you must be having. if you get the chance, try the jackfruit there - it's soooo sweet when it's fresh. doesn't compare at all to the overpriced ones here in t.o.

    take care,

  2. The greens in Dalat are especially tasty because they are so fresh from the local farms. The lettuce never has those dead, brown edges!

    I had a bite of a baby jackfruit dipped in a sweet, chili powder. Very dry... I do not recommend! Will look out for the adult ones! P