What to do in Vietnam - Da Lat - Day 44

Who are we?

We're two eager travelers with roots in the US.

Having explored quite a bit of our home country together, we set our sights abroad and kickstarted our foreign travels in Southeast Asia. With everything we owned in our backpacks, we set off on our five-month trip.

Having traveled Japan for the past 35 days, we're well on our way to our new home for the following two weeks, Vietnam.

There are countless ways to explore this developing nation, and everyone has their own take on the subject matter. From the busy city life with endless markets and awesome street food to the pristine beaches and breathtaking mountain views, Vietnam has a little something for every kind of traveler.

The options can be overwhelming when considering your trip to Vietnam, so to help narrow down the possibilities, we'll highlight some of our experiences to give you some inspiration and personal know-how!

Without further ado..

What day is it today and where did we end up today?

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Today is Thursday, the 22 of November, 2018.

We woke up well-rested from our stay at the Mui Ne Gardens Hostel, and chilled out a bit before spending the day in transit to Da Lat.

What did we explore today in Da Lat?

Eager to get moving, we bought a bus ticket toward Da Lat the night prior. Come noon, we boarded the vehicle along with a couple other travelers. We got ourselves situated and as comfortable as possible for the ride ahead.

We took an introspective journey on a bumpy bus ride to Da Lat

Departing the sandy beaches of Mui Ne, we were greeted with a spectacular view of the mountainous region in southern Vietnam. Lush green trees filled the hills and valleys as far as the eye could see, leaving us perplexed at this wondrous earth. 

Passengers looked like they were popping like popcorn as we'd drive into potholes, bouncing and swaying about; we couldn't help but laugh at the situation. Soon enough, we pulled into a rest area for some fast grub. Before we knew it, though, we were back on the road.

With no obligations as passengers in transit, we were left alone with our thoughts to reflect on. It seems that when traveling, a lot of days are spent transitioning and moving locations, and others spent more engaged in activities at the respective destinations. We gladly accept the downtime we have between our otherwise busy schedules, and tune inward to our thoughts. Departing the bus, we were physically the same, yet our minds seemed to have undergone remarkable alterations. 

After we wiggled through the swarm of bewildered tourists, we got directions to our hostel, courtesy of our good friend Google Maps. A brief ten minute walk from where the bus had stopped, we approached Brew & Breakfast. Entering the place, we were warmly welcomed by the receptionist and shown our room. We dropped off our bags and regrouped for a second before heading to embrace the nightlife of the Da Lat Market.

We got our street food fix at the Da Lat Market

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Streets were lit up with the unmistakable glow of food carts and cheap noodle shops, so we knew we came to the right place. We smelled the fusion of aromas from a mile away; stepping by, we heard the sizzling of bánh xèo , or Vietnamese rice pancakes. Within the blink of an eye, we were seated with a handful of this savory snack.

Eyeballing some roasted sweet potatoes, we couldn't help but grab two of them. It's a modest love affair with these orange tubers: packed with flavor, vitamins, and minerals, what's not to love? We then saw a lady with a cart of strawberries in the street. Presenting us with the gift of fresh, plump berries harvested in the nearby region for less than a buck, we left feeling well taken care of.

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Browsing the shops, we came to realize that each vendor was selling the same thing for the same prices, respectively. Dried fruits and preserves seemed to be common; socks, too, for some reason. Da Lat is a very fertile agricultural region, so vendors tote a plethora of produce, from artichokes to berries and potatoes. 

After window shopping for a bit, it was time to eat again. This time, banh mi from a food cart was the appetizer, and some pho was the main course. We left well-fed, for a whopping total of $4.

Back indoors at the hostel, we were welcomed by the mascots of Brew & Breakfast - Komodo the sausage dog and the four kittens. 

How much did we spend traveling in Da Lat?

Food: 250,000 / $10.7

Transport: 130,000 / $5.56

Lodging: 116,000 / $5

Sightseeing: $0

Other: $0

Total: $21.26