Who are we?
A lot of things!
...but, to keep it simple, 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 and where did we stay in Da Lat?
Today is Friday, the 23 of November, 2018.
We stayed the night at Brew & Breakfast Hostel.
What did we explore today in Da Lat?
We got our brew and breakfast on at Brew & Breakfast
The hostel here roasts coffee beans and grinds them daily, offering guests a taste of the local region from a cup - albeit quadruple the price of the ca phe in the streets.
Starting the day with a strong pour-over (having no idea what that was), coupled with a delicious tofu and black-bean scramble and hearty bowl of oats, we were all charged up for a productive day in Da Lat.
We went cuckoo at the Crazy House
We set off on foot toward the Hằng Nga guesthouse, more commonly known as the Crazy House. For 50k VND, we were granted access into another world. Twisted and warped architecture reminiscent of the natural world was available to guests to freely roam about. Bending over and crawling through the rooms and passageways, we felt like we had entered the children's playground at Disney World.
Having explored nearly every nook and cranny of the guesthouse, we left feeling inspired by the unconventional yet elegant design of the building. Rooms were available for guests to stay, but we couldn't imagine paying nearly ten times as much as a hostel to be woken up by people clamoring outside your window during the day.
We connected to our inner Zen at Buddhist pagodas and statues
A street-cart with cakes and pies of all sorts was strategically placed outside of the Crazy House. Having gained a newfound appreciation for bakeries and pastries, we had to grab a couple sweet treats. Opting for a slice of apple pie and carrot cake, we got our fix as we walked toward the Linh Son pagoda.
Located not far from the noisy road perched on a gently sloping hill lied the Linh Son pagoda.
Simplistic yet sensational, the pagoda reflected the minimalist concepts of Asian architecture. We had the area mainly to ourselves, so we soaked up the tranquility and let our breaths guide us; in, and out.
After roaming around this pagoda, we set off to see the Thien vien Van Hanh, the Golden Buddha statue. The impressive statue was great to look at and admire, but beyond that, there wasn't much else. Droves of tourists came and went while we were there, so be prepared for a busy visit when you go. For no entrance fee, though, this is a great addition to your Da Lat itinerary!
We felt the love in the air at the Valley of Love
Rich, abundant green lawns covered the landscape filled with various flowers and trinkets symbolizing love. Walking along the paths, we saw many couples walking together, reveling in the infamous oxytocin bond. Disconnected to others' private intimacies, we felt a strong energy in the valley regardless. Plants and fauna seemed to be in full bloom complimenting the world with their vibrant colors as visitors whipped out their selfie sticks and got to taking photos. Growing hungry, we left the park feeling youthful and recharged as we hailed a cab toward the market street.
We feasted in the streets at the Da Lat Market (again)
Arriving to the market just before everyone started setting up shop, we found a local café to sip on some tea and dodge the onslaught of rain.
Tiring of the obnoxious pop music, we headed out to scope out some food. Within a couple minutes we were seated with some noodle soup to get us started. Bahn xeo was next, followed by some bahn tieu, or fried dough balls. After our gluttony had been tamed, we walked a couple laps around the market messing around with the camera. Tiring of our endeavors, we retreated back to our headquarters at Brew & Breakfast to recoup for the next day.
How much did we spend traveling in Ho Chi Minh City?
Food: 155,000 / $6.6
Transport: 43,000 / $1.84
Lodging: 116,000 / $5
Sightseeing: 150,000 / $6.4