The honeymoon capital of Vietnam, Dalat is a mountain city and it’s significantly colder here than in the cities on the coast. When the sun goes down it can be as cold as 15 degrees, which is probably the coldest we have experienced on the trip so far. Mike had to wear his jeans for the first time on the trip, and I put all my layers on. We stayed in a really cute hostel called Santa Claus, where I think the Christmas decorations are up all year!
One of the main tourist activities in Dalat is canyoning. Of course Mike really wanted to do it, whereas I was more sceptical. He woke me up in the morning and said he’d signed us up anyway, and that we were leaving in 45 minutes.
The day started out pretty easy, we were given wetsuits and helmets and climbing gear, and we practiced some abseiling. I’ve always liked abseiling and thought that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Our first abseil was pretty easy, but we ended up in the river having to swim to the other side. For the rest of the day we were in and out of the river, and constantly getting wet. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the sun was out but it wasn’t, so we got very cold.
Mike did an 11 meter jump from a cliff into the water which he was very happy about. The last abseil of the day was down a waterfall – at the bottom you had to let go of the rope, drop down into the water, get pushed under by the waterfall and let yourself get flushed back out and down the river. Not my favourite experience, but the relief of getting back to the hostel and under a warm shower was the best feeling ever.
We ended up at the Maze bar by coincidence on our first night when all the other bars closed early. The bar is like the name promises a proper maze – and it’s incredible. It stretches over 6 floors consisting of little tunnels and caves and incredibly narrow and steep staircases, and it’s decorated as a mix between a fairy castle and a troll’s lair. After just a few minutes walking around it becomes really hard to find your way out again, and you can keep going looking for your friends for an eternity if you loose them! It would be an incredibly confusing place to be drunk!
The Crazy House is designed in a similar style to the Maze Bar. It’s a very impressive collection of several big buildings (the house of the woman who built it, and a hotel) and a huge new part of it was still under construction when we were there. The buildings are connected by lots of spindly little walkways, stairs and bridges – Mike thought the banisters were way to low, and his fear of heights played up a little bit, especially at the top. The view from the top is amazing, and I felt a bit like a child on a playground running around on all the little bridges! The architecture is very random and crazy, and I’d definitely recommend a visit.