Friday, 8 March 2013

Mud Baths and Dalat!

So we awoke early to head to the mud baths - turns out we chose the wrong day, as it was Womans day in Vietnam so it was FULL of Vietnamese! Had a mud bath, which was strange as it was cold, slimy and you could float in it with no fear of drowning. Watched a Vietnamese woman get dunked by a tub of mud over her head - amusing! Then we had our showers and mineral bath and headed back to the hostel where we chilled, had lunch at Same Same and then caught our bus to Da Lat at 3pm.

Maura still wasn't feeling well after THAT night in Nha Trang so the bus journey wasn't great for her, and it was through the mountains and windy roads with a reckless driver (though no-where near as bad as Indian drivers!) We arrived in Da Lat at around 6.30-7pm which was beautiful as, coming in, all the greenhouses and farms were lit up, creating a kind of fairy-land view. We got a free shuttle bus into town from the bus station but it came with a price...we were last on with a couple of Aussies and Czech girl and there were no seats left! So what do you do in Vietnam when there are no seats left? You are just left to stand in the cramped aisle with all your luggage on your back!

We got dropped off at the hotel we had booked; we'd received calls from them earlier though saying, yes we have rooms, no we don't have rooms, so we didn't know whether we actually had a room at all! I stupidly in my tired state left my daysack on the shuttle bus (this is the one with passport, laptop etc in it!) but managed to ring the bus company and the lovely easy-rider guy, Mr Chili, bought it back for me, everything still in it which was so so lucky!! PHEW!

The Aussie's (Peter and Trent) and the Czech (Barbara), had no-where to stay so they got dropped off with us and it turns out our hotel had a room with 4 double beds in. We did a bit of hotel-room browsing, up the hotel strip, to see if we could find any better but turns out ours was the best deal. All-sharing it would work out cheaper for us all, plus they had 2 friends (Sonya and Clara) coming tomorrow so it would work out even cheaper! So we settled on Le Phu'ong Hotel for 600,000 dong a night - less than £3 each - AND it was a penthouse room, complete with sofa, fridge, balcony, TV and with a panoramic view of Da Lat - score!

Maura decided to head straight to bed as she still wasn't feeling great, so Peter, Trent, Barbara and I headed out for beer and food. We got an awesome bill for our beers at the first stop - a piece of torn-up paper with 80,000 dong written on it! Then we headed to a street restaurant for food and browsed the night market, trying almost every food stall selling weird and wonderful street eats. We then headed back, equipped with cheap vodka and Da Lat Passionfruit cordial and sat drinking on the balcony for a bit before calling it a night.  We had no idea what we could do in Da Lat tomorrow, but tomorrow is another day...

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