Sucking in a lungful of fresh mountain air we headed to Coffee Street, which is packed with little coffee stalls (obviously). Combined with the clean, crisp air you’ll definitely be wide awake by now. We joined a local bus for the day-long drive to Dalat which gave us a chance to mix with locals and other travellers on board. We journeyned past rubber and teak plantations before ascending the jungle-clad pass to Bao Loc. We continued past tea and coffee plantations, where the people and their houses look very different to those in Ho Chi Minh. We explored some of the more interesting sights in Dalat, including the old railway station, Bao Dai, and the Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the 'Crazy House'. We also paid a visit to one of Dalat's most notable residents, Buddhist monk/artist, Vien Thuc, and purchased his black ink on paper paintings and calligraphy for approximately US$5 a piece. We had lunch upstairs on the 'mezzanine' floor of the fruit and vegetable pavilion in Dalat's central market. We then took a trip out to 'Lat Village' – a local ethnic hill tribe community located just outside Dalat.
Dalat is the Honeymoon hill station and we stopped there for just a night (Frankly, it was very cold to stay for more days) A former hill station for the French, the almost 5000 ft elevation was used by the locals and the tourists to escape the sweltering summer heat of Saigon. The crisp winter days and bright blue skies were a welcome backdrop for exploring the shores of the lake and the raucous, colorful market, where local fruits and vegetables of every description were practically given away. Having layered on all the clothes from our suitcases and still shivering, we paused for breakfast the next morning and swore we could hear the distant pounding surf of the warm coast. Not willing to stay for another night here, we set off towards Saigon.