June 26, 2007
We arrived at very nice guesthouse on the outskirts of Dalat. The first thing that struck me was the temperature. I had to put on my jacket, it was 16°.
Sam again raised the idea about doing the Easy Rider tour. I was still a little hesitant but he was persistent, which was a good thing because the tour was something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was awesome.
Because of Sam’s illness, we had to extend our visa in Vietnam as we had only 2.5 weeks remaining to see the rest of the country and a highlands tour would take out a serious chunk of time. The hotel manager arranged the Easy Riders to pick us up the next day, and we would pay the riders $50US a day. That included the hotel room per night.
The other advantage of taking an Easy Rider tour is the fact that for a little while you can really experience life their way. You eat Vietnamese, drink their style, sleep and live their style. The Riders overcame the language barrier as they spoke good English, a big help when the people we came across in the little villages did not.
The Easer Riders taught us a few Vietnamese words, but the language is difficult to get right. One tonal mistake and the you’ll completely lose the listener.
We didn’t see much of the town, as we spent only a day there. But we did see some attractions such as the Crazy House:
Dalat’s Hang Nga Guesthouse, deemed by locals “The Crazy House,” opened in 1990 and is indeed a strange and off the wall variation on natural aesthetics that began as one woman’s personal project and is now a tourist destination. The house has few right angles with unexpected twists at every corner. The misshapen windows make it look like a fairy tale house, as friendly stone animals—a bear, giraffe, and spider—linger around the premises. Small ponds and mushroom statutes also adorn the outside of the house.