We took a sleeper bus from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat. We thought this would be a good idea because google maps said it would take 8 hours. We took a 10pm bus, figuring we would arrive in Dalat at 6am. We quickly learned that bus drivers in Vietnam think they are in Mad Max, and we got to Dalat by 4am. Imagine having spent the last 50 days in 90+ weather….now Dalat was 61. I thought I was in the Arctic! Unfortunately, for some reason all the vans at the airport were refusing to take us to our hotel, so we had to wait inside the bus terminal until 6am. And no, it wasn’t warm in there due to the fact that all the doors were wide open.
We walked out of the terminal a little while, and quickly found a taxi to take us to this place called An Cafe. It’s worth mentioning by name because it was so adorable and really pleasant place to eat breakfast and drink coffee.
From An Cafe we walked to Dalat Backpacker Inn where we were staying with Long and his girlfriend Truc. They were both the nicest most helpful people. We rented motorbikes from them and headed to see some sites. First stop, Dalat Flower Garden.
Next stop was a waterfall. Getting to the waterfall was a ton of steps down, so going back up was the more difficult part.
At this point we were really hungry, and ended up at the coolest place to eat called Artist Alley. The owner, Bien, is an artist and a chef. He owns the restaurant and all the paintings inside are his. He has a unique style of fingerpainting that no one has been able to replicate, even though he has tried to teach many. We had pumpkin soup, and all agreed it was the most amazing soup we’ve ever had. We talked to Bien for a while, and he gave us each a painting. It was so cool. There is live music there every night, so we went back at night for some coffee and a light dinner. Ming, the guitarist, spoke no English, but he continued to play for us even though everyone had left and we were the only three there. Our server, Lily, had promised us at lunch that she would sing a Vietnamese song for us if we came back for dinner. She made good on her promise. Bien came upstairs after a while and painted us another painting right there from scratch. It was such an enjoyable experience.