I. Am. So. Tired. As such, please enjoy this brief (lol jk I'm not capable of brevity) summary of our last several days so that you are updated and I don't forget - or repress - anything from the last few days.
It is 9.30PM here in Dalat (literally had to sit here and think about the name of the place we're in bc we've hit three cities in 5 nights and my brain hurts) and sleep is calling to me like an old, neglected friend. Since I wrote you last, we spent two days and a night exploring the city of Ninh Binh on hostel rental bikes, which are obviously the best quality money can buy with incredible suspension for those bouncy empty-ice-tray roads I mentioned in my last post. Suffice it to say our butts were as bruised as our pride was as we biked dozens of kilometers to visit the most anticlimactic temple in the history of the world ever. This temple could only be reached by climbing the 500 steps to the top - which were more like 1,000 considering their size which makes no sense bc these people are freakin' tiny - in freaking jeans bc our brilliant selves didn't check the weather. We reached the top, panting and sweating like out of shape New Years Resolutioners, only to realize that the "incredible temple" we had been climbing the damn stairway to heaven to reach was actually just a small stone gazebo looking thing with a decent view of the city. We almost jumped off the mountain. We didn't though, bc... well I'm actually not sure why we didn't. But we headed back down the stairs from hell, which were WAY worse on the way down, to bike back to our hostel and wait for our night train to Hue. This 12h train ride was something I think I may have already repressed as a direct result of the fact that we had about a foot of space between our beds and the ceiling of our train car and an entire Vietnamese family of six was camped out on the four beds underneath us, but I can definitely recommend to never ever even once in your life take a sleeper bus with six beds in one cabin. Not ever. Not even a little. 0/10 would not recommend. Srsly, don't do it.
Upon our arrival in Hue, we rented our bikes - separate bikes bc I am not a back-of-the-bike kind of girl (I got it from my mama, who has her own Harley instead of riding on the back of dad's) - and headed down the beautiful Vietnamese coast by way of the Hai Van Pass (which was on an episode of Top Gear in case you ever want to watch it bc now I can say I've done that too which makes me feel pretty cool lemme tell ya). We spent the next few nights in Hoi An, which were an amalgamation of hectic night markets, hesitant haggling, colorful homemade lanterns lining the streets, and nights cuddling my bff Spike (my new doggy-friend that I named for her spunky attitude - I'm hoping that name sticks even after we're gone) at our beach hostel. It wasn't long before our butts were back on a night bus headed for Dalat.
Our trip to Dalat went about as well as our trip to Halong Bay, which if you recall, was not a good experience. Please sense the sarcasm. Please. The plan was to take a bus from Hoi An to Nha Trang and a subsequent (and immediate) bus further down to Dalat. This did not happen. Instead, we were brought to some random street several miles from the actual bus station and met with a hoard of taxi drivers ready and willing to take us where we were SUPPOSED to have been brought by the bus. How convenient. This time though, it wasn't just Ky and I who had had to get off the bus, so we consulted with our fellow travelers and agreed to share taxis. That is, until they tried to charge us about 10x what the actual price SHOULD have been for a destination only a few miles away. It was at this stage that Ky started to get very irritated. Mind you, Ky is the most easy-going person on the face of the planet. But at 5:30 in the morning with minimal sleep and a v v negative predisposition towards Vietnamese taxi drivers, he was not one to be trifled with. Fast forward about 15 minutes and Ky and I were leading a freaking caravan of travelers to the bus station - about a 40 minute walk away - much to the chagrin of the taxi drivers we left behind us. And by chagrin, I mean they were piiiiissed. I'm pretty sure one of them would have hit him if he wasn't literally twice their size, but as it was they just glared and sped off to find some more naive victims whose pride wouldn't force them to take a 40-minute, unplanned morning stroll along the streets of Nha Trang. An hour later, we were on what was without a doubt the least comfortable form of transportation that could sparsely pass as a "bus" to ever drive on land for what felt like an eternity but was actually only 4h. At this stage, we also hadn't eaten for a full 24h bc the Vietnamese don't believe in snack food that doesn't have gluten in it (lunch meat and cheese are nowhere to be found) and spent the next several hours looking for food on the shut-down streets of Dalat which had essentially closed down entirely for the upcoming holiday (Tet - the Lunar New Year). Honestly I don't know how we did it, we weren't even irritable, we were just lifeless shells of people who used to have a plan and a purpose and now only had a desire to jump in front of a moving vehicle. Obviously we eventually found food and made it to our hostel, but I needed you to understand the unbelievably dire situation at hand.
The next day, we had yet another badass adventure to add to our list of badass adventures (which is growing longer by the day). We went abseiling (repelling), trekking, and cliff jumping in the famous waterfalls surrounding Dalat and holy asparagus was it awesome. Our guide shattered the ice rather than breaking it when we all piled into the van by asking us for our names and then whether or not we were single (he seemed to think of himself as Cupid reincarnated and wanted us all to find love over the course of the day - spoiler alert: it didn't happen and I am still single as a Pringle thank God). He clapped when people were single and literally booed people who said they were in committed relationships while simultaneously mentioning on multiple occasions that he himself was single and ready to mingle. Well played, Henry. I see what you did there. Once we got that out of the way it was all downhill from there - get it... bc we were repelling down the waterfalls, not bc it was a negative experience... I'm clever, pls laugh. As per usual for me, the bruises and scrapes I accrued over the course of the day were not in fact from the actual abseiling, but rather from walking. To my credit, we were walking on rocks in the rushing river and anyone who's met me knows I already have issues staying upright without outside factors working against me... but I digress. We enjoyed our hostel's free dinner (they also serve free breakfast and I have absolutely no idea how they ever make any money bc they only charge $5 a night to stay here but I'll take it and run) with the Australian group of four that we'd abseiled with all day before agreeing to go out with them to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This was the best decision we ever could have made, but seeing as this post is getting a little lengthy - what a surprise, right - I think I'll leave you with this and write again on the night bus to Ho Chi Minh City, bc we all know sleep will be next to impossible.
So for now, please enjoy today's list and a couple of miscellaneous thoughts I thought were worth throwing in but couldn't figure out how to add to the body of the post and was too tired to try harder.
Until next time ya'll - XOXOX
Today's list of differences and surprising things:
PS. I apologize for the run-on sentences but they say you should only use punctuation when you breathe in a sentence and I literally never breath when I talk bc I never shut the hell up. So basically Hemingway and I were on the same page, but nobody is paying me to write this by the word count. Speaking of which, no one is paying me for anything at the moment so if you're interested, I'd be happy to give you my PayPal info. Just saying.
PPS. Ky just tried to plug his surge protector into the wall in the dining room and the whole area shorted out and lost power so now they have to find a repairman and Kyle feels like a horrible person and I can't stop laughing bc he didn't actually do anything wrong but now he refuses to plug anything into an outlet himself and has forced me to do it for him. I'm dying. This is great.
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)