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Love, Trust, and a little bit of Wanderlust If we don't try we will never know, in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Dinner in Da Lat

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 7 June 2017 | Views [511]

After 2 fantastic nights in the amazing hotel we really didn't want to leave. It was so comfortable, a little home from home luxury. But we had to move. We had a flight booked from Hue to Da Lat. The hotel provided an airport transfer and off we went.

Once we landed we bought a bus transfer ticket, collected our bags and jumped on the bus. When the bus arrived in Da Lat the driver tried to kick us off early... along the way he had also been picking up locals and taking detours to drop them off. It was chaos. The driver obviously got fed up with having to get off the bus to get bags for people so he dragged them from under the bus and threw them onto the empty front seats. When he shouted at us a 3rd time to "get off here" we finally agreed. We bundled off the bus as quickly as we could, but before I was fully off he was already moving. I picked up my bag and noticed the top was ripped. It had been pulled so hard that all of the stitching around the top cover and the strap support had all come away. I couldn't carry it, it needed restitching. We got to the hostel in tact and asked for a needle and thread for me to attempt to fix it. We were shown to our room which was dated but clean and tidy, with a little balcony door and a wet room bathroom, standard. We were unpacking the essentials and emptying my rucksack so I could fix it, when the hubby closed the bathroom door. It was only when he went to put the towels in the bathroom that he realised the door was locked... it had locked itself with our wash kit in the bathroom and us in the bedroom. The husband decided he could tackle this problem himself using 2 of my hair clips.... needless to say that didn't progress very far 🙄. He ran down to tell reception, they came with a whole array of keys and stood rifling through them trying each one. After a few minutes the lady, who didn't speak a word of English, waved us out of the room and unlocked the one next door. 10 minutes later she knocked with our wash bag. 

The hostel had advertised a 'family dinner' so we decided to go along. We would get to meet people and try some more local foods. When we got downstairs a young Vietnamese woman said "no dinner, we go to vendor and markets." It was basically a free tour of the town. The young girl introduced herself as Knee (she repeatedly pointed to her knee and said "just like this.") she took us to a tiny little back street food place, with metal tables, plastic chairs and plastic sheets as a roof. We were each given a plate of ingredients for fresh spring rolls and we sat and rolled our own. 

She took us into another food shop that did a Vietnamese style desert. Knee recommended the banana soup. It took some convincing but we agreed to try one. Its sauce was similar to custard with sliced fried/grilled banana and some kind of liquid pods. Apparently they are from flowers, they dry them then rehydrate them to go in the 'soup'. It was actually ok, but I doubt I would buy it again haha.

She then took us to the night market. Same as all the others we had visited, there was lots of food stalls, jewellery shops, clothes and shoes, anything you can carry to a stall, you can find at these markets. We didn't stay too long as no one was really interested in buying anything.

The next stop was our last stop. It goes by many different names but we heard it called Maze Bar and 100 Roofs Bar. It has the tiniest of entrances and looks like nothing from the outside, but once you enter it's indescribable. The place is simply insane. We had been told to go here weeks ago and the recommendation had stated "whoever designed this place was definitely on acid.." We laughed at this, but once we started to look around we began to think that statement was a little bit reserved. It was literally a maze of twists and turns, tunnels and staircases. You never seemed to pass the same place twice but somehow you always got to where you wanted to be. Some of the tunnels are tiny, some of the staircases are pitch black and it would be simple to take a tumble after a few too many. Certainly worth the visit. 

Our guide had been incredible. She was so friendly, she wanted to chat to everyone and even wanted to hold hands with some of us as we walked. I chatted to her for a while and she told me she had studied science and worked in a lab dealing with plants and crops. She had decided to leave and take the job at the hostel because the pay at the lab wasn't very good and she couldn't talk to people. All she wanted to do was talk to people, learn about them and the countries they came from, and she especially wanted to practice her English (Which by the way was very, very good.) it was during this conversation she told me it was her first week, I told her if she kept up the way she was going the hostel would be packed every week. She was such a kind hearted person.

 

The second night we did go to the family dinner. There were about 20 of us (probably more) a whole mix of nationalities and stories. We had a buffet style meal of local dishes and the food was fantastic. We sat with a few people we had met the night before and got chatting to a few others. 

 

The conversation always starts the same-

"Are you on holiday or travelling?"

"Where have you been?"

"Where are you going?"

"How long are you travelling for?"

These are key to any hostel conversation.

 

After the food we sat chatting with a few drinks. The music in most places is streamed through YouTube, it was the same here. Someone further up the table started to YouTube karaoke versions of songs... some of them were shocking. By the time we decided to call it a night our ears were practically bleeding!! We got upstairs and started to pack when we heard a chorus of pissed up travellers all singing our wedding song at the top of their voices. We've heard this in a few places now. It's like a lucky charm following us on our travels. Still makes me smile every time I hear it. And reminds us how lucky we are to be on this trip.

Tags: 100 floors, crazy drivers, da lat, dinner, hostel, markets, maze bar, travel, vietnam, wedding song

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