July 6, 2005

around dalat

today we took a motorbike daytrip tour outside dalat.

we got a couple drivers, recommended by the woman who runs our hotel, who spoke really good english to take us to some of the villigaes outside dalat.
by far, the most interesting part of the trip was seeing how silk is produced. starting at a farm where they raise larva up to the cucoon stage and then sell them to a factory where they take apart the cucoons and spin them into silk threads.
past that, we got to see two really nice waterfalls. one of them we had to hike to, and of course the hike was on the same slippery clay as our previous hikes, so of course i bailed really good and smeared brown clay all over my rear end. needless to say, it looked like i soiled my pants horribly and i was getting good laughs from random strangers for the rest of the day.
we also went to a mushroom farm where we saw how they grew wood ear mushrooms for market.
the ride back got interesting because we managed to kill two bikes. ronda's driver had a chinese motor bike. these bikes are known for being cheap, in all sensed of the word. well, as it happens, the bike overheated while climbing back up the mountain to dalat. so our drivers flagged some random stranger down and got him to take ronda. this was going fine until his rear tire blew out. after that, my driver took ronda back to our hotel while i started to hoof it back. after a short while, the driver with the chinese bike caught up with me (since he had gotten a bottle of water which he used to cool down his bike) and gave me a ride back to the hotel.
another interesting thing i learned here is that the goverment doesn't allow anyone to have bikes bigger than 150cc. only the police can have bigger bikes. earlier i was suprised by how small some of the bikes i've seen here are. (i think the smallest i've seen here is 50cc, which is unbelievably tiny.)

1 comment:

  1. Ed and rhonda!
    I am reading your adventures with envy. You are bringing me back to my days in Vietnam! The heat, the city, the lack of clean air and the people in the street. I love it. Everything you hate right now will somehow have a rosey tint in a year. I promise.
    It sounds like you are having great adventures and I am happy to see you went to Halong Bay which was one of my favorite places. I enjoyed Hanoi bc of the french influence a little more then HCMC but I am curious what you will think of your time down south. Try to stay with a family when you go to the Delta.
    I also went to that place on the way to Halong Bay where the "disadvantaged youth" make those woven pictures. It made me laugh so hard when i read that part bc i can totally picture the "happy place". That is what my guide called it too.
    Sounds like you are having a great time. I miss you and can't wait to read more.
    love, Dede