Thursday, 3 July 2014

Easy Rider Trip: Dalat to Hoi An

The highlight of my time so far in Southeast Asia was the Easy Rider journey I did from Dalat to Hoi An. 

I had the crazy idea to buy a motorbike in Saigon and ride it all the way to Hanoi, so the price of the Easy Rider program was a bit steep. 

It's usually $75-85 per day, although I got it for $50 since I had my own bike (my stepdad would be so proud of my bargaining skills!) 

My guide was amazing - Mr Binh was full of knowledge about the Vietnamese war, local customs in the minority villages we visited, and Vietnamese culture in general. 

I cannot recommend this experience enough - the places you see, the local people that you meet (and can actually talk to, thanks to Mr Binh), and the things you learn...absolutely fantastic!

I think we saw about 2 other westerners each day, typically also on bikes heading the opposite direction. 

If you're looking for the real Vietnam experience off the beaten track, don't think twice - just do it!

Dalat, Vietnam

Driving into Dalat, I was amazed at how similar it looked to Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. 

It is a cute European-looking city in the central highlands of Vietnam, so there are mountains all around. 

The temperature is generally between 15-25C, a great escape from the 40C heat I endured along the eastern coast of Vietnam! 

I didn't spend very much time here - less than 24 hours, actually, but it is definitely a cool place to wander around the hilly streets - kind of what I imagine San Fransisco to be like - and enjoy a bit of fresh air. 

Crazy House 

Crazy House is, indeed, crazy! 

The Crazy House, a must-see if you go to Dalat - is the project of a Vietnamese architect, whose father used to be the President, in the aim of reconnecting people with the importance of nature. 

It has been under construction for years, and continues to be built upon to this day. 

It is made out of concrete and painted to look like tree houses, with branch-like stairways connecting them all. 

It offers great views of the city, as long as you aren't too afraid of heights - the archways are a bit precarious up in the air. 

So glad that I checked it out!