VietStuff

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Around Dalat - Sights and Views

CRAZY RIDERS
Taking the Crazy Riders
The best way to see Dalat is not the tour bus nor by trekking. Its taking the crazy riders. They're experienced bikers not quite on Harleys but their bikes are definitely big and strong.

The ride gives you an inside look at the villages as it winds through back alleys in Dalat which only the locals take. You will also get to take in the pure scents and sights of the country

Please get your Crazy Rider via a reputable hotel. Do not hitch rides from the cluster of bikers who hang around the main post-office. True Crazy Riders would also show you a valid license and offer to let you read the various compliments from various patrons in their small black book.


A TEMPLE
We were first brought to a large temple not far from the township of Dalat. The grounds opposite this temple saw some of the fiercest battles during the war. A family of six was obliterated after severe bombing. Villagers could only find remnants of bones and placed these in a single coffin and buried it not far from this hillock. The memory of this harrowing incident is still being told today

Rebuilding the temple
However, new life seems to flow even in the spring season at Dalat. Here the temple dragons are being rebuilt. Around the temple grounds are large statues of various deities such as Quan Yin and the Buddha, in the painted colours of the rainbow.




WILD LIFE
Wild life in the woods
There is much wild life in the woods of Dalat. Basically an evergreen tree life exists on the hills (though we didn't see much natural forest as it seems most had been wiped out by napalm bombing...). Look carefully between the trees and you will see the wildlife in the woods of Dalat here. These 'wild' creature are native to Vietnam's farms = translated... they can be found aplenty in the rural villages of Vietnam and they're made into the famed Vietnamese dish "pho bo".



Wild life in the trees
These creatures are prevalent throughout Vietnam (and infact all over the world). However, for me, it was first in Vietnam that i saw their prevalence in trees. Even in my own quiet home in Ho Chi Minh City, these creatures climb the lowest of trees. Somehow, in Vietnam there seems a strong affinity between these creatures and trees.


COFFEE PLANTATIONS
Coffee Beans
The hills are alive with the scent of coffee! We popped by a plantation and took a handful of beautiful red berries. They were Mocca and Arabica coffee bushes. But the berries didn't taste exactly like coffee. Almost sweet with a tinge of Mocca or Arabica...



Drying coffee beans The coffee beans a laid on floors in homes, by the roadsides, beside pens. They are raked to even the lot so all are equally baked in the sun. No wonder our coffe here are so flavourful - full of the flavour of the "earth"!

CHIPPING GRANITE
Just off the road, even the granite stones offer work. Painful, backbreaking work but these men can be found throughout the granite lined roadways chipping away at these large rocks as if they were gold


WATERFALL
Finally a view of beauty but a high price to pay for it. Bonny almost collapsed (for fear of heights, of climbing, of slipping, of falling, of climbing again...!!) but survived to take this photo. It was either the waterfall or what-a-fall... Ben, the next time you're climbing the falls yourself!


A TRIBUTE
to our Crazy Riders

2 Comments:

At 2:12 am, Blogger Ivan Chew said...

Hmm... since you recommended it, think I'll give it a go. But it doesn't sound so safe, does it? To call them Crazy Riders. ;)

 
At 9:24 pm, Blogger The Saigon Tai-tai said...

Hey, you've really got to try them. Crazy Riders is the name they gave themselves!!

 

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