The next stop on our travels was Da Lat. We decided to take an overnight sleeper bus which was meant to depart at 10pm and get us to Da Lat for 6am the next morning. It didn't quite work out like that. At 10pm a motorbike taxi picked us up and then dropped us to a bus station. We then had to get on a mini bus for ten/fifteen minutes to take us to the actual overnight bus. I had a very bad stomach and thought worst case scenario I can use the toilet on the bus. To my horror the bus didn't have any toilets. I am so glad I dosed up on immodium beforehand...I think it saved me! The journey wasn't great. I managed to get a bit of sleep but it was difficult with the driver blaring out his music and beeping his horn continuously for the sake of it.
At 4am I was smacked on the leg by quite a rude worker telling me to get up as we were there. I was so tired and couldn't believe they were so early in dropping us off...you can't really call that a sleeper bus if its dropping you off in the middle of the night...cheers for that! Two motorbike taxis took us and dropped us off to the wrong hostel. We tried to show them where to go but it was proving pointless. I am pretty sure they just couldn't be bothered to take us the extra bit further. We decided to walk the rest of the way and got to our hostel at 4.30am. Thankfully there was a worker on a night shift so he let us in after we rung the doorbell. If he hadn't, we would have been stuck outside until at least 6am (I planned to play cards if we were). He kindly gave us a dorm to ourselves to sleep for a few hours. I fully expected to be charged for an extra night but they put it down as early check in we weren't charged.
The next morning we moved into our actual room. We had booked a private room as it was only five pound each per night. It was nice enough just no windows and right next to reception so you could hear everything. The wifi was great and the shower was super hot (which I have found to be rare in hostels). The only downside was that from around 8am every morning they started drilling and hammering so if you wanted to sleep in you had no chance.
Whilst in Da Lat we visited a Pongour waterfall. It was actually stunning and so peaceful. It was very quiet so it was easy to relax there and take it all in. We did see a dog with a very bad eye so I did report him/her to a charity in the hope they could help. He/she looked very well fed, it must have been a pet, but such a bad eye. I am not sure there was still an eye there sadly. I got a little bit sad again but my friend Zara reminde me that I was practising ethical tourism which helped. My friend Jess also said to think of the animals as survivors! Very sweet of them both.
We visited the Crazy House which was also a hotel. It was like a maze, very unusual and quirky but worth a visit. We stayed for ages wandering around and getting lost in it.
One evening we went for a drink at the Crazy Bar. This was owned by the same person who owned the Crazy House. It was one of the best bars I have ever been in. You bought a drink and then went on your way around the maze. It was so easy to get lost in the bar. We were going up ladders, down steps, through hidden doors! It was so much fun. I am not even sure we explored all of the bar, it was deceivingly big!
A trip to the local supermarket occupied us on one evening as it was raining quite a bit. It was more like a shopping centre with a food court, arcade, shops, massage parlours. I felt quite a few eyes on me as we were the only Westerners in there. It was pretty cool and we ended up eating in the food court.
Da Lat was pretty cold and rainy but it was absolutely fine. I didn't mind it there, but I don't feel as though Vietnam has charmed me yet.