Days Winding Down in Da Lat – Tours ahead, things to see and do

Some fun things to record and discuss.

Yesterday was a fun day all the way around. I had the tour and then went for a walk afterwards since the weather was kinda dry. Getting back I decided to just have a Banh Mi for dinner and grab a couple of beers from the little market I frequent.

Upon getting back, the hotel owner and two friends were sitting in the lobby drinking cans of Tiger beer and eating a variety of foods. Neither of the friends spoke too good English but they all insisted I sit down and talk. Instead of sharing the beer for three they shared the beer for four and we ate, talked, and laughed. I guess beer and food has a language of its own!

I left after a few beers and went to the room and thought about the amazing day I just had.

Today its still raining so I went to La Viet for coffee and a sandwich or brunch meal around noon. I sat there and watched the weather vary between intense rain and sprinkles or mist. Finally it seemed that things had stopped so I left to walk wherever. It rained most of the time I was out but I just continue and walk the city because its a thing I like doing.

I thought through how my time in Vietnam is slowly drawing down. When I leave Da Lat this Saturday for Saigon I will have spent a month here of pretty good times. With the tours I feel I have seen a lot that Da Lat offers and I still have another tour and a few days of wandering still. I also considered some kind of list of things I want to do still on Wednesday and Friday so came up with a list sorta kinda.

  1. Da Lat Market, Wednesday. I want to look at smaller bags that could become camera bags at the market. Its about 20 minutes walking to get there. The market is fun to just walk through and see all the fresh veggies, fruit, bags, coats, socks, shoes, people. Its all there and if you want to do some street photography my thought is a market is a great place to go.
  2. Da Lat Flower Garden and Lake, Friday. On Friday I will walk the long way around the lake and do the flower garden and see the walk around the lake the other way than I usually do. Its interesting and not so touristy since I don’t think legions of tourists go walking that much.

That gets me to Saturday and when I leave. I have to be at the bus station by 10am so I will leave here by 9am and either walk or get a cab. I board the bus at 11am and will reach Saigon by 5 to 6pm. Then I head to my hotel in District 1 and spend two nights. On 20 August, I head to the airport and fly to Da Nang.

I think Da Nang is gonna be a lot of fun. Its a bigger city along the coast with beaches and pagodas and historic sites and museums! Its my final city in Vietnam and I have about 29 days there.

What I decided when I started traveling in Vietnam was to find cities that I could “anchor” in and spend longer. I spent 3 months in Hanoi and that was really good! I met people, felt like a regular there, and also learned how to walk the city and did that every day. I found favorite restaurants and coffee shops and where to buy things like toiletry items. Then I spent 30 days in Saigon which let me visit so many places but still have the comfort of the homestay. I did a side trip to Vung Tau on the water ferry and was amazed at the ex-pat population and sites there to see.

Now its been Da Lat and the 30 days have been quite good here! I did the Nha Trang trip via bus for 4 days. Da Lat has been fantastic to stay in for this long as well.

Next up is Da Nang and like I mentioned I think Da Nang has a bunch of stuff to go do. I’ll spend about the same number of days there and then fly back to Saigon and make my way to Cambodia. I will have spent 6 months in Vietnam! Six glorious months with so many memories and photographs and people I’ve met.

I alo started thinking about long term in Cambodia. I will get a visa extension of stay there that is easily available for retired folks like me. I can use Phnom Penh as a base and travel to Lao, Thailand, Malaysia. I know next year I will make it to Singapore and then travel to India. India is a long term investment for me. I have friends up and down the country to see. I would have to spend a few weeks in Chennai.

All of that feels so far ahead of myself its hard to imagine but Cambodia is not. I have 4 months pretty well planned out and arranged for lodging and travel between places and then back to Phnom Penh.

So, only a few days left and one more tour to do. Have a few chores on Friday like doing my laundry in my room and packing. I’ll be toning down the bags and dropping the duffel here at the hotel as well as the coat I bought and rain gear.

Then off I go! On to the next place in Vietnam 🙂

Tour of Da Lat — Waterfalls, Pagoda, Coffee and so much more!

Around Da Lat and not within walking distance are a series of waterfalls that are simply gorgeous but you need a way there. You can rent a ride on a motorbike or rent a bike yourself. Since its rainy season here the best way I think and perhaps the most expensive is to get a tour. I chose Da Lat daily tours headquartered here in Da Lat. But since I am a solo traveler and most of these are built for groups or families I had to pay as though I was two. This came up to about $70 yesterday to see about 7 different sites and have the wonderful, funny, and intellect Ha with me as a tour guide.

We visited the Pongour and Elephant falls as well as a beautiful and modern Pagoda and then drove through herds of buffalo and calves and visited minority villages that are completely different and flower farms where I met the owner.

We also spent a leisurely hour or more over Arabica freshly made coffee talking about life, traveling, Vietnam, families and the differences between the US and Vietnamese families. She is a fun and wonderful guide and new friend that communicates in English so well, teases affectionately, and kept me so incredibly involved in the tour.

Yesterday was only the first day I have a tour with Da Lat Daily Tours. Thursday we will visit Pagodas and other sites which Ha has assured me will be fun, educational, and enlightening. I believe her!

Here’s the Da Lat photo album which combines the tours and my wanderings on a daily basis. Enjoy the photo’s of the waterfalls! Of the two we visited yesterday, Pongour waterfall is much better and more beautiful. Its more nuanced and has elements that cascade all around where the Elephant waterfall is more focused with so-called elephant rocks at the bottom that you have to really look at. You can hike to the bottom but I deferred since the way is very slippery and I did not feel like slipping or falling and Ha assured me while the view below is good the danger is real and people have fallen and hurt themselves.

I would say if you visit Da Lat other than waterfalls be sure you include visiting a coffee plantation. I will get the name of the one we went to but I should be able to find it online too since its the largest. Coffee growers actually grow two beans here which have radically different elevation requirements that are both met here in Da Lat. The Arabica bean requires higher elevations at or about 1500m while Robusta beans thrive lower. I saw both side by side and tasted the beans raw. The beans are sweet to taste! We disagreed which one was sweeter. Ha believes that the Arabica is sweeter.

A second amazing thing was seeing the vast differences of other things grown in this food basket of Vietnam. Not just the fruits and produce but also pepper plants. We stopped and I tasted pepper seeds which are highly spiced.

We also stopped at the Ninh An Tu Pagoda next to Elephant Waterfalls and burned incense and toured. The Pagoda is active and the grounds are open to respectful visits with cameras. I love visiting Pagodas and Temples. Do you know the difference between them?

Somehow we fit lunch at a cafe and diner in-between and had cheap and delicious dishes. I had a nice chicken with rice and salad for all of 40k VND. Very reasonable given the rather touristy locales we were in.

The final stops were a minority village and a flower farm where I met the flower farm owner and Ha translated our discussions about growing flowers, families, traveling.

An amazing day and I met a wonderful person who teased, laughed, and told me so much about her life and how families in Vietnam are so different than our US counterparts.

The Golden Buddha, wandering, and some thoughts on the final week…

North of my hotel, up a road I had not walked before is one of the most prominent of cultural and religious sites in Da Lat. You take a small road and walk up a short incline to the Golden Buddha. The site sits on a beautiful hill and one sees almost a 360 view of Da Lat stretching out. There are numerous figures, beautiful flowers, and the religious buildings themselves. This is an active site so you can hear prayers and watch those giving offerings in real time as you go. Like most sites I have been to in Vietnam there is no real problem with taking photographs so all people tend to take out cameras or smart phones and shoot away.

The site is like a hilly island in northern Da Lat and strolling and visiting the site can take an hour unless you sit and relax and just observe the site like I did. I had looked at google maps and found a new way to get back down to the road my hotel is on and then walked back another way. I changed the camera over to Acros Black and White for fun and shot some photographs of things I saw on the streets. Acros does really nicely on buildings that have contrasty looks and people! My approach today was to use very simple Aperture Priority settings and then set the ISO to 100 or 200. I shot almost at all times at F5.6. While at the temple, I switched to Auto ISO since there were so many different lighting scenarios. That way the camera decides which ISO to use since I was looking at the taking shots of all different locations.

As I got back down to the road where the hotel is, I decided to walk back another way and walked down a smaller road I had done before and then got on the series of surface roads that would take me back. Weather was not so good but not so bad either. It would rain lightly for awhile and then stop and mist again. Enough to get things wet but not not enough for a soaking. Temperatures were around 19 which made it nice for walking and seeing things.

Here’s the link to the Da Lat photo album with all of the photos thus far I have taken here. Fun times!

Last Week Thoughts…

This is my last week in Da Lat. I have been here about 3.5 weeks and have spent the days doing what I love which is seeing the city and visiting a variety of the places like markets, churches and pagoda and temples that have struck my fancy or I happened across as I walked. I walked country roads here and city streets.

Tomorrow I do a half-day tour to see two waterfalls and then Thursday another half-day tour to see some Pagodas. Then I am basically done and will do a little shopping at the Da Lat Market on Friday and perhaps splurge and have lunch downtown for a change. Saturday, I board another bus to Saigon and go back for 2 days and then fly from there to Da Nang. Da Nang is my last stop in Vietnam and I’ll be there for about 3 weeks seeing the city, going to the Hands of God or Golden Bridge and whatever else. Da Nang is a big city with lots of stuff to see so I think I will be busy there!

Preparing to Leave…

Each time I’ve left I have had to go through my stuff and try to lessen the footprint since I manage to acquire things. This time its a jacket that I will give to the hotel for another guest. I also have this nice North Face Duffel bag which I won’t be taking. I have some smaller toiletry items which I would never start carrying since they are so cheap here. I’ll just replace them when I get to Da Nang.

That’s about it for this Sunday!

Travel Photography – what is the best Camera? There ain’t one

What is the best travel camera out there? There are reviews left and right about new cameras from them all. I’ve seen ads for Nikon, Ricoh, Sony. Then there are the retro-looking FujiFilm cameras. In my own admittedly junior status of doing the fun of photography and trying a bit to understand the how; I looked at my own habits and how I chose what I did:

  1. I wanted a camera with the ability to shift from doing people photography to grabbing a lake scene to a crumbling downtown building. The camera had to be able to quickly adapt and also allow me a quick shot using proven settings on Aperture Priority. The ability had to extend to carrying. I wanted something that was innately and wonderfully able to capture fast changing scenes while I moved too.
  2. The camera had to have what I will call “soul”. It had to be fun to use and learn on. I had to feel that it was a learning experience with the camera and it was okay to over or under-exposure all in the name of learning. I also wanted the soul to extend to its looks. I don’t want seriously cool looking gear but what I did want was something that was both unobtrusive but beautiful.
  3. I wanted a mirrorless camera with a permanent lens. It was okay if zooming meant walking. Hell, that’s what I do! I walk. So taking more steps toward a thing or away is not a major deal. I do about 12500 steps each day. The camera had to be easy to stash and use without expensive doodads that came with it. In other words, it had to be all encompassing.
  4. The fourth thingamabob is that I wanted a camera which would let me learn my own style which I have dubbed as “urban” photography. What I like shooting are buildings, signs, people, lakes, hills, signs, graffiti, street art, more people. In other words urban scenes and scenes out of the window of a bus or train or from the back of a cab or whatever.
  5. Finally, because most people list the 5 or 10 things, it had to produce images I liked. In the end I am the sole judge of what I do taking photographs. I don’t sell, but do share. I don’t want or need anything from doing it besides fun, learning, and enjoyment.

The camera I chose which met the most of the criteria is the FujiFilm X100f. It has that seriously retro look with fun knobs and dials. It has a permanent lens so I don’t go hog wild buying more lens. It is so easy to carry in a backpack or camera bag. Here is a big thing folks! I only shoot jpegs so the images I want have that characteristic Fuji look with the film simulations like Classic Chrome, Acros, or Provia. I want the images right out of the camera. I don’t want to futz with RAW files that don’t have the qualities of the film simulation. I am trying to learn what film simulation is best for what kind of thing for me! The Fuji camera also is learnable. You can bracket shots if you want. Take the best!

Its not just me though. Others have weighed in like here and here with their judgements on the camera. In the end though the choice has to be yours. Its difficult to know though if you are starting. Its not a cheap deal to get one. Note that each review has a pro and con part because the camera that is great for you will be a chore for someone else and perhaps one of the cons of the camera is a deal breaker.

So what do you do if you want to get serious? I don’t know because I am not serious. I am after the fun of finding the thing and capturing it. I met a street photographer today with a FujiFilm XE2 and it got me thinking about the great street shots he was getting in black and white. Wonderful sombre images of people in Vietnam at markets and on the streets. Beautiful tapestried shots that invoked a lot of the person in the shot by the mixing of the person and the immediate environment. I loved his work. For him the FujiFilm XE2 with the 18-55 lens was the bees knees. It got him close as he needed without being too close. But we all do different things. For you travel photography may be waterfalls and nature hikes, wildlife and mountains.

What I have come away with understanding is that no one can make a recommendation for you on what is best. Even if a person does the same thing their style and habits and abilities get in the way and color the perspective. So how to go forward? You have to be willing to pay some money I think and try a camera. Perhaps that first one is not the one. Maybe the next one is not either. I don’t know how far you would go with it. It seems like packing a dedicated camera bag with 3 lens, two bodies, filters, tripods, other stuff; kinda runs contrary to traveling light but you are the one carrying it. Perhaps your real needs outweigh the weight and you decide that what you really want to capture are not the urban scenes of my style but other stuff.

Is there a website or photographer that can tell you for sure? I don’t think so. The camera is a mix of art and science. Light and thoughts. Reasons and love. What one person views as art or light another person may think little of or have no reason to adopt.

So don’t rush out and buy the Fuji or Nikon or Sony because someone uses it and posts glowing reviews. Buying the wrong camera is like getting a pair of shoes that don’t fit but you decide to give it a whirl anyways. Since I am not a photographer but just someone who likes photography, my views are slanted and keyed to a specific thing I have found. This is like so many other things out there.

Its the YMMV thing.

Closing the Books on Nha Trang and Moving Forward

Transit day back to Da Lat was good except for being on the wrong bus and then our bus getting in an accident with another bus. Luckily the speed at which the buses go is pretty slow in some spots. We were stranded there for about 2 hours. Finally did get back and then re-did two tours and changed them to half day tours for two days to see what I really wanted to see.

I’ll be seeing two waterfalls and 5 historic pagodas in and around Da Lat. I’m thankful for DaLat tours being flexible and letting me design my own tour packages.

That will get me through Monday and Thursday half a day each day. Its my last week here and I still have some things around the city I wish to see like the Golden Buddha which is just north of my hotel. I’ll pick a day to walk up there and back.

I’m finally able to upload the photo’s I took on my Nha Trang trip and here’s the link to the album. I had an interesting time there but its way too touristy for me. The number of Russian tourists is amazing! I wonder if the Vietnamese like Russian tourists there. It seems that they are almost 10o percent different. Vietnamese seem like open, fun, happy people that enjoy meeting others. The Russian tourists seem different. Perhaps more reserved. I hate to sound this way but some seem very arrogant and almost dismissive of the service workers that are Vietnamese. Just my take though on what I saw while touring around there. I was treated very nicely by the Vietnamese there including waitresses, baristas at the Cuppa Coffee this morning, and the hotel people. One of the waitresses at Olivia Pizza restaurant saw me come in for breakfast and welcomed me with a big smile and told me she appreciated my review on TripAdvisor the night before! The breakfast there was top notch! If you go to Nha Trang, try Olivia Restaurant. I tried seafood there and was not impressed that much. The place was packed and it was hard to get waited on, get food ordered, etc. I don’t believe that Nha Trang has a culinary history or specific dishes like Hue and Hoi An do.

I guess overall I like places like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi better even though the beach was just beautiful! I also liked Long Son Pagoda a lot. Only having two days and only walking meant I divided up the days to see the beach one day and then the Pagoda and Church and walk home a different way yesterday. But I feel that I got to see a bit of Nha Trang and I’m happy. I won’t be going back there.

Nha Trang in two days – a report of a fun place to visit!

I’ve accumulated some number of photos of my 2 days in Nha Trang which due to a combination of misfortunes limited perhaps only to me I cannot upload. The hotel assures me that wifi is good here yet when I open a terminal and do a ping or trace route, its dismal. I have the best luck just sharing my LTE connection on my iPhone.

But here’s the narrative parts and I’ll create a new photo album when I can.

Trip Report: Nha Trang

Nha Trang is an interesting place that is a combination of a whole bunch of Russian tourists, good restaurants, but yet the same non tourist areas which are just a street away. The touristy areas are the beach front and a few blocks away and I think most people do not walk to find the cultural and historic sites. Once you get away from the touristy streets with this amazing number of tourists, you see the sleepy little streets, small businesses and a whole different Nha Trang. Its a fascinating glimpse into a city with a few roles. One is to cater to the tourism and there are a lot of places with guys from Russia out front hawking the food and drinks.

There’s a lesser number of tourists not from Russia but I found two delightful women at the Long Son Pagoda today from South Africa and we talked about visiting Ho Chi Minh City, places to go in three days, food, and museums in specific.

Finally, there were a few good restaurants serving mostly European food which I thought were good like Olivia Pizza. I had breakfast there this morning as well as dinner last night and the eggs were excellent!

The places to go on a limited number of days are pretty variable. You can visit Buddhist sites, historic churches, shopping centers, smaller local shopping for the usual shirts, swimsuits, hats, bags. Then there are larger places frequented by the tourists on a big budget. Nice shoppes to find the bigger ticket items.

In two days I did not expect to see it all and do it all. Mostly I wanted to come because I had heard things about Nha Trang and when I can upload the photos you will see a beautiful beach! Perhaps the nicest I have seen yet in Vietnam. Clean, sandy, beautiful ocean waters. I think the beach is one of the biggest draws plus the established tourism industry which creates the need for international restaurants.

I head back tomorrow to Da Lat which comparatively speaking is like a sleepy mountain town. I will have about a week left there to really accomplish nothing besides going through stuff and getting rid of things I don’t need, getting laundry done, going on a few day tours that I crammed into next week, and then leaving a week from Saturday on the bus to Ho Chi Minh City for two days.

I then fly off to Da Nang which is my last port of call in Vietnam before leaving for Cambodia on 16 September. I have about 29 days to spend in Da Nang which I think I can make use of. Its a larger city with the good coffee places, a mix of restaurants, and still the tourism industry so every so often I can spoil myself on food.

If you find yourself wanting to visit Nha Trang and are concerned about language, don’t be. Most people speak English and a whole bunch Russian. I imagine there is a significant number of Japanese, Chinese, and other tourists here too. Try though to get away from the touristy areas if you can. Long Son pagoda is away and you can walk it if energetic. I did the walk today and it was nice to me. There are other sites of prominent history and culture to see. I would spend at 5 days here perhaps and take a day tour or two if you are not into walking.

Also be sure to bring the camera. This is a place of amazing vistas and views. The view of the city from the pagoda is striking and beautiful.

That’s all for now! Will be attempting to get the photos into Google Photos so I can share out the album when I get back to Da Lat.

Journeys to Nha Trang – the food, the beer, and the goodness!

Traveling to Nha Trang was fun. Took a 3.5 hour bus ride from Da Lat to Nha Trang. The city is a coastal and beach city with a whole bunch of Russian tourists. Most restaurants have Russian and English menus. I went to this bar for a few beers tonight and all the European tourist were Russian. The folks working were all Vietnamese. Interesting complete change from 3.5 hours away!

I came here only to get away and see something different so I tend to party down a bit and drink and eat as I want. Tonight I went to a Indian restaurant and had Chicken Tikka Masala, Garlic Naan and rice. Right next door was the live music place with two guys on the guitar at first and then a young woman joining. I met the lead singer and we discussed music and playing in the place. I thought they played an eclectic group of music which somehow appealed to the beery and foodie souls that came in but most of all appealed to me.

It dawned on me while sitting in the bar and imbibing in draft Tiger beers that I will never get back to Nha Trang and the bar. Its a wonderfully appealing yet interesting view as I sit here half way shit-faced from the beer tonight. Its like we touch a place or places but vagabonding takes us away after a time and we know that the memory banks thanks to social media fill up.

But this is life! We want the moments of sitting in a bar drinking and getting peacefully drunk and listening to live music in Vietnam. Or eating a burger in Hong Kong. Or eating a bowl of Pho in Hanoi. Then there was trying to figure out the food machine in the cheap noodle place in Hiroshima where no one spoke English and I got the noodles but no beer. It was all okay in the end because the beer came cheaper from Circle K.

Just consider if you are on the road. Especially if you are a solo vagabonder. Life is not meant for sets of rules and limitations. Have the third beer. Who the hell cares? Its a memory you are locking in about a place you may never return to. Isn’t this what vagabonding is all about? Don’t you want experiences that play on and leave you wanting more?

I got a bit drunk tonight to write this but I know tomorrow is another day. I will venture forth on my 3 days here in Nha Trang and take photos and eat and drink and then ride back to Da Lat.

Design your tomorrows with abandon if you can. Its not the getting there that matters but the journey.

Traveling and People on the Vagabond Trail

Tomorrow I go to Nha Trang for a few days for a short side trip or getaway. The primary goal is to see some different things, visit a resort beach town, wake up early and take sunrise photographs from the beach. I ride the bus tomorrow for a few hours there and then spend 2 days and then come on back on Friday.

I decided to change my travel and visit Da Nang for the last month in Vietnam so booked airline tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and return. I’ll leave for HCMC a week from Saturday and spend two days there because I wanted to and then will fly out.

Da Nang is a big draw for me because its got a lot of history, culture, social and food life! I have not wandered there so another draw is seeing another big city in Vietnam for a few weeks. I don’t have any real plans for there yet like things to see. I will probably wait until I get settled in the hotel and plan out some activities.

Traveling domestically in Vietnam is so easy folks. I booked roundtrip air for about $120 and my hotel for a month inclusive of free breakfast is $380 a month. Getting from the airport to downtown is on a provided shuttle so its pretty easy to get around.

Today while out walking around Da Lat I met an extraordinary person! Originally from Switzerland he has vagabonded in Asia and Oceania for decades. We discussed how much better Vietnam was from his first days here back in the 1980s. He primarily stays in homestay places because they tend to be all inclusive and provide meals, water, laundry service.

We parted ways at a turn around where he was headed toward the lake and I was going back to the hotel. An interesting and unique person who has lived the vagabonding life for decades. Its just another reason to travel but perhaps to travel solo and even more. I think its an endorsement to hit the road for longer because then you truly are at home on the road. Its not a matter of philosophy or cute sayings or quotes. Those are just what they are. Travel blogs do not capture the real life on the road that a person meets and exceeds when he actually has lived the life you are moving toward yourself.

So consider the travel but consider the vagabond even more.

Finances on the Road – do you choose BofA? Hope not!

This is a post about making the right choices in personal banking if you are gonna travel. Perhaps a cautionary note of some kind or other.

Before I left for my travels, I decided to open a second account at Capital One. I got a 360 checking account which I love. I still had a Bank of America checking and savings account which I thought would be okay because I could simply transfer money from that to the 360 account. Well, I was wrong. Some of it or most of it is my fault so take this as you will. Do not keep BofA if you travel internationally. No matter what checking account you have (personal or business) you will pay a monthly service fee. You will pay international ATM fees. You are locked in! I could open a BofA personal checking account as a backup but what I would do is keep about 5k in it as a safety net just in case my 360 ATM card stopped working. Then I could still get money on the second account. The problem here is when I go under the amount they require to not pay monthly service fees. Its BS!

Here’s my advice for what its worth. Steer completely clear of BofA and get either a Capital One 360 account or Charles Schwab account. Both of these are highly reviewed by a good source. I would never just have a single account no matter what. What if that ATM card gets damaged? What if it does and you have no cash? How will you eat and buy beer? So, to get off of BofA I opened a Money Market 360 account which gets better interest and am transferring some money there. You also do not have to set the stupid travel alerts with Capital One. Of course, the one thing with either Schwab and Capital One is you are online only doing things. The mobile apps for both of these institutions are highly developed though and can do a lot!

Just give it some thought and imagine the worst possible outcome:

  1. Your one ATM card is eaten by the machine and its midnight in Hanoi. What will you do?
  2. Your wallet gets lifted because you stupidly carry it all around Vietnam. What will you do?
  3. Your card gets corrupted.

No matter what, have a supply of local cash on hand. Imagine you might be a week without a replacement card even if your bank overnights a card to you. Nothing happens overnight in Vietnam.

My recommendation for any of the above is a backup account and having cash on hand. Food (and beer) and the necessities are not expensive in Vietnam until you have no money. Then a $3.00 bowl of Pho might as well cost thousands.

Don’t leave home without the passport and the important papers but don’t forget about money matters. Also don’t forget about your physical mail. Where is it going? To a family member so you can drive them crazy? Hopefully you have a better solution like a mail service that is there to serve you. Nothing against my ex-wife or family but why would I put all this on them?

So, there you go! My personal financial suggestions for you to have a happier trip!

Hours at the Da Lat Market – Fresh Produce, Fruit, Clothing, and Socks!

Today I visited the Da Lat market for a few hours. Not really needing anything; I wanted to see the day market on a Saturday since more produce and other stuff seems to arrive on the weekends. The market is spread out over inside and out and has a nice mall area as well. If you have never been to a market in Vietnam its a bit different. There is a sprawl of stuff and here in Da Lat there are a lot of people selling coats and jackets but the biggest thing is the produce here. This is the breadbasket of Vietnam and you can find everything here fresh.

Here’s a few pictures of people and stuff for sale around the public market.

Clothing is easy to find at the market but jackets and sweaters rule along with socks!

Fresh produce at the market! There is a lot of veggies, fruit, even coffee.

Food is all over and shopping is intense!

It was a good day walking around the market today. I walked back by the lake and the rain threatened a bit but after just a brief bout, it stopped and let me get back to my room.

I leave in a few days for Nha Trang which is completely different than Da Lat. Nha Trang is a beach city with lots of tourists and a really beautiful beach area. I’ll have two full days to explore there and then I bus back to Da Lat. On the Monday after, I go on a day tour to see some stuff around Da Lat.