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.
- 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.
- 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 🙂