Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Da Lat

The main reason for travelling to Da Lat was to meet and thank Lan, the woman who cared for our daughter Paige after she shattered her ankle while canyoning in the area two years ago.  As Paige laid in her hostel bunk for eight days, Lan nursed our girl until she was able to be transported home.  Joe and I will never forget Lan's loving kindness.  It was wonderful to be able to meet her in person.  A hug was all we could give to re-pay her.

The lovely Lan.

 We spent an entire day wandering around the city of Da Lat.

To keep our energy up while we walked, we stopped for chicken hot pot.  Look at those mushrooms!  The Vietnamese treat their food as medicine.  Everything is so healthy, fresh and good for one's body.  A woman said to me, "The more of our food you eat, the skinnier you get."  Well, that hasn't happened to me yet.  But I'm very hopeful!

Xuan Huong Lake

The best way to learn about a place?  Go on a food tour!  We spent a wonderful evening with Binh; an engaging, funny and knowledgeable young man.  He and his wife Trang took us to many interesting eateries throughout the city.  Not only did we learn about the local food, we also learned about Vietnamese culture and history.

Trang and Joe.

Joe got to sit in the driver's seat and make Da Lat pizzas at a food stall on the street.

 We went to a 'choose-your-own-adventure' barbecue place.  We picked out what we wanted to cook and everything was brought to our table.

Grilled chicken's feet, anyone?

At the end the food tour, we ate Joe's favourite dessert, chè.  This 'sweet soup' consisted of a grilled banana smothered in warm tapioca pudding with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.

The next day, we hired Lan's husband to take us out to the countryside.  There is such beauty in Vietnam.

 I never knew there was a Lady Buddha!

 The proprietor of 'Joe's Cafe' finally got to see coffee in its natural habitat.

 We stopped in at this man's rice wine distillery.  Joe bought half a litre of the man's 'happy water' which was poured from a big jug into a used water bottle.  Here they are toasting, "Mo, hi, ba, YO!"  Which means "One, two, three, cheers!"

At the silk farm, I got to chow down on some silkworm larvae.  It kinda tasted like liver.

Our final stop before heading to the airport was for a bowl of pho.  Again, so deliciously healthy.

We are now on our way to Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong River delta to spend several days exploring.  I am excited for our final stop in Vietnam.

Tomorrow marks the halfway point in our trip.  I cannot believe how quickly time is passing.  Eight weeks down, eight to go.