Is this Vietnam?

We are more than a week in this country and I can only say that except for the cone-shaped hats, which do dot the landscape extensively, and a few rice fields, it is nothing like I had imagined. I cannot tell you exactly what pictures my mind was drawing beforehand, because they were more of an abstract depiction of a feeling rather than carefully crafted example of a realist painting.

Right now I am sitting at the lobby of our hotel in Dalat, perched in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the chill of the air flowing in from the outside wipes away any the last wrong assumptions I had brought with me. Vietnam is supposed to be hot, muggy and covered in lush green swampy areas, instead we have enjoyed a few days at the beach soaking up sand dune views and playing in the waves of the South China Sea lapping the narrow beach. Then, after just a 4 hour drive through a road covered in pot holes bigger than the bus, which was a good thing as it meant that we traveled slow enough to enjoy the views unfolding all around us, we found ourselves in a cutout of the French Alps stuck 1500m high up in this Asian country. To say we were surprised will be an understatement. If there are people that come to Vietnam to see rolling hills covered in charming French buildings and carefully manicured gardens, where they can enjoy some cool fresh air, we were not one of those.

My travel appetite is awoken and I cannot wait to see what else this lanky country has to throw at us.


The Facebook blocking on the other hand has been an unpleasant surprise. I am trying to keep up the page going via email, but not sure how successful I am. Twitter is my new friend at the moment, so if you want to keep up daily, join me there as well.