Vietnam from South to North

I arrived in Mui Ne in the evening. My hostel was directly at the sea with its own little private beach. It had the perfect location surrounded by palm trees. The hostel consists of one big dorm ‚house‘ a kitchen and a bar and of course bathrooms which are not directly by the dorm. It was an open house with approximately 25 bunk beds with mosquito nets so it was by far the biggest dorm ive ever been to. The first night i slept really bad because some people were talking very loud at the bar and since it was an open house one could hear every noise around. When I woke up in the morning I did some yoga at the beach and then enjoyed a good breakfast with this beautiful view.

Then I booked a tour with the hostel to see the famous red sand dunes. Two other british guys, Ben and Martijn, from the hostel booked it as well. We were picked up one hour later as planned and had to squeeze in a car with four other people. Because of that our stay at each attraction was a bit shorter than usually. Our first stop was the fery trail. Its a little trail through a river surrounded by sand mountains and jungle. It was very crowded, probably still because of Tet but i enjoyed it very much.

After this we squeezed in the car again and stopped for a few minutes at a view point from where we could see the fisher village.

From here we drove through a very dry and deserted landscape which kind of reminds of african barren landscape. There was a few trees and dry gras. Also there was a cemetery or better many mostly blue or white colored stone creeks. I’ve seen creeks like that in the south as well and I think they belong to the Christian vietnamese.

We firstly went to the white sand dunes which I actually preferred. Here we had 40 mins time to discover the landscape. Everyone there rented a quad or a jeep to get to the top but I wanted to walk even though everyone told us its not possible (they only wanted to make money …). Gladly Martijn and Ben joined me and i have to say it was a vit exhausting but vert nice as well. The white sand dunes are a lot bigger than the red but we made it back in time!

The last stop was the red sand dunes from where we watched the sunset. These were a lot smaller and of course very crowded. Also the sand didn’t look as red in the evening as during the day. Again we walked all thr eay up to the last dune to fully enjoy the sunset.

When we got back we decided to go out for dinner to the so called ‚food court‘. This was literally the best food place I’ve ever been to. In the middle of this place are dining tables which are surrounded by small restaurants with all different kinds of foods. The verity was incredible and I had really good indian food that evening.

I stayed here another night because the guys told me they wanted to look for a motorbike rent to Da Lat which was my next destination as well. Sadly we didn’t find any rental services that would offer a one way motorbike rent. But i didn’t mind too much and enjoyed the city tour and of course the beach. Although I think the beach here was not as nice as in Thailand or Cambodia and the water was a lot cooler and also blurry, I still loved relaxing in the sun.

Since Ben and Martijn had the same destination as I and we also got along pretty well, we decided to travel to Da Lat together. The seating bus was horrible, people were standing in the middle because there were fumes coming out in the back. It was a very rusty bus but finally, at around 10pm we arrived in Da Lat.

Da Lat

Because of the holidays prices for accommodation went up. In our first night we stayed in a hotel and moved the next morning to Cozy Nook hostel, the best hostel I’ve been to so far! The staff was very friendly, the facility was cozy and clean, the vibe was very good and we got a big breakfast every morning. The three of us rented a scooter for two days to do some sightseeing. We drove through this beautiful mountain landscape with pine-trees everywhere. This kind of smell and nature reminded me so much of Croatia. In general i think it’s incredible how diverse the landscape is in this country! On our way we stopped at a flower garden cafe with an amazing view over the mountains and the lake.

After this wonderful drive we arrived at the so called Elefant Waterfall. Its the biggest waterfall I’ve seen in asia and it was a lot of fun climbing the rocks. There was even a secret path that lead inside a small cave behind the waterfall.

We all enjoyed this adventure a lot and when we eventually drove back, we decided to visit the Crazy House, one of the main attractions in Da Lat. It’s a house complex of a mysterious looking underworld which is connected through roots bridges or labyrinth paths. The architectural skills are insane and one can even stay in some chambers there over night.

For dinner we went to a local restaurant where you could kind of cook your own meal. One can order diffrent kinds of meat or veggies and either get a soup pot on a gas stove or a BBQ grill on the table. This was a very funny and interesting experience but all the smoke around was kind of annoying for me.

In the hostel I met a girl that I’ve already met in Cambodia before and she joined us the next day to do the mountain hike. This mountain hike area had two peaks, a very touristy one where most people paied a jeep to drive them up and another heigher peak where one could only hike to. We started hiking to the smaller one first but it was kind of difficult to find the right trail so the first half we kind of just hike through this pine-tree forest until we finally found the real trail. On the top were some cafés and an incredible view over the landscape! We made a drinking and snack stop there and enjoyed the beautiful view. This view point was quite touristy and I had to take pictures with some vietnamese and chinese. It’s really funny, since I arrived in Vietnam it happened to me a lot of times that Vietnamese wanted to take a picture with me or even just from me. In general I think vietnamese are very nice and friendly although I also had unpleasant experiences but I guess thats everywhere like that.

After this break we decided to climb the other, higher peack as well. At first we still walked through a mainly pine-tree forest but as soon as we started climbing the second mountain, the forest changed and now it was more like a jungle again. This hike was quite challenging especially the last 360m were really steep and hard. We all arrived sweaty and exhausted. As soon as I made it up I felt so good and the view from up there was so rewarding. It felt like beeing on the top of Vietnam. I’m so happy we made this hike, it’s such an amazing feeling to have climbed it all!

The way down was not that fun anymore because we were pretty tiered and because of the pine-trees the ground was quite slippery and Katie and I almost fall a few times haha. But it was a beautiful and seccessful day. To reward ourselves we went to a very good pizza place where they made them fresh in a stone owan. It’s a small family run restaurant where you actually have to reserve in advance because they prepare everything fresh e.g. for a BBQ they kill the chickens they have fresh on that day. But we were still able to get a pizza which was so delicious and we had a nice talk with the owner who is from America but lives here now with his vietnamese wife. After this amazing dinner we had to drive back and since it was already night and Đà Lat is in the mountains, it was very cold. So I’m sure I’ll have to buy some warmer clothes soon if I want to go further up north.

When we came back to the hostel some people there suggested to go to the Maze bar and so we joined them as well because it was Katie’s and Ben’s last night here. This bar was designed by the same architects than the Crazy House. The iterior is established like an underground Maze with very mysterious and also creepy decoration. One could relax and drink in the open place on the 3rd floor and also explore the tunnels and labyrinths that connect the floors. I really loved this bar and it was even better then the Crazy House. We had a great and exciting night so the next day we slept in very long and had a relaxing day.

Unfortunately Ben had to go back to Thailand where he works so we went out for a nice dinner and another girl from the hostel, Mallory, joined as well. The next day Mallory and I wanted to go to the famous Datalan Waterfall where one can ride a roller-coaster down the mountain. So the three of us went to the park. The roller-coaster was much bigger then we thought and it was so much fun driving down the mountain with the waterfall on the side. Down in the valley we admired the main waterfall and nature around it. It is so beautiful to see the mountain junggle and the massive waterfall. After resting here for a while we took the roller-coaster up again to the main entrance. This was actually my last adventure in this city because at 5pm Martijn and I took the night bus to Hoi An. I have to say I really liked Da Lat. It’s not too touristy, the city is quite beautiful and of course the landscape around is just marvelous.

My next destination is Hoi An, an ancient city that’s famous for their tailors.

I wish you all a great day and hope you enjoy reading my blog. ❤️

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