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tappers’s Travel Diary

Friday, 22 Sep 2006

Location: Dalat & Mui Ne, Vietnam

MapFirst off let me say to you all that there is no need to worry about my safety! I know you are all concerned about the current problems in Bangkok but we are still in Vietnam and will not be returning to Thailand for another 3 weeks, by which time things should hopefully have died down!

We spent a few days in the central highlands of Dalat which is located in the moutainous region of Vietnam - a place rich in the production of vegetables and flowers which seem to line the streets wherever you look! We weren't in Dalat for very long but managed to maximise our time fitting in trips to a waterfall, a spot of elephant riding, a meditation monastry, dragon pagoda, and a trip to the minority tribe of the Lat people.

It is strange that the climate up here is so cool, and despite the odd rain shower things have been pretty nice! The dragon pagoda was particually specical because the whole place was so nicely carved with statues of mythical creatures and dragons winding themselves around the pillars of the main hall! From the top of the pagoda you were rewarded with superb views of the surrounding countryside and vegetable terraces! Also enjoyed the gardens of the mediatation monastry purely because they constained many exotic plant species that are native to Vietnam, which i have never seen before!

From the mountains of Dalat we headed back down to the coast to the untouched town of Mui Ne - this beach resort has a twelve mile expanse of beautiful sandy beach and very few tourists, which has a nice feel of isolation! Ther surrounding area is also beautiful containing rock canyons, waterfalls, fishin villages and the most spectacular sand dunes.

These sand dunes are the main reason that people visit Mui Ne - there are two areas of dunes, one of which has white coloured sand and the other has orange! We had great fun messing aorund on the dunes with the loacal children who were constantly encouraging us to sand board down sheer drops into the water below! Unfortunately for us the rainy season is currently in full effect and though the beaches are nice and hot in the morning, the afternoon gives way to heavy rain and lightning storms! After spending the past three days on the beach we are currently waiting for the bus to take us to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon), where we will spend a few days before embarking on the 48 - 72 hour journey to Laos!

We plan to spend a couple of weeks travelling around Laos, before heading to the South of Thailand for a week! Then it is off to Bali from the 14th to the 27th October which i am very excited about! The adventure continues with more and more fun each day!