On a Quest to Central Highlands

Dalat, December 29th 2010

Today starts my most expensive local tour I ever had in Vietnam. It's a so called "adventure tour" for 3 days and 2 nights to the central highlands and ending in Nha Trang, held by Groovy Gecko Tours. The price was 195 USD per person exclude accommodation and meal. In my next, next, next... stories to come, you'll see that this tour really turned to serve me and Wiwik a REAL ADVENTURE! You'll see!!

We set off from Hagl Resort about a quarter to nine. I had to keep Mr. Vu and Mr. Tin, our guide, to wait, because the receptionist lady took so long in having someone check our room. I expected it to take faster for the room has been paid already through Agoda. Ah, it seems that every time I check out this fantastic resort, there has to be some haste.

Mr. Tin was a cheerful guide. He said, to remember his name, just remember the motorcycles in Vietnam. They sound "tin, tin". If only he knew, how could I forget motorcycles? Not to mention that 90% of the motorcycles in Vietnam are Hondas.

First destination was to a temple. Tin explained that lots of the Vietnamese tradition originated from China, including Buddhism. Many Vietnamese words are also similar to the Chinese words, he said. Yeah, I know. I just wish they had kept the Chinese characters in their writing system. I would have added perfection to my travels in Vietnam.

Second destination was a vegetable plantation. This is a pumpkin flower. It never occurred to me that flowers of vegetables could look as beautiful as ornamental flowers.

Did you know that when roses turn into a giant rose, the petals turn green like this? LOL

Unlike the strawberry plantation I saw in Bandung, the strawberries here roots into and spreads on the ground directly. In Bandung they grow in plastic bags. These strawberries are obviously of a different species from the ones in Bandung. The leaves are so... wide and the strawberries are double the size. Ah, I should have taken a wide view shot of the whole plantation.

However, the flowers looked exactly the same as the ones I saw in Bandung.

Tin gave these to us. I asked him whether the owner knew and he said it was okay. Wow! I don't eat fruits and vegetables much, but strawberry is my favorite. And, much to my delight, Wiwik and Gabe didn't want to have a try for even one of these. Hence, I had all of Tin's harvest to myself.

I'd like to add something about the central highlands of Vietnam which I found here. It says: "... suitable for planting coffee tree, cacao, pepper, and white mulberry." In our three days of journey, we saw them all.

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