Da Lat on Two Wheels

Updated: March2013

"A Day with Easy Riders"
By Martin Clarke, August 2012

My partner and I had been to Da Lat for a few days before looping back down to Ho Chi Minh to collect my family from the airport. They were travelling with us for a month; we're still on the road now. It was great that nearly all of my family came to see us on our journey, but the focus was always my niece and nephew. The hope was to inspire them with travel and have them realise just how lucky they are to have Jason and Caroline as parents and the life that they have been afforded.


In our few days in Da Lat before picking them up, we skipped around the city as we would normally, but the day out with Easy Riders was a much better way of seeing the area. We'd travelled with another Easy Riders from Danang to Hoi An a few years ago and it was a fantastic experience; one we wanted to share.

The route was negotiable, but we decided to follow their advice. We wanted to  see as much of the area as possible. taking in religion, life and culture.


We'd also organised two bikes and a people-carrier. Not everyone is keen on getting on the back of a bike, but Wendy and I were! The rest took the people carrier, but it took nothing away from the day for them. That said, by the end of the day nearly everyone had had a ride on the bikes!

Truc Lan Pagoda
Our first stop and the first chance for Rocky to show what we were paying for. Not just the bike ride and the people-carrier, but for the wealth of knowledge that he and his colleagues posses about their region. Truc Lan is a tourist destination for foreigners and Vietnamese as well. The complex is amazing to walk around and the few photographs that I've shared here do not, in my opinion, do it full justice.


Meditation at Tuyen Lam Lake

A blessing for a family by releasing fish.

My niece (Adelle) and fiance (Wendy) posing for me.

Chicken Village
One may wonder how the village got it's name. That is until one visits and sees the giant chicken at the main junction near the village. The chicken is hollow and seems to be more of an activity for the local children to climb in and on than anything else!

The villagers rent out their land and then work on it as farmers. The small school was closed at the time and we were also shown production of clothing with a traditional knitting machine, much to the interest of my dad who'd worked in clothing manufacturing for over 30 years.


My family has always been surrounded by children and visiting Chicken Village was a great opportunity to mix with the kids. It was extremely interesting talking to my niece and nephew afterwards because they were shocked that children so young were left in charge of other children whilst their parents worked the local fields.







Sharing photographs with people, and in particular children, is such a rewarding exercise in Asia. Showing them their own pictures and then at times letting them shoot the pictures as well is excellent.

What a fantastic way to say "goodbye!". After this they blew kisses as we left.

Rice Wine Production

Nothing is wasted. The husks from rice wine are commonly fed to pigs. Wonder if this is why some of the best pork I've ever eaten was in Vietnam? 

Silk Worm Farm



Mushroom Farm
We were shown where the mushrooms grown first. This covered area is perfect for trapping the moisture that the mushrooms need.

The bags are packed with sawdust and mushroom spores.


Lunch
It's hard to remember a more enjoyable meal with my family. Amazing food and excellent service made it even more memorable. This buffet was served to us pretty much opposite the Elephant Waterfalls.

Elephant Waterfall
It's a bit of a challenging walk to get down but well worth it. The back of the falls was not mentioned in any of the guides that we'd read. The force of the waterfall hitting the river beneath was quite simply breathtaking!

My amazing family, just minus Dad & older brother Darren (there was no way either of them were going to make it down the "steps") and  my youngest brother (Richard) and his family who were back home in England.

Linh An Pagoda & Laughing Buddha



Silk Production
The dried silk cocoons are placed in hot water to release the sticky substance that the worms weave their homes with. 

Amazingly the thread starts to appear and it is fed onto a spool that automatically unwinds the silk.

They even still use punched-cad machines for making their fabrics.

Weasel-shit Coffee!
Not a fan of seeing animals in cages but this was interesting indeed! Weasels have a keen sense of smell and will only eat the ripest fruit from coffee plants. This means that the best beans are eaten. Not a problem, because sometime after eating the fruit (whole) the beans magically re-appear out of the weasel's bottom, through the base of the cage and then into your coffee pot. Not surprisingly  the coffee is also amazingly expensive!

Easy riders!
What a great day out. We really watch our pennies when travelling, but this one was worth everyone of them. Well, dong!






The Leaping Lemur Group
Our Chosen Charities.

There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. That said, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted beneath, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've downloaded, then look into some of these worthy causes.
Elli xx


SOS Children provides children with a home, a family and a new mother in a purpose-built SOS Children's Village, where they can stay until they are ready for independent life. 
SOS Children currently cares for 1,952 children in Vietnam at its 13 SOS Children's Villages throughout the country, and a further 272 youths at its 10 SOS Youth Homes, where young adults go to prepare for independence. [more].

Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. EPRC rescue and take-in primates that from around Vietnam as well as running an education/ visiting centre to help locals and foreigners understand these magnificent creatures. The aim is to rehabilitate the rescued primates and release them back into the wild where they belong. Volunteering at the EPRC gives you a unique opportunity to directly help endangered wildlife whilst sampling the highly cultured and welcoming country of Vietnam. You too could soon be near to the rarest primate in the world during the day and then enjoy some tasty cuisine (and possibly a ‘Bia Hoi’ or 2in the evenings with a not so rare primate species. [more]


MilkCare Foundation Until economic reforms in 1986, the Vietnamese government provided free schooling. Now, students must pay for "public" schooling in addition to other expenses such as school maintenance fees, textbooks, school uniforms. With an annual per capita income of less than $150 (US dollars) in rural areas, many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school. For these children--some abandoned and homeless--even basic nutrition and education remain only a dream. [more]

Vets With A Mission is a group of Vietnam veterans and non-veterans who are dedicated to bringing healing, reconciliation and renewal to the people of Vietnam. We run many different projects from volunteering to donating and fund raising. Please visit us for [more] information.


Mine Awareness Group

We work with conflict-affected communities to identify their needs, removing land mines and unexploded ordnance, and helping those people in contaminated areas to live more safely. [more]

More links to charities in Vietnam can be found [here]


The Leaping Lemur


A Travellers Guide to Vietnam
Updated: March 2013
Travelling to Vietnam? Then visit our download zone for our guide.

Blogs
A Day with Easy Riders
"Da Lat on two wheels"
My brothers family of 4, my dad and my older brother and us two on bikes? Impossible! 

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Suggested Routes
If you've been to Vietnam and have a route that you could suggest then why not let us know? Otherwise, if it is your first time in Vietnam, have a look at some of our readers suggestions.

Must See!
Vietnam

A Travellers Guide to Vietnam
Updated: March 2013
Travelling to Vietnam? Then get our latest guide free by emailing us at NeSw365@gmail.com

Blogs
A Day with Easy Riders
"Da Lat on two wheels"
My brothers family of 4, my dad and my older brother and us two on bikes? Impossible! 

Follow us and like us to help promote charities around Asia.

Join the pack!
We are always looking for people to join our little group or to help promote charities or just to update us on your travels!

Blogs
Phong Nha
Paradise is a cave called "Paradise".
A firm Vietnamese favourite but a little too far for most tourists. Not for these travellers!
[more]

Looking for inspiration to travel to Vietnam? Then check out these amazing travellers photographs. Or join the group and share your own!

Suggested Routes
If you've been to Vietnam and have a route that you could suggest then why not let us know? Otherwise, if it is your first time in Vietnam, have a look at some of our readers suggestions.

Must See!
Vietnam

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