Although I had enjoyed my time in Hoi An I was feeling a bit burnt out and ready for a change of pace, just not sure where to find it. Not wanting to throw myself onto an overnight train I decided that I'd spend one night in Da Nang and see what the city had to offer. If nothing else I could tell my grandpa I paid a visit to his old temporary home from when he served time as a Marine in the Vietnam war. Annoyance couldn't be avoided when my motorbike driver dropped me at the train station after asking another (local) driver where my hostel was. As I got off the bike and paid this other driver insisted my hostel was very near but then tried getting me on the back of his bike. Nice trick jerk, but no thanks, I'll walk. Thankfully the hostel was near but I was still dripping in sweat by the time I arrived, afternoon sun and humidity in Vietnam is a recipe for disaster.
On my second day in Da Lat, I had grandiose ideas of renting a motorbike and trying to get myself lost. But when I woke up I had second thoughts and spent a good hour going back and forth in my head about what to do. I'm a bit indecisive if you didn't know already. Eventually, I decided it wasn't the best idea, given the road conditions (drivers) of Vietnam and opted for another day of random exploration. I was on my way to the Crazy House when a motorbike pulled up beside me. Knowing exactly what he was about to propose I was prepared with my 'no, not today' standard response, but for some reason that's not what happened.
After three action packed days on the back of a motorbike, in boats, exploring cities and sweating a lot with my tour guide Mr. Kim, it was time for our adventure to come to an end. The final day started at 7:30 as Mr. Kim and I decided it'd be a good idea to try and beat the heat. The plan for the day was to ride bicycles around the small village of Ben Tre, exploring and observing the local way of living.
Having slept like a baby I was up early and able to fit in a bit of AM yoga before Mr. Kim was knocking at my door. Like dinner, I was once again eating alone (why Mr. Kim had to sit with me I do not know) but breakfast was less than appetizing. I guess they assumed I couldn't handle Asian breakfast of noodles or rice so instead I was given an entire baguette with some incredibly sweet jam, accompanied by some incredibly sweet coffee. Thankful to not be in a sugar coma I packed my bags and jumped back on the bike, it was time for us to move on to Can Tho.
I knew that I wanted to pay a visit to the Mekong Delta but wasn't entirely sure how I would go about doing so. My mom has a friend that is from a smaller city near Can Tho which is a bit further into the Delta than some tourists venture. I knew that I wanted to visit there as well as the small town of Ben Tre, no particular reasons for either but they just stood out to me. I researched a few different bus and ferry options but was soon able to throw that all out the widow, thanks to my new friend Mr. Kim.
I was warned that I'd either love it or hate it. For some Vietnam is a food and adventure paradise while others just can't seem to find their grove. With a turbulent history and remains of division between north and south, it's an interesting place to say the least.