Da Lat

Dalat, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam

Vietnamese love the cool climes of this town 5,000 feet above sea level in the highlands of southern Vietnam. Da Lat was “discovered” as a site for a potential town in 1893 by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin; before long, it was established as a refuge where French Indochina’s colonial administrators living in Saigon could cool off during their downtime. French villas—many still standing today—and summer palaces of Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, soon followed. Today many visitors still come to escape the tropical heat typical of most of the country, wander round the man-made lake in the heart of town, and enjoy the locally grown fruits and vegetables sold at the morning market—strawberries, peaches, avocados, artichokes, and more. The Hang Nga guesthouse here is a small hotel with an unusual surrealist design. Da Lat is also a great destination for adventure travel, with outfitters offering mountain-biking, kayaking, white-water-rafting, and canyoning excursions; Phat Tire Ventures is the best operation in town.

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THE LITTLE ONES

I visited an orphanage just outside of Dalat, Viet Nam, this past summer. There were 200 children living in the orphanage. Purchased some toys, food and school supplies for the children before arriving. They were all very happy to see us and to get their presents. The picture shows three of the children with their felt tip pens. The whole visit was very moving.

Traveling to Dalat

At a rest stop on the way to Dalat, Vietnam, I had some fresh Pho.

Bath-time

Besides nap-time, I bet bath-time is the best time of both their days. Sure, chores are chores regardless of what part of the world you live, but could anyone tire of riding a majestic elephant into the lake every morning for a rinse? #Ritual

Motorbiking through the mountains of 'Nam

Motorbiking through rural Vietnam taught me the true meaning of breathtaking scenery. From Nha Trang to Dalat, we encountered the strong Southeast Asian sun beating down on the pristine beaches and endless rice paddies. We worked our way up to the cloud-immersed picturesque mountains and welcomed the fresh air and cool breeze. I found myself short of breath - not because the sudden increase in elevation - but because my heart was so filled with Vietnam’s genuine beauty. I literally and figuratively was floating on a cloud nine!

Unique Buildings of Asia

I’m a big fan of the bizarre. Hairstyles, fashion, art – these are all areas you might expect a wide variety of quirkiness – but multi-million dollar buildings are another thing. Through my blog I’ve compiled a list of ten favorites in Asia. From a ‘Crazy House’ in Dalat Vietnam, to a building in Tokyo with a highway running through it, not to mention Bangkok’s very own quirky ‘Robot Building’ – Asia has no shortage of quirky structures!

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