Splashing Out in Saigon

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I’m sitting in L’usine in Saigon’s district 1. I’m eating a lime-coconut cupcake with my coffee, and I do not exaggerate when I say I LOVE this place. It feels, and looks like a cafe straight out of L.A. with the MacBooks to prove it. Attached is a boutique that might make you think you’ve accidentally stumbled back into New York, complete with sticker shock and recognizable designers. We came here twice in our brief three day visit to Saigon. It may be geared towards expats and Saigon elite, whose chic wardrobes make my casual travel wardrobe look, well, like I might be homeless. But I love it. And it’s a welcome piece of home. And I think, with places like this, I could easily live in Saigon. Continue reading

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Dalat to Mui Ne by Motorbike

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It’s been suggested you haven’t really seen Vietnam unless you’ve seen it on a motorcycle. They dominate the country, their image evocative of the country itself. And so, we decided to give it a try. A short guided journey, because neither of us actually know how to ride, from Dalat to Mui Ne and through the central highlands. It would take two days.

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Canyoning in Dalat

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The Last Resort in Nepal. Though I was tempted to go canyoning with the Danish girls I had just met I opted out. Ever since I’ve sort of wished I had gone. Dalat, which prides itself on being both a romantic destination and the adventure capital of southern Vietnam afforded me a second chance. And admittedly, it’s a lot more fun to share an experience such as this with someone close to you. Or in my case, someone you feel comfortable freaking out around when you’re terrified of propelling your body down a 75ft cliff with water cascading down when you aren’t particularly adventurous. Continue reading

Dalat

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I’m shivering. I’m wearing pants. I sort of wish I had a jacket on. Something is very, very wrong. I couldn’t figure out why the baby sitting next to me at the adventure booking agency looked like he was about to go skiing. Now, I get it. Dalat, by south east Asian standards is frigid. OK, so maybe it’s actually in the low twenties, but when you’re used to high thirties these numbers make you want to put on a scarf (and all the locals do). It’s a welcome change, even if it is a bit dreary with a relatively constant drizzle. At least cozying up with a warm bowl of noodles or hot cup of soya milk is inviting as opposed to repulsive. Dalat in general seems strange, it used to be a vaction town for the French, and so it doesn’t look Vietnamese, though the food stalls and motorbikes assure you otherwise.

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