Month: January 2017

Don’t Forget to Visit Crazy House

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Dalat is such a great city. It’s a welcome break from the humidity of the rest South East Asia. I spent a lovely few days in the mountains of Vietnam, but the highlight was definitely Crazy House.

Crazy House

Crazy House is an amazing guesthouse in Dalat. If I wasn’t on a backpacker budget I would’ve 100% stayed there. It’s like something out of a fairytale. The architect who created the building, Đặng Việt Nga, was inspired by Gaudi, but I personally thought it felt like a Disney creation.

crazyhouse.jpg

The day I visited was quiet, so I almost had the place to myself. The whole house felt like a woodland and in some parts looked like odd-shaped trees.

crazyhousetree

I loved how many staircases there were and how easy it was to get lost climbing up and down the stairs with all the twists and turns.

crazyhousestairs

From the top of Crazy House it was possible to see stunning views of Da Lat.

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The guestrooms were open for viewing (although you couldn’t actually go into the rooms). This room had a carving of a bear. crazyhouseguestroom

And this one had windows that looked like spiderwebs. The woodland feel of the place felt so unusual for South East Asia, yet fit in nicely with the cooler climate of Da Lat.

crazyhouseguestroom

And of course, here’s a selfie I took. It was nice to take a selfie where I’m not looking sweaty from the humidity.

crazyhouseselfie

How to get to Da Lat

Fly – It’s possible to fly directly to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi.

Bus – Get the bus from Mui Ne, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang or Hoi An.

Other Activities in Da Lat

Crazy House was my highlight, but there’s plenty of other things to do in Da Lat. Most backpackers do canyoning as part of a day tour. There’s also a tour which involves driving around the local countryside on motorbikes. Like most places in South East Asia, these are available to book in every hostel on arrival. I stayed at Mr Peace Backpacker’s House which I enjoyed. The staff were really friendly and there was a family dinner each evening.

What’s the most interesting building you’ve seen whilst travelling? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

For more on Vietnam, check out my posts about Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne and the Mekong Delta.

 

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A Jeep Tour Of Mui Ne

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Mui Ne is a small beach town in Vietnam, around 5 hours drive north of Ho Chi Minh City. Many backpackers miss this place out when travelling through Vietnam, opting to stop in the larger resort area of Nha Trang, a few hours north. I personally preferred Mui Ne to Nha Trang – it’s quieter.

There’s a lovely beach in Mui Ne, which has pretty good surf, so there’s usually a few surfers out on the water. There are businesses offering kite surfing and regular surfing lessons along the beach. Like I said before, it’s quiet in Mui Ne so if you’re interested in learning either of these, it’s a good place to learn.

I stayed at La Casa Del Latino Hotel because it had been recommended by some backpackers I met in Ho Chi Minh. It was such a nice, chilled out hotel/hostel with a pool. The staff were so friendly and the food in the restaurant was delicious.

mui ne la casa del latino

The Tour

There’s a jeep tour which can be booked through hostels in Mui Ne. The tour includes stops to the white sand dunes, red sand dunes, fishing village and fairy stream. The tour runs at either 4.30am or 1.30pm. I chose the 4.30am tour because I’m slightly mad. Just kidding, the 4.30am tour includes seeing the sunset over the white sand dunes. Also, I wanted to go Da Lat the same day so doing the 4.30am tour meant I could get the afternoon bus to Da Lat.

The jeep picked me up at 4am, along with a couple of other people from my hostel. Whilst my day was starting very early, there were plenty of people in the bars along the Main Street.

sunrise mui ne

We headed towards the sand dunes, in the pitch black, but by the time we arrived at the white dunes, sunrise was imminent. I paid an extra 200,000 to get a quad bike to the top of the dunes, where there I saw the most amazing views of the sunrise. See for yourself:

sunrisemuine2 whitesanddunesmuine

Once the sun was up, it was slightly surprising how quickly the temperature rose. We got back in the jeep and went to the red sand dunes. The red sand dunes felt really touristy and honestly were not as impressive as the white sand dunes.

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The next stop was the fishing village. Fishermen and fishmongers were going about their daily business, paying no mind to the tourists around them.

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Fairy Stream

The final stop was the fairy stream. It’s a nice walk up the stream to see some beautiful rock formations. There was also an adorable puppy at the beginning of the walk which made it all the more worthwhile.

puppymuine

fairystreammuine

Mui Ne was such a relaxed part of Vietnam. I enjoyed the tour and I’m surprised so many people miss out Mui Ne, when it’s almost halfway between Da Lat and Ho Chi Minh City. If you have a 30 day visa for Vietnam it’s definitely worth stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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Return to the Blog

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It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. Around 4 months to be exact. The last few months of 2016 were crazy, in a good way. I finally figured out that I’d like to start a career in travel, so I abandoned my plans to do a working holiday in Australia. I booked a flight back to the UK, and 12 days later, was offered a job in travel.

Between working full time, moving to a new city and seeing friends, I honestly haven’t thought much about my blog. I really want to start writing on here regularly again, probably a post a week. I need to finish writing about my South East Asia trip (mostly where I visited in Vietnam) and also some thought pieces about the whole trip.

Returning to a full time job doesn’t mean I’m ready to hang my backpack up just yet. In my current job, I get a three day weekend every 5 weeks and a decent amount of annual leave so I’m determined to fit in a few short European breaks this year. I already have trips planned to Ireland and Carcassonne in France this year. Later in the year, I may get time to go somewhere a little further afield, but in all honesty, there’s so much of Europe I haven’t yet seen that I’ll be happy if all my trips this year are in Europe.

So basically, there’ll be a mix of posts about South East Asia, travel tips, trips from 2017 and possibly even some thought pieces. If anyone has any questions, or any particular topics you’d like me to write about, perhaps a country I’ve visited that you’d like to know more about, please let me know and I’ll try to include it in a blog post.

If you want to check out what I’m up to follow me on Instagram @alexexplores.  It’s the only social network I use on a regular basis.

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