Despite being quite taken by the streets of Dalat from the height of our air-conditioned bus, the days-long excursion into the hills was a sour one. Our lodgings were just OK; the food was mediocre; the town’s lake, its main attraction, was entirely silted up.On the one full day we had there, which we’d planned to spend hiking, we got such a delayed and harassed start that we were both in a waspish, miserable mood.
But we’d already rented bikes, so we set off for the mountain 12 km away. We didn’t make it there, and instead stopped to lunch on a hilltop with a herd of red cows and a clear view of the surrounded fields. It wasn’t hiking, but it was pleasant, and the exercise had improved our moods.
We left early the next morning with the feeling that Dalat was really just a typical SE Asian town, not “Le Petit Paris” as the guide book had promised it would be.