Dalat definitely made my top five list for the trip. Located at an elevation of 1400m in the central highlands,
this tourist and university town is one of the few places in the country where the temperature rarely eclipses
90 degrees. It was quite a contrast to the prior days in and around Saigon.
The residents of Dalat are exceptionally friendly. The students at the university even more so. Combine that with great
local cakes, a plentiful supply of rambutan (chom chom!), and a beautiful lake and you have a sure recipe for an enjoyable stay.
I left Dalat early in the morning on the 25th to make my way to the Phan Rang, a city just off coast. This 110km ride was largely downhill,
so I was hoping that it would be a relatively easy ride. The first 30km or so were the second-most beautiful ride on my trip. The rolling
hills were covered with coniferous trees, or vividly colored tea fields. There were then two very exciting 10km plunges down into a valley.
I realized about halfway down that the temperature was rising dramatically. While this was partly accounted for by the drop in elevation,
it turns out that the Phan Rang province is the most desert-like of all Vietnam. The last 40km of the ride were brutally hot (somewhere in the
105-110 range). It was so warm that I at first could hear my tires sticking to the asphalt, and then could actually see them
clinging to the road. Thankfully, there were a few kind souls who provided me with some shade and short breaks. I was too exhausted to take
The following day I took a train from the Chap Tham station to Danang. The 18 hour ride was not at all fun, but the views were extraordinary.
I was glad to have some time to relax in Hoi An.
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