When backpacking through Vietnam in the summer months, its hot, like real hot.  If you’re in Nha Trang, and getting your sunburn on, head up to Dalat, in Vietnam’s central highlands.  The weather is about 20 degrees cooler, and the city itself is something totally different.  Now I know that Vietnam was subject to French colonialism, but Dalat is straight up France.  There is even a mini Eiffel Tower:

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No joke.

But it gets even better.  Dalat is home to a wild art attraction called the “Crazy House.”  Designed by Dang Viet Nga, this house is something out of an acid trip.  It even functions as a guesthouse, and you can book a themed room any night you want.

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So we have an Eiffel Tower, modern art, couples riding tandem bicycles around a small lake, and baguettes everywhere.  We are in France right?  We must be, because there is also wine country in Dalat.  Rolling hillsides of vineyards and farmland.  The Dalat red was not too shabby I may add.  To get a great view of this landscape I hiked up the tallest mountain in Dalat, only to be stuck in a rain cloud at the top.

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Ok, thats better.

So maybe it wasn’t France, but it was a fun change of pace from other cities in Vietnam.  At night time however, the classic feel of Southeast Asia was back with a booming night market.  Pho stalls, all different kinds of seafood, tons of handmade goods, and of course, those little plastic tables and chairs:

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Vietnam is a wonderful country on the other side of the world, and Dalat is another world inside Vietnam.

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