Da Lat + Nha Trang

Well, I spent a whole week more in Da Lat, as I was really enjoying the cool weather, the surrounding nature and the few attractions the city had to offer. It is very interesting to notice how much more gentle and elegant cold cities are compared to hot ones; streets are cleaner, colours are more delicate and people, of course, dress much better. I don't know if it was the landscape and atmosphere, but I also think that the prettiest girls I've seen so far were there (though many were not originally from Da Lat). I visited a few more interesting places, and the winner is definitely the Hang Nga Guesthouse. An architect inspired by Dali and Gaudi created this great looking guest house, which is still under construction:

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I know I have been overdoing the whole "Communist Fanboy" rap recently, so this time around I'll just go with the anti-theocratic stuff. I get angry when I see monks nowadays. Specially the Thai ones. Not only do they have great, clean, comfortable temples decorated with gold back in Thailand, where people are sleeping in the streets with rats and cockroaches, prostituting themselves cheaply and working from sunrise to sunset to barely make it through life, they are also to be seen everywhere in Vietnam and Cambodia enjoying trips to other temples, taking photos with their iPads, smiling away and 'meditating' on nice, touristic spots. Bastards.

At the last few days in Da Lat I had a great time with several locals, some of which I will consider friends from now on. I visited neighbouring small villages, had a good time at a couple of English Clubs (locals and travellers meet to practice the language) and enjoyed the rain.

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After a great time in Da Lat, I was starting to ponder if I should just stay there until the end of my visa period, but I really want to see more of Vietnam, so I had to move on. While my European friends strongly advised me against going to Nha Trang, the Vietnamese themselves were very generous when praising the beaches and the food, and all of them said I should visit it. So I did. My European friends were correct. It's not that bad, but it's not so interesting either. The worst part may be that the city has been taken over by ugly Russians. Never had I seen so many Russians, and most of them were exceptionally ugly (specially when you expect the Russian ladies to be like the ones you see on TV, which are very good for the eyes). I remember taking a ride with a motorbike driver, and a few meters after we started, he pointed at two Vietnamese girls and said "Good, eh?". They were quite fit, with beautiful legs, long, shiny hair and nice smiles. I agreed with him, pointed at two blond, white girls and said "Fat, eh?" and he laughed a lot, and asked me why is it that most people from the west are so freaking fat. Those two were exceptionally fat though; obese, which made the moment quite a funny one.

The food was just decent, or I was unlucky not to find a good restaurant (Vietnamese, that is - I ate the best Greek food in my life in Nha Trang). This time around, the new animals to have been eaten by me were the Eel and the Crocodile. The crocodile was not as chickeny as people told me it would be - I felt like I was eating something between chicken and pork. It was very well prepared and seasoned, so it was quite a pleasure, though the meat itself did not have such a strong taste. The eel was delicious, though, very soft, and very specific. I love when I eat something that I cannot really describe or compare, and eel is certainly one of those types of meat.

Finally, again I had the opportunity to meet locals and see their homes. One of them was specially generous, and took me on a tour around the market, temple and a more humble part of town, free of tourists (there I was, braving unchartered territory)! This was a highlight of Nha Trang, as the food was great, the kids were a blast and the narrow streets (parts of it over the water, both road and houses) were a unique experience.

Now I just arrived in Hoi An, and so far the impressions are good.

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