Going on vacation when you are penniless is a naïve idea. Especially if you are a non-native English speaker or don’t have the ability, spirit, or guts to earn money in an undiscovered country that you have only visited once in your lifetime. Yet, since I was born with a head that is as hard as a stone, was endowed with impulsiveness and always try to be the most tenacious person in the world, I didn’t hear what that cliché but true suggestion said. I packed my bags, bought the cheapest ticket, booked the most affordable hotel and hit the road.
With all that, I still enjoyed the vacation. Because, thank God, 2 days in Nha Trang and Da Lat were free of charge, as the tour was all inclusive. So all I needed to do was survive 4 more days in Mui Ne until I went back to my homeland. And now let’s speak frankly about Da Lat and what you can do in Da Lat in one day. The answer is: a lot.
What's there in Da Lat?
As a touristy place and one of the most prominent tourist destinations, Da Lat offers lots of exotic places to explore. If you are an outdoorsman, a tea and coffee plantation might on your list. But if you are an experimenter and keen on trying something unusual, Crazy House may be an excellent pick for you. And what if you are both of these, and have just one day to explore Da Lat? Here are my choices, not necessarily the top picks, but they might be come in handy for a day tripper:
1. XQ Embroidery Village or Silk Museum?
I always get the real name of this place wrong. Without any guilt, I call it the Silk Museum, Silk Factory, or a famous place that has a lot of silk products inside. I am sorry for my ambiguousness. Please let me know in a message if you know the actual name of this place. This is an essential place for tourists traveling with a travel agent. I don’t know exactly why, but tours always drop you off in shopping places, or places where they sell something that you might buy (if you are stinking rich, of course). But for a person who was short on cash like me, seeing others shopping made me green with envy. Especially if I saw something I really wanted to buy as well, before realizing that I only had 50 dollars left for the next 4 days. Next time I go to Da Lat, I will bring all my savings!
The façade of the outer part of the building may lead you to the conclusion that it is just an ordinary museum. Just a house that sells silk products…bah… Yet, as you go deeper and deeper, this place might leave you totally flabbergasted.
Or was just me who was astonished by hundreds of unusual embroidery masterpieces? Not only you can enjoy the paintings made from silk embroidery, but also you are permitted to witness how they create such enticing, complicated and expensive art. The explanation about the process, the instruments which they used and the picture was somehow very thorough. So, don’t be stingy, use your very precious 1 dollar to buy a ticket.
2. Crazy House
At first glimpse, this house looked like a nest of bees due to the amount of the windows it had and also the color of the building itself. But after you go inside, starting from the first floor, you might immediately comprehend why they named it “Crazy House”.
Đặ ng Việt Nga, the architect of this uncommon building, was inspired by one of the most well-known Catalan architects – Antoni Gaudi. Both of them, in my opinion, were really unique people. Not just unique, but genius, to be able to compose such an imaginative, tasteful and phenomenal design. (Unfortunately, I am just unique, not genius. So, the possibility of me making something marvelous is low). Like other houses, it has bedrooms , bathrooms , a kitchen, balcony, living room and dining room. What makes this house different was its composition, the choice of items in every room, and of course, the design. I would like to have such a house, but as I don’t have a good sense of direction, I am afraid I'd get lost in my own house.
3. Statue of golden Buddha
The monastery, which is still actively used by locals for worship and other religious activities, has turned into one of the most fascinating and iconic tourist destinations in Da Lat.
Visitors are not only able to admire the towering Buddha statue and other unique characteristics of Buddhist architecture, but also enjoy the charm of its landscape. The air is still fresh and pollution free as well.
Rule: take off your shoes before you enter the monastery and don’t make too much noise.
4. Trúc Lâm Temple
This temple is located in a really tranquil place. I had mistaken this place for a park, not a temple. Stupid, I know, but my reason might be acceptable (I hope). The area is really huge with colorful flowers and greenery everywhere. Also, they provide visitors with benches to sit and relax for a while.
So, what do you think? It looks like a park, doesn’t it? But no, it is 100% a temple. A Buddhist temple complex that is designed to be as pleasant and as alluring as possible, not only for the worshippers but also for the tourists.
5. Datanla Flower Park
I feel really bad about my case of amnesia with regard to this place. I've totally failed to remember what it was like. The one and only thing that I remember was the waterfall and the roller coaster. So, if anybody knows the place better than me, please let me know. I am absolutely open to any kind of criticism, suggestions or compliments.
The roller coaster here has two functions. First, it serves as transportation to the main destination, which is located at the bottom of the hills. Second, as a tourist attraction. Believe it or not, I liked it, and I think so far I've only found this kind of attraction in Vietnam. The coaster isn’t as fast as a ride in an amusement park (we don’t need it to be). Yet, you 'll have a good time enjoying the beauty of nature and your “me time” while you are on the coaster. What about the waterfall? It is great to see, but swimming is prohibited.