From exploring the busy cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and the flat delta of the Mekong, the hills of Dalat offer a cool relief from the heat and hustle of Vietnam’s other cities. One of the best ways to make the most of the change in scenery is to join a hiking excursion.
As with all things you’ll come across whilst travelling though, even hiking in Vietnam has some surprises.
Here are 5 things that will surprise you about hiking in Dalat.
1. Your Vietnamese guide will challenge your fitness levels
As a regular runner I was confident I’d be able to take the hike in my stride; I’d run marathons after all! But the mixture of the humidity, unrelenting incline and a few too many Saigon Red’s mean you’ll soon find yourself flagging behind your spritely guide who is also carrying your lunch.
2. The scenery will change in an instant
The open views of the city below are replaced with lush green canopy and sprawling lakes within moments. Next, bushes and shrubs give way to dense forest and warnings to check your feet regularly for leeches as you crest the hill tops and drop into valleys.
3. Lunch will be impressive
Lunch will include everything you need for an epic Bahn Mi sandwich (Vietnamese style baguettes) complete with fresh mango and pineapple, all prepared in a shady spot picnic style. You’ll definitely have earned it!
4. You won’t see another soul
Barely-trodden paths and thick forest mean you could go the full day without seeing another hiker until your rendezvous point. Keep an eye out for the forests animals though which can appear around any corner!
5. You’ll never want it to end
Hiking was the best way to explore the countryside Dalat is famous for and the perfect antidote to Vietnamese city life, especially for a country girl.
About Claire: Claire is a travel lover and enthusiast of all things adventurous. She lives in the south of England and writes about her trips and adventures at http://weigh-the-anchor.blogspot.co.uk/
Instagram & Twitter @clairemgale