Iam currently in Da Lat. Pretty high up in the hills. Getting a break from the heat is wonderful. The drive up here provides some of the nicest scenery anywhere in Vietnam. Not the best initial impression of the town. This place is within a reasonable drive from Saigon – Ho Chi Minh. There is a school holiday or something on right now so the town is packed with people from the big city enjoying themselves. Most of the hostels – hotels are full and the ones with rooms jack the prices up. Some of the responses I got when walking into places asking about availability were less than civil. A huge portion of Vietnamese society still, don’t, quite, get, the concept of competition in commerce. The town will empty out tomorrow afternoon and everywhere will be almost empty again. I’ve arranged a decent spot for tomorrow night at a ridiculously cheap rate.

After the poor initial impression I went out for coffee and some food and met some of the nicest people I have met since arriving in this fascinating country. I’ll give it a few days and see what there is to explore up here. One thing I’m not doing is renting a moped here. The roads in every direction are really winding through the mountains. There’s no way I’m doing that without some nice, hard metal around whatever vehicle I’m in.