As I said... We are in Da Lat.
Due to our motorbike problems we didn't get too far the first day. But you can always try again, and so we did. When we had to get motorbike fixed yesterday, we had to pay 100.000 dong (3,3 Euro) for a guy to put everything apart and together, including a new tube. The Hotel gave us half back, since it was their scooter. We insisted on getting another scooter today, and it turned out just perfect. Good wheels, no broken tubes, no other unexpected problems.
So we tried again. Knowing more then the half way there, we made our way to get to the Elephant water falls. It took us about 2 hours to get there. Two hours that passed by really fast. Riding a scooter through the sneaky jungle roads is lots of fun, especially when you have that stunning view :)
I was a little naive, thinking about yesterdays weather, I went out in nothing but a Tshirt.. Which got a big sunburn :D Luckily I bought a local-looking shirt on the way back, which saved me from the worst.
After probably two hours of driving we finally arrived at the waterfalls. 5000 Dong entry each was totally fair, considering what we would get to see. Turned out you could walk behind the falls, even in the falls if you wanted. Sadly I didn't have any swimwear with me, but it were not much people arround, so I just made use of my black boxers. Once you got near to the stream, you couldn't hear anything, nor see anything. Pure water power, just right next to you. Intimidating. Totally soaked through, we left the waterfalls and had lunch in some local restaurant.
The good thing is, there are still some tourists arround, and people drag them around the area on their motorbikes. You call them; Easy Riders. Flawlessly English speaking natives, who give tours to tourists. Sadly it's quite expensive. 25 dollars for a tour is more then I expected. Considering a night in a hotel starts from 4 dollars, a meal 1 dollar and a 60 minute massage 3 dollars. That price is just a rip-off! Anyway, we got our scooter for 6 dollars/day and some of those Easy riders are still nice enough to help you out once in a while!
So.. we asked one of those guys where to find that Silk Farm, described in our Lonely Planet copy. As lucky as we were, it was just around the corner and free to enter.
I always knew where silk comes from, but never would have expected what I saw there! I mean, you all probably know! :)
So they had those huge trays with silk cocoons all over the place. Apperantly the silk cocoons (including larvas) get boiled, and a worker finds the end of the silk string. He puts the silk string into a machine which unrolls it untill there is no more silk around the larva. Then the silk gets streched, dried, and manufactured into scarfs or cloth. I thought it was very interesting, as I've never seen or realized how many larvas have to die for one scarf :D I never heard people complaining about it.. I guess it's just larvas, right?
Well, after that we went back home as I was already quite exhausted from all the driving. Apperantly in DaLat, the weather likes to change a lot. People say it's sunny in the morning, and rainy in the afternoon! On the way back home we got into a huge storm. That's Vietnam I guess. First it's nice and sunny, in the next moment you're in the middle of a rain as you've never seen before. At last I could test my new raincoat! Right now I'm sitting on my bed, after a huge pizza deliviery, prepared to go sleep soon. We'll catch a bus to Na Trang tomorrow.
Enjoy the pictures! It was just as much fun as it looks like!