Thien An Cricket Farm has been in operation for 3 years, and it supplies Dalat restaurants. (They are a popular snack, and supposedly go well with beer.) It takes 3 months to raise them to market size. They keep them in plastic tubs that are too slippery for them to crawl out.
After the tour, you have the opportunity to eat a deep fried cricket. It was sort of crunchy and smoky.
Thien An Cricket Farm is about 30 miles from Da Lat, and local tour companies take visitors out there.
Po Nagar is the ancient place over 1000 years old. This ancient place and temple tower are just by the city of Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm on the east coast. You can stop over here wile travelling on the coast line from south to north or other way.
Now I am not sure how you really called those that you can light them up to have some nice or not so nice smell around your home of yard. Searching the net it seems they called: incense, so I hope I am right with it. Anyhow, while we visited the Chicken Village we been told to visit this lady and she actually showed us how she is making those incense and how is her small dog is even helping her with that :) (Photo 2)
He he, I am not even sure how this place really called in local language but for everyone it is known by the name of the Chicken Village. It even had that big chicken at the entrance of this village and here tourist come to check out the place, the farm life, some souvenir shops etc.
About 3 hours into our road trip we arrived a large floating village as we crossed the river. There must have been 50 or more floating houses, some were reasonably close to the bridge which gave us the chance for a close up view. We could see the fishing nets floating next to the homes and it made us wonder what it would be like living on the river, particularly during the wet season.
Our return to Ho Chi Minh City was by car with a local driver who spoke almost no English. We travelled along the inland Highway 20 taking 7 hours to drive the 300km and although a long day we enjoyed the trip. The journey through the highlands provided plenty of good scenery and a chance to view the local farms and towns. We were amazed at the number of Catholic churches along the way, all large and in very good condition. For much of the trip there was housing and business premises along the side of the road.
We had 3 stops during the journey, the first at a waterfall not long after we left and then a few hours later at a local town for light refreshments. The tea house was upmarket and catered for tourists with good facilities, nice food and souvenirs. The next stop was for lunch at a similar place and then onto HCMC where we came in through the Port district and were caught up in very heavy traffic for 90 minutes.
The journey would have been better if the driver spoke English as there were several occasions when we would have liked information on the area we were passing through and possibly stop for a few minutes at a special spot.
From this mountain you have magnificent views of the valley below, the river and the mountain range in the background. You will look down on Da Lat, the various farmlands and the hundreds of shade houses used for cultivating flowers.
At the foot of the mountain you must pay an entrance fee which will include a return trip up the mountain in a jeep. Some people prefer to hike up the mountain but this is for those who are used to hiking or extremely fit. I knew some people who went up in the jeep and walked down the mountain which enabled them to enjoy some walking trails in the forest.
The mountain has several peaks ranging in altitude from 2,100 to 2,400 metres. Whilst on the mountain you can obtain refreshments at the restaurant and souvineer shop.
The Da Lat district is known for its many waterfalls which are surrounded by forest. Access to some of the falls is difficult as they are located some distance from the road and tracks are rugged.
We visited the Prenn Waterfall & Park located 10km from Da Lat. It is a beautiful waterfall located close to the road and has been developed into a park with many other attractions.It is a place where you could easily stay a few hours or half day. The walk down to the falls is along a safe pathway surrounded by forest. The area around the waterfall has been developed and includes a suspension bridge, cable car, etc etc. There is plenty of seating and several restaurants and snack bars. It is a place that has much to please children and adults alike.
Our time at the waterfall was limited as we were on a 7 hour drive to HCMC and we regret not having 2 or 3 hours more to enjoy this fine waterfall and park.
Entry was very cheap, less than US $1, and the beat way of getting to the waterfall is by taxi, very cheap, or for those more adventurous go by easyrider motorbike taxi.
After a ride on the cable cars over to the Truc Lam Meditation Institute and the Tuyen Lam Lake we decided, since it was a lovely day, to walk back to the hotel. It was a fair way but well worth it because school had just finished and all the kids, big and small were making their way. They found such delight in speaking to us. I would have liked a dollar for every time one of them called out 'hello, where are you from' or just "hello....".When we answered their faces lit up and they would laugh and giggle. So cute.....
Visiting vegetable farms at Da Lat is quite fascinating (even for a farm boy like me). One thing that I realize is not many men are working in the farms.
Either too many men were killed during the war or men are just too lazy, just like what happen in land of Indo-china.
These ladies are working hard harvesting carrots from the farm. Most vegetable in Vietnam are organically grown with limited usage of chemical fertilizers.
You will smell some bad odor from organic fertilizer usage in the farm.
You will see many women folks working in the farm removing weed and fertilize the carrot plants. Great photographic theme i must say.
Those tribal people that settle down in Chicken Village are previously mountain tribal people. Slash & burns had slowly becoming a problem to Central Highland and government had finally decided to stop their nomadic lifestyle by building this huge chicken that symbolized their identity.
Just have a nice stroll around the beautiful lake. In case you sit down next to it for a while, you as well may be approached by a bunch of students who'll have a nice chat with you (gives them a chance to improve their English)