Less Baggage Less Stuff Less Procrastination

A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.

Grand Tour 2015 #10 & Microdaventure #3; No Room at the Inn in Dalat.

Plans Change. You have to adapt. There was a huge public holiday on in Vietnam over the last few days. It was not only the 40th anniversary of the end of the American War but also a celebration of the Hung Kings Festival. Throw in a Full moon and of you go. I was surprised to find any kind of royalty being a major event in Vietnam. It just goes to show how little I understood about the place before I came. Surely the best thing about travel (when done well) is the disembowelment of preconceptions. The Hung Kings Festival Public Holiday was only introduced in 2007 by the “Communist” government. To quote one of the best Americans; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Braid, wholesome, charitable views of man and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” Mark Twain in “The Innocents Abroad”. I should probably go and visit the “states” again to remind myself of the great things about that country and keep my own prejudices in check. As a counter weight I should point out that Irish people aren’t that friendly. We were in Dalat. Dalat is a strange and beautiful place. It was almost completely spared from the conflict due, at least in part, to an agreement between the North and South Vietnamese. (There goes another preconception.) We were also stranded there due to every form of transport being fully booked on the occasion of the aforementioned holidays. This meant that my plans to get to the far northern areas of Vietnam were squished. We wouldn’t have time. That meant that I wouldn’t get to camp out in the forests with my son Cormac. The little mountain town was packed. Accommodation options, which are legion, were all full. We were staying in a renovated French colonial Villa and it was booked out too. We had to move out of our room as it was booked by someone else. They did try to help us though. With two nights left before our bus departure we squeezed into a smaller room with beds for 3. I was happy enough though as I got to spend some time in my hammock. It was a curious Hill Station suburban camp. IMG_3397

Plans Change. You have to adapt.

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6 comments on “Grand Tour 2015 #10 & Microdaventure #3; No Room at the Inn in Dalat.

  1. We didn’t know about the public holiday until we got to HCMC and they started doubling the room prices! We moved on to a couple of places in the Mekong hoping it would be easier but it was worse – all accomodation, tours, buses booked so we had to leave Vietnam slightly earlier than we’d hoped and cross into Cambodia. Hope you enjoy your last few days!

    • dougalynch
      05/05/2015

      Yep.
      We ended up on a 16 hour long sleeper bus designed for leprechauns or smaller. Mind you given that a 90 year old local was on a upper bunk in front of us complaining seemed less than gracious.
      I kept calling it a “cultural experience” and its become a catchphrase for the kids.
      Theres a bunch of catch phrases for the holiday.
      Only mine works:

      “Let’s see if we can find some where to sit down for a drink?”

  2. Sheamus
    05/05/2015

    Enough! I’v bin followin you lot for the last week now and i’v decided that its all a scam, all cut and paste. I was chatin with me pal Sean Fada over a bowl of cornflakes in our local a cupla miles outside Kilfinora and i was showin him all this nonsense about Vietnam and he sumed it all up in one word “paddywackery” he said and i will have you know that my freind Sean is no eejit. What capped it for us was your statement that we Oirish are not freindly, well thats a load of pig dung, init? Sure only the other day a fella up the road won a six pack of Oirish soup for being freindly. “Out standing in his own field” was how the parish Preist put it at a public event in his honour (mass).
    Now what i want to know is have you got a feild? Or is that what this is all about? Your trying to cod us into giving you money so you can buy a feild and im beginin to tink i know who you really are. Your that smart arse Milo O Brien thats bin trying to buy the long acre from my father behind me back,
    WELL YOUR NOT GETTIN IT.
    Im up to your tricks, sure any mug can see that they are not real people, Aoife,Cormac and the other one,
    THEIR LEGO.
    And your not in Vietnam, your down the road in the pub drinkin soup and concoctin this whole ting the same way those Americans did years ago tryin to convince us that they landed on the Moon. Well i have the measure of you now Milo O Brien and i’ll come down there and bloody your nose for ya just as soon as i’v finished me cornflakes.

    • dougalynch
      05/05/2015

      How much cornflakes have you got? I feel I had better prepare myself for this onslaught.
      I’m their father alright. My names Douglas. Not Dougal. We’re nowhere near Craggy Island and neither Mrs O’Brien or her son Milo are here, well, not right now anyway.
      Careful now.

      • Sheamus
        06/05/2015

        Well that went compleatly wrong, your advice came too late cos true to me word ( i am a man of me word) i went down to Pogue mo Hone ( Milo’s local) and sure enough there he was with his head buried in a pint of porter. So without so much as a how-do-u-do i stuck one on him. Sure he wasnt ready for it at all and went reelin across the floor, fell over John Joe ( who was havin a bit of a lie-down in the corner) and straight into the open heart turf fire. Now that was bad enought but Mary (the boss) had just put on a big pot of spuds ( lucky they wernt boilin) and the whole thing went up on the air. Well the smoke and the ash and the screams of Milo cleared the whole place in jig time. Of course Sarg. Finnigan and that upstart Duffy that calls himself a “Garda” arrived and i had to buy everyone a drink. Cost me a pretty penny, the whole thing.
        I should have known there was something amiss when Father Flatley made that comment about “standin in the feild”, he dosent have a feild, he’s in the Bed & Breakfast business.
        Well its all over now and not much harm done, Milo lost a tooth or two and his arse got a bit scorched but other than that he’s as right as rain. Im barred from the Pogue of course but that will blow over.
        But i’ll never forget that you said we Oirish are not freindly and i still think this whole Lego Family in Vietnam is a bit fishy, i’ll be keepin an eye on ya.

  3. dougalynch
    09/05/2015

    In all fairness now I did say; “Irish people aren’t that friendly.” Whatever “that” means.
    Do keep an eye on me all the same. I’d appreciate that. You should keep an eye on the County Council too though. You should keep a third eye on the third policeman. Don’t tell me where you keep your third eye though.
    That’s between you and another consenting adult. (I do not consent.)
    I see what you did there. I see what you did wrong too. Didn’t you do that before.
    In fact did you not knock out two of my canines the last time I was in Gortahook? If you didn’t last time perhaps it’s next time that I am thinking of. I shall end up a toothless celtic tiger at this rate or perhaps my sleeping dogs will regain conciousness and there will be hell to pay and bills to pay and dentists bills too. (They always have bills.)
    At this rate any field you do have will be gathering canines. That could get unpleasant as we all know what will be left behind and I suspect the bull that was in there before didn’t leave too much room.

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This entry was posted on 03/05/2015 by in Grand Tour 2015, Microadventure Report and tagged , , , , , , .
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