You eat your pho a little slower and grip your chopsticks a little lighter.
We found a hotel near the bus station that let us take showers for a reasonable fee. Afterward we sat in the lobby with the owners, took pictures, and discovered the joys and confusions of Google Translate.
At a lively corner restaurant near the Phan Rang-Thap Cham bus station we found some passable pho, a bunch of locals watching an English Premier League football match, and a deaf waitress who we flattered with our attentions.
Outside the hotel in Phan Rang-Thap Cham, construction workers toiled in the dark, digging what appeared to be some kind of cellar or plumbing facility. They asked us to by them beers and we obliged.
Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) at 7 a.m., as seen from the second floor of the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Once on the bus, we settled into our semi-reclined seats (obviously built with smaller people in mind) and sat back to enjoy some Vietnamese music videos, which are played at ridiculously loud volumes and are typically tinged with tragedy and/or the longing for true love. Thankfully the videos cut out around midnight — some shut eye was a must — but they kicked back on again at around 5 a.m., with still an hour to go until Saigon.
Just a couple of road warriors posing during a pit stop.
The view from the top of the pass heading to Dalat — oohs and ahhs sold separately.
A giant golden Buddha, seen from a distance, overlooking Dalat and the surrounding hills.
This motorbike repairman fixed my rear flat tire in less than five minutes, then ran new wiring to my speedometer/odometer display in about the same amount of time — all for about $2.
This lovely couple was so excited to have us stop by the temple they tended that they took a few minutes to change into their hosting duds. They offered us tea and bananas and the blessings of Buddha before we headed back out on the road, but not before we met their son who was on his way back to Saigon where he studied English.
Dalat is known for its flowers and fruit, the rolling hills surrounding the town dotted with hundreds of greenhouses and plantations.
Pho: check. Laptop and a free WiFi connection: check. Vietnamese phrasebook: check. Coffee: arriving shortly. Ahh, today will be a good day.
This entrance to a house near Dalat was impressively ornate, but the accompanying property looked long abandoned.