Three, two, one go! As my feet left the ground all I could think of was trying not to break my legs. Splash!! Welcome to Da Lat, one of the most exhilarating places in Vietnam.
Arriving at 8am, with my new crew of 7 gangbusters we settled into Wolfpack hostel, before venturing out into town to see the architectural masterpiece that was the crazy house.
Hằng Nga guesthouse, otherwise known as "Crazy house" is a sculpture design of a giant tree that is also a home for anyone willing to stay. Its design portrays natural elements and forms, such as animals, mushrooms, spider webs and caves all spread out across the property. Nga has taken inspiration from Catalan Architect Antoni Gaudi with its imperfect design.
Hang Nga guesthouse was built by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga as a personal project, inspired by the natural environment surrounding the city of Da Lat. It opened to the public in 1990.
As I entered into the structure, I felt as if I had stepped into a twisted set of Disney. The intertwined paths leading in all directions, colours continuously changing and the feel of the place shifting from bright and happy to dark and bleak. It is listed as one of the top ten most bizarre buildings and is a must see if you stop off in Da Lat.
This was my favourite thing to do in Da lat by far and I think it is probably the best reason to go to this city. If you want something different than this is the thing to do. Abseiling down waterfalls, setting down head first on natural slides and cliff jumping is a sure way to get the blood pumping.
It will set you back between $50-70 USD but it is well worth it. When you arrive, you will be loaded up with a wet suit and introduced to the fundamentals of abseiling. A few simple runs down on the vertical wall will help build a little confidence before the real stuff begins.
Depending where you go, our group had two twenty meter abseils. A tip for those daring, hit up Gecko, they will take you through the jungle and you can complete a 63 meter abseil. I wish I had done that.
When your instructor tells you to lie down on your back and go backwards head first down a flowing river, you think hrmm this does not seem like the most intelligent thing I should be doing. Sometimes you just need to let go of the senses and trust what people tell you. Little to say it was well worth letting go.
My favourite thing to do was the eleven meter cliff jump. It had been raining that day and the ground was wet and slippery. The distance between hitting the cliff face and completing a perfect jump was minimal. I had to be sure of my footing when I leapt off that edge or I would wake up in a hospital the next morning.
3..........,2......, I went for it the moment our instructor started counting. Thinking about things too long is a great way to talk yourself out of doing something frightening. As I hung in the air at that moment I forgot everything about how to land and just smashed into the water, instinctively dropping my feet out at the right time. What a rush, and just like that, another thing ticked off my bucket list.
The final stage of the day was one final abseil down the washing machine. You ascend down, before facing the full force of the waterfall. It completely submerses you, smashing you left and right, almost drowning you. The impact knocks the wind out of your lungs and as you hit the water at the bottom you need to remember to take a deep breath, it will be around four seconds before you get your next one.
Once everything is completed, the sense of satisfaction and exhaustion hits you in the face, bitter sweet pleasure. I must admit, I was nervous before I started but after completing the full day I would go again at the drop of a hat. It was an absolute blast.
There is even more to see and do in this place, I feel like I was only able to scratch the surface in the three days I was there. Go check out elephant falls, the maze bar and so much more for days of fun and adventure. This is defanitly a must stop if you are after some fun in the day and good vibes at night, enjoy guys.