Renting a motorbike and heading off into the Vietnamese countryside was one of my favourite ways of spending a long weekend. My 2 Vietnamese friends and I headed up to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh city for the weekend and spent the weekend enjoying the fresh mountain air. The mountains and lush green forests that surround Dalat offer the ideal getaway from the hectic city. We spent our weekend driving on winding mountain paths through pine forests and appreciating the fresh air. We drove past countless small streams and even came upon some waterfalls while on our way to the Lake of Sighs.
One of the things that I love about Asia is that a lot of places have either a myth or a legend attached to it and this makes visiting these obscure places so much more interesting. If it weren’t for my Vietnamese friends I would never have seen half of these strange places as they are not always mentioned in guide books. Most of the legends surrounding the romantic city of Dalat have a love connection and hardly any of them end with a “happily ever after”.
“According to a legend this is the sight of Vietnam’s own Romeo and Juliet story. ” A young couple met here and fell in love. They sought their parent’s permission to marry. Unfortunately Vietnam was at war with China and the young man was called to arms and left without telling the young lady. She sent word for him to meet her at the lake, and when he didn’t come she was so sad that she threw herself into the lake. Thereafter it was known as the lake of sighs.”
The lake is not a huge tourist attraction but is frequented by locals especially local couples on a date due to its “romantic” history. The Lake is definitely smaller than what I expected but its peaceful and such a contrast compared to Ho Chi Minh city where I was living at the time.
There are many walking trails around the lake that lead through the Pine forests and I am sure they are a favourite with couples for a romantic stroll. After driving around on a motorbike all morning it was great to get off and stretch our legs a bit. This walk of ours turned into a photo opportunity with my friends, Chi and The’ posing at varies points along the path.