Saturday, April 4, 2009

From Almond to Milk Chocolate

Within fifty kilometers of the seaside city of Nha Trang, as we head due west for the highlands we see that the Vietnamese faces become more milk chocolate in color than their lowland countrymen,whose skin is an almond tone. These hill tribes are still known as Moutagnards and they represent some of the 53 ethnic minorities of Vietnam. They speak different dialects and follow different customs. Unfortunately, they are also some of the poorest of village people. We hope to travel to a village of Lat people at the foot of Lang Bian Mountain.

On our way up to Dalat, a city at 1500 meters above sea level, we moved from the dusty roads and rice paddies of the plains to forests of pines, small coffee plantations and acres of greenhouses, where fruits and vegetables prosper. Dalat is a great place to eat, but also the produce is shipped all over Vietnam. There is even a flower bulb industry here, owned and operated by the Dutch. Next time I buy tulip bulbs at Foxglove on Salt Spring, I will check their origin.
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