In Vietnam’s Dalat, I made two serious hiking mistakes

In this first of 3 installments, the saga of my hike in a foreign land


The road not taken. . . at least up.

My second mistake was taking the wrong trail.

My first mistake was deciding to forego the road and follow directions I had assiduously downloaded from a travel site.  Truth be told, I should confess that I tried to follow the directions.

One of my chief reasons for visiting Dalat in south central Vietnam in late March was to climb a mountain called Lang Biang and gaze down on the city and the surrounding countryside from an elevation of 2,167 meters (1.35 miles) above sea level.

Unfortunately, I got lost in the pine woods as wispy trails vanished and discernible, but vaporous, ones beckoned me onward.

lang biang

Lang Biang deceptively low in the foreground seen from the marked trail.

I could have retraced my steps perhaps, as though every landmark I had memorized would materialize from the opposite direction.  Instead, I stubbornly pressed onward until I came to understand that I truly was lost.  Lost!  In the woods!

It is possible to spend the equivalent of a few dollars to be driven from the entrance, where one forks over the equivalent of 90 cents for admission to the foot of the mountain.  One can join others for a jeep ride that ends approximately halfway to the peak at a cost of $2.25. From a point close to the ride’s end, the only way to get to the top is to take a well worn and well marked, if challenging, trail onward for another 90 cents paid to an attendant at a hut.

Not for me such a wan approach as the jeep promised  — I, who never made it past “Tenderfoot” in the Boy Scouts.

Next: Sets of directions, no map, no working phone



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