2am: I departed from Cantho to Lam Dong province where Madagouil Town and Cat Tien National Park are located.
At 6.40, I had breakfast with Tra Vinh students while my teacher and his 50 people group were still somewhere in Ho Chi Minh city. After a brief introduction, I took photos with my friends in front of a rubber forest near the food store. Then, I made a mistake that I could not recognize which was a mountain or a hill because I am a city girl and seeing the mountain or the hill was the amazing in my life.
My classmates and I stopped by one of large rubber forests. I found out that this was not the time to get the liquid from rubber trees. Two things made me impressed were that the order of the rubber trees and the large area of the forest. My classmates took many photos together but I did not. I wanted to take photos of the forest so I wandered myself. As the result, I had many beautiful pictures and I was bitten by many mosquitoes there. It was a terrible experience in my trip because I thought there were not a lot of mosquitoes in the rubber forest. Observing the forest, I wondered how many people died while they worked there in the war time by many reasons, and one of them is mosquitoes. TERRIBLE!
Along the road I saw many mountains and hills. They were not as beautiful as I have thought before. A little bit disappointed! Local people are taking advantages of the mountains. They have destroyed the mountains to take land for planting or doing farm. I did not see as many rice fields as in the Mekong Delta. The local people are really poor. They are living in simple structured houses, mainly from leaves and bricks without cement cover. Schools are the same. I also did not see any big hospital in those areas. How can people be treated? Or, oh, they have to go to other big and modern hospitals in Dong Nai, Dalat or Ho Chi Minh city. It takes time and money so much. I feel sorry for them.
Roads impressed me much. There are many passes. The car was driven at the high speed and this made me excited because I like speed.
At 10.30am, I was in Madagouil ecotourism place in Lam Dong province, 150km from Dalat city. At first, I did not like the car parking lot. It looked like a mess. There were a lot of cars and were not parked orderly. I had to wait for a while because my teacher was late and he kept some permission or introduction papers. The reception gave me a sticker of Madagouil as a ticket to enter and exit the ecotourism place. After entering the controlling room, I was impressed by many beautiful flowers in the main park of Madagouil. Awesome!
I walked about 300 meters to my guesthouse, named K’Nia guesthouse. That was a new and clean guesthouse. In my room, there were 10 people and we shared beds together. Generally, I had nothing to complain about that room! My classmates cooked for lunch and of course this was illegal. However, people had a great lunch. I could not eat anything but taking a nap. Dao, a friend of mine, and I intended to have lunch outside in the circle table in front of my room but it rained lightly.
At 1.00p.m, my classmates and I began to explore the tropical forest in Madagouil. My teacher got upset because of my team leader’s lateness.
So, our group did not know where we went at first. Then, Dao and I hiked ourselves. Quite tired but had a great time together. We also saved a broken young tree. We hoped it could live strongly. We wandered around one part of the tropical forest in 40 minutes and then we stopped by a coffee bar, named K’Nia. Soft drink there was really expensive and people seldom used it with ice. I can’t stand drinking soft drink without ice. It tastes terrible! Dao and I continued our exploration in Madagouil after 15 minutes of taking a break. We went to a maze. It was not a large maze but we got lost at first. It was interesting! I could hear people’s voice next to me but actually they were in other way. A group of tourists who were in the central house of the maze told us that we were lost but they did not tell us which gate was the correct gate to enter the maze. Yet, we found that gate. It was quite easy then. Dao and I also entered the Bat Cave which there were 2 stone elephant heads in front of. They were huge when Dao and I stood next to them.
We found out the place where they sold good pineapples with inexpensive price. Awesome!
However, the price of other food and drink in Madagouil were quite expensive and not good. Dao and I just ate bread, cheese, tomato and canned fish for dinner. At 6.00pm, we went to ethnic village but we did not stop by any house because according to my teacher, we departed late so it was not safe to stay for a while in the village at night. We went to a spring near the village and I picked some beautiful stones there. I planned to take photos of the village but the local people did not allow. Houses were very poor and not well-equipped. Children did not have anything to play at night, just standing in front of their houses and watching tourists. I felt sorry for them. I don’t know whether or not they go to school. That place was a remote area. I feel that I am a lucky girl and I should not complain any more about what I have had.
There was a live music show presented by students in class 02 at 8.00pm. I was too tired to attend it. I had just been told about that show in the day after. My friends went to the spring and watched stars in the sky and talked together while I was sleeping like a rock in my soft bed.
That is all about Madagouil trip.