When I was in Kuala Lumpur we met a Dutch guy in our dorm and he had just come from Vietnam. He was raving all about it and said it was his favorite place so far. He took my guide book, circled cities on the map and wrote notes for us. One of these was repelling down waterfalls in Da Lat.
Canyoning or Abseiling in Da Lat is one of THE THINGS to do. It was $20 and we went through Highland Holiday Tours. The tour lasted all day and took us through a whole series of natural, outdoor obstacles. We had about 5 minutes of “training” on how to repel and then went on our way with the mantra of Don’t Be Lazy, Just Get Crazy!
⋙ The first obstacle was a natural waterslide down a waterfall. You had to go down head first and be sure to hold your breath toward the end because you plunge into a pool of water!
Our new friend Tim taking the plunge
Stacey headed down. My favorite part about this photo is while it was being taken, Stacey’s shoe was ripped right off her foot and was lost to the river in Da Lat. She went through the whole course with one shoe and one sock. I cracked up every time I looked down. She was a trooper though!
⋙ The second part was repelling down the side of this cliff and into the river. It was the perfect little intro to get your feet wet.
Our group was really great. We all had a ton of fun and spent the rest of that evening together for dinner, coffee and waiting for our night bus.
⋙ More natural water slides were in store for us. At certain places along the way we also were able to simply lay on our backs and float along.
I always opted for the nose-holding technique
⋙ The next stop was intimidating. We sat here for lunch (which was AMAZING) as we waited for our turn to go down. You backed yourself down a large section of the waterfall until you got to the end of the cliff and the guide said STOP and counted to three. On three we let go of the rope and kicked backwards to fall back into the pool of water about 12 feet down. What a rush!
Stacey making her way down
These are stills from the video Tim took of me jumping! Thanks again, Tim!
The group in front of our now conquered obstacle
⋙ The next thing to do was jump off the cliffs beside the next waterfall. There were two ledges that you could go from one, which was taller, required you to run and jump out over the lower ledge and the shorter one, which was by no means tiny, you could just jump right off of.
I personally didn’t feel as comfortable in my balance or running abilities without tripping on the big rock sticking up, so I opted out of the top one. These are stills from another video from Tim! It was a heck of a lot of fun.
⋙ Out last obstacle was called The Washing Machine. It was another abseil down a waterfall, but this was a bit different. You just have your feet on the rocks for a few feet. Then you have all the weight of this waterfall pushing down on you. Because of this if you don’t start making your way down the falls quickly it spins you round and round in circles. Once you get down in this alcove where the water is behind you, you hold your breath and then you let go and the water pulls you under water & under rocks and spits you out full of adrenaline and ready to do the whole thing all over again.
I’m about to the stopping point here where you have to let your feet drop
About to of through The Washing Machine
And getting washed!
The group after the washing machine. What a way to bond!
Highland Holiday Tours made seven happy backpackers that day. We dominated some crazy obstacles, I got my adrenaline pumping, and I got to earn the badass title as someone who has repelled down waterfalls – a pretty good day if you ask me.
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