Da Lat: City of Surprises

06/30/2014
By Elton

How to travel to Da Lat for your best experience
Da Lat Travel Guide 2020 – What to do, when to visit, and more…
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Table of Content
The best things to do in Da Lat
1. Hike the Lang Biang Mountain
2. Adventure the Elephant Waterfalls
3. Getaway at the Valley of Love
4. Experience the Da Lat Train Station
5. Explore the Crazy House
6. Visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda
7. Enjoying the Night Market at the weekend
The best itinerary to Da Lat
The best foods to eat in Da Lat
The best time to visit Da Lat
The best ways to get to Da Lat
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Perching 1,500m above sea level on the Lang Biang plateau, Da Lat is the famous mountain resort town in Vietnam’s central highlands. Surrounded by mountain peaks, waterfalls, flower conservatories, and coffee farms, whereas the air is fresh and the weather is cool, Da Lat has been praised as the ideal holiday spot, a respite from the country’s heat and tropical maladies. Besides, as used to be the French colonialists in the first half of the 20th century, DaLat preserves some remarkable colonial architectures that can still be seen today as grand old hotels, charming crumbling villas with rose gardens, tree-shaded promenades, and churches. If you are hungry visiting here, do not miss our article on how to travel to Da Lat for your best experience.

The best things to do in Da Lat

Da-Lat-Flower-Gardens1. Hike the Lang Biang Mountain
Rising 2,100m above sea level, Lang Biang Mountain is a short drive out of the city center, through fields of flowers and long rows of crops. Hiking Lang Biang Peak in Da Lat is slightly challenging, with 4km vertical climbing will leave you out of breath, but it’s worth your while when you get unrivaled views from the top of the rich agricultural region surrounding Da Lat. (To ease your effort, there is a shuttle to take you to another starting point at the middle of the mountain)

2. Adventure the Elephant Waterfalls
Located in a valley at the bottom of a scenic mountain pass outside of Nam Ban village, about 30km from Da Lat’s city center, the Elephant Waterfalls are very impressive because you can get up close and get a personal touch to their thunderous flow, which is a delight for all the senses, or just simply enjoy the peace and quiet of the lipid pools. Elephant Waterfalls can be reached by a 40-minutes traveling bus departing from Da Lat City Centre. For a more adventurous route, there’s a small cave you squeeze through to get underneath the falls, but prepare to be splashed from misty waters surging from the cascades, which is all part of the fun in getting here.

3. Getaway at the Valley of Love
Located 5 km north of Da Lat City Centre, Valley of Love is a picturesque valley of rolling hills with a lake as its centerpiece. The overall theme of the valley, which doubles as an amusement park of sorts, is romance and peace. You may see the scenic green hills surrounding the lake are covered in gorgeous pine forests, with colorful flower beds and gardens line the walking paths that lead around the lake and through the forest up to Vong Canh Hill, from which there’s a beautiful lookout where you can view the valley from above. The track continues to Paradise Hill, which is surrounded by other picturesque lakes. This valley is an ideal place to go on a picnic or celebrating love in a romantic setting.

4. Experience the Da Lat Train Station
8-destinations-that-tourists-must-check-in-when-coming-to-Da-Lat-part-23Da Lat Railway Station is a quaint structure in the hill town’s French Quarter. Built between 1935 and 1938, the station features colorful glass windows, three high-pointed roofs and also, vintage wooden trains with the built-in restaurants that run along 16km of cog railway tracks. It’s a really striking period building and a tourist attraction in its own right. Visitors can hop on for a short ride of 7 km, following the historic line to Trai Mat Village, and enjoy relaxing countryside views along the way.

5. Explore the Crazy House
It’s actually called Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery, but travelers and locals refer to it as the Crazy House because of its bizarre concept and tree-like shape. It houses a little over a dozen rooms, each with its own unique theme, as well as wind tunnels, ladders and concrete sculptures of wildlife. This is one of Da Lat’s most famous attractions, and you can pay a small entrance fee to have a look around. (But you can also actually stay here overnight!)

6. Visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Explore-the-Dalat-Flower-Garden

Linh Phuoc Pagoda is one of the best-known pagodas in Vietnam because it features the country’s tallest bell tower. The famous bell tower reaches 37m in height, and you can write your wishes on a small note and stick it to the center of the bell, before ringing it three times for Buddha to receive it.
The walls, ceilings, and structures of mythical creatures are all inlaid with thousands upon thousands of small pieces of broken terracotta, porcelain, and glass. Also, every surface of the pagoda is covered in stunning mosaics. Take your time walking around the temple and climbing up the pagoda stairs, you will deeply admire the fine details of the tile work.

7. Enjoying the Night Market at the weekend
When the weekend night market is open, the central market area is pure madness, with thousands of people out shopping and hanging out. It’s a vibrant scene quite apart from the usual laid-back pace of Dalat. Even on weeknights, the area is rich with inviting smells from all the street food vendors. Try out some new snacks, you might just find a new favorite Vietnamese dish.

The best itinerary to Da Lat
Two days is not a long nor short trip, but we have optimized your time discovering the most out of Da Lat in the suggested itinerary below.

Day 1: Langbiang Mountain – Elephant Waterfalls
AM: Head to Langbiang Mountain. Climb up and enjoy the panorama view of Da Lat’s highlight. Have lunch when getting down the foot of the mountain.
PM: Move to Elephant Waterfalls. Explore the cave, conquer the path and play with the fall. Return to town when sundown and have a light walk around Xuan Huong Lake for street food and souvenir shopping.

Day 2: Linh Phuoc Pagoda – Da Lat Train Station – Crazy House – Valley of Love
AM: Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda. Then get to Da Lat Train Station for a short trip and have lunch on the train.
PM: Scour the Crazy House and have some fun. Go to the Valley of Love, take a walk and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Back to town to visit Night Market and enjoy the must-try street foods again.
If you are a veteran backpacker, please feel free to manage the trip your own and alter it when needed, else, we recommend you join a tour organized by a professional company, that can free you from hassles and keep you safe throughout the journey.

The best foods to eat in Da Lat

vineyard-da-lat

1. Banh Can (Small round rice pancake): Banh Can is made of pure rice with the filling of spring onion. What makes it special is that the cake is cooked in small earthenware pots without oil. When the cake is well-cooked, it is inflated and crispy. This dish is served with fish sauce, meatballs, and crackers on top. Sometimes, it is served with a special dipping sauce made from small fish.

2. Banh Trang Kep (Grilled rice paper with egg): Many Western tourists call this popular street food a “Vietnamese pizza” because of its shape and color. It tastes extremely amazing, but the way they make it is very simple. First of all they put around rice paper on a charcoal stove and apply oil with chopped green onion on rice paper’s surface. Next, they add egg, minced pork and dried small shrimps on top and keep grilling until it has a stunning yellow look with a fantastic smell. If you can stand the hot, you can ask them to add some chili sauce on top.

3. Banh Uot (Thin rice flour pancake with stir-fried chicken viscera): This dish is an amazing combination of thin rice flour pancakes and stir-fried chicken viscera. The clever seasoning of stir-fried chicken viscera mingles with the softness of special pancake create an outstanding taste that you have never experienced before. Promise!

4. Strawberry ice cream: Thanks to the cold climate of highland, Da Lat is the only city in Viet Nam can grow strawberries that are succulent with a fresh sweet taste. Strawberries are mixed with milk, egg and other ingredients to create an awesome flavor that can impress you at the first try.

5. Coffee: As the land of coffee plantations, Da Lat coffee has its own flavor with a subtle fragrance and moderate bitter that can enchant people at first try. In fact, it is not as strong as Hanoi coffee but not as sweet and light as Saigon coffee either. You can easily find a coffee shop along the street, or around Xuan Huong lake.

The best time to visit Da Lat
8-destinations-that-tourists-must-check-in-when-coming-to-Da-Lat-part-24Experiencing four seasons in one day, Da Lat air will feel like spring when you wake up, then the temperatures rise to summery 24°C at midday, until the day declining it turns as crisp as autumn while by nightfall, it’s winter with temperatures tend to hover at around 10°C.
But seasonally speaking, Da Lat has two distinctive seasons each year. The dry season takes place between November and March, while rainy weather lasts from April to October. And for most, the best time to visit Da Lat is between December and March when you can see its famous flower gardens in full bloom. Temperatures at this time of the year are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and walking. Also, Da Lat hosts its biannual flower festival during this time, where you can enjoy vibrant parades, exhibitions, and workshops, as well as the colorful flowers blooming around Xuan Huong Lake.

The best ways to get to Da Lat (from Ho Chi Minh City)

1. By airline: DaLat is well connected to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by daily flights. Lien Khuong Airport lies about 30 km away from Dalat city center and is served by a range of taxis or shuttle buses for your airport transfer (taxi is around $10 one way, and the shuttle bus $2).

2. By bus: Da Lat is a very popular destination leading to the operation of many bus services. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can book a bus to Da Lat which costs around $8 and takes about 7 hours on the road.

3. By train: Likewise, a trip to Da Lat can be easily found at Saigon Railway Station. Price starts at $12 for a 6-hour journey.

Conclusion
Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Da Lat for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Da Lat, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

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