Da Lat

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Da Lat

Things to do - general

Dalat is Vietnam’s alter ego: the weather is spring-like cool instead of tropical hot, the town is dotted with elegant French-colonial villas rather than stark socialist architecture, and the farms around are thick with strawberries and flowers, not rice.

The French came first, fleeing the heat of Saigon. They left behind not only their holiday homes but also the vibe of a European town. The Vietnamese couldn’t resist adding little touches to, shall we say, enhance Dalat’s natural beauty. Whether it’s the Eiffel Tower–shaped radio tower, the horse-drawn carriages or the zealously colourful heart-shaped cut-outs at the Valley of Love, this is a town that takes romance very seriously, although it teeters on the brink of kitsch.

Dalat is a big draw for domestic tourists. It’s Le Petit Paris, the honeymoon capital and the City of Eternal Spring (daily temperatures hover between 15°C and 24°C) all rolled into one. For travellers, the moderate climate makes it a superb place for all kinds of adrenaline-fuelled activities – mountain biking, forest hiking, canyoning and climbing.

When the best time to visit Dalat

Because of being surrounded by mountains and pine forests, Dalat has pleasant weather whole year. The average temperature is 18 – 21oC, highest temperature is 30oC and lowest is 5oC. Dalat has only two seasons but not four seasons like North Provinces. It is rainy season from May to October and dry season from November to April. You can visit Dalat at any time of year but the best time to visit Dalat is dry season when the roads are filled with Da Quy flowers, along the hills sides are noble Minosa in blossom, pink color of peach flower. The weather in dry season is pleasantly warm by day and cool at night. You should bring a jacket to wear at night. This time is ideal for couple to enjoy honeymoon here.


Getting There & Away


Vietnam Airlines has daily services to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi. Vietjet Air also flies daily to Hanoi. Lien Khuong Airport is 30km south of the city.

Please contact us to book flight ticket.

Car & Motorbike

Daily rentals (with driver) start at US$40.

For short trips around town (10,000d to 20,000d), xe om drivers can be flagged down around the Central Market area. Self-drive motorbikes are 150,000d to 200,000d per day.


Dalat’s modern long-distance bus station has timetables and booking offices; it’s about 1.5km south of Xuan Huong Lake by road. From here there are express buses to Ho Chi Minh City, other cities in the highlands, Danang and Nha Trang. Phuong Trang operates smart double-decker buses, including several sleeper services, to Ho Chi Minh City (US$11, seven to eight hours, roughly hourly).

Dalat is a major stop for open-tour buses. There are daily buses to Mui Ne (129,000d, four hours), Nha Trang (129,000d, five hours) and Ho Chi Minh City (179,000d, eight hours).

Please contact us to book flight ticket.


Taxis are easy to find; try Mai Linh.


The hilly terrain makes it hard work getting around Dalat. Several hotels rent out bicycles and some provide them free to guests. It’s also well worth looking into cycling tours.


Sights & Activities

Han Nga Crazy House

A free-wheeling architectural exploration of surrealism, Hang Nga Crazy House defies definition. Joyously designed, outrageously artistic, this private home is a monument to the creative potential of concrete, with sculptured rooms connected by super-slim bridges and an excess of cascading lava-flow-like shapes. Think Gaudi on acid.

Wander around as you please; getting lost is definitely part of the experience.

The brainchild of owner Mrs Dang Viet Nga, the Crazy House has been an imaginative work in progress since 1990. Hang Nga, as she’s known locally, has a PhD in architecture from Moscow and has designed a number of other buildings around Dalat. One of her earlier masterpieces, the ‘House with 100 Roofs’, was torn down as a fire hazard because the People’s Committee thought it looked antisocialist.

Lat & Lang Dinh An Villages

There are two minority villages a short drive from Dalat, both unremarkable despite their popularity. Less than 1km from the base of Lang Bian Mountain is Lat Village (pronounced ‘lak’), a community of about 6000 people spread across nine hamlets. Lang Dinh An (Chicken Village) is home to about 600 of the Koho people; it’s on Hwy 20, 17km from Dalat.

Only five of Lat Village’s hamlets are actually Lat; residents of the other four are members of the Chill, Ma and Koho tribes. It’s a sleepy little place with a few handicraft shops. Sometimes it hosts wine-drinking sessions or gong performances for tour groups.

Lang Dinh An has the distinction of having a giant concrete chicken caught mid-strut in the village centre, and offers the same woven objects and ‘cultural’ activities as Lat Village.

Bao Dai’s Summer Palace

A faded art-deco-influenced villa, this was one of three palaces Bao Dai kept in Dalat. The building’s design is striking, though it’s in serious need of restoration and the once-modern interior is distinctly scruffy, with tatty net curtains and chipped furniture.

Bao Dai’s imposing office, with its royal and military seals and flags is still impressive.

The white bust above the bookcase is of the man himself (he died in 1997); the flags, huge desk, spears and crossbows add to the sense of occasion.

Upstairs are the living quarters. The huge semicircular couch was used by the emperor and empress for family meetings, with their three daughters seated in the yellow chairs and their two sons in the pink chairs.

Valley of Love

When even the locals find the place tacky, you know it’s reached new depths of kitsch. This park surrounding a lake in a valley is attractive in its own right but burdened with the responsibilities of its name (proffered by Dalat University students in 1972). Romantically themed props and statues are scattered across its landscaped gardens, and the lake can get woefully noisy with the splashing of paddle boats, canoes and motorboats.

Du Sinh Church

This hilltop church resembles a temple more than a traditional church; it was built in 1955 by Catholic refugees from the north. The four-post, Sino-Vietnamese steeple was constructed at the insistence of a Hue-born priest of royal lineage. Under the entrance archway there’s a statue in classical Greek style flanked by two golden Chinese dragons.

Truc Lam Pagoda & Cable Car

For a spiritual recharge, visit Truc Lam Pagoda, which enjoys a hilltop setting and has splendid gardens. It’s an active monastery (ask about meditation sessions) and the grounds are expansive enough to escape the odd tour group. Be sure to arrive by cable car (the terminus is 3km south of the Centre), which soars over majestic pine forests.

From the monastery it’s a 15-minute walk down to the Shore of Tuyen Lam Lake (actually a reservoir), where there are cafes, and boats for hire. Both the pagoda and lake can also be reached by road via turn-offs from Hwy 20.

Xuan Huong Lake

Created by a dam in 1919, this banana-shaped lake was named after an anti-authoritarian 17th-century Vietnamese poet. The lake can be circumnavigated along a scenic 7km sealed path that passes the flower gardens, golf club and the Dalat Palace hotel. Swan paddle boats are available for rent, a very popular pastime for visiting Vietnamese.

Pongour Falls

Pongour Falls is the largest in the area when the dam above the river hasn’t siphoned off all its water. If you don’t feel like walking down to the falls, check out the view from the reconstructed royal pavilion. The original structure was built for Emperor Bao Dai’s hunting expeditions. The falls are signposted on the right about 50km towards Ho Chi Minh City from Dalat and 6km off the highway.

Lam Dong Museum

Housed in a modern pink building, this hillside museum displays ancient artifacts and pottery, as well as costumes and musical instruments of local ethnic minorities, and propaganda about the government support for their mountain neighbors. There are informative exhibits about Alexandre Yersin and the history of Dalat on the upper level.


Dalat has an appealing selection of smart restaurants that make the most of the local produce. For cheap eats in the day, head to the upper level of the Central Market (Cho Dalat). At night, food stalls (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street) congregate outside the market.

– Le Rabelais: 12 Tran Phu Street; For arguably the finest colonial setting in Vietnam, the signature restaurant at the Dalat Palace is the destination with the grandest of dining rooms and a spectacular terrace that looks down to the lakeshore.

– V Café: 1/1 Bui Thi Xuan Street; Atmospheric bistro-style place that serves international cuisine, such as chicken curry Calcutta and Mexican-style quesadillas. The interior is decorated with stunning photography and there’s live music most nights.

– Goc Ha Thanh: 53 Truong Cong Dinh; Casual new place with attractive bamboo furnishings owned by a welcoming Hanoi couple. Strong on dishes such as coconut curry, hotpots, clay pots, stir fries and noodles.

– Trong Dong: 220 Phan Dinh Phung Street; Intimate restaurant run by a very hospitable team where the menu has been creatively designed – shrimp paste on a sugarcane stick and beef wrapped in la lut leaf excel.

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