Exploring Dalat: A Tranquil Haven Surrounded by Natural Beauty

Dalat, a serene haven nestled in the embrace of breathtaking natural beauty. Known for its charming atmosphere, this picturesque destination captivates visitors with its tranquil surroundings.

Location of Dalat

Dalat Location

Dalat is located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level on the Langbian Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands. Da Lat is one of the most popular famous destinations of Viet Nam.(Wikipedia)

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Transportations to get Dalat and around Dalat

Da Lat City

Transportations to get Dalat

To reach Dalat, the preferred mode of transportation is by bus, with various routes available:

  1. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC): Approximately 8 hours, costing around 12USD.
  2. Danang: 15 hours on a sleeper bus, around 20USD.
  3. Nha Trang: 4 hours, costing 7USD.

Other routes include Hue (16 hours, 20USD), Quang Nhon (10 hours, 14USD), and Quang Ngai (15USD).

The airport, 30km south of the city, serves daily domestic flights to and from Hanoi (2 hours, around 120USD), Danang (1h20min, 100USD), and HCMC (50 min, 50USD). Shuttle buses and taxis from the airport to the city are available.

The train station primarily caters to tourists, offering trips to Trai Mat (7km away), Thap Cham (100km), and Nha Trang (135km), with subsequent bus connections.

For ground travel options:

  • Bus: Affordable tickets (around 150,000 – 200,000 VND) with various operators like Phuong Trang and Thanh Buoi, taking around 8 hours from HCMC.
  • Motorbike: Ideal for adventurous travelers, taking 8-10 hours from HCMC.

Transportations to get around Dalat

To get around Da Lat, you have many choices like:

  1. Motorbike: A popular choice for its flexibility, motorbike rentals range from 80,000 to 150,000 VND per day, providing a dynamic and self-directed means of transportation.
  2. Bicycle: Embracing a slower, more tranquil exploration of Dalat, bicycle rentals average from 20,000 to 30,000 VND per hour, offering a peaceful way to experience the city.
  3. Horse Carriage: Divided into two types, a ride around Xuan Huong Lake costs approximately 300,000 VND for 4-5 people, while a daily rate per passenger is around 650,000 VND.
  4. Car: For those seeking comfort and luxury, car rentals start at around 660,000 VND per day, providing a convenient and upscale mode of transportation.

Good time to get Dalat

Nestled in a temperate climate influenced by varying elevations, Đà Lạt is an appealing destination year-round, with temperatures ranging from 18-25ºC. The city experiences two distinct seasons: a prolonged rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. To make the most of your visit, consider the following periods:

February to April: Embrace the cherry blossom season with mild temperatures.
May to August: Experience tranquility as light drizzles dominate, creating a serene atmosphere.
September to November: Witness vibrant blooms adorning the city.
December to January: Immerse yourself in misty, chilly charm with dense fog and refreshing air.
Each season provides a unique perspective, ensuring a delightful experience for every traveler.

Attractions in Dalat

Dalat Attractions:

Dalat Railway

  • Dalat Railway Station: A unique architectural gem, the station features historic and culturally significant train carriages. The only railway station in the Central Highlands, it is a testament to Dalat’s history and development.
  • Linh Phuoc Pagoda: Constructed using pieces of broken glass, this pagoda is a masterpiece of artistic craftsmanship.

Dalat Bao Dai Palace

  • Bao Dai Palace: Offering insights into the last emperor of the feudal era, the palace showcases distinctive architecture and historical information.
  • Lac Tien Giai Dieu (Fairy Garden): An ideal spot for picturesque virtual experiences, it blends captivating landscapes with the refreshing nature of Dalat.
  • Datanla Waterfall: Located in the tourist area of Datanla, visitors can engage in various activities, from gentle to adventurous, amidst the scenic waterfall.
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Dalat Zoodoo Zoo

  • ZooDoo Zoo: A fantastic destination for families with young children, ZooDoo offers a chance to interact with friendly and entertaining animals. Camping facilities are well-equipped with tents, kitchens, and other essentials.
  • Langbiang Mountain: Home to various herbs, medicinal plants, and rare birds, visitors can explore and engage in activities at this mountainous retreat.
Dalat Tuyen Lam Lake
Tuyen Lam- peaceful Lake
  • Tuyen Lam Lake: One of Dalat’s most beautiful lakes, it provides a serene atmosphere with cool breezes and clouds mingling with lush pine forests.
  • Domaine de Marie Church: Also known as Mai Anh Church, it boasts French architectural style and is a captivating location for photography enthusiasts.
Dalat- Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda
Dalat Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda
  • Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda: positioned on Hill 45 and located 21km south of Bao Loc city, captivates visitors with its enchanting panoramic views resembling a fairyland. Renowned for its “sky gates,” the pagoda offers expansive perspectives of the sky, mountains, and hills, creating a serene and spiritually significant atmosphere.
  1. Pongour Waterfall: Also known as the Seven-Tier Waterfall, it is located 50km from Dalat and hosts an annual ethnic festival on the fifteenth day of the lunar year.
Dalat Dambri Waterfall
Dalat Dambri Waterfall
  1. Dambri Waterfall: Positioned approximately 100km from Dalat, it is the tallest waterfall in Lam Dong province, creating a majestic and pristine natural setting.

Dalat boasts a rich tapestry of attractions, each contributing to the city’s unique charm. Whether exploring historical sites, enjoying the beauty of waterfalls, or experiencing the tranquility of pagodas, Dalat has something to offer every visitor.

Accommodations in Da Lat

Hotels in Da Lat

As for accommodations, Da Lat ensures worry-free stays with a diverse range of options. From budget hotels to mid-range 2-3 star hotels and luxurious resorts, the city caters to all preferences. Noteworthy establishments like:

Mercure resort Dalat
Mercure resort Dalat
  1. Mercure Da Lat Resort
    • Location: 03 Nguyen Du, Ward 9, Da Lat, Lam Dong.
    • Situated on Nguyen Du Street in the city center, Mercure Da Lat Resort is nestled on a lush hill, designed with classic French architecture featuring distinctive smokestack details on the roof. Inspired by the film “L’Amant” (The Lover) set in the 1920s, the main hall of Mercure Da Lat Resort creates a nostalgic atmosphere with classic decor items.
    • 131 well-appointed rooms, including Deluxe, Family, and Executive Suite categories, offer unique charm and expansive views of the surrounding greenery.
  2. Hotel Colline Da Lat
    • Location: 10 Phan Boi Chau, Ward 1, Da Lat, Lam Dong.
    • Established in 2019, Hotel Colline is centrally located, overlooking Xuan Huong Lake. The name “Colline,” derived from French, translates to “hill,” reflecting the hotel’s position atop Phan Boi Chau Street. With 150 rooms, 4 modern apartments, a conference center with a capacity of up to 1,000 guests, European-Asian restaurants, a gym and spa, and a bar & coffee counter, Hotel Colline Da Lat ensures a satisfying stay.
  3. Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort and Spa
    • Location: Le Lai, Ward 5, Da Lat.
    • Elegant and charming, Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa comprises 17 sophisticated villas, totaling 87 meticulously designed and restored rooms. Blending French and Vietnamese architectural styles from a century ago, the villas showcase Western influences like Norman, Gothic, and Roman designs. The resort offers a serene retreat, allowing guests to connect with pure nature and absorb energy from the surroundings.
  4. Dalat Wonder Resort
    • Location: 19 Hoa Hong Street, Tuyen Lam Lake Tourism Area, Ward 4, Da Lat, Lam Dong.
    • As a premier resort and entertainment complex in Da Lat, Dalat Wonder Resort combines European-style villas, conference halls, event venues with a capacity of 600 to 1,000 guests, and an entertainment area within the Tuyen Lam Lake National Tourist Area. Described as a miniature European village in the heart of Da Lat, Dalat Wonder Resort provides quality 4-star service with 312 rooms and 38 villas, making it an ideal choice for families and friends.
  5. Sam Tuyen Lam Resort
    • Address: Zone 7 and 8, Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Lat, Vietnam, 0633
    • Amenities: Free parking and Wi-Fi for flexible communication and travel
    • Centrally located at Tuyen Lam Lake in Da Lat, providing proximity to attractions and unique dining options
    • Explore the famous Crazy House nearby
    • Rated 4 stars, offering high-quality services including massage and an on-site restaurant
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Dalat SAM Tuyen Lam Resort
Dalat SAM Tuyen Lam Rerort

They offer modern, comfortable, and convenient experiences with ratings of 3 stars or above. Prices vary based on room types and amenities, ranging from a few hundred thousand to a few million dong.

Homestays in Dalat

Dalat Home of Dreamers Homestay
Dalat- Home of Dreamers Homestay
  1. Home of Dreamers
    • Address: 19 Dang Thai Than, Da Lat, Vietnam.
    • Cozy and serene, Home of Dreamers captivates with its classical decor and peaceful ambiance. Guests praise the cleanliness of the rooms and the romantic panoramic views. The homestay features simple yet artistic decorations and even houses adorable dogs.
  2. Dalat Lacasa Boutique Hotel
    • Address: 2 Ho Tung Mau Street, Da Lat.
    • Dalat Lacasa Boutique Hotel, with its exquisite architecture and Moroccan-inspired design, offers various room types suitable for different preferences. The predominantly white color scheme creates a sense of elegance and uniqueness.
  3. The Dalat Old-Home (Nhà Gió)
    • Address: 70/28 Nguyen An Ninh Street, Ward 6, Da Lat.
    • The Dalat Old-Home, situated in a tranquil location, provides a nostalgic experience with dorms, single, double, and family rooms designed in styles reminiscent of the 70s and 80s.
  4. Wine Valley Homestay
    • Address: 61 An Binh Street, Ward 3, Da Lat.
    • Located approximately 2km from the city center, Wine Valley Homestay stands out with its unique design incorporating wine barrels, creating a cozy atmosphere. Despite its size, the homestay offers plenty of photo-worthy spots for a memorable stay.

And so many more homestays and hostels in Da Lat that you can find whenever you look for, really easy to find out a good place to stay in Da Lat.

Famous food in Da Lat

Grilled nem:

  • The nem, grilled on hot charcoal, served with pickled vegetables and a rich dipping sauce, captivates the hearts of many tourists.

Steamed rice cakes with chicken hearts:

  • Soft steamed rice cakes, chicken hearts, and rich chicken meat blend with sweet and sour fish sauce, leaving a memorable impression after each indulgence.

Hot soy milk:

  • In the cool weather, a cup of hot and fragrant soy milk provides a wonderful and warm experience.

Hotpot – Grilling:

  • A bubbling hotpot or a charcoal stove grilling food will tantalize your senses, especially in the chilly atmosphere of Da Lat.
Dalat Chicken hotpot
Dalat Chicken hot pot

Lau Ga La E (Chicken Hotpot with Leaves):

  • Enjoy the chilly atmosphere of Da Lat by savoring the renowned Chicken Hotpot with Leaves at Tao Ngộ. The sour broth, crispy chicken, and various vegetables, mushrooms, and noodles create a fascinating and warm experience.

Steamed rice cakes with chicken hearts:

  • A unique culinary experience in Da Lat is the dish of steamed rice cakes with chicken hearts. Made with shredded chicken, liver, gizzard, and young eggs, this dish offers a diverse and distinctive flavor, surpassing ordinary rice cakes.
Dalat avocado ice-cream
Dalat Avocado Ice-cream sometimes within mashed durian.

Avocado ice cream:

  • Avocado ice cream from Thanh Thao and Phung is a must-try for culinary enthusiasts. The delicious and creamy flavor of avocado, combined with milk and peanuts, will surely satisfy every diner.
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Dalat Grilled Pork Rolls:

  • Dalat Grilled Pork Rolls have a distinctive flavor, delicately combining minced pork with various spices and garlic. Wrapped on a stick, grilled, and served with vermicelli and fresh vegetables at Bà Hùng or Bà Nghĩa, each roll is a special treat.

Meatball bread:

  • Meatball bread is a popular and famous breakfast dish in Da Lat. Meatballs are served in a delicious soup, along with some pieces of pork skin and sausage, creating a tasty and nutritious morning meal.
Dalat banh can
Dalat Banh Can

Banh Can (Mini Pancakes):

  • Banh Can, a popular dish, gets an extra twist in Da Lat with seafood and meat fillings, creating a unique and delicious flavor. With Banh Can Le or Banh Can Nha Chung, you can’t resist the appeal of each crispy pancake.

Grilled banana with coconut milk:

  • Grilled banana with coconut milk is an enticing dessert in Da Lat. The rich taste of coconut milk, combined with the flavor of bananas and peanuts, creates a unique and delicious culinary experience.

Banh Beo (Water Fern Cake):

  • Da Lat’s Banh Beo is distinctive with its accompaniment of crispy fried pork skin. Served in a small cup with a bit of lard, fried onions, dried shrimp, and traditional fish sauce, it is an excellent choice for those seeking the unique taste of Da Lat.

Soy milk – Steamed bun:

  • Enjoying hot soy milk and steamed buns in Da Lat is a great way to ward off the cold. You can share this unique taste with friends and family in the chilly atmosphere of the city.
Dalat grilled rice paper
Dalat grilled rice paper called: “Dalat Pizza”.

Grilled rice paper:

  • Experience the allure of Da Lat’s Grilled Rice Paper, fondly known as the “Da Lat pizza.” This delectable dish features hot, crispy rice paper filled with flavorful ingredients like sausages, eggs, dried shrimp, dried chicken, avocado, and spring onions. The result is a tantalizing treat that perfectly complements the unique atmosphere of Da Lat.

Beef hotpot:

  • Beef hotpot in Da Lat, with fresh and delicious beef and flavorful broth, is an excellent combination in the chilly atmosphere. Popular choices for this hotpot are corn, beef brisket, and oxtail.

Some notes for your trip to Dalat

These are some notes for your trip to Da Lat, please take note and make your trip better

  • Preparing for Travel:
    • Pack warm clothes, hats, and umbrellas if visiting in the early or late months due to low temperatures or occasional drizzles in Da Lat.
    • Bring essential personal documents like ID, driver’s license, or passport.
    • Ensure financial preparedness with some cash for convenience and use electronic transfers to minimize the risk of theft.
  • Choosing Your Travel Style:
    • Independent Travel:
      • Ideal for those who seek adventure, exploration, and flexibility in Da Lat.
      • Suited for young travelers who want to be proactive in their activities.
    • Guided Tours:
      • Suitable for those who prefer leisure, resort-style vacations, or travelers with less experience in Da Lat.
Dalat buy soubenirs
Dalat souvenirs
  • What to Buy as Souvenirs in Dalat:
    • Consider purchasing local specialties as gifts, reflecting the unique flavors and culture of Da Lat.
      • Dried fruits and flowers offer a diverse, affordable, and aromatic choice.
      • Explore the variety of teas, given Da Lat’s reputation as a haven for tea lovers.
      • Choose from a range of locally-made knitted products, showcasing the city’s cold climate.
  • Ideal Hotel Locations for Convenience:
    • Opt for accommodations in these areas for easy access to tourist spots and dining:
      • Near Da Lat Market
      • Around Xuan Huong Lake
      • Close to Tuyen Lam Lake

Here is an article by Travelguide about Dalat. Stay tuned with Travelguide for more travel guide tips.