Ah, Da Lat - no city in Vietnam quite exudes romance and mystery like it. Escape the heat and venture into the hills for some fresh mountain air and an interesting mix of romance, good food and adventure!
Population: Around 200,000
Vibe: slightly cheesy but romantic. Da Lat is officially Vietnam’s honeymoon capital. You'll see lovers taking horse and cart rides, staring into each other’s eyes over a bottle of Da Lat wine and peddling swan boats around the lake. It feels a bit unreal but beautiful at the same time.
Known as: the ‘City of Flowers’ and the vacation getaway of the French colonists who built their holiday homes in its cool mountain heights. The French colonial architecture can still be seen all over town, which gives the town a very European feel. Dalat is also known for its agriculture and its hills and mountainsides host some truly fertile land that specialise in coffee, tea, wine and rubber.
Must Do: Taste some delicious locally grown produce - strawberries are our favourite!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
If you want something really different, check out the Hang Nga Guest House and Art Gallery, better known as the ‘Crazy House’, designed by a local architect, first established in 1990. You’ll have to see it to believe it - there are over a dozen rooms, each with its own unique theme. You’ll find tunnels, ladders, concrete kangaroos; tigers and bears.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Da Lat is home to some impressive waterfalls. The Datanla Falls are only a few kilometres out of town and there is a mini rollorcoaster ride you can take from the top of the falls to the bottom! Elephant Falls is about 30km out of Da Lat and is a beautiful spot with less tourists. Pongour Waterfall is the most stunning and magnificent waterfall. The falls are 20metres high and about 100metres wide - the biggest in Vietnam!
Walk around Xuan Huong Lake
You can't miss the Xuan Huong Lake. This manmade lake is located in the centre of Da Lat and is a popular spot for picnicking, cycling and jogging. You'll often see couples having their wedding pictures here, taking horse and cart rides, or paddling the swan boats on the lake. It takes about an hour to walk around the lake.
There are great, challenging mountain biking tracks for experienced riders around Da Lat.
Easyrider Motorbike Tour
You can't go far in Da Lat without a motorbike driver pulling over and asking you if you would like to go on an Easy Rider Motorbike Tour. There are a lot of unofficial Easy Riders so it's best to go with the real deal, that way you know you'll have a great guide who will take you to all the must-see places.
EATING AND DRINKING
The hills and mountainsides around Da Lat produce great coffee, tea, wine, fruit and vegetables.
Thanks to the local coffee plantations there are cute little coffee shops everywhere in Da Lat selling all types of coffee. Try a Vietnamese coffee with ice cream for a real treat!
Get your hands on some locally grown fresh strawberries. You'll find street hawkers selling them or get some from the market.
Da Lat Red Wine
The French introduced wine to the Vietnamese who are now doing a fine job at producing it. Vang Dalat is the most popular table wine and widely available by the glass at bars and cafes in Da Lat.
Have dinner at the night markets
The night markets in the town square have plenty to choose from. Sit at one of the little 'plastic seat' restaurants at the night market or do your own taste tour from the various street carts. Try to sample as many of the local delicacies as you can! You'll find warm fresh soy milk, sugarcane juice, chicken porridge and BBQ meat skewers
WHERE STRAY STAYS
Thoi Dai Hotel
Freestyle Tours (Single, double, twin and triple rooms)
138 Phan Dinh Phung Street
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Located in the city centre, Thoi Dai Hostel in only 1.3 km away from Xuan Houng Lake and only 4.9km from Truc Lam Temple. The building is sun floated and is a nice place to relax after a busy sightseeing day.
Facilities: Bicycle rental, luggage storage, laundry service.
141 Phan Dinh Phung,
Da Lat, Vietnam
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Dreams hotel in Da Lat is a basic hotel with a little extra pizazz - it has a spa pool view a view and a sauna! The hotel itself is comfortable and well furnished. Rooms are air conditioned with a TV, a mini fridge and ensuite bathroom. Wifi is free and it’s not far to walk to check out the main sights of Da Lat. Our travellers also say the breakfast here is a great way to start your day!
STRAY TO DA LAT!
Stray tours spend an extra day in Da Lat so that you have time to take advantage of the beautiful, calm atmosphere in town, or head outside to get your fill of adventure.
CHECK OUT OUR TRAVEL BLOG:
- Da Lat is full of surprises and adventures. Make sure you tick off the top 5 things to see and do!
- And while you're seeing Da Lat, here are our top 5 Vietnamese foods to taste