The picturesque city of Dalat is a haven for city-dwellers looking for a relaxing getaway. If Dalat isn’t on your bucket list, it should be! From mesmerizing city nightlife to relaxing lakes and delicious central Vietnamese food, Da Lat has everything to offer. The last thing you want is to travel to a completely foreign place unprepared, so here are a few tips when travelling in Dalat that will help you make the most of your stay.
Dalat at Night (Source: Internet)
Is Dalat Really Worth a Visit?
Ðà Lạt or Dalat goes by various lovely names, each associated with one or more of its distinct characteristics: The city of Eternal Spring, the City of Love, the City of Thousands of Flowers, the Land of Peach Blossoms, the Little Paris, the City of Pine Forests, the Land of Mist, etc.
Situated at an altitude of 1,475 meters above the sea level on the Lang Biang plateau with an average temperature of 17.8 degree Celsius, Dalat exudes its own romantic vibe and poetic charm. The city is a respite from the summer heat and chaos of the surrounding cities. You will fall in love with its beauty in no time without even realizing. While visiting, you will see valleys of blooming flowers, spectacular waterfalls and lakes, hear exotic birds singing, and breathe in the fresh pine air.
- Fresh air and temperate climate:
Da Lat is blessed with vast pine forests, multiple rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Far from all the crazy city traffic, the City of Eternal Spring is filled with the smell of fresh air and blooming flowers. You might be able to experience all four seasons in the span of one day: spring upon waking up, summer at noon, autumn in the afternoon and winter by nightfall.
The relaxed pace of life in Dalat encourages you to slow down and enjoy life as it comes. Exploring the coffee shops and bars in Dalat should not be missed. Head to a local café and watch the city go by. Simply enjoy the unique (sometimes weird) coffee, music, and beautiful view. Also, don’t forget to check out Civet coffee, an iconic specialty that can only be found in Da Lat.
Da Lat isn’t called “The city of flowers” for no reason; flower growing is what it’s famous for, amongst many other things. The year-round cool climate and fertile soil is ideal to grow not only vegetables and fruits, but also many different kinds of beautiful flowers. They can be seen everywhere, from local farms to the parks and markets. Hydrangeas, roses, mimosas, and peach blossoms are some of the most common kinds of flowers in Da Lat.
Da Lat is the honeymoon capital of Vietnam thanks to its cool climate and beautiful scenery. Xuan Huong Lake, the Valley of Love, and Dream Hills are ideal spots for couples to share a memorable and romantic date. If you’re into outdoor activities, there are a lot to choose from such as ecotourism, trekking, fishing, camping, sightseeing, hiking, etc.
How to perfectly plan your first Da Lat itinerary
When is the best time to travel to Da Lat?
You might be wondering, when is the best time to travel Da Lat Vietnam? Although the temperature rises slightly during the summer months (from May to August), the weather is relatively consistent throughout the year. Thus, for those who live and breathe travel, any day would be a good time to pay a visit to Da Lat.
One thing to note is that there are two distinctive seasons in Da Lat; the dry season (from November to March) and the rainy
season (from April to October). Thus, it’ll be more comfortable and convenient to visit Da Lat during the dry season. The peak season for domestic tourism is from June to August, when people travel to Da Lat to escape the summer heat. Therefore it can get pretty congested around that time.
The dry season is also the flower season in Da Lat and you can visit the sunflower and radish flower fields without any fees. The annual flower festival is also held in January, where different kinds of unique flowers from across the country are exhibited.
From September to December, Da Lat is in deep mist which quickly melts away as the sun rises, revealing the crystal clear blue sky. Try to wake up early one morning for the sun to rise and you’re guaranteed to not regret it.
How to Get to Da Lat
Depending on location and personal preference, tourists can opt to fly, take a bus or even motorbike from where they are to Da Lat.
There are direct flights operated daily by Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar, and VietJet Air from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Khuong Lien Airport (30km away from the city centre). It’s going to take 1h50mins from Hanoi, 45mins from Ho Chi Minh City, and 50mins from Da Nang City (operated by Vietnam Airlines only).
From Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat (308km): 7 hours.
From Nha Trang City Da Lat (135km): 3 hours.
A motorbike tour is an amazing way to see the countryside of Vietnam, you can stop to appreciate the scenery and try the abundance of delicious food anywhere and anytime you want to. A motorbike tour could easily be one of the highlights of your trip.
Usually, it’s not that hard to find accommodation in Da Lat. However, if you plan to visit during holidays or peak seasons, it is recommended that you make reservations online (agoda.com, booking.com, etc). That way it is easier to check the location, reviews, amenities, services, etc.
It is best to stay in the central area of the city, the price may be higher but it is definitely worth it. It’s much more convenient to move around, visit the night market or stroll around Xuan Huong Lake at night.
What not to miss when travelling to Da Lat?
Da Lat Must-see destinations
1. Lang Biang Mountains
Lang Biang Peak, also known as the roof of Da Lat, is situated approximately 12km from the city center with an altitude of 2,167m above sea level. The Lang Biang Mountains consist of three peaks, and the highlight is the statues of the eternal lovers, Lang and Biang. You can see the Golden Stream and Silver Stream from here as well.
You have the option of climbing to Lang Biang Peak by foot, or you can rent a Jeep at the entrance of Lang Biang to fully enjoy the natural park and Lang Biang Mountains.
2. Night Market or Hell Market
Despite the thrilling name, there is nothing spiritual about the market. The reason why the market has such a name is that it was established back when there was no lighting system. The market is open from 6.pm to around 3-4.am the next day, selling a variety of goods.
Tourists can go shopping or try delicious treats such as grilled chicken, grilled beef, grilled rice paper cakes, grilled sweet potatoes, etc.
3. Visit Strawberry Farms
Besides flowers, Da Lat is also famous for its organically grown strawberries, as the cool climate all year round is very suitable for growing them. Recently, the farmers have adopted a new method of cultivating strawberries, which is to plant them in pots and lift them one meter off the ground to prevent rats, pests, and using pesticides.
Dalat Strawberry Farm (Source: Internet)
Strawberry farm tour and Dalat countryside tour have become popular amongst health-conscious tourists who love bio-fruits and want to handpick the strawberries and eat them right off the plant. Not only does the new cultivation method help increase crop yield, but also contributes to the development of local tourism.
4. The Valley of Love
This valley is located 6km away from the city centre and is named after the most sacred thing in the world: Love. Regarded as the Niagara Falls of Vietnam, the Valley of Love is the quintessential honeymoon destination for newlyweds.
The romantic and picturesque landscape is the reason why many tourists make the Valley of Love one of their first destinations when visiting Da Lat. Tourists can hire a paddleboat or ride a horse for great sightseeing. The opening hours are from 8am-5pm, and the entrance fee is around $1. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture this majestic scenery.
5. Xuan Huong Lake
Xuan Huong Lake (Source: Internet)
Located right in the heart of Da Lat, you can walk or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to Xuan Huong Lake. It’s best to visit at dawn or dusk to fully enjoy the tranquillity and beautiful sky colours. Another great thing it is that Hell Market is only an 8 minutes’ walk from the lake.
Things to do in Da Lat
1. Adventure Sports
Endowed with many waterfalls, lakes, streams, hills, and forests, Da Lat is an ideal destination for nature lovers who are riveted by outdoor activities like canyoning, paragliding, kayaking, rafting, etc.
2. Cable Car
The 2.5km ride is a great way to enjoy the entire city from above, including the sea, rivers, and evergreen pine forests.
3. Elephant and Ostrich Riding
An elephant or an ostrich ride (especially this one) is not something you can try every day, so seize the moment while you can. You can do this while visiting the beautiful Prenn Waterfall.
If you’re a fan of water-based activities then do not miss the chance to do some sightseeing on paddle boats when visiting the famous Valley of Love, Xuan Huong Lake, and the Lake of Sigh.
Da Lat is steeped in history and unique culture, which is almost impossible to describe in words. The only way to capture the entire beauty of Da Lat is to see it with your very own eyes. Hopefully, these tips from helloVietnam will come in handy and save you time while you’re here.