3 DAYS IN DALAT WHAT TO DO AND SEE

straw berry in Da Lat
Located about 300km Northwest of Ho Chi Minh city, not far enough to take a flight, not close enough to go by motorcycle. But traveling on the road from HCMC to Dalat is an interesting experience during Vietnam travel and tours

Dalat city is a former hill station from the days of French colonialism

Dalat city is a former hill station from the days of French colonialism

Da Lat is a beautiful mountain town known for its flowers, coffee, strawberries, and fresh air. Da Lat has so much to offer by the way of food, culture, scenery, and adventure, that it would be a shame if overlooked.  Dalat city is a former hill station from the days of French colonialism. They spent time and effort transforming the hill town into their “Little Paris”, explaining why Da Lat is full of French-era buildings – more than 1,300 of them to be exact. After more than a century, many of them have been preserved as a historical reminder, like these villas on Le Lai Street. The city and surrounding countryside resemble a French village in the Alps, but Dalat is also an authentic Vietnamese experience.

People call it the “city of thousands of pine trees” for the pine trees that wind their way along the hillside and the “city of eternal spring”  for the mist that hangs over the valleys almost year-round. Just up Bao Loc pass, you will feel cool breeze from the valley, see green forest trees and hear the melodious singing of birds. From there, you can begin a trekking journey or get a road trip by scooter – This is the most interesting thing I liked when I visit Dalat. The tea hills, rice paddies and cornfields intermingle with rural houses. Traveling 100km further, to go over the Preen Pass, remember to open your eyes to admire the pine forest and enjoy the cool mist. Dalat appears at the end of the road, where the wind turbines intervene with peaked-roof houses.

Da Lat street

Da Lat street

What is the best time to visit?

Dalat is the most beautiful from the end of October to March. This is the best time when the rainy season finished and new season begins. Dalat has a temperate, mountainous climate with annual temperature ranging from 18oC to 25oC, it’s cooler at night and early morning. Warm clothes and scarves are extremely important for keeping warm and taking nice pictures. You can see: IS IT WISE TO TRAVEL TO VIETNAM IN JUNE?

Where should we stay?

Dalat is a former French colonial town, and while much of the colonial feeling has been replaced by a buzzing town and generous doses of Vietnamese kitsch (Dalat is a top honeymoon destination for locals).  The city offers many places to stay, from luxury resort to common hotels or homestay. The most highly recommended place to stay is Ana Mandara Spa & Villa which has done an incredible job and maintaining and restoring Dalat’s historic past to create a beautiful mountain retreat within walking distance from the city center with all its amenities. The resort is made up of 17 French villas which have been restored with painstaking attention to detail. Beyond are distant mountains, a cool blue sky and later, a starry night. Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa is well located for you to enjoy exploring the surrounding landscaped areas and local culture and farming countryside.

Ana Mandara Resort and Spa

Ana Mandara Resort and Spa

Da Lat in night

Da Lat at night

Where should visit?

Spending one full day to explore some of Dalat’s attractions, history, culture and unique architecture. You will have a chance to visit the most ancient French colonial station, with locomotive engine, the most incredible and unique Crazy House in the world, the art of traditional handicraft at XQ silk hand embroidery, and enjoy a beautiful variety of flowers at City Garden, Robin Hill / Cable Car Ride, Tuyen Lam lake with Truc Lam Zen Monastery.

Sometimes, I feel intimidated because of crowds, so I go out of the central area to explore the rural life style or the natural beauty of the region and get a real experience of authentic Dalat. There is the interesting weasel coffee at terrace plantation, picturesque Elephant Waterfall with amazing caves hiding behind rugged landscape, stunning cliffs and lush forest and introduce to original silk made from cocoons.

straw berry in Da Lat

straw berry in Da Lat

Or going to the Northern outskirts of Dalat city, towards the Golden Valley, passing through the winding mountain roads, and heading to an unknown trail, here, you can immerse yourself of the pine forest. In the evening, you can set up a fire, eat grilled chicken or grilled fish and enjoy the cold air of this vast land, sometimes the wind  burst  into the tent, sounding like a rain storm. When walking up in the forest, if lucky you will see sparkling early morning frost cover the grass like snow.

Please note that we recommend a minimum of 2 full days in the Dalat area, with an emphasis on the countryside. It’s hard to enjoy in less time than this. Otherwise, skip Dalat and focus more time on other areas of Vietnam. Happy travelling!

 

See more:

Six best destinations for a romantic getaway in Vietnam

Top places must-visit in Ha Giang during 7 days in Vietnam

Vegetarian foods of Tay Ninh people