You love flowers?
You love mountains?
You love cool weather?
Dalat has all of them.
No questioning they call it one of the cleanest and the most beautiful cities in Vietnam. The air is super fresh. Citizens here say no to traffic light, no police, no air-con. Dalat is simply clean, beautiful and vintage in its own way. Can’t help but falling in love with this little city.
After Lunar New Year, I had a chance to travel to Dalat with a group of friends from all over Vietnam. It has been one of the best trips ever. I traveled from Ho Chi Minh which is pretty close to Dalat so I took a van to be on a road trip for 6,5 hours. Other friends of mine prefer to travel by airplane which would be much faster – around 1,5 hours from Hanoi and 30mins from HCMC. However, be considerate if you choose to go by airplane. Lien Khuong airport is one of the newest airports in Vietnam and there are not many trips per day there. You can easily see one airplane in the whole airport a day. Therefore, the airline might delay or change your flight schedule suddenly. On the other hands, traveling by cars, motorbikes, bus, vans are much more popular and interesting to really experience the beauty on the road.
We have stayed in a small hostel named The Circle Vietnam. The design of rooms is attractive enough for youngers and the price here is super cheap for backpackers which is around 150.000VND/per night (~7USD). So if you’re backpackers, this is one of the best places to stay. It’s cheap, the owner is nice and helpful, they help you out with renting bikes, calling cabs, showing you around. At night, you’re free to fire up, gathering around with friend singing, talking, having bbq etc. And the most awesome thing is when you wake up, Dalat view is right there, in front of your eyes. I felt very blessing to stay here and attain a lot of good memories.
Ok, now is time to explore Dalat. The first place I can recommend is Cu Lan Village. It’s a very fun journey visiting it. It takes about 30 mins to get there (30km) via curly roads. When you arrive, buy a ticket for visiting and book a jeep to take you to the village. The road to the village is very fun to experience, you will go through normal road, you will go through streams.
And what will you see in Cu Lan?
It’s large and hard to capture everything. You should come and see in person to feel it completely.
Close to Cu Lan village, you can easily find local restaurants to try local foods. They are famous for forest chicken, goats, pigs, especially vegies.
The 2nd one but maybe the place that I love the most is Lang Biang Peak. It’s purely beautiful to be high and look at the whole city with mountains, lake covered, particularly in sunset. You will need to travel on a jeep to get to the peak too. Super convenient, right?
We also had a chance to visit one of the most famous temple/pagoda of Vietnam – Thien Vien Truc Lam. It’s a tradition for Vietnamese to visit temple/pagoda after Lunar New Year to pray for lucks and happiness, therefore, if you travel this time, be careful that it might be a bit busier than normal. I have no problem with that so I still have enjoyed a lot. You will travel by slings to get to the top. After going through the whole temple, walk down to see another beautiful lake called Tuyen Lam Lake. We booked a boat to travel across this lake and visit few small island on the way. You can see a lot of fancy villas or hotels across the lake for visitors who enjoyed to come for a nice comfy expensive experience.
There are few more places you can come have a look like Da Lat Church, Center square with Atiso Flower Buildings, Ho Xuan Huong lake, other pagoda, Dalat Train Station (very nice vintage architectures), flowers gardens, strawberry farms etc.
How can you forget street foods right? With a typical Vietnamese like me, street foods are life. If you come to Dalat, you have to try Banh Trang Nương (Grill Rice Paper Wrap), the fillings are much more than other places which have chicken, pork, beef, mango, cheese etc… So yummy. And also Beef Hotpot (at Ba Toa street).
It’s a long review already haha. Dalat is there for you to explore. I believe you will love it like me. If I had a chance to come back to Vietnam soon, I definitely will come back here.