Da Lat lies in the mountains of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, Dalat plays the cooler cousin to southern Vietnam’s seaside destinations. Famous for its countryside charm.
Dalat is now popular with outdoor enthusiasts and golf junkies alike.one of the top tourist destinations is famous not only to Vietnamese but also foreigners. The following are the recommended places for visitors to get the most of their chosen destination.
Langbiang mountains: This is the most attractive place of Da Lat City for both domestic and foreign visitors with two mountains, called the “He-mount” and the “She-mount”, in Lac Duong district, around 12km from the center of Da Lat city. The mounts are 2,167m above the sea level; therefore, it is called the “roof” of Da Lat. From that height, visitors can enjoy the panorama of Da Lat city.
Phuoc Linh Pagoda: Phuoc Linh Pagoda, a sacred place suitable for those who wish to go on spiritual sightseeing tours, is located on Highway 20, at No. 120 Tu Phuoc, around 8km from Da Lat city center. The pagoda represents the unique terracotta mosaic arts of Da Lat city.
Xuan Huong Lake is a beautiful lake in the heart of Da Lat city surrounded by pine trees, lawns, and flower gardens. This is a favorite place for tourists as they can take a walk, ride a horse or hire a bike to tour the center of the city.
Domaine de Marie Church is included in the itineraries of many tourism companies. The church is an attraction to visitors as it represents the interaction between the two cultures of Vietnam and France. It was built from 1930 to 1943 following the 17th century French style. However, because its architecture is the harmonious combination of the Western art and the Vietnamese folk art, the church definitely stands out from others in the same era.
Truc Lam Zen Monastery: Truc Lam Zen Monastery is part of the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen, about 5 kms away from the center of Da Lat City. The monastery is located on Phung Hoang Mountain, above the Tuyen Lam Lake. This is not only the largest monastery in Lam Dong province, but also the sightseeing and worship place for locals and tourists.
Vallée d’ Amour (Valley of Love) is one of the most romantic landscapes, about 5km to the north of the center of Da Lat city. The valley features romantic landscapes where visitors can take part in many interesting activities and games.
Mong Mo (Dreaming) Hill: For its poetic landscape, people even call the Dreaming Hill a small Da Lat. In fact, Dreaming Hill is a newly-built resort with artistic arrangement of the villas, pools, restaurants, theme parks, souvenir shopping areas, and others. All of the things make a closed tourism structure especially attractive to visitors.
Datanla Waterfall is a large waterfall located in Datanla Tourist Area about 10 km from the center of Da Lat. Coming to the place, visitors can admire the grandeur of the waterfall while taking part in adventurous activities like riding the roller coaster.
Da Lat Market, the trading center of Da Lat city, is situated on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street and is considered the “heart of Da Lat city”. It is not only a market for trading activities, but also an attractive destination for visitors to the city. Coming to the market, visitors may find local produces such as fresh artichokes, dried fruit, vegetables and a lot more available throughout the day. Apart from the produces, clothing, artful silk embroidery products among other things can also be found. In the evening, the roads around the market are closed to traffic and the night market of Da Lat spills onto the surrounding streets.
Tuyen Lam Lake: The largest water body in Da Lat is 7 km from Da Lat city center and just 2km from Datanla Waterfall. Tuyen Lam Lake is a beautiful scenery complex with various tourist services. In the lake, there are small islands and it is surrounded by pine trees. From the site, visitors can take the cable cars through to Robin Hill, admiring the pine forest, Tuyen Lam Lake, and Phung Hoang Mountain from high above.
Though its verdant hills have long been home to the country’s ethnic minority communities, the sleepy resort town also served as a popular getaway for French colonial residents of Saigon at the turn of the 20th century. Today, this history is reflected in the European-inspired architecture and manicured, rolling lawns which circle Dalat’s main lake.
French Colonial Charm
In the very heart of town, man-made Xuan Huong Lake serves as the focal point of the city, accompanied by the neighboring flower garden, where Dalat’s famous annual flower festival is held. Nearby, the central market is also worth a visit, as its stalls are packed with a host of local produce – fresh flowers, candied fruit and cold-weather vegetables like carrots, pumpkins and potatoes – and knitted sweaters.
Elsewhere in the city, traces of Vietnam’s French colonial days abound in the local churches and even the town’s now-defunct railway station. Though Dalat’s tracks no longer link up with Vietnam’s north-south railway line, you can hop on a train out to Trai Mat for a visit to the spectacular, mosaic-covered Linh Phuoc Pagoda, taking in the scenery en route. Set against the backdrop of a stunning valley dotted with pine trees, vegetable farms and tea plantations, the area’s colonial relics provide both a glimpse into the town’s past but also some of its nicer city views.
Dalat – Countryside Hill Station
While you’re touring Dalat’s colonial history, it’s worth paying a visit to the handful of other attractions around the city center. Bao Dai’s summer palace, the former vacation home of Vietnam’s last emperor, is a charming art deco masterpiece, while the wild and wonderful Hang Nga Crazy House represents the vivid imagination of a celebrated architect who also happens to be the daughter of Vietnam’s second president.
At 5,000 feet above sea level, Dalat is the coolest climate to hit the links and is home to one of the country’s oldest course, the Dalat Palace Golf Club. Opening in 1933, the 18-hole course carves its way around the town’s central lake and remains one of the country’s best golfing experiences—a bucket list course for those looking for a unique yet challenging outing.
More recently, several newer golf courses have opened on the outskirts of Dalat, including the Asian Tour sanctioned The Dalat at 1200 Country Club and Sacom Tuyen Lam golf course. All of Dalat’s golf clubs feature hilly terrains and pine tree forests, a stark contrast to the sandy dunes of Vietnam’s seaside golf resorts.
Adventure in the Great Outdoors
Dalat may be a quaint resort town, but beyond the city limits its surrounding area also serves as the gateway to Vietnam’s Central Highlands region and an adventure destination in its own right. The dramatic terrain lends itself well to activities like hiking, mountain biking and canyoning, the art of rappeling down a waterfall and into white-water rapids.
Adventure junkies can enlist the services of several reputable local outfits for such activities or blaze their own trails on Lang Biang, where both easy and challenging hiking trails reach the mountain’s two summits and local guides are also available for longer excursions into Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park.
To appreciate nature without the adventure, you can also stop by Datanla Falls, the town’s nearest waterfall, or make a day of it and head out to Elephant Falls.
Hitting the Road
As an introduction to the Central Highlands, Dalat is where you’ll find an army of Easy Rider guides. These knowledgeable gentlemen know the winding dirt roads and narrow paths of Vietnam’s interior like the backs of their hands and are able to bring travellers deep into the countryside, presenting tourists with an altogether different, authentic view of Vietnam. Though most trips are customized to suit the individual rider, standard routes run between Dalat and Nha Trang, Mui Ne or even Hoi An with many scenic and cultural stops along the way, however you can tailor your trip to suit your own needs.
When To Go
Thanks to its altitude, Dalat is always a little cooler than the rest of southern Vietnam, particularly between November and January. Rain falls from April to November, leaving a gray mist over the tea plantations and hilltops surrounding the town while things heat up in the summer around May.
How To Get There
Regular sleeper buses run from Ho Chi Minh City as well as Nha Trang, while flights to the Central Highlands land at the Dalat (Lien Khuong) Airport, 30 kilometers south of the city.