Located in southern Vietnam, Da Lat is a city surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and lakes. The city has moderate temperatures all-year round, which makes it a great place to escape the heat.
Things to Do
This cascade waterfall is located away from the city, so it's less travelled by tourists. You can get there by motorbike or taking the Bao Loc local bus for 20,000 dong. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong.
This powerful waterfall is about 30 kilometres away from the city centre. It's a little tricky to get down to see the falls, because the path is quite rocky, slippery and challenging. However, if you have average fitness, you should be fine. Once you reach the bottom, there are boulders you can climb for a better view. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong.
It's more like a huge maze with pathways that lead all over the place. This unique attraction is actually quite fun to spend an hour or two. There's an entrance fee of 40,000 dong.
Liang Biang Mountain
If you want to get a full view of the city and surrounding areas, you can make your way up to Liang Biang Mountain. You have two options: you can hike up or take a jeep to the top. The hike takes 4-5 hours round trip. The jeep costs 50,000 dong per person.
This is the smallest, but closest waterfall to the city centre at 6 kilometres. It's a pretty waterfall, but not as impressive as the other two. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong.
Da Lat Market
This market is located within the city centre. From clothing, produce to trinkets and plants, this market is often visited by travellers and locals. We heard that you shouldn't eat at the market because food is overpriced.
Swan Boat Ride around the lake
If you're feeling romantic or just want to entertain your kids, you can go for a swan boat ride at the lake in the city centre. It costs 60,000 dong/hour for the swan boat, which can fit two people.
What to Eat
Everything, really. The food here has a lot of flavour and tastes delicious. Here are some of the things we ate:
Savoury fried crepe with bean spouts, green onions and meat (pork, chicken or shrimp). It eaten by cutting it up into slices. You're given a bunch of greens and rice paper. Wrap it up like a spring roll and dip it in nuoc mam (sauce).
It's rice batter with ground pork and mushrooms with a side of bean sprouts. Sometimes it comes with cha (processed pork sausage) and thit nuong (grilled pork).
Stands usually sell these for 10,000 dong. These are the types of meat that stands usually offer:
- Cha (Processed Pork Sausage)
- Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork)
- Xiu Mai (Meatballs)
- Op-La (Fried Egg)
Banh Beo and Banh Bot Loc
Small rice pancakes with dried shrimp as well as clear dumplings with shrimp. It's eaten with nuoc mam (sauce).
Banh Trang Nuong
This reminds me of a pizza. It's rice paper with cheese, egg, green onions, dried shrimp and other seasonings. They cook it over a grill and serve it with tamarind sauce and hot sauce.
This is a rice noodle dish. You can eat this either "kho" (dry) or with the broth. If you eat it dry, it's just like eating noodles. You'll get the broth on the side. If you get it with the broth, then it's like eating a noodle soup. Both ways are quite tasty.
Where to Stay
Hai Long Vuong
This budget hotel is located away from the city centre, but at a walkable distance. It's quite affordable at 11 USD for a cozy double private room. There's quite a few restaurants and food stands located a short walking distance away. They also have dorms here as well, which were empty most of our stay.
Da Lat Backpackers Hostel
We didn't stay here, but it has a lot of good reviews. It offers mixed and female dorms for 5 USD. It also come with free breakfast and water refills.