Da Lat (Vietnamese: Đà Lạt) is the capital of Lam Dong province, located on the Lam Vien plateau at an altitude of 1,500m above sea level. With a relatively cool climate and a system of waterfalls, lakes, and vast forests…a trip to explore Da Lat will definitely bring you unforgettable experiences. Let takes a look at this travel guide for more details.

What is the most ideal time to explore Da Lat?

Dalat’s climate is cool all year round thanks to its geographical location in the highlands of the Central Highlands. January to April is spring, so the mountain town is colorful with many flowers such as cherry blossoms, white roses, purple poinciana… Furthermore, it’s dry season at this time of the year so the best ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, swimming, wandering…enjoy pleasant weather, beautiful and romantic landscapes.

explore Da lat

May-September is summer and also the peak time for tourism when tourists everywhere escape the heat as it’s the hot season of many other areas in Vietnam. However, this is the rainy season in Da Lat, so people always have to carry raincoats or umbrellas.

October-December Dalat is in the dry and cold season. Visitors on this occasion will have the opportunity to see wild sunflowers blooming brightly, pink grass hills shimmering in the morning dew or the sight of clouds covering the mountains and hills in the suburbs. 

How to get here?

Most tourists from the Northern provinces and Ho Chi Minh City choose to fly directly to Da Lat with Vietjet or VietnamAirline. However, the Southern and Middle regions can travel by bus or car. It would be quite connivence, especially when you traveling with a group, to book a private car to Da Lat, as the bus or car can stop on the way, and easy for sightseeing things as well.

private car to Da Lat

From Ho Chi Minh City, beside traveling by airplanes, the most economical way to travel is the tourist bus. There are many buses, depart almost every hours from HCMC, and the ticket cost from from 270,000 VND/way. And here are some of bus companies that we recommend for your trip to explore Da Lat: Dien Linh, Kumho Samco, Long Van, Futa bus…

bus to Da Lat

Futa bus – one of the famous bus company to Da Lat

In Da Lat, tourists rent motorbikes, cars, taxis or use booking car/bike apps to move between attractions. Motorbike rental price from 120,000 – 150,000 VND/day. Private car with a driver cost starts from 1,000,000 VND/day.

Explore Da Lat – Where should you go?

Most famous Da Lat tourist destinations are concentrated in the city center area. According to our experience traveling to Da Lat, these are all familiar places but still attractive with their own beauty

Famous natural destinations

Da Lat is famous for many stunningly beautiful destinations that attract tourists. Let’s take a look at some of the city’s beautiful, poetic attractions. This is home of the most charming waterfalls, valleys, lakes…  in the Central Highlands, associated with beautiful legends, along with the wild and majestic look, promise to give visitors an enjoyable experience. 

Dambri waterfall

Dambri waterfall

Dambri waterfall is one of the highest and the most magnificent waterfall in Vietnam, located about 20km from Bao Loc city. This is an impressive waterfall with clear, cold water runs off the mountains and spills over a rocky escarpment, falling 70 metres into a large pool before continuing to pour down the valley.

Furthermore, surrounding the waterfall is a primeval forest with hundred kinds of plants, Dambri waterfall, Dasara fall, Daton fall, a fossil plant cave, an animal zoo. 

Tourists can visit these tourist spots by horse, tramcar, elevator, and roller coaster. Location: Village 14, Drambi Ward, Bao Loc city

Pongour waterfall

Pongour waterfall

Located in Tan Nghia town, Duc Trong district, 50km from Da Lat city, also known as Thien Thai waterfall. Pongour has a 7-story waterfall with the huge rocky chasm, wide, full of green moss, terraced falls and surrounded by a primeval forest with an area of about 2.5 hectares with diverse and rich vegetation, animals living.

Tourists from all over often come here to visit, take pictures, and have fun. The waterfall is also a popular picnic spot in the late afternoons, so if you want to experience the falls without too many tourists, try to visit during the middle of the day.

Coming here on the full moon day of the first lunar month, you will also have the opportunity to participate in the unique Pongour festival of the K’Ho people. 

Cam Ly waterfall

Cam Ly waterfall

Cam Ly waterfall is the closest waterfall to the center of Da Lat city. The entrance is located between 57 – 59 Hoang Van Thu Street.

The stream of the waterfall is about 10m high, although not high, but the water flow is strong and not less gentle, especially during the rainy season. The waterfall flows gently through boulders and it looks like the hairstyle of a girl. The waterfall is surrounded by green pine forest, many kinds of flowers and trees that always green all year round. 

Beside Xuan Huong lake or Langbiang mountain, the waterfall has become the indispensable symbols of Da Lat city and has been mentioning in many poems and songs.

Dalanta waterfall

Dalanta waterfall

Situated in the middle of the Prenn mountain pass, approximately 5 km from Da Lat. This is the most touristy and developed of all the falls in Lam Dong. 

It has an excellent pathways, through lush foliage, leading down through many ‘levels’ of the falls. The cascading waterfalls to the ground before disappearing through layers of marble scattered in the small stream.

Datanla Waterfall represents the wild and majestic beauty of the Central Highlands mountains and forests. This place is an ideal stop for those who love to explore, and adventure sports. Datanla waterfall tourist area offers visitors many exciting fun activities such as climbing stone steps to conquer the top of the waterfall, a roller-coaster, cable car and go along the stream to come to Prenn bridge or exciting whitewater rafting. 

Prenn waterfall

Prenn waterfall

Prenn waterfall is located at the foot of Prenn Pass which is 10 km far from Da Lat city. It is also the gateway of Da Lat. From its 9m of height, the water flows down over a cliff of basalt rock creating a majestic natural beauty. The tourist area is also a pine forest and primitive trees that make up 90% of the area. The tourist site has been equipped with the cable – car, suspension bridge, stilt – house, showroom, souvenir shop, restaurant. Futhermore, tourist can participate many folk games and interesting activities including elephant and ostrich rides.

There is also a small zoo – a home of elephants, tigers, bears, deer, monkeys, python, peafowl, etc. In 2000, Prenn waterfall has been recognized by The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and granted a national historic and cultural relic.

Elephant Waterfall

Elephant Waterfall

The waterfall is also known as Lieng Rowoa waterfall, located approximately 25 km southwest of Da Lat with a height of about 30 meters and a width of 15 meters. Elephant waterfall is the most dramatic in the province. Unlike most of Lam Dong’s other waterfalls, Elephant waterfall does still keep it nature without any manmade.

Over the years, the water has eroded the escarpment to create a cave-like overhang, from where you can get up close, literally, under the falls, while staying (relatively) dry. Behind the waterfall, there are mysterious caves such as Hang Doi (Bat cave), located at a depth of 50m above the ground with an entrance has many tree roots and vines crisscrossing each other, Hang Gio (Wind cave) always create a highlight for visitors who want to explore.

Jraiblian Waterfall

Jraiblian Waterfall

Hidden in the serene mountains of Ta In forests is a majestic Jraiblian Waterfall. The waterfall is located in Ta In commune of Duc Trong district, outskirt of Dalat city. It was also called Bao Dai, Vietnam’s last emperor (1913-1997), waterfall as it was the resting place of numerous hunting trips of the emperor. At around 80 metres high and over 100 metres wide, this is also the biggest and most spectacular fall in Lam Dong.

The massive volume of water straight from the top of the vertical wall of volcanic rock to the bottom stream, making it a raw scene and quite overwhelming sensation of nature. Jraiblian waterfall is definitely an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy pure nature. 

Xuan Huong Lake

xuan huong lake

Xuan Huong lake is a symbol of Da Lat located in the city center which has a crescent shape. This is an artificial lake with approximately 5km circumference, and 25 ha wide. The lake has long been famous for immerse pine forests, green lawns, wonderful flower gardens. The surface of the lake is smooth and crystal, reflecting the charming scenery of Dalat city with pine forest. With the romantic views, Xuan Huong Lake has been reputed to be a romantic place, a dreaming tourist attraction and a dating rendezvous of loving couples as well. 

It is also a favorite rendezvous for tourists who love walking,using stagecoach, double bikes, duck riding… to visit and explore the lake and surrounding area.

Da Nhim Lake

Da Nhim Lake

Da Nhim lake also known as Don Duong Lake, located in the town of Dran, Don Duong district, Lam Dong province. It is 36 km far from Dalat city to the South – East. All view Da Nhim lake is the great combination of mountain, lake and cloud which create a great scenery for the province, attract many tourists.

Coming to visit natural beauty of Da Nhim lake, tourist also have the opportunity to learn about the Da Nhim hydropower plant was built right on the lake, built from 1962 to 1964.

Nearby is another tourist attraction: the Ngoan Muc Pass – one of the largest passes in Vietnam. Tourists can go hiking, horseback riding, jeep driving along the red dirt road lead to the Valley of Love. It’s also an ideal place for camping with your family members and friends.

Tuyen Lam Lake

Tuyen Lam LakeTuyen Lam Lake is known as a tourist resort with the most resorts. It is surrounded by primeval pine forests and green-shaded oases scattered throughout the lake, providing a charming, poetic scene true to a mountain town. This is the largest freshwater lake in Lam Dong with an area of 350 hectares.

Tuyen Lam is an ideal spot for picnic or camping by the lake to enjoy the cold air nearby Da Lat. Besides enjoying the nature scenery around the lake, tourist can participate in recreational activities such as boat ride to enjoy the lake view, spiritual travel at Truc Lam Zen Monastery, climbing, fishing and especially setting up a tent with provided equipment, and enjoying an evening BBQ party with friends.

Dankia Lake

Dankia Lake

Situated about 20km from Da Lat city center to the northwest, Dankia Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes with the capacity of about 20 million cubic of water. The lake has long been supplying fresh water and electricity to Da Lat city, particularly through Ankoret plant, the first hydroelectric plant built in Vietnam (1943).

The Dankia lake impresses tourist with marvelous scenery of high mountains, pine forests and pure water flows bending around romantic hills, creating a wonderful painting before the eyes of visitors. Coming to Dankia- Suoi Vang area, visitors will be attracted by the natural beauty of Golden Valley, Ankroet waterfall and Suoi Vang Dam. In addition, the ethnic minorities of Lat Village, inhabiting in the area, still maintains their traditional customs – This is also an ideal site for ethnological tourism.

Than Tho Lake

Than Tho lakeThe lake is situated on a high hill in the middle of a tranquil pine forest, creating the quiet peaceful feelings, which attracts numerous tourists who love to explore romantic natural landscapes.

Along with the folk unfinished love stories such as story of Mai Huong – Hoang Tung in the 18th century, story of the pine hill with 2 graves…, the harmonious characteristics of Than Tho Lake have increasingly attracted tourists as a fascinating venue. This is a place associated with a touching but also tragic story about a couple’s love, and is the favorite coordinates of couples when coming to explore Da Lat. 

Tourist can walk on the green lawns, watch the pine silhouettes down the lake surface or ride a horse around the lake like a true nomad.

Valley of Love

Valley of Love

Located 5km from the center of Da Lat city, with an area of ​​up to 140ha, Vally of Love is  one of the most romantic tourist spot attracting tourists, especially newly-married couples, come to visit in Lam Dong. The scenic green hills surrounding the lake are covered in gorgeous pine forests, create a romantic view, especially when you standing from the tracks lead to Vong Canh Hill. 

It is an ideal place to organize outdoor activities such camping, barbecue party… and enjoys many other interesting games such as horse riding, duck riding, jeep, paint gun, tandem biking…

Address: 3 – 5 – 7 Mai Anh Dao Street, Ward 8, Da Lat

Mountain Langbiang

Mountain LangbiangThe mountain is listed as “the roof of Da Lat”. The mountain is 2,169m above sea level. At the foot of Langbiang Mountain is a tourist area with beautiful rustic architecture and full amenities for the leisure of tourists. The Langbiang is attracting visitors by exciting adventure: climbing, and conquering the peak. It takes around 4 hours to reach the top of the mountain.

Another way to reach the top is by renting a jeep car. Standing on the top of the mountain you can enjoy a panoramic view of the foggy city in the distance.
The address of the Langbiang mountain tourist area is: No. 305 Langbiang Road, Lac Duong town, Lac Duong District.

Famous spiritual tourist destinations in Da Lat

Many people come to Da Lat to find peace, the temples or churches in the city are spiritual places that convey faith, suitable for people to find peace after busy, hard days with life. make a living.

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Da Lat

St. Nicholas CathedralThe St. Nicola Cathedral, also known as the familiar name of Con Ga (Chicken) Church, is an ancient Catholic church in Lam Dong. There are five masses every Sunday. It was designed in the style of Roman Catholic churches with a European direction with an overall cross-shape 65m long, 14m wide and reaching the top of the bell tower is 47m hight.

To create a highlight for the church, the architect installed 70 Medieval-style stained glass panels on the wall to illuminate the cathedral’s interior and create an unique aesthetic decoration.

Address: 15 Tran Phu Street, Ward 3, Da Lat city, Lam Dong.

Linh Phuoc Pagoda

Linh Phuoc PagodaLinh Phuoc Pagoda is located in Trai Mat, Da Lat city, 8 km from the center of Da Lat city, on Highway 20. Completed in 1952, Linh Phuoc pagoda is also know as Ve Chai Pagoda as the 49-metre-long dragon’s head at the entrance gate was meticulously pieced together from 12,000 broken glass bottles and pieces of pottery. In front of Hoa Long Vien is a 36-meter-high tower, hanging the heaviest bell in Vietnam – 8,500 kg in weight.

 Beside the bell tower stands an 18-metre-high golden statue of Bodhisattva, which is decorated with over 600,000 flowers. In addition, this place also has a display house for gems, ancient porcelain and fine art wood.

In addition to admiring the unique architecture, tourists and Buddhists also have the opportunity to learn about the 18 levels of hell. Going through these 18 levels of hell, people will experience many things in life about the philosophy of good and good, how to treat people, how to live kindly.

Truc Lam Zen Monastery

Truc Lam Zen MonasteryThe Monastery located on Phung Hoang Mountain, next to Tuyen Lam Lake, about 7 km from Da Lat. The monastery has an area of ​​24 hectares founded on April 8,1993, and completed on February 8, 1994. This is considered to be the largest monastery in the country both in terms of space and the size of the gathering. In the main hall only worship Buddha Shakyamuni holding lotus branches.

Right outside is a majestic tower inside hanging a large bell 1.98 m high and weighs 1.1 tons above engraved with poems by “Truc Lam Dau Da”. Truc Lam Zen Monastery does not only has an ancient and magnificent beauty like other temples but also hides many mysteries of the spiritual world.

Domaine de Marie, Da Lat

Domaine de Marie, Da LatThe Domaine de Marie Church, also known as Vinh Son church, is an architectural cluster consisting of a chapel and two rows of Bac Ai Thanh Vinh Son monastery with a total area of ​​12 hectares. The church is located atop a hill in Da Lat. It is built in a style reminiscent of 17th Century French architecture. However, this church has it special and different from the classical churches of Europe.

The roofs of the church have their origin from the design of Nha Rong – a typical style of stilt house in Central Highlands of Vietnam. Another example of the interaction is the 3m-high-statue of Mary, created by a French architect, but resembles the image of a Vietnamese woman. In general, the two competing styles has creates an absolutely creative and intrigue complex.

Address: 01 Ngo Quyen, District 6, Da Lat city.

Linh An Pagoda

Linh An PagodaLinh An Pagoda is a sacred pagoda located in the middle of the majestic mountains and forests of Da Lat. With traditional architecture and a typical peaceful, quiet space, this place attracts tourists from all over to seek purity and peace of mind. Linh An Pagoda is located on Ta Nung Pass, about 30km from Da Lat city center. Coming here, you will be overwhelmed by the main hall, which is 1,400 square meters wide. Inside, there are many large and beautiful Buddha statues and Guanyin statues. In addition, Linh An Pagoda also has a notable architectural work, the most prominent one at Linh An Pagoda in Da Lat and the 70m high statue of Avalokiteśvara – one of the tallest statues in Vietnam; The special Tinh Thanh garden, which contains nearly 500 white statues of Avalokiteshvara, of the same shape, about 3 meters high, Maitreya Buddha statue was built with a height of 12.5 meters, a width of 6.5 meters and a surface of horizontal up to 9m.

Location: Ba Dinh Street, Nam Ban Town, Lam Ha District.

Famous historical and architectural attractions in Da Lat

In addition to the poetic beauty, magical waterfalls and lakes, Da Lat city is also famous for many historical works with unique and beautiful architecture such as 

Tran Le Xuan Palace

Tran Le Xuan PalaceTran Le Xuan Palace is a complex of three villas, built in French architectural style, located at 2 Yet Kieu Street, Da Lat City. During the First Republic of Vietnam, this building was the resting place of the families of Tran Le Xuan and Ngo Dinh Nhu. After Ngo Dinh Nhu and his brother, President Ngo Dinh Diem, were assassinated and Tran Le Xuan lived in exile, this project became a tourist destination.

Tran Le Xuan Palace includes three villas:

  • Bach Ngoc Villa: entertainment place of Tran Le Xuan’s family and high-ranking officers during the First Republic period.
  • Hong Ngoc Villa: Tran Le Xuan built a plan for his father, Mr. Tran Van Chuong.
  • Lam Ngoc Villa: Tran Le Xuan’s family’s weekend getaway.

The entire villa area is over 13,000 square meters. Bach Ngoc Villa is equipped with a heated swimming pool. Behind the Lam Ngoc villa is a Japanese flower garden. Lam Ngoc Villa also has an escape tunnel and shelter.

Hang Nga Villa

Da Lat Crazy HouseHang Nga Villa or Crazy House (known in English as: Crazy House) is a guesthouse in Da Lat, located at 3 Huynh Thuc Khang on a campus of nearly 2,000 m². This house is famous for its special architectural style.
Hang Nga Villa includes many buildings and guest houses, cafes and art galleries with a distinctive style. The building’s interior includes caves, winding hallways, winding staircases, quirky furniture and large animal statues. There are no straight lines and straight angles, and  everything appears as if it has been melted at high temperatures and then frozen in a grotesque shape.
Between the buildings are tree stumps, gnarled tree roots made of concrete and giant spider webs made of wire. There is a small tea room inside a large Giraffe statue. The rooms are named Gourd, Kangaroo, bear, bee,… Rooms can be booked for regular overnight stays. Currently, each year “Crazy House” welcomes about 100,000 visitors, most of whom are foreigners.

Bao Dai Summer Palace

Bao Dai Summer PalaceThis is the Third Mansion of Bao Dai Emperor that served as the summer palace for him. Bao Dai Palace is a two-story mansion situated on a hill in the Love Forest. It has front and back flower gardens. It was built from 1933 to 1938. The ground floor was reserved as the Emperor’s working space, while the upstairs was the living space of the whole royal family. The latter comprises a library, entertainment room, and large dining room.
In addition, the palace also contains valuable and well-preserved artifacts that were left behind, including Hue royal antiquities, a large white bust of Bao Dai himself, and an engraved glass map of Vietnam.

Address: 01 Trieu Viet Vuong Street, Ward 4, Da Lat city.

Tourist spots attract check-in enthusiasts

Da Lat has many beautiful landscapes for tourists to capture and take virtual photos of. If you want to buy yourself a beautiful set of sparkling photos, remember not to miss the following check-in locations.

Da Lat railway station

Da Lat railway station

It is an attractive tourist attraction, containing many cultural values ​​of Lam Dong in general and the local people in particular. The railway station was designed in 1932 by the French and opened in 1938. Largely unused during Vietnam War, the line was gradually dismantled after the North Vietnamese victory in 1975.

However, it was returned to a limited level of service in the 1990s. Up to now, a 7 km section of the line between Da Lat Railway Station and the nearby village of Trai Mat was restored and returned to active use as a tourist attraction. 

Address: 01 Quang Trung Street, Ward 10, Da Lat city.

Da Lat Flower Gardens

Da Lat Flower GardensThe gardens has an entire area of 7000 square meters and is divided into many different areas including a flower exhibition area, nursery area, greenhouse area, statue garden, entertainment area. Visitors can explore a variety of different gardens, including a giant cactus garden, Bonsai garden, fields of orchids, and rose, hydrangea displays.

Besides the local flowers, there are also other kinds of flowers that have been brought to this garden such as daffodils, lilies, lavender, mimosa… Totally, with more than 300 different flowers grown to serve the needs of visitors, this is the most ideal check-in point.
Address: Tran Quoc Toan, Ward 8, Da Lat

Clay tunnel

clay tunnelsClay tunnel, also known as Da Lat sculpture tunnel, is one of the largest underground sculpture works in the world. This place has become an attractive tourist destination in Da Lat for domestic and foreign tourists to visit and check in. The tunnel has a total length of more than 2km.

The space and context of the tunnel are designed according to two main themes: history of the formation of Da Lat City and educational humanistic cultural story. Many famous architectures of Da Lat city have been recreated such as: Linh Son Pagoda, Chicken church, Da Lat railway station, Da Lat market, two strange Basalt red soil houses… all are sculpted with clay. 

Address: Ward 4, Da Lat City.

Strawberry gardens

Strawberries are one of the famous specialties of the city of flowers. Coming to Da Lat strawberry gardens, you can not only visit and pick ripe strawberries yourself, but also see and see where products are made from such as strawberry wine, strawberry jam and check in with ripe strawberries.

Strawberry gardens

Refer to some famous strawberry gardens of Da Lat:

Lam Dong specialities

The cool weather is a “favorable time, favorable place, and harmonious people” condition for you to enjoy the culinary paradise when explore Da Lat. Below is a list of “must try” dishes that you should save in your Dalat travel guide right away!

Hot soy milk

Like in many other places, Da Lat soy milk is also prepared very simply. Soybeans will be soaked, pureed, then filtered to get water and finally boiled. Some shops will add sugar, milk or pandan leaves to create a special flavor.

hot soy milk

However, when the weather is cold, there’s nothing better than a cup of hot, fatty bean milk. Soy milk is often served with cakes… for a warm late-night meal.

Chicken hot pot

When traveling to Da Lat, you must definitely try the famous delicious chicken hotpot with local herb leaves. The weather is chilly, sitting around a steaming hot pot. The sour broth has a sharp taste and is eaten with chewy, crispy, sweet chicken that makes you un-fogetable.

chicken hot pot

To accompany this chicken dish with local herb leaves, you can eat it with vegetables, mushrooms, vermicelli,… to increase satiety and full nutrients.

Can cake

Can cake is one of the names loved by many diners. The cake is made from delicious rice flour and a little spice like salt for flavor. Poured into terracotta molds, sold in a folded pair and traditionally filled with quail or chicken eggs. But recently, some restaurants have added seafood and meat fillings to give tourists more choices.

Can cake

A crispy noodle soup fresh out of the oven, eaten with a bowl of fish sauce and a little shredded raw mango…waoo!

Beef Hotpot

Beef hot pot is always ranked as a “best-seller” and is popular with tourists. With the chilly weather, enjoy a hot pot of beef hotpot. Rich broth, fresh beef served with vegetables and rice noodles. The delicious taste of beef hot pot will make you addicted and just want to go to Da Lat to enjoy this dish. The most popular beef hot pot dishes are beef shank, beef ribs, and oxtail.

beef hot pot

Below are some other specialities that you should try or buy as a gift for friends or family members.

  • Fruits: famous with strawberries, avocado, persimmons, banana, peach, jackfruit… 
  • Da lat wine: Dalat wine (also called Vang Dalat) is one of Dalat’s specialities. 
  • Vegetables: spinach, salad, rose potato, cauliflower green and white, white cabbage
  • Dalat Flower tea
  • Jams that were processed from strawberry, persimmon, plum and patata.

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