Dalat Vietnam travel guide

Wednesday, 17/09/2014, 13:36 GMT+7

Dalat Vietnam Travel Guide - Experience Travel In Dalat 

Dalat is the stepping stone to the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This former French hill station with its own mini replica of the Eiffel Towere stands at 1475 metres. It is a breath of fresh air both literally and metaphorically after the mayhem and humidity of HCMC.

dalat vietnam travel guide

  • From the north via Nha Trang on the coast. The most common tourist route is up and down the coast travelling by open tour buses or train. Dalat is a short detour inland from the hub at Nha Trang.
  • From the north via the Central Highlands. Some more adventurous travellers will avoid the coastal route and head inland from Hoi An then go through the beautiful Central Highlands on the way to Dalat. Please note that permits are required to enter most of these central districts and travel with a guide and private transport is recommended.

      1.Dalat Accommodation and Transport

Almost as soon as you appear in public in Dalat you’ll be approached by men on motorbikes claiming to be ‘Easy Riders’. These guys will take you around on the back of their vintage motorbikes on day trips to the surrounding area or on extended tours.
We met several of them taking tourists from Dalat through the Central Highlands to Hoi An and some tourists have enjoyed the experience so much that they have continued all the way to Hanoi.
It seems that the ‘Easy Rider’ idea was started by a local teacher who had a restricted number of riders but as their notoriety grew every local man with a bike started calling himself an ‘Easy Rider’. From the people we met in the Central Highlands, riders and passengers, there is no doubt that this is a great way to travel and was the highlight of SE Asia for some travellers. However, in Dalat these men become a real pain offering their sevices from the moment you step off the bus and wherever they see you in town. They’ll follow you to your hotel insisting on showing you their notebook of recommendations from previous clients and really don’t give you any peace. The best thing to do is tell them that you aren’t interested from the beginning then take some time to decide what you want to do before agreeing any deal with them. Don’t worry, they’ll never be far away if you want one.

     2.Dalat Sightseeing and Tourist Attractions

  • Tourist Attractions

For a day excursion around the local area the ‘Easy Riders’ offer a great service provided you’re comfortable on the back of a motorbike. They’ll charge you about $10 US for a day excursion to the main attractions around Dalat which will probably include a visit to Chicken Village, a Koho minority people’s village where a huge concrete chicken stands above the wooden houses. From here most excursions continue on to visit a silk factory where you can watch the whole process of producing silk scarves, then proceed to the impressive Elephant waterfalls. Similar routes covering other waterfalls and alternative craft industry visits may be offered.
Within Dalat itself it’s difficult to do the main sightseeing on foot as the main sights lie well away from one another and at this altitude and with some steep hills around you’d be better off getting around on the back of a motorbike or taking one of the daily sightseeing tours offered by Vietnambudgetcarrental.com

dalat vietnam travel guide

  • Highlights of Dalat sightseeing tours include Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace, the Linh Phuoc Pagoda and Dalat railway station. A landscape sightseeing tour takes you a little further out of town and the Langbiang Mountain hiking tour takes you to a traditional Lat village by four wheel drive from where you walk the steep hill to the top of the mountain for stunning views over Dalat and beyond. No matter what they tell you in the office, a good level of fitness is recommended for this climb.
  • Private Tours from Dalat

On the Langbiang Mountain hike we were accompanied by Vietnambudgetcarrental.com the manager of this company. He told us of a trip he’d just done with a couple of Australians which began in Dalat and continued north through the Central Highlands ending in Hoi An five days later. He quoted us a price of $50 US per day per person (there were two of us) for the services of him as a guide plus a driver. This seemed quite expensive at first considering local prices but we decided we’d take the tour for three days ending in Nha Trang. This trip would prove to be the undoubted highlight of our time in Vietnam. 

3. Local Advise

Commiting to the Central Highlands tour which followed was a concern because of the mosquito factor as we would be off the tourist trail but again there was no problem.Vietnambudgetcarrental.com assured us that there were no mosquitos which seemed a likely story from a guide looking for business. But he was true to his word and I don’t recall seeing hardly any during the five days we travelled through the centre

4. Best Local sharing Experience in Dalat Vietnam

  •  Cable Car and Truc Lam Pagoda

We took a cable car ride to the top of a hill where a tranquil Buddhist temple called Truc Lac sits, facing the beautiful Dalat town below. While the girls were snapping away at the beautiful flower garden there near the temple, I kinda sneaked away to explore the outer parts of the place. I pretty much had enough of temples (from my previous Cambodia trip) and wanted to see something new

Getting lost and found a lake just after a pine-tree covered hill. 
Ok. so, that's not exactly a lake. Just a glimpse of blues in within a crisp layer of pine-trees. I only made to the gate-way that would've led me to the lake. hahaha

  • Datanla Falls

The name of this place sounded so much like our Malay word with almost the same spelling "Datanglah" which means "welcome"

Datanla Falls. Noticed how shiny the statue's boobs are! I heard the locals rub it for good luck.Half-naked statues aside, no-one was allowed to bath at the waterfalls. But that wasn't the main attraction there. Datanla Falls is actually more famous for their outdoor activities - roller coaster ride (like below), cliff climbing, forest trekking, and abseiling in the waterfalls! Unfortunately.The Alpine Couster at Datanka Waterfalls. Exhilarating! 

  •  Bao Dai's Summer Palace

How did the royal people of Vietnam lived l ike? Was there anything unique and traditional about how the royals lived their lives? When I stepped into their house, all I see was a westernized way of living except one part of the house where there was a beautifully decorated throne. It was to me, surprisingly simple.

It belonged to the last king of Vietnam named Bao Dao and used as a summer palace. The family lived a pretty modest life despite their royal status.

  •  Hang Nga’s Crazy House (Crazy House), Dalat

The owner of this house turned artistically, twisted hotel is actually a daughter of a very influential person in the region. She is an architecture and has acknowledged that the building's desing was inspired by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish Catalan architect

We sure had fun discovering the many weird pathways going all over the place! Haha!
I personally thought it as a gigantic playground for adults. We could play the children's game "hide-and-seek" and will never be found. Am sure of it! =P

  • XQ - Su Quan Co. Ltd.

This place is a silk embroidery factory and we came upon it by chance while waiting for the rain to stop outside. We didn't know about this place and turned out to be a very pleasant visit! Everything on display was threaded in silk. A delicate patch of artwork!

There were many things on display behind big glassed frames. Hanging high on the walls of this store or factory, or whatever you call it. You could also watch one of the workers working on a piece. Upstairs there's a great display room where you'll see a large dining table and decorated on its walls are large artworks of life-size people in extraordinary silk embroidery! I tried catching the liveliness off the artwork but my camera failed to do the job! 

  • Dalat Railway Station

The railway station is over a century old, the oldest railway station in Vietnam and is built in the French colonial architecture. We wanted to take a ride in it but since it was so late in the afternoon and it raining, the operators decided to cancel the ride. Oh ya... there's a quota of 12 people to ride the train to have it operational. Since there were only the six of us, it was still not possible to ride on one. Oh ya, it's listed as a national architecture relic since 2001

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