Dalat is my favorite city in Vietnam. The weather, the attraction, and the people are lovely in this little town. How much do I love this place? After I traveled all the way from Saigon to Ha Noi, I supposed to catch a flight to Cambodia, but I had extra few days then I decided to go back to Dalat again!

Escape the tropical hot weather and beach, now it’s time for some fresh mountain air and the fantastic mix of good food and adventure!


General

Location

4 hours bus ride from Nha Trang and 8 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City.

Currency

Vietnamese Dong (VND). You can get 20,000 VND to 22,000 VND from $1 USD

Language

Vietnamese. Most of the hotels, restaurants, and attractions staffs speak English.

ATMs

ATMs are easily accessible in the city.

Climate

The weather in Dalat is pleasantly warm during the day, but it can be cold at night. Due to the location and the climate, you should expect rain at least once a day.


Get In and Out & Bus Time Table

By Plane

Dalat is served by Lien Khuong Airport (DLI), around 35 km from the city; there are only domestic flights to this airport. Getting to the town from airport is easy. There is shuttle bus service at the airport which will drop you off at your hotel for 40,000 VND.

If you prefer to take a private taxi, it would cost around 180,000 VND to 200,000 VND. You can purchase the ticket for both bus and taxi in the terminal. Or simply ask you hotel to organize a pickup for you which cost similar to a cab.

By Bus

This is the most popular way for backpackers and locals to get into Dalat. Futa bus (Phuong Trang) drops off at Dalat bus station and the ticket should include a shuttle service to the hotel. Some companies drop off in the city.

Check with your hostel if they will pick you up when you arrive. They know about the bus lines and timetables. Write down the directions to the hostel because the second you got out of the bus, taxi and easy drivers will approach you.

Dalat Bus Station 01, Tô Hiến Thành, Phường 3,Tel: +84-94-800-4756

The Sinh Tourist Office For city tour and bus ticket,22 Bùi Thị Xuân,Tel:  +84.63.3822663,Open: 06:30 – Close: 22:00

Futa (Phuong Trang) Office For taxi and bus booking,11A/2 Lê Quý Đôn

Download Printable Timetable


Get Around

Walk

It’s mostly sunny and breezy in Dalat so it’s a pleasant way to explore this lovely city. But it’s located in the mountain area so maybe wear a pair of nice shoes!

Motorbike

Simply rent a motorbike from the hotel, it costs 120,000 VND for an automatic one. Make sure you wear a helmet to protect yourself!

Taxi

Use reputable taxis so they run on meters and have a price chart. Mai Linh (Green taxis) is a reliable choice.

Easy Rider

Easy rider is a great way to tick off the must-sees of Dalat. Choose to ride your own bike or let a professional rider drives you around. You can even go all the way to a different city and enjoy the scenic view on the road.

Price depends on where you go, discuss the details with the driver. A half-day trip cost me 300,000 VND.


Where to Stay

Cozy Nook Hostel

This is where I stayed both times. A young couple runs here, and they are sweet, helpful and truly cares about the guest.

It only has two dorm rooms, and each can accommodate 12 people. Toilet and shower are ensuite.

They offer group dinner, which they called “Family Dinner” every day for $3, I would recommend to join the dinner, get to know the people, share travel stories and make new friends!

Also, the bed is so comfy and soft that I sink into it and sleep like a baby.

Dalat City Guide | Cozy Nook Hostel | Traveler Tale

Mr. Peace Backpacker’s House

This is the recommendation from others. Mr. Peace has a party vibe going in the hostel, free beer, happy hour and rooftop bar right on the property.

Dalat Travel Guide | Mr. Peace Hostel | Traveler Tale

Dalat Family

A lot of backpackers stay there. How do I know that? Because I always see people wearing a t-shirt with “Dalat Family Hostel” walking around in the city!

Located in the city center, so it’s easy to get around. They offer different activities for the night and big recreation area.

Dalat Hostel Guide | Dalat Family Hostel | Traveler Tale

Where To Eat

Trong Dong

A small restaurant that serves Vietnamese food. The menu was creative, and the dishes were delicate. I had beef wrapped in leaves and chili squid; both are delightful.

Da Qua Cafe

Located on a quiet street, serve both Vietnamese and Western dishes. Food is delicious and cheap.

Dalat Night Market

Maybe don’t go to a diner for a night and check out the night market. There are tons of food, fresh fruit, clothing, and much more. It’s cheap and exciting to explore the area.

Long Hoa Family Restaurant

A family restaurant that provides tasty Vietnamese meal. I had lemongrass chicken, and it was fantastic and cheap. The staff wasn’t too hospitality; I didn’t feel welcomed.

Central Market (Cho Da Lat)

If you want to find local food, this is where you go. This was recommended by hostel staff, and it was interesting to walk around the center and try some different Vietnamese cuisine.


Where to Drink & Nightlife

100 Roof Bar (Duong Len Trang) (Cafe Tram Mai)

This is a MUST GO in Dalat. I had to go through a 6-story giant maze to get to the rooftop. I wonder how drunk people got out. The experience was one and only in the world.

Oh, and happy hour was cheap! 🙂

The Hangout Bar

This is a spot where all backpackers hangout. Looks a bit dodgy to me at first since it looks dusty from the outside and people sit on the street. Cheap beer, good music, chilled staff, and stream live sports.

Troung Cong Dinh

The main street of Dalat where you easily find a bar to drink!


What to See & Activites

Ride a Roller Coaster to Dantala Waterfall

Take an individual roller coaster, which I controlled the speed, down to the Dantala waterfall! This was a highlight of my trip. If you’re a hiker, it is an easy walk down the hill!

Roller Coaster | Dalat Guide | Traveler Tale

Explore the Waterfalls Outside of the City

There are plenty of waterfalls around. The closest one is Dantala; then there is Elephant (Thac Voi)and Pongour Falls. The further you go, the less tourist you will see. Pongour is 50km away from Dalat, and there was almost no one there, it was pleasant to walk down the hill and have the place all to myself!

Elephant Fall is strong, powerful and magnificent, I was far away from the fall, and I could still feel the water splashed on my face. I ventured all the way down to the fall; it wasn’t easy. The rocks are slippery, and balance isn’t my strong suit, plus I was wearing flip flops which were dangerous. So bring a waterproof jacket, wear nice shoes, and have fun!

*** I don’t recommend to ride a motorbike to Pongour. It’s far from the city, and the road is in terrible condition. I took QL20 to go, which was the main street and plenty of trucks passing by all the time. They don’t care about the rules and my life. Don’t take the risk; it wasn’t worth it.

(The photo below is Pongour Falls)

Canyoning

Canyoning is navigating my way through a canyon. The activity includes hiking, walking, swimming, water sliding, jumping, and abseiling. At first, I was screaming, “WHY DID I PAY TO DO THIS!!!!!!!!” internally, then I accept the fact that there’s no way back, so I embrace the experience.

I signed up from my hostel; the tour has 3 guides for 9 people. They were hilarious, helpful and professional. I was told to bring nothing, but I still brought water, sunglasses, phone and camera which I had to leave in the car. The guide carries 6 big bottles of water and lunch.

You must join a tour to do it; it can easy be done in any hostel. Wear snickers & swimsuit but not the best ones because it’s gonna get filthy, bring nothing and apply sunscreen a lot.

*** Pick the tour wisely. As canyoning is getting more and more popular, there are agencies running tours without a government license, according to my hostel staff. Phat Tire Adventures and Pine Track are two the most recommended option. I signed up with Highland Sport Travel which I am happy with.

Take a Cable to a Zen Monastery and Lake

The trip starts from Robin Hill; you can enjoy a 4km and see the city of flowers, then get off at Truc Lam Monastery and Tuyen Lake.

I hired an Easy Rider to take me to the cable car, he dropped me off at Robin Hill and told me to get a one-way ticket only. I then got on the car, flew through the sky, had a peaceful walk down the lake and saw my driver waiting by the lake. Awesome!

Colorful boats by the lake

Explore the Crazy House

A building that all architecture rules don’t apply. The designer studied abroad then returned to Dalat to build this iconic attraction! Crazy House has hotel service inside so you can even stay there overnight!

An alternative, I would say don’t come here, save the admission fee, escape the crown, spend the money on cheap beer and have fun in 100 Roof Bar!

Crazy House | Dalat Guide | Traveler Tale

Taste the Local Dalat Wine

I am not sure how I feel about Dalat Wine, but let’s just say, I had a wild night. Give it a try!

Vang Dalat is the most well-known brand. It costs 80,000 VND.

Chill by Xuan Huong Lake and Read a Book

A banana shaped manmade lake at the city center. Perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon! Buy a fresh coffee and enjoy the breeze by the lake!

Here are some more activities I didn’t do but would love to try someday.

  • Pick Up Fresh Fruit From the Farm

  • Visit Bao Dai Summer Palace and Learn Vietnamese History

  • Trek on Lang Biang Mountain and Take Photos of Dalat City

  • Travel on an Ancient Train

  • Ring a bell and send wishes to Buddha at Linh Phuoc Pagoda