‘The dreamland’, ‘The miniature of Paris’, or ‘The city of flowers’, it’s how people called Dalat city. This city is famous for its cool weather and the brilliant flowers there. I did travel to Dalat many many years ago, the things that I could remember were hills with a lot of flowers, a night market with fresh fruits, and coffee shops that I and my family spent for nighttime. At this time coming back, Dalat surprises me with a lot of beautiful scenes, mountain pass roads, and delicious foods. Let me show you around this city!
About Dalat City
Dalat was firstly discovered by the French when they’ve been looking for a place to create a resort in the highlands. Today, ‘The miniature of Paris’ is a well-known destination in South Vietnam by its cool weather and many beautiful scenes.
The city would be most beautiful in winter – in Nov and Dec. The weather is cool (or a bit cold) and all the flowers are blossom at that time. Those things make Dalat shining brighter than ever, and becoming the ‘hottest’ place for family time or the most romantic place for lovers.
Before the Trip – Tips to Enjoy Dalat
Phuong Trang (futabus.vn) and Thanh Buoi (thanhbuoi.com.vn) are the most popular carriers. You can check their websites for the timetable and book tickets. There is a flight from Saigon to Dalat if you don’t want to cross the pass road by bus. Riding a motorbike is also an option.
People travel to Dalat a lot, especially in Nov and Dec, when it has Flower Festival. Making sure to book a place to stay there before you go, or you will be struggling to find a sofa for resting. A place near Dalat market or Xuan Huong Lake would be ideal.
Dalat would be most beautiful in Nov and Dec, if you go at that time, the weather can be quite cold. Hence, bringing warm clothes is necessary. Locals sell sweaters and coats at Dalat night market, you can buy some if you forgot. Also, trousers are better than shorts in this case.
If you don’t ride a motorbike to Dalat, hiring one, around the Dalat market, is a good idea to enjoy Dalat like a local. A motorbike is a flexible vehicle that helps you fully enjoy the cool atmosphere of the hills, the beautiful scenes while crossing the pass, and easily get to the restaurants which are hidden in the alleys.
Be careful if you want to catch a Taxi. They may drive you around for a higher charge. If you don’t use a motorbike, better use ride-hailing apps instead. Those in Vietnam include Grab, Gojek, or Be.
Dalat has many alleys, you can ask people there for directions, or better to have a map on your smartphone.
Okay, now you are prepared well. Let’s go exploring this city!
Dalat City Attractions to Visit
1. Xuan Huong Lake
Located right at the center of the city, Xuan Huong Lake is well-known for the game driving duck boat. Around the Lake are coffee shops with lake and city views, and a lot of street foods at night. A great place to spend time relaxing!
2. Dalat Market
Also placed at the center of the city, near Xuan Huong Lake. Dalat Market is a destination that almost all visitors come to when going to Dalat. You can buy many fresh fruits, wines, sweaters, etc. here. There are many stores that sell drying fruits, and Dalat’s specialty at the market.
Furthermore, Dalat Market and the surrounding area are the top spots for a lot of street foods. If you love Vietnamese pizza, grilled sweet potato, grilled egg, BBQ, etc., you should put this place on top of your travel destinations in Dalat.
Quick Tip for Eating at Dalat Night Market
- You shouldn’t avoid the street-foods at the steps of the stair. There are stories from people who were charged about $18 for just two bowls of vermicelli noodles, or approximate $13 for a porridge bowl. It’s better to find a restaurant or ask the price before you eat.
- If you want to try soy milk, going to Tang Bac Ho street is better. Soy milk sold on the street might be a problem for your stomach. It’s the same place that has Bánh Căn in the morning. You can see the places below in the Bánh Căn section.
- In case you want to buy the brocade wallet, the price is about VND 30,000 for 3 pieces. You shouldn’t pay too higher than that. A little higher is acceptable.
- Remembering to carefully ask the price and bargain before you decide to pay for the stuff.
3. Langbiang Mountain
Langbiang Mountain is about 12km from Dalat City. It’s also known as the rooftop of the area.
From the bottom, visitors will have choices from trekking, catching a jeep, or riding a horse to reach the peak. Of course, with the last 2 options, you must pay a fee. To me, I usually choose option 1. As Dalat’s weather is cold most of the time, so why not take that advantage to live slowly by strolling to the peak!
4. Tuyen Lam Lake
With a 320ha area, Tuyen Lam is the biggest freshwater lake at Dalat. The lake is located near Phung Hoang mountain, which is 7 km away from Dalat city center. The lake is surrounded by a pine forest and has many oases.
Coming to the area, you will be able to enter the studios built around the lake for visitors to take beautiful photographs. Alongside, the locals are trying to open restaurants, cafes, and hotels around the lake for the travelers to take the services while enjoying the beauty of nature there.
5. Truc Lam Zen Monastery
Truc Lam Zen Monastery is located at Phung Hoang Mountain, above Tuyen Lam Lake, about 5km from the center of Dalat. Being one of the most sacred pagodas in Vietnam, the monastery is certainly the spiritual destination if you are looking for peacefulness.
6. Clay Tunnel
Clay Tunnel is a new destination for tourists in the nearby time. Located in the area of Tuyen Lam Lake. If you interest in clay and want to find a place to photograph, definitely Clay Tunnel could be the one.
7. Cau Dat Tea Hill
Located at Cau Dat town, which is far far from Dalat City, about 25km. Cau Dat Tea Hill currently is one of the hot destinations that people visit when they come to Dalat. For beautiful photoshoots, you should get to this destination at 10 – 12 a.m.
8. Strawberry Farms
Strawberry is a famous and special fruit of Dalat. If you worry about the quality of strawberries sold at markets, you can find the good ones at strawberry farms around the city.
Quick Tips for You to Buy Good Strawberry
- Doing a quick search of the strawberry farm before you come. Don’t ever listen to anyone who invites you to visit their farm. It could be a trick.
- Carefully checking the mulberry juice’s color before you buy. It may be fake.
- When you buy a box of strawberries, remembering to open the box after purchase. They might change the bad ones already.
9. Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Located at 120 Tu Phuoc, in Trai Mat’s area, about 8km from the central Dalat. Linh Phuoc Pagoda is well-known for a decorated dragon made by 12,000 empty bottles and the Pagoda is also made of terracottas.
10. Dalat Train Station
Dalat Train Station is a National Historic Site of the city. The Train Station is built from 1932 to 1938 by the French. Nowadays, it is an attractive destination, especially for photography lovers.
11. Cu Lan Village
Cu Lan village is located at the foot of Lang Biang mountain, 20km away from Xuan Huong lake. The village is about 30ha and is home to the K’ho ethnic people. At Cu Lan village, visitors can join a lot of activities such as kitting, rowing, fishing, etc. In addition, there are many local foods to enjoy and also, the village has areas for visitors to rent for staying or camping.
12. Golden Spring and Silver Spring
A very good place to enjoy nature at Dalat. From the central of Dalat city, visitors can follow Truc Lam direction then turn left and get straight 12km, the Golden Spring and Silver Spring will appear. At the destination, there is Ankroet dam, which is the first hydroelectric project of Vietnam built-in 1943.
The Best Part, Foodtour in Dalat
1. Bánh Căn
Made by grilling rice flour with an egg. Bánh Căn is eaten with Vietnamese meatball sauce.
The addresses are:
- 4 Tang Bac Ho street.
- 7 Tang Bac Ho street.
- 22 Tang Bac Ho street.
- In front of 62 Phan Dinh Phung.
2. Grill Rice Paper aka Vietnamese pizza or ‘Bánh Tráng Nướng’
One of the iconic street foods in Dalat, the grilled rice paper, or Vietnamese pizza as I call it, is sold a lot at Dalat Market or around Xuan Huong Lake. However, you can find here some address that many visitors come to:
- 61 Nguyen Van Troi street.
- 112 Nguyen Van Troi.
- 53 Nguyen Van Troi.
- At the corner of Hoang Dieu & Tran Nhat Duat streets.
- 56 Thong Thien Hoc.
3. Nem Cuốn, Nem Chua, Chả Lụa
Here is some address:
- 254 Phan Dinh Phung street.
- 4 Bui Thi Xuan street.
- 1 Chi Lang street.
- 2/2 Tran Quy Cap, ward 9.
4. Bánh Ướt Gà
This is the must-eat food when coming to Dalat city. Its taste is good and especially, it’s unique (at least I haven’t found it anywhere else). The address is at 15F Tang Bat Ho street.
5. BBQ and Wild Meats
Cu Duc at 6A Nguyen Luong Bang, ward 2.
Nam Qua restaurant – the area of Tuyen Lam Lake, this place must be accessed by the boats.
You can find many street-food stalls around Xuan Huong Lake. I have spent a night gathering with my friends at a streetfood stall. Indeed, it’s one of my favorite places for the nighttime in Dalat city.
7. Sweet Dessert
There are many dessert restaurants at Dalat but the most special and perennial one is Thanh Thao at 76 Nguyen Van Troi. The well-known there is the avocado cream that everyone must try when come.
8. Beautiful Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are places that I really like to come to when I’m at Dalat. There are some outstanding coffee shops that you must visit:
- Cafe Bich Cau – Bich Cau Oasis, in front of the city’s flower garden.
- Rose Villa Cafe – 4 Huynh Thuc Khang.
- Dalat Train Cafe – 1 Quang Trung.
- Dalat Night – 4 Dong Da area.
- Windmills Cafe – 113 Phan Dinh Phung 2 or 3/2, ward 1 or Le Dai Hanh, ward 1.
Honestly, it would be hard for me to list all the coffee shops here because Dalat city is like a holy land of beautiful cafes. Trust me, you just need to travel to this place, outstanding cafes are just around you to choose from.
9. Other Foods
There are also a lot of other Dalat foods that you can find around the city such as Pho, Noodle, Com Tam, Bun Bo Hue, Banh Cuon, etc. You should choose the restaurants that have many visitors inside, people always come for good food!
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