Dalat Travel Guide
Featured on a series of green pine-covered hills, a silent small lake in the center, a set of flower gardens and French-style architecture and cooler climate than the other surrounding areas, Dalat is an ideal getaway from the busy and bustling city life.
Here are some Dalat travel information that you need to know before traveling to this lovely city. Keep reading and plan for the trip.
1. Dalat weather
Located 1,500m above the sea level and covered by green forests, Dalat has spring-like cool weather instead of tropical hot and humid weather like other parts of the country. In Dalat, you can experience 4 seasons in one day.
Dalat has two distinctive seasons: dry season and rainy season. The dry season is from November to March while the rainy season lasts from April to October. The average temperature is around 18°C – 21°C, the highest as 30°C and the lowest as 5°C. With its pleasant weather, Dalat is always a great break from the heat and stuffiness of Vietnam’s big cities.
Besides, Dalat’s temperate climate is ideal for agriculture. In recent years the number of farms and plantations around the city has grown rapidly. It provides most of flowers and vegetables for the massive markets across the south of Vietnam. Dalat is also very well-known for its variety of flowers and orchids as well as expansive pine forests.
2. Best time to visit Dalat
The best time to visit is in the dry season, from November to March when the weather is pleasant and a little chance of rain, perfect for outdoor activities. However, you should prepare trousers and jackets as it will get chilly, especially at nights. Traveling to Dalat during this time, you will have chance to see many famous flower gardens in full bloom and take part in Dalat Flower Festival, which is held every 2 years in December.
It is best to avoid visiting Dalat in the rainy season, the wettest time of the year, when the downpours may interrupt your trip. In return, you will benefit from cheaper rates of hotels/ flights and fewer tourists.
3. How to get to Dalat
It is quite easy to get to Dalat as there are daily direct flights operated by Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, Vietjet Air from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Danang, Hue and Hanoi. The flight just takes 1 hours from Saigon and less than 2 hours from other cities. One-way ticket costs you about 30-70 USD.
Dalat’s airport is 30km south of the city and is linked by a modern highway. City shuttle buses are available just outside the airport and tickets can be purchased from the counter next to the baggage collection area with price of about 40,000 – 50,000 VND. Or you can catch a taxi to the city center, which will cost you under 250.000 VND.
If you are coming from Saigon and don’t want to fly or you are traveling from Nha Trang, you can take a local bus. Phuong Trang (Futa) and Thanh Buoi double-decker buses are recommended and the buses run every 2 hours. The journey to Dalat from Nha Trang is around 3-4 hours while it takes about 6-8 hours from Ho Chi Minh City. A ticket price of a bus is much cheaper than that of a flight but it will also take considerably more time and be less comfortable.
Driving your own car or motorbike to Dalat is not advisable since the road can be rather tricky, bumpy and the traffic doesn’t make it any easier.
4. Accommodation in Dalat
There are some great value homestays available in Dalat with dorm rooms available about 4-10 USD. However, there is no shortage of high-end hotels, luxury resorts and villas.
Saigon Dalat Hotel (4 star)
Located right in the city center, Saigon Dalat Hotel includes 160 luxurious rooms built and designed in an impressive modern French architecture. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning system and modern equipment. Here guests can also immerse in high-class relaxation services such as gym, tennis court, bar-cafe system and warm indoor swimming pool.
Golf Valley Hotel ( 4 star)
Golf Valley Hotel is nestled in the heart of Dalat, just within walking distance to the Xuan Huong Lake and Dalat Market. The hotel has a total of 164 stylish rooms and suites, all with private balconies and state-of-the art facilities.
Ana Villas Dalat Resort & Spa (5 star)
Ana Villas Dalat Resort & Spa includes 17 villas line cobble-stone roads and verdant gardens built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. With its ideal location, the resort is perfect to enjoy exploring the surrounding landscaped areas and local culture and farming countryside.
Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel (5 star)
Built in the early part of the last century, in 1922, Dalat Palace offers luxurious elegance, gracious service and French colonial charm. Majestically overlooking Xuan Huong Lake, hotel offers 5 hectares of rolling pine covered gardens, with an array of conference and salons for your special event. The 43 rooms and suites are spacious and designed in typical Edwardian and Art Deco style.
Dalat Edensee Resort & Spa (5 star)
Dalat Edensee represents a first-class destination combining breathtaking surroundings, personalized service, and spacious sanctuaries of peace and quiet. The elegantly appointed villa units have been thoughtfully designed with delightfully soothing colors, classic fabrics, and warm décor to award each room with a distinct allure. Each villa unit provides a private balcony facing onto Tuyen Lam Lake or lush pine trees where the moment of relaxation overwhelms you instantly.
5. Top attractions in Dalat
Bao Dai’s Summer Palace
Known as Palace Number 3, Bao Dai’s Summer Palace was used as a retreat by the family of King Bao Dai, the last king of Vietnam. Built from 1933 to 1938, the cube-like art deco exterior angled away from the entrance point, disguises the true size of the palace, which contains 25 rooms built within the colonial architectural framework. The ground floor contains the public rooms for visiting dignitaries, including a large formal dining room and library. Upstairs are the private living quarters of the family, including the bedrooms of the King, Queen, Princes and Princesses. The palace is surprisingly simple, showing the modest lifestyle of the King.
Truc Lam Monastery
Located on Phung Hoang Mountain, Truc Lam Monastery sits 5km out of Dalat, near Tuyen Lam Lake. It is best accessed by cable car from Robin Hill. The ride takes about 10-15 minutes and costs 100,000 VND for a round trip. As a functioning Zen center, the inner part of the monastery is closed to the public so the monastic practitioners can practice without distraction. The monastery is quite simple but sits amidst beautiful scenery, with views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Dalat Railway Station
Built in 1943, the recently renovated Dalat Railway Station has a quaint art deco style, with Vietnamese architectural elements. The interior features the original ticket windows. There is an original wood-burning steamer train on the tracks at the rear of the station. Visitors can hop on for a short ride of about 7km following the historic line to a tiny village, named Trai Mat where you can pay a visit to Linh Phuoc Pagoda. The train operates about 5 times per day and needs at least a group of 4 to 5 people to be able to make the trip.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Linh Phuoc Pagoda is a beautiful Buddhist shrine which is famous for its unique stunning mosaics surface. Completed in 1952, the pagoda is often known as the broken glass pagoda due to its structure which are all inlaid with thousands of eye-catching pieces of broken terracotta, porcelain and glass. Located about 8km from city center, Linh Phuoc Pagoda is an impressive place to explore with several large altars, a huge tower and many other record-setting features.
Dalat Central Market
Dalat Central Market represents the heart of Dalat. Local fresh produce such as artichokes, dried fruits, vegetables and lots more are available here throughout the day. In the evening, the market is crazy busy with thousands of people shopping and socializing. This colorful market is worth a visit for its locally-made specialties such as artichoke tea, coffee, Dalat wine, preserves and candied strawberries. Be sure to go upstairs, as the second floor houses food stalls which make for a tasty and cheap meal.
XQ Embroidery Village
Even if embroidery is not your thing, the artworks at XQ Village will impress. What appear to be detailed paintings are actually hand embroidered works, delicately stitched on site. Laid out like an art gallery, XQ offers the finest examples of Vietnamese embroidery. Those are all handmade products which must take months and years to be completed.
Xuan Huong Lake
Xuan Huong Lake is always named out first in the list of Dalat attractions with its prime location in the heart of city together with its poetic and romantic scenery. Approximately 5km in diameter, the lake is a favorite location for Vietnamese lovers and honeymooners. On the good days, strolling around the lake or taking a swan boat ride is very relaxing and comfortable.
Tuyen Lam Lake
About 5km south of Dalat, Tuyen Lam Lake rates as the biggest lake in the area, covering 320 hectares. Because of its various sources, Tuyen Lam is known as the lake where rivers, springs and forests meet. Kayaking tours of the lake are available, but need to be booked prior. Elephant rides through the pine forest are available here.
Dalat is very well-known for magnificent waterfalls.
Dalanta Waterfall is about 3km away from Prenn Waterfall, 6km from Dalat City. This is no doubt one of the most visited waterfalls in Dalat. The roller coaster system at Datanla Waterfall is regarded as the unique one in this city. There is also a variety of adventurous activities here for tourists such as canyoning, kayaking, rappelling, zip-lining, water sliding…
Prenn Waterfall is located at the foot of Prenn Pass, about 10km from Dalat city center. You can take a cable car trip over the waterfall but many people prefer to walk up the path behind it. It’s more fun and you can get wet by that way. There are also some interesting activities such as horse carriage riding, thrilling ostrich riding, and even elephant or water buffalo riding.
It is about 30km from Dalat but on the way, you can make several stops at coffee and tea plantations, a silk factory, a rice wine distillery, and even a cricket farm. At the Elephant Falls, you can enjoy your wonderfully serene surroundings and let the sound of the water ring in your ears. Since the current is quite strong, you can’t swim there but climbing the boulders around the falls is just as fun.
A little further to drive than Datanla, Pongour Waterfall is roughly 50km from the center of Dalat City, but it is worth a visit. The waterfall offers a more poetic feel compared to the other waterfalls in Dalat. The flow of water here is more gentle and it cascades down the multi-layered rocks, offering an extraordinary sight for visitors. It is also cleaner and quieter here, as many tourists miss this hidden treasure.
It is recommended to spend at least 2 full days to explore Dalat. For the best Dalat itinerary, just contact our Travel Consultant team to plan your trip.