Dalat– is known as “Little Paris” is the capital city of Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. It is the city of flowers, strawberry and pine trees with ancient French architecture villas. Having a cup of coffee in early foggy morning, one feels almost transplanted to Europe. Dalat is also the city of lovers, I was usually told that when your heart turns cold, find way to Dalat because you only know how to warm it up when it’s freezing.
Things you may not know
- Don’t be surprised when you find out that Da lat doesn’t have any traffic lights: You want to cross the street? No worries, drivers always give way
- Main transportation in Vietnam is motorbikes, well, it will be a hassle free in big cities like Hanoi, Saigon. If you try to look via foreigner’s eyes, it will be like “Everyone in everywhere is running like a madman. Literally, Vietnamese doesn’t follow any rules of road. However, when you arrive in Dalat, there is a big difference, time is much slower and so people.
- In coffee shops and restaurants, a pot of green tea is always free.
- Datlatters go to bed very early like 9PM and most of the stores are also closed that time.
- Don’t buy strawberry in the market, even if it’s cheap, however the source is from china. It’s recommended to head straight to strawberry farm for picking fresh one.
- Do ask the price before you decide to buy.
- The best way to tour around by yourself is to rent a motorbike.
- Everybody knows everything, ask and talk with local people, you will get some helpful tips or maybe a must-try coffee shop.
- Always book the hotel in advance and take note the address, in case if there is a driver doesn’t understand where you actually want to go.
How to go to Da Lat?
From Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Dalat, you can book the flight ticket at Vietjet or Jetstar. Price is from 50-60$ round trip.
Another way is travelling by bus, you can easily buy the bus ticket at Phuong Trang bus online and head straight to their bus station then go. It will take around 6-7 hours, recommend to travel at night from 10 or 11:00 PM. There is a bus company’s shuttle car takes you to city center or hotel you already booked.
Transportation: Motorbike (Recommended). Rental fee: 2-3$ (50k-60k vnd)/per day. Other ways are renting bike or grab a taxi.
Dalat is paradise of homestay/hostel with budget price. Booking via website like Agoda, chudu24 or mybookings is convenience and you may get a much cheaper price.
Beepub hostel – they have 2 types of room – dorm and standard room. Price is from 6$ to 30$/ per night. It looks totally cozy, facilities was made by recycled stuff, great decoration and helpful staff. Address: 74 Truong Cong Ding, Da Lat, Vietnam
Tre’s House – dorm and standard room. Price is from 5- 25$. It’s not too big but unique decoration and artistic. A highlight here is they have a wonderful garden in a backyard. Okay staff. Address: 491A Vo Truong toan, DaLat
La Nha Homestay – dorms, tent and rooms. Price is from 10$ to 35$. It’s near the center more than tre’s house. Beautiful view and decoration. Address 77 Hoang Dieu, 5 district, Dalat.
Things to do in Da Lat
- Ho Xuan Huong Lake – this is a heart of Dalat. You ether can choose walk or ride a bike.
- Nicholas Cathedral, Dalat – is also known as chicken church. This is a largest church in dalat, one of the oldest France architecture. Address: Tran Phu, district 4, dalat.
- Crazy house – Hang Nga’s guest house Described as fairy tales house. The building’s overall design resembles a giant tree, incorporating sculptured design elements representing natural forms. Entrance free is about 3$. This is a unique place to take some nice shots. Address: 03 Huynh Thuc Khang Street, Ward 4, Dalat.
- Night Market – next to Ho Xuan Huong Lake. A lot of nice stuffs and secondhand with cheap price.
- Love Valley and city garden: Entrance fee: 1$ – 20.000 VND. 5km away from city center, best way to travel is by motorbike, don’t forget to use google map, you will not get lost here J
- Lang Biang – it’s 15km away from city center. Recommended to come here in the afternoon to catch the sunset.
- Strawberry Farm – Dalat has so many strawberry farms which are fun to take photos and pick fresh strawberries. Price is around 12$ per kilo (200k-250k vnd). Here are some trusted farms:
Van Thanh Strawberry farm – Entrance fee: 1$ – 20k vnd
Bio Fresh Dalat – Address: Ho Xuan Huong street, District 10, Dalat. Strawberry’s type: France & New Zealand
Japanese strawberry farm – Address: 162 Thanh Mau, District 7, Dalat. Strawberry’s type: Japanese
Ba Vai strawberry Farm – Address: #50 Ho Xuan Huong street, Dalat. . Strawberry’s type: France & New Zealand
Eat and Drink
Exploring Dalat and check out some local food, its big lost if you missed anything I listed down here:
- Banh My Xiu Mai – meatballs mixed with soup adding up some spring onions, it’s eaten with fresh bread. This is a basic breakfast of dalatters. You can try it at Lien Hoa street, Hoang Dieu or Tang Bat Ho.
- Banh Trang Nuong – BBQ rice paper with egg,dried shrimp and spring onion. Just 10k vnd (0,5$) you already have a crunchy snack with delicious taste. Very Yummm. It’s easily found out at night market, Ho Xuan Huong Lake..
- Banh Can Dalat – it’s rice cakes eat with mince pork soup and spring onion on the top. Address: Banh Canh Dalat #7 Tang Ho Bat Dalat
- Banh Canh, Hu Tieu, Other kinds of noodles, etc.
Talking about Dalat, it’s an absolute must to visit coffee shops as
- Windmills Coffee – Nice coffee with vivid decoration. Address: 133 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Dalat
- La Viet Coffee – a famous coffee shop for dalatters. Address: 200 Nguyen Cong Tru
- Dalat train and Villa – #1 Quang Trung.
About the Author:
Linh Dang is a Vietnamese Expat in Kuala Lumpur. She is someone who appreciate the little things in life. When she is not on the road, you can find her zipping a cup of coffee in any cute coffee shops in KL. Follow her photo snaps and coffee adventures in Instagram!