Top 3 things to do in Dalat

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Dalat
Dalat

We didn’t expect to spend so much time in Dalat, but after ten days we had trouble tearing ourselves away! It’s a charming city in the mountains of Vietnam, perfect for couples looking for a romantic retreat, adventurers looking to get outside, foodies looking to eat — basically, us! Dalat has something for everyone! More than anything, I suggest you take a long walk around Dalat. There is so much to see, various flower parks, cute neighborhoods, old French mansions, and more. If you’re planning a trip to Dalat {as you should!}, feel free to shoot me an email for more suggestions. Otherwise, here are my top 3 things I think everyone should do in Dalat, in no particular order.

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Cable car to Truc Lam pagoda

Cable car to Truc Lam pagoda
Cable car to Truc Lam pagoda

We started out just wanting to take the cable car {like a gondola at a ski resort} for the view, but when we arrived at the top, we were blown away. We hadn’t really known what we were going to see, and ended up loving our time at the monastery! Truc Lam is a zen monastery sitting on the edge of Tuyền Lăm Lake. The same lake we stayed on at Binh An Village! The monastery sits on a huge swatch of forested land, a small portion of which have various buildings and temples. You can walk around the flower gardens and temples, see monks walking peacefully in their orange robes, take in a view of the lake. We were, randomly, interviewed by a Vietnamese Tourism TV crew who asked us what we felt while visiting the monastery. Both of us could think of no better word than “peaceful” — it was such a calm, serene environment. I was ready to move in! The cable car ride was worth it, too, for a great view of Dalat and the mountains.

Pongour waterfall

Pongour waterfall
Pongour waterfall

About 40 kilometers south of Dalat you’ll find Pongour Waterfall. You can arrange for a tour, or rent a motorbike and make your way down there on your own! We stopped on our way out of town en route to Mui Ne, and I’m glad we did! You have to make a steep climb down to the bottom of the waterfall, but the view is absolutely worth it. Be careful on the slippery rocks, and have fun taking in the scene!

Motorbike to Lak Lake

Dalat
Motorbike to Lak Lake

If you want to experience a little bit of the central highlands motorbike experience, this is a great one-day drive from Dalat! Lak Lake is beautiful, surrounded by rice paddies and ELEPHANTS {!!}, and great place to spend a quiet night outside of the city. You can go by yourself, or hire one of the many “Easy Riders” in Dalat to take you up there for an overnight. From there you can either continue up to Buon Ma Thuat and see coffee and tea plantations before making your way back to Dalat or down to Nha Trang on the beach.