Though not as well-known as the other economic hubs of Vietnam, Da Lat has steadily grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the new wave of travelers hoping to experience Vietnam outside the metropolises. Before you book that Airbnb Vacation rentals in Da Lat, Vietnam, here are 5 reasons why Da Lat should be on everybody’s bucket list.
See Da Lat’s Waterfalls
Da Lat is one of Vietnam’s premier highland vacation destinations. It has most of civilization’s comforts while being just a few steps away from gorgeous natural wonders. In fact, Da Lat is home to several majestic waterfalls that any visitor shouldn’t dare miss. Here are some of them:
This stunning 20-meter stepped waterfall is one of the prides of Da Lat. Found just right outside of the city, this waterfall can grow to about 100 meters wide during the rainy season. The waterfalls are surrounded by mountains that act as a natural amplifier, which helps the sound be heard from several meters away.
Another nearby waterfall is Datanla Falls, located just a few kilometers outside the city. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area for foreigners and locals alike, this waterfall is also one of the most commercialized sporting amenities, such as zip lines, cable cars, and even a mini roller-coaster.
Yet another eye-catching waterfall you shouldn’t miss. It is located 45 minutes away from the city bus and is one of the most recommended waterfalls to visit. Like Pongour, Elephant Falls is largely untouched though it has started to gain traction. The best time to visit is during the rainy season when the falls are at their peak.
Read more on Vietnam Waterfalls.
Visit the Many Pagodas in Da Lat
Spirituality is also one of the defining features of Da Lat and many locals would flock to the city as pilgrimages or simply to pay respect to the spiritual centers. There are several places of worship found within and around the town, both Catholic churches and Buddhist temples, and most of them are adorned in such unique decorations. Here are some of the most notable ones:
Linh Son Pagoda
This quaint shrine is perfect for people who want to get some quiet time away from crowds. Though smaller than the other pagodas, it more than makes up for it with its gorgeous display of authentic architecture. It is located on a hill on the outskirts of Da Lat, giving it a gorgeous view of the city below.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Unlike the hidden gem that is Linh Son, the Linh Phuoc Pagoda stands as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and with good reason. The temple boasts a stunning facade with intricate details. The pagoda is also known for its massive 37-meter bell tower right within the complex.
Truc Lam Pagoda
Truc Lam Pagoda is a recent addition to the many pagodas within the city. Built on Phuong Hoang Mountain, the temple is home to various images of the Buddha and several other religious artifacts. The temple is open all year round and it even has a cable car service for convenience.
Try the Local Eats in Da Lat
They say one of the best ways to get to know a new place is through their food, and Vietnamese food in general is always a delight to try. Da Lat is no exception. With favorable weather conditions and vast green lands, Da Lat’s fruits and vegetables are the most prominent delicacies. Here are some of the best gastronomic spots to visit:
Artist Alley Restaurant
Good food and amazing always go great together, and this is especially true in Artist Alley Restaurant. Guests get to enjoy Vietnamese and French cuisine as they listen to live music and admire the several art pieces inside. Because of its charming atmosphere, the restaurant is popular among locals and tourists alike.
100 Roofs Cafe
This rather unassuming building holds a magical secret inside. The 100 Roofs Cafe, despite the name, is a bar filled with fantastical art pieces. The space inside is filled with eye-catching decor that will surely tickle your imagination. The “cafe” does serve delightful Vietnamese coffee, but patrons also come here for their cocktails.
La Viet Coffee
If you are looking for some delicious coffee mixed with a unique ambiance and experience, then you wouldn’t want to miss La Viet Coffee. Part coffee shop part farm, the place exudes a classic industrial feel that patrons love. Besides serving coffee, they also offer guided tours in the facility where guests can see how their coffee is prepared, brewed, and served.
See more on What to Eat on a Da Lat Food Tour.
Learn more about Da Lat’s History
Though younger than most cities in the country, Da Lat does not lack when it comes to history and culture. As the prime leisure city for the French governors during the colonial era, there are many landmarks scattered throughout the city that every history buff will love.
To get a glimpse of French colonial life, head on over to the French Quarter. This village is home to several original French villas and domiciles, some of which date back to the 1920s. These villas were popular summer homes by the colonialists back in the day and are now one of the most popular destinations in the area.
Summer Palace of Bao Dai
This used to be the summer retreat of Vietnam’s last feudal king of Vietnam, Bao Dai. Right here, several priceless artifacts related to the king’s monarchy are still carefully preserved. It has spacious rooms, a personal library, and several rooms. Today, the palace is open for tourists and visitors to explore.
Meet the Locals in Da Lat
Finally, no visit to Da Lat is complete without meeting the locals. You get a chance to experience the true connection to the people’s culture and lifestyle as you explore the city. Here are some of the best spots to check out:
Central Market is the place to go if you want authentic and cheap Vietnamese grub. Many stalls offer lots of local delicacies from noodles to barbecue. The market can get very busy as it is only open during the day. If you love the crowd and some delicious street food, Central Market is the place to be.
This quaint village just 15 km north of Da Lat is home to the Lat people. These indigenous people settled on the hills of modern-day Da Lat and where the city got its name. The community is also home to other hamlets from other tribes. Here you get to experience the life of the natives and see authentic traditional houses.
Planning your first trip ever to Da Lat? Make sure to check out our Da Lat Travel Guide.