Welcome to Da Lat, Vietnam, home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls and nature reserves that you will find in all of South East Asia. Surrounded by lush forests, a man made lake, waterfalls, and rolling hills, the beauty of "the city of eternal spring" will leave you in awe. While many travelers may jump over Da Lat andgo straight to Hoi An, we highly recommend that you spend at least a couple of days exploring this unique and fun city. Once you arrive on to Da Lat, you will be dropped off at the bus station located at 01 To Hien Thanh. If you traveled by Phuong Trang (Futa Bus) then your ticket includes a free shuttle to the hotel or hostel in town. You will be approached by taxis, but make sure to shoo them off.
Once you find a shuttle, just show the drive the address of your accommodations and you should be set. Da Lat in general is fairly small compared to that of Ho Chi Min and Hanoi so getting around wont take very long. Furthermore, the city has very unique architecture with various buildings and structures made out of glass, pottery, and more. Don't worry about hitting all the major spots, as we have made sure to outlined all the sites and activities in the itinerary below.
Getting Around Da Lat
Bus Motorbike Rental Taxi Motorbike Taxi
We recommend that you rent a motorbike for a couple of dollars, as this will give you the most freedom to explore the surrounding area and save you money from having to take taxi's everywhere. Da Lat is very hilly, so while walking is definitely possible, be prepared to be sore the next day.
Activities in Da Lat
There is plenty to do and places to explore in Da Lat in the two days that you are here. One adventure you don't want to miss out on is canyoning with Highland Holiday Tours at the waterfalls around Da Lat. While there are many different companies that offer these tours, Highland is one of the most reputable names in the business and provide everything that you need to have an experience of a lifetime. Click the link in the name to see where they are located in Da Lat so you can book in person. We recommend going at least a day before to assure that you have a spot in the next tour group.
Within the city, you can explore Lam Vien Square which is a park that shows off it's unique art structures.
Once you've finished canyoning, get back to Da Lat and go grab a drink at the exotic 100 Roofs bar or Crazy House. There's plenty more to see and eat but so if you're interested in looking for more, click here!
Da Lat Canyoning Tour
Food In Da Lat
In downtown Da Lat, there are several places that you want to consider checking out. The cafe scene is plentiful and we recommend going to the 100 Roofs Cafe offers a popular cafe with quite an amazing design and an atmosphere that you have to experience for yourself. Some other ones to consider are La Viet Coffee and Peace Cafe. There are plenty more cafes in town too so don't be upset if you don't make it to all of them. For a mix of Vietnamese and Western food that is fairly pried, Artist Alley Restaurant is a good spot to also see some abstract paintings. For a more authentic and homy feel, Goc Ha Thanh Restaurant is you place, walking distance from several attractions like the Da Lat Flower Garden and Xuan Hong Lake, it's a great place to relax and consume delicious spring rolls, homemade yogurt, and various curry and fish combinations. If you're interested in the cheap eats, Gourmet Burger and Wheelhouse Da Lat offer great places to get the most bang for your buck either for Western style food or authentic Asian cuisine. For more options check out the map below or click here for ratings of other top restaurants.
Accommodations in Dalat
Similar to everywhere else in Vietnam, Da Lat offers a wide variety of hostel and hotel options that will fit your needs. If you are a backpacker, we recommend checking out De Lat Family Hostel which is arguably the most popular hostel in this small town. It makes you feel at home at any time of the day. “Mama”, who runs the hostel, brings an amazing vibe to everyone around her and always asks for helps for breakfast and dinner (so make sure to join!). Priced at $10 a day it's on the more expensive side for hostels, so another best seller in the area and less than a mile from the city center, Redhouse offers one of the top rated locations in Da Lat. The hostel offers a good vibe with its colorful art and flowers. There are plenty of options so coming a decision as to where you want to stay is more based on location in town. Check out the map below for more hotel options and click here to book through Booking.com.
Traveling from Da Lat to Hoi An
You have two options when it comes to traveling from Da Lat to Hoi An.
By Bus: You can go to the Futa Bus office in downtown Da Lat and purchase a ticket the day before. It is an overnight bus that leaves at 4pm and gets you to the Hoi An bus terminal at 8am the next day. From there you can take the yellow bus to get into Hoi An town. Be forewarned that this is a long trip and bus drivers can be reckless at times but in general these trips are safe. Price: $19 USD
By Air: Leaving from Da Lat there is one, 1 hour and 30 minute flight per day that arrives in Da Nang. From Da Nang, you can take a 20 minute taxi arranged by your hostel or hotel into Hoi An to avoid being scammed (Price: around $14 USD).
While the prices for these flights range depending on the time you book it, a one-way can start from $38 USD. To view flights, visit vietnam-airline.travel for prices and times.
Thank you for reading our post on Da Lat. If you would like to continue your trip, check out our next post on the next leg of your trip in Hoi An!