12 Amazing Things to Do in Dalat, Vietnam

Discover 12 amazing things to do in Dalat. Dalat is a city located in the central highlands of Vietnam. It is cooler than most other parts of Vietnam and is famous for its fresh produce and scenery. My single best piece of advice for seeing Dalat is to take a motorbike tour. It is great value for money and you will get to see things you otherwise wouldn’t.

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12 Amazing Things to Do in Dalat, Vietnam

1. Easy Riders

The first thing on this list of things to see in Dalat is to take a Dalat Easy Riders tour. Actually, if it wasn’t for this, the rest of these things may not even be on this list.

I had heard a lot about Easy Riders, so thought I should try it for myself. The great thing about it is it is not a tour group. Only you and the driver. They had a bunch of options, but by the end of it all, I gave him 400,000 VND for the day to take me to his favorite destinations.

Note: There are the official Easy Riders which is all over Vietnam. Many places also have their local ‘rip off’ versions, e.g., Dalat Easy Riders. Unless you are doing a cross-country tour, e.g., Hanoi to HCMC, then go with one of the local Easy Rider ‘rip-offs’. They are more knowledgeable about the local area. They are also more likely to have Vietnamese owners.

2. Go to the Market

That evening I went for a walk into town around the market. Dalat is cool mountain weather and has a vibrant marketplace with a few street foods I haven’t seen before. I tried a few. Nice, but still not as good as Hue or Hanoi.

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Dalat market place is in the middle of town. By calflier001 (DA LAT MARKET VIETNAM JAN 2012) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Eat at Le Voy

I got dinner at a place recommended by the Dalat Easy Rider guide (Chilli), called Le Voy. I ate roast chicken rice. It was very good and well priced (40,000 VND). Le Voy is up the road from the hotel at the roundabout. People know it. Ask someone where Le Voy is and they will point you in the right direction.

There is more information about the hotel I stayed in at the bottom of this post.

4. See the Vegetable Plantations

My Dalat Easy Riders tour started at 0900 and was a full day for $20usd, which includes all (well most) entry fees. I chose a countryside tour of Dalat.

First stop was at a viewpoint, which I guess is the first stop for everyone. Next was another viewpoint with a ten-minute hike. I like hiking and the guide points you in the right direction and you take yourself which was good.

Dalat is famous for growing vegetables, so the viewpoints overlooked the vegetable plantations.

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Overlooking the vegetable plantations

5. Coffee Plantation

Third stop was the coffee plantation. The good thing about tours is that they give you information also. Dalat is the second biggest exporter of coffee in the world (according to my guide). The first is Brazil and the third is Colombia.

In Dalat, they make weasel coffee. Weasels eat the coffee beans, sh*t it out, then humans drink it.

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The weasel eats the coffee beans, then sh*ts them out, then humans drink it.

6. Rice Wine

After that, we went to where they make rice wine. It was out the back of someone’s property. They also sold coffee. Chilli (my guide) explained the process and then I got a shot of rice wine afterward. Much nicer than I’ve tasted before, I guess because it was not mixed down.

7. Village

Next stop was a village. They had a pet monkey (chained up, bit cruel I thought) and my guide told me about the different local tribes. I talked to some village elder. It was a nice experience.

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Monkey at the village. I felt bad for it, the guy just caught it in the jungle and decided to chain it up as a pet.

8. Elephant Waterfalls

Continuing on we went to the Elephant waterfalls. It was pretty good. You can go underneath the waterfall if you don’t mind getting a little wet.

Chilli said that elephants would try to drink there. Then they would slip, fall off the edge, and die. So the villagers called it Elephant Waterfalls. It’s now a tourist attraction. There are no elephants.

They also have a pagoda with a big Happy Buddha and statues of the characters from Monkey Magic. I loved Monkey Magic when I was a kid. The actual story is better known as Journey To The West.

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Elephant Waterfalls

By now it was about 13:00 pm so we went for lunch down the road. 30,000VND for a good plate of food. I thought it would be nice to shout Chilli lunch, the price went down to 50,000 for both of us. I overheard them charging a different group of tourists 60,000 VND per person.

9. Silk Factory

Up next was the silk producing factory. Chilli explained the various stages. Interesting.

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Making silk

10. Mushroom Village

Then we went to a village that produces mushrooms. Again Chilli explained the process, also very interesting.

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Drying mushrooms

11. Orchid Plantation

Then to an orchid plantation. Not as interesting as the last two things but pretty to look at.

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Orchid plantations

12. Datian Waterfalls

Coming towards the end of the day we hit up Datian Waterfalls. It was a nice walk through, but for me, Elephant Falls was better.

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I’m not 100% sure if this picture is Datian Falls in Dalat. By Prenn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

13. Crazy House

The last thing on this list of what to do in Dalat is the Crazy House. I wasn’t going to do this, but I am glad I did.

I know that my heading says top 12 amazing things to do in Dalat, but I didn’t want to put 13 in the title. I’m not superstitious but I know many people are. To those people, sorry I tricked you.

A Vietnamese architect built the “Crazy House”. It is like a fantasy land. It costs 40,000 VND to go in and is worth it. Kind of hard to describe. It reminded me of Alice In Wonderland.

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The Crazy House. Rooms from 25usd – 150+usd. The architecture is not child friendly i.e. they could fall to their doom, but is pretty cool.

I got dropped back at the hotel at 17:00 pm, pretty much on the dot. It was a good tour, and I usually am not a fan of tours. Good value for money. There’s no way I would have seen even 1/4 of the things I saw if I was on my own.

My bus to Ho Chin Minh City (Saigon) didn’t leave until 10:15 am so I went for a good walk. I ate a Bahn Mi for 8,000 VND. Things keep getting cheaper, but Dalat seems pretty cheap as a whole. I also dropped into the local tattoo parlor. I would not get a tattoo done there.

How to Get From Nha Trang to Dalat, Vietnam

I jumped on the bus from Nha Trang to Dalat at 1300. It cost $8usd and took about 4 hours.

I had a Vietnamese girl next to me who spoke a little English. Halfway through the trip, she started throwing up due to motion sickness. It was a very winding trip through the mountains to Dalat but the scenery was amazing.

Cheap Accommodation in Dalat, Vietnam

At the bus station in Dalat, a Dalat Easy Rider’s guide approached me and took me to a cheap hotel. Only $6usd. Very spacious and only a three-minute walk to the city. Also, it was right next door to the Futa Bus Company ticket office. The address is 11a Le Quy Don.

If you prefer to book ahead, you can use the form below to find your perfect accommodation in Dalat.

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