Dalat is a hill station in Central Vietnam known for its beautiful hills and lakes. It is a place not to be missed when in Vietnam. The city’s cool weather is a welcome respite from the stifling heat of other cities in Vietnam. So, it is no wonder that the town was once used by the French as a summer retreat. Its temperate climate is akin to spring so it is famously known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’. Surrounded by mountains, lakes, and a whole lot of greenery, Dalat is a popular city among the Vietnamese as a summer getaway and honeymoon destination.
Best things to see and do in Dalat
Let’s take a look at some of the best things to see and do in Dalat
Relax in Xuan Huong
Xuan Huong is an artificial lake shaped in the form of a crescent moon in the heart of Da Lat city. It is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and flowers. Most of the popular sites in Dalat are located near the lake.
Thuy Ta pavilion has always been associated with the lake. The iconic white building has always been a popular place for visitors. Located on the lake’s shores, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee and enjoy the view. You can also go for swan boat rides or relax on the lawns by the lakes.
Witness the stunning architecture
Since Dalat used to be a summer retreat for the French, there are many French colonial buildings that are still standing. Aside from the French influences, Dalat also has many unique buildings. If you love architecture, you can check out the magnificent Dalat Railway Station also known as the Cremaillere Railway Station. It is one of the most famous colonial-style buildings in the town. Built in 1932, the art deco building stands out with its bright yellow exterior and colored windows. The train station also has on display old carriages and even a Japanese Steam engine. When it comes to colonial architecture you can’t miss out on the churches. Two such churches in Dalat are the Domaine De Marie and the Dalat Cathedral. One building in Dalat that defies all expectations is the Hang Nga Crazy House. This is truly a one-of-a-kind building designed by the famous Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga and was designed to look like a fantastical tree with its various tunnels, ladders, rooms, and statues.
Explore the waterfalls and lakes
Dalat is famous for its natural beauty and out of all the natural sites in the town, the most famous has to be the several waterfalls and lakes you can find in and around the town. Besides the already mentioned Xuan Huong lake, there are many lakes you can visit, like, the Ho Than Tho, also called the Lake of Sighs, Tuyen Lam lake, Dan Nhim lake. Each lake has its own charm and are great places to relax and enjoy the beauty of mother nature. The waterfalls of Dalat are also beautiful and worth a visit. You can go and explore one of many falls in Dalat which includes Prenn Fall, Tiger Cave Fall, Elephant Falls, Dambri Fall, Panguor Fall, etc.
Visit the pagodas
Every city in Vietnam has its own temples and pagodas. Dalat is no exception. The colorful and ornate Linh Quang Pagoda was founded in 1931 is considered the oldest pagoda in Dalat. The Truc Lam Zen Monastery is a peaceful and calming place near Truc Lam Lake. Here you can either experience zen meditation or just simply admire the views. Another pagoda you should check out is the Linh Phuoc Pagoda. It is also called Dragon Pagoda and is a remarkable pagoda made from glass shards and pieces of pottery. You can admire its glass mosaic dragons and the Da Bao tower made out of pieces of bowls. One more pagoda you should check out is the Thien Vuong Co Sat or Chinese Pagoda which is known for its three beautiful sandalwood Buddhist statues 4m tall.
Visit the coffee plantations
Dalat is one of the most fertile areas in Vietnam. The hills on the way to the town are covered in lush fields and greenhouses. And the most popular crop here is coffee. Coffee has been an integral heritage of the Dalat region ever since the French introduced it to the region. Ever since then the locals have embraced coffee and made it their own. You can see their passion and love for coffee everywhere you go. There are coffee plantations everywhere. There are cafes serving delicious coffee and every time they roast the beans the aroma covers the entire street making it an unmissable experience. You can also go on coffee tours and learn more and even get a chance to taste the coffee produced in the region.
Dalat is a special place with its beautiful architecture, lakes, quaint cafes, and magnificent sites. It is no wonder that the town is often called ‘Little Paris’. A place filled with romance and poetry, Dalat is truly a city synonymous with spring. The town should definitely not be missed out on your Vietnam trip. However, in order to visit Dalat, you will need to apply for a visa through the Vietnam embassy or consulate in your home country or online using a government-approved visa company like BDATrip. If you are a citizen of Germany, you can directly apply for a visa here.