Thanks for reading about our adventures in Da Lat! We are Ines and Marcos. I (Ines) am from Braganca – a city in the north of Portugal – and Marcos is from Porto. We met while studying and have been together ever since. In 2023, we made a big decision – we left our home and our jobs to fulfill a dream: a one-way trip to Southeast Asia. We have been traveling for about five months so far and are currently exploring Indonesia.
Our Vietnam trip took us from the north to the south over a month. We started in the capital of Hanoi in the north, went trekking in the mountains of Sapa and cruised through Halong Bay (which was the highlight of our visit to Vietnam). We then spent a few days in Tam Coc and headed to the center of the country where we checked out Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An. Finally, in the south, we managed to get to Da Lat and Ho Chi Minh City.
During our days in Da Lat, we visited some of the main attractions. We loved the vibe of the city, as it’s surrounded by mountains and the people are friendly. Renting a scooter to discover the mountains of the area was a fantastic experience. Da Lat is also filled with Instagrammable spots – our favorite of which was the Clay Tunnel: a set of beautiful and impressive clay sculptures – from giant motorbikes and planes, to musical instruments. There is a lot to see at the Clay Tunnel and we had fun creating content. We recommend visiting this site as well as the ones listed below.
Best Things To Do in Da Lat
Experience the Datanla New Alpine Coaster
The Datanla New Alpine Coaster is one of the most visited attractions in Da Lat and it’s easy to see why. Essentially, it’s a roller coaster adventure in the middle of nature. The gravity-driven coaster allows riders to control their speed as they twist and turn down the track, providing an adrenaline-pumping experience amidst the picturesque beauty of the region. The tour then ends at the Datanla Waterfall – a series of small cascading falls.
See the Art Installations of the Lumiere Da Lat
The Lumiere Da Lat – Light Garden is an interactive art gallery/amusement park divided into several themes such as a candy room, space room and light room. Each step through the entertainment complex provides a feast for the senses – with an array of light installations, radiant sculptures and glowing pathways to marvel at. Be sure to bring your best camera and outfit because you will be leaving with unique photos for your social media.
Take a Relaxing Walk Around Xuan Huong Lake
This serene lake is nestled in the heart of the city center and makes for a pleasant walk along the tree-lined promenades. Visitors can also jump on a pedal boat for a leisurely trip on the calm waters. The freshwater lake covers approximately 43 hectares and is known for its scenic beauty, with a lush green park encircling its shores. Xuan Huong Lake offers a peaceful escape and stunning views, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Visit the Weird and Wonderful Crazy House
The Crazy House boasts some very strange yet awesome architecture. It’s actually a guesthouse where travelers can stay overnight. This whimsical masterpiece, designed by Dang Viet Nga, resembles a surrealist dreamscape – with its twisting, organic shapes and tree-like structures. Visitors can explore its labyrinthine interior, filled with eccentric rooms, spiral staircases and fantastical decor. Crazy House is a surreal blend of art and architecture, offering an unforgettable experience for those seeking to immerse themselves in a truly unconventional/imaginative environment.
Tips for Visiting Da Lat
While in Da Lat, we spent our nights at a small homestay near the city center which was called Nha nghi Nghia Nhan – and we loved our stay here. The owner of the guesthouse spoke very little English, so we had to use Google Translate to communicate with her. She welcomed us like a family and always made us feel at home. If you are looking for a place to stay in Da Lat, we can’t recommend Nha nghi Nghia Nhan highly enough.
In regards to public transport, it generally works very well in Vietnam and buses are the cheapest way to get from one place to another – especially over long distances. To reach Da Lat, we booked a sleeper bus from Da Nang. The journey took 14 hours though. These trips are made for sleeping through the night and the buses come equipped with benches for beds. This makes it easy to get some shut eye and to pass the time quickly.
Before visiting Da Lat, we were with some friends who had been there a few days before and they told us the weather was cooler than other parts of Vietnam. We had a hard time believing that because when we were in Hoi An it was incredibly hot. But the truth is that when we arrived in Da Lat, the weather was perfect – not too hot or cold. As it’s located in the middle of the mountains, it’s always cooler. So our advice is to bring a warm coat.
Apart from those considerations, just enjoy your time in Da Lat. The city offers a plethora of unique attractions and it feels a bit different to the rest of Vietnam. To continue supporting us on our travel adventures, feel free to follow us on Instagram (where we are most active) and our travel blog which has just been launched. The blog is still in the beginning stages but we plan to start sharing more of our travel tips there in the near future.