Dalat is an intriguing little town. The series of French Colonial villas scattered around the hills gives it an almost European feel. The French built this town as a peaceful escape from the big cities, and they did a fantastic job; Dalat is seen by many as the prettiest town in Vietnam. However, it’s not quite as peaceful as it once was. Dalat is now a hot-spot for adventure sports in Vietnam. During your stay you can try your hand at canyoning, mountain biking, white water rafting, trekking and even rock climbing.
While the XQ Historical Village is a bit of a tourist trap, it’s still worth a look as it’s full of traditional houses, buildings and sculptures. A visit here is also a chance to see the local women embroider silk if you’ve never seen this done; it’s quite fiddly so is sure to impress!
Looming out over the village is Lang Biang Mountain. You can climb up it if you enjoy hiking (it takes four hours), otherwise you could drive up if you don’t fancy the walk. Legend has it that this mountain represents the bosom of a star-crossed lover, Bian, heaving her last breath after her father refused to allow her to marry Lang, who belonged to another tribe.
Vietnam’s very own Romeo and Juliet might not bode well for romance in Dalat, however the nearby Valley of Love is another story… There are several heart-shaped cut-outs in this valley, and at night it becomes a moonlit paradise. It’s a honeymooner’s dream, especially if you like a smattering of kitsch!
For something completely different, you could make a trip to Chicken Village (Lang Con Ga) for a fun day out. It’s a quaint little place with lots of local textiles and a 5-metre high cement cockerel taking pride of place in the town centre. Certainly not something you see every day!
We love Dalat because it’s a little different from the rest of Vietnam. Instead of tropical heat, you get spring breezes and instead of rice you get sweet strawberries, coffee and flowers. While you’re there, hire a motorbike for the day and head up to the Ankroet lakes and falls. They’re a secluded spot but beware – there might not be much to see during the dry season!
Plan your trip to Dalat today.