Dalat in Vietnam - touring and sightseeing guide and pictures.

About Dalat and different ways of travelling to Da Lat in Vietnam.

Located on a lovely plateau within the southern central highlands of Vietnam, Dalat is the capital of Lam Dong Province. Da Lat is a popular tourist destination with good communications and there are plenty of things to do and see while on holiday there including visiting some beautiful Pagodas.

Flying to and from Dalat.

The nearest airport to Dalat is Lien Khuong International Airport and this is around 30kms from the city. There are 3 Vietnam Airlines flights a day to Saigon and 1 flight per day to Hanoi - there also seems to be one flight three times a week in and out of Da Nang. Thien Vuong dragon, Dalat in Vietnam. Generally booking just a day in advance should be ok for Saigon but the Hanoi flight needs to be booked 4 or 5 days in advance if possible as seats often seem to go quickly or you may end up having to pay out for the much more expensive business seats. The Da Nang flights definitely need to be booked as far in advance as you can i.e. a week ahead or better if possible. When we last visited Da Lat the taxi fare from the centre of Dalat to the airport was around USD15 with a little negotiating but as always in Vietnam make sure to agree the price before getting in the taxi.

Travelling to and from Dalat by Bus.

There are local and tourist buses connecting various parts of Vietnam which operate services through Dalat - for instance Ho Chi Minh is around a seven hour bus trip and Dalat to Nha Trang takes around five hours on the bus.

Hiring a Car and Driver from Nha Trang to Dalat for the trip and what you can see on the way.

The drive from Nha Trang to Dalat is really worth doing as you start off along the Vietnamese coast passing through several picturesque fishing villages before turning off at Prang Rang-Thap Cham (see our Nha-Trang guide for information about visiting the Cham Temples there). The route then takes you inland and up into the pine tree covered hills - the narrow road is very steep and full of hairpins and the views as you get ever higher are excellent. Obviously the advantage of being in your own hired car enables you to stop frequently to enjoy it all. The road is often bisected by huge pipes which end up near to the top of the hills at the large Da Nhim Power Station. Once over Ngoan Muc Pass the descent is far less steep - the road widens and you pass lots of farms and several small villages before eventually reaching Dalat.
Visiting and having a few days holiday in Dalat makes a complete change from locations in other parts of Vietnam which we had previously visited. Being a hill station at 1500 metres the air is much fresher in Dalat although it is still quite hot there - however the evenings cooled down considerable. It's a mixture of a town with typical Vietnamese tube houses in the Old Quarter and very impressive "French" mansions on the other side. Dalat was very popular years ago with rich French who used the town as a getaway from the Vietnamese heat and is now said to be the favourite spot for Vietnamese honeymooners.
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General view of Da Lat Town in Vietnam. Da Lat houses - Vietnam. Dalat Eifel Tower in Vietnam Dalat Tubehouses, Vietnam
The French influence is perhaps best seen by the Vietnamese version of the Eiffel Tower and the large dusty pink coloured

St Nicholas Cathedral in Dalat

which was consecrated in 1931. Known locally as Nha Tho Con Gaas it has a rooster on top of it's spire and the cathedral has 70 stained glass windows which were created in Grenoble.

Xuan Huong Lake in Dalat

was created by the French in 1919 by damming the Cam Ly River - the lake has a circumference of around 7 kilometres and is paved all the way round so ideal for walkers and joggers. The lake when it's wet has facilities for small boat hire and there are several cafes available.
St Nicholas Cathedral at Da Lat, Vietnam Xuan Huong Lake, Da Lat - Vietnam. Vuon Hoa Thanh Pho flower gardens at Dalat in Vietnam. Flower gardens at Vuon Hoa Thanh Pho - Da Lat, Vietnam.
Just about halfway round the lake from the town centre are some nice flower gardens called

Vuon Hoa Thanh Pho Da Lat

- which are open daily 07:30 - 17:00 and have an entrance fee of around 8000 Dong. The gardens are well paved and quite nice to wander around for an hour or so - you can also get an ice-cream or perhaps buy drinks and sit under some shade whilst consuming them. There are also quite a few water features built into the flower and shrub beds.
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