Dalat is located in the southern part of the central highlands region. At 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level the temperature is a lot cooler in contrast to the rest of the country. With surrounding waterfalls, mountains and forests of pine trees there is plenty to explore in this region of Vietnam. Yet in this post I’m going to focus on things to do in Dalat city only.
Check Out The Night Market
In the centre of the city you’ll find a huge bustling market. From food to souvenirs, clothes to artwork, you can pick up almost anything you could possible need here. The street food here is as cheap and delicious as it comes! With stall after stall selling the best Dalat has to offer.
Being that the region has such a temperate climate, they are able to grow fruit and vegetables that are not possible anywhere else in Vietnam.
This makes the market a real sight, with strawberries, artichokes, potatoes, broccoli and avocados.
The market kicks off as night falls, and the whole city descends upon it. It really is the centre point and well worth a visit or two, Carly and I have eaten there 4 out of 5 nights!
Have A Drink At The 100 Roofs Bar (Maze Bar)
This is one of weirdest and most unusual bars I’ve ever been to.
The place is surreal, much like the Crazy House (I’ll get to that later), 100 roofs bar is a maze of small rooms and staircases. Spanning over 4 or 5, maybe even 6 floors, it’s hard to keep track! This bar is the perfect place to play a game of hide and seek.
Buying a drink is required to enter, with drink prices being a little higher than your average Vietnamese watering hole. A Saigon beer will cost you around 40,000 VND, cheap by western standards but considering the price is usually between 12 -20,000 it’s a little more pricey.
Once you have your drink you are free to wander around and get lost inside this creepy establishment. With low ceilings and small, steep staircases in dimly lit rooms a little caution is advised.
Don’t miss going out through the back and up through the garden to the highest point, here you’ll have a great view over the city, especially at night!
It’s a must do if you’re ever in Dalat, this kind of bar wouldn’t fly in the western world with health and safety regulations so grab a drink, find a spot in one of the many rooms and appreciate the weirdness!
Take A Walk
Dalat’s French colonial style, steep inclines and small winding streets make it a very different experience to many Vietnamese cities. With flowers and the greenest grass it is a beautiful place to stroll around.
Much like Chiang Mai in Thailand there’s a big coffee culture here. With the cooler weather the small quirky coffee shops outweigh the bars by a long way. Walking the streets it’s all too tempting to visit every single coffee shop, but believe me, if you did you’d be here a long time.
Dalat is centred around its huge man-made lake, Xuan Huong Lake. Which brings me onto the next one of my things to do in Dalat city.
Walk Around And Rent A Boat on Xuan Huong Lake
It takes roughly an hour to circle Xuan Huong Lake, with a footpath going the whole way around. With people fishing and families having picnics it’s a nice way to see how the locals spend their down time.
For a mere 60,000 VND you can get yourself a pedalo boat for an hour. Take a break from the traffic and pedal your way around and watch the world go by.
The perfect activity for couples or a group of friends to enjoy a stress free hour and see the city from a different perspective.
I don’t know if the boats are meant to resemble the traditional swan, but they sure look like chickens to me!
Visit The Crazy House
Hidden away on the South-West side of the city you will find Hằng Nga guesthouse otherwise known as The Crazy House.
This architectural oddity is well worth a visit. Entering the complex is like walking into a Salvador Dali painting recreated by Disney, With an obvious Gaudi influence. The buildings overall design resembles an old tree, favouring organic shapes and lines over conventional straight walls and 90 degree angles.
It costs 50,000 VND for entry and takes about 30 minutes to an hour to explore all its weirdness!
So that concludes our short list of things to do in Dalat City.
There’s plenty more to do temples, cable cars and many waterfalls! Maybe I’ll cover them in another post!
Have you visited Dalat yet?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!