Resembling the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia (except that it is better!), Dalat is located in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam. This romantic town boosts a mild climate all year round and is famed for her sweet wine among other awesome stuff. Also known as the Valley of Love, Dalat used to be the playground of the French (imagine flowers in bloom amid quaint French settings) but has since evolved as a honeymoon destination for the locals. Today, it is also the perfect hideaway for anyone who is looking for a retreat. Well, I was certainly in need of one when I made my way there.
(XQ Historical Village, Dalat)
Getting to Dalat
Accessible by plane and buses, it is most convenient and advisable to travel from Ho Chi Minh if you are coming from overseas. The most common mode of transport would be the buses, which takes about 7 hours at the affordable price of US$8 (note: this was during 2010, inflation might add a couple more $$ for current price). To purchase your bus tickets, simply visit any of the travel agency along District 1 (near De Tham Street) of Ho Chi Minh City. My personal preference for travel agency is Sinh Cafe Travel.
On the other hand, travelling by air takes about 45 minutes and one-way ticket probably costs about US$45-60 inclusive of taxes (note again this price backdates to 2010). You can find out more by visiting Vietnam Airlines.
Duration of Stay
Dalat serves well as a weekend retreat but a 3night stay would be more ideal after the tedious 7-hour ride (each way!).
Things to Do
Plenty! Of course, our limited stay of 4 days (out of which 2 were taken up mostly by travelling to and fro the destination!) did not allow us to explore all options. However, we did make full use of our days in Dalat. Sis loved it there and sought to return with the bro-in-law. 🙂
We kickstarted the touring of Dalat with the Easy Riders for the 1st day, followed by another day’s tour with the local travel agency. As the tours for both days ended in the late afternoon, we were able to explore on foot around town as well as find our own entertainment during the evenings. Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor (still is my preferred choice for information) were my best friends then.
I will let the photos do the talking.
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. Check out http://www.dalat-tourist.com/ for more information on Dalat.
From Me to You:
A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In Vietnam