Da Lat is one of Vietnam’s “hidden gems.” It’s a cool weather city, heavily influenced by European culture, and tucked away within a beautiful rolling countryside.
It’s got great views, a perfect climate, and tons of fun outdoor activities for you to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a unique adventure that’s off the beaten path, Da Lat is the place for you.
And in this article, you’ll learn all about the city. When to visit, where to stay, and what to do. It’s a complete travel report, and one that’s sure to help maximize your experience.
Let’s get started!
What Living In Da Lat Is Like
Da Lat is like no other city in Vietnam. The town is located in the central highlands, a mountainous region known for its cool weather and beautiful hilltop views. It’s a welcomed break from the sweltering heat cramped urban environment of Ho Chi Minh.
Additionally, the people of Da Lat are very nice and friendly. Strangers wave at you, pedestrians smile as you walk by, and the whole town as a very upbeat and positive atmosphere.
On top of all this, Da Lat is very affordable.
A big bowl of beef pho costs $1.50. Ice cream is a nickle. And you can take a six-mile cab ride for $8.
It’s a fantastic place.
Lastly, this is a great community for anyone who likes outdoor activities. You can hike up mountains, go boating. Drive motorbikes around the countryside, and experience the thrill of exploring a vast open land that’s ripe for adventure.
Where To Stay In Da Lat
Da Lat isn’t a big city, but it is spread out. Because of this, location maters. A lot.
The place you stay can really make or break your entire experience.
Because of this, I recommend that you stay downtown. Or, at least within a few minutes of the city-center. Otherwise, you’ll miss out.
Unfortunately, unless you’ve already been there in the past, it’s hard to find a good, centrally located hotel. There are so many options online, that it gets too overwhelming.
Luckily, I’m here to help.
Below are my top three picks for staying in Da Lat. Each one of these is in a good location, and I’ve sorted all the options by price.
As such, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.
(Here’s A Picture I Took From The Villa’s Backyard)
This is a nice, clean, affordable hotel about three minutes from the city-center.
The staff is friendly, the rooms are nice and spacious, and you get several great amenities. There’s free high-speed Internet in every room, complimentary tea and coffee, and daily housekeeping.
The Bach Duong Villa is a great place to stay and very comfortable.
It’s also inexpensive, with rooms costing under $30 a night.
When you’re looking for a great hotel that’s reasonably priced, this is your best option.
(Rooms Are Spacious And Clean)
Monet Garden Villa is an excellent mid-range luxury hotel.
It’s in a good location (near the city’s old train station), has clean rooms, and gives you access to some really terrific amenities.
There’s standard staples like free high-speed WiFi in every room and housekeeping, but you’re also given a few more freebies. Ones that really help to maximize your time here.
There’s a gym, sauna, and spa. Every room comes with a complimentary breakfast. And there’s on-site tennis courts and a restaurant for relaxing and having fun. Lastly, the Monet Garden Villa also offers a bar and karaoke, if you’re looking for some nightlife entertainment.
(The Definition Of “Old-School Cool”)
This hotel is the cream of the crop. And one the best lodgings in the entire world.
The Da Lat Palace is a five-star, historical, luxury resort. Originally built in the 1920’s, it’s been a major symbol of wealth and opulence for generations.
Located right downtown, it’s within walking distance of the city’s massive lake, the Da Lat Palace has it all.
Gourmet dining (even if you don’t book a room, it’s worth eating here while you’re in town). A golf course, a library, fitness centers and tennis courts, complimentary bottled water, and free bathrobes.
On top of all this great stuff, you’re also staying in one of the most historical buildings in all of Vietnam. It’s got beautiful architecture, a rich past (Larry Hillblom, founder of DHL Shipping, spend $40 million to restore the place), and top-notch service.
Despite the terrific amenities, and exquisite comfort, the Da Lat Palace is still surprisingly affordable. Rooms cost just over $100, which is a tiny price for such grand luxury.
When you’re looking to treat yourself to the finest lodgings possible, make sure to book a room here.
Things To Do
(View From The Mountain)
There’s a lot to see and do around town.
The temperate climate makes it easy to enjoy all sorts of fun outdoor activities, from paddle boating around likes to hiking up mountaintops.
In the city you’ll find a beautiful botanical garden filled with all sorts of colorful flowers.
This is a great place to walk around, and it’s an excellent location for first dates. There’s enough to see and do, that you and your girl will be entertained for hours.
(Da Lat Botanical Garden)
Outside of town, you’ll find Lang Biang Peak. This is a 2,167 meter climb, and the view is spectacular.
There’s a paved trail, making it easy to walk the mountain, and the park service offers jeep rides to the top. Both are fine, but you’ll get more value from hiking. It’s good exercise, and lets you savor the views as you work your way to the summit.
Lastly, in the center of Da Lat there’s a big lake. This is fun for afternoon walks, fishing, and early evening paddle boat rides.
When you have some down time, head out here and relax. Read a book by the water, or grab an ice cream cone and walk along the shore. It’s a good way to unwind and take in the city’s small-town charm.
Women are friendly here, and foreigners are a rarity (giving you a nice, exotic appeal). However, Da Lat’s sleepy nature makes it better suited for dating than random hook-ups.
There’s no much of a bar scene here, and most girls tend to spend time with their family or friends.
As such, day game is your best bet. Go to the coffee shops, or walk around the town square at night. When you see a hottie, walk up to her and start talking.
Da Lat girls love this.
Likewise you can always try meeting girls online. VietnamCupid has a fair number of users in Da Lat, making it a great option for scoring dates. It’s also very convenient (no need to leave the house), and a great alternative to day game or cold approaching.
Da Lat is a fantastic city unlike anything else in Vietnam. It’s got a cool climate making it easy to enjoy outdoor activities. There’s tons of stuff to see and do all over town (and in the surrounding countryside), and the cost of living is very low.
These factors make Da Lat a must see destination, and one you need to experience during your next trip.
P.S. Looking for more fun places to visit? Then check out this complete archive of destination reports.