Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Dalat offers refreshing climes and highland scenery rich with waterfalls, evergreen forests and misty hills where crops thrive. Set on a plateau 1,500 metres above sea level, Dalat’s steep streets, cathedral and pastel villas were built by French settlers drawn from steamy Ho Chi Minh City by the alpine weather. Today, Dalat is a thriving hub known for its university and central market, which spills into the streets at night. Stalls sell everything from roasted chestnuts to punnets of strawberries, bunches of rainbow flowers, knitted hats and yogurt.
Xuan Huong Lake lies at Dalat’s heart and is a favourite with Vietnamese honeymooners who come to ride swan-shaped pedalos and cycle tandem bikes around the shore. Inexplicably, locals dressed in cowboy costumes rent horses for photoshoots, their teeth stained red from chewing betlenut leaves. Roads spiral out of town through Swiss-like scenery, the countryside littered with pine forests and powerful waterfalls. You’ll pass fields of vegetables, coffee farms and silk-weaving factories, as well as a soaring cable car which leads to Truc Lam Pagoda, a serene Buddhist monastery.
To escape the coastal heat and experience Vietnam’s evergreen highland scenery, talk to our experts about Dalat tours led by local guides.