Known by locals as the city of flowers, Dalat feels surprisingly European with French villas and strawberry plantations replacing Vietnamese architecture and rice paddys. The temperature feels very European too, with daily temperatures in the mid-teens to mid-twenties.
The Crazy House
It really is completely bonkers! It’s like walking into something from Alice in Wonderland. There are lots of narrow walkways, weird carvings and it’s so easy to get lost. And it’s still growing! You’ll find yourself wondering into construction sites at random points. That coupled with some alarmingly low barriers mean you’ll not want to bring young children here (or any accident prone friends). Inside the house are shops and a tiny place serving drinks. Sit surrounded by plants and wooden mushrooms with a fresh coconut and just enjoy the strangeness. If you want to you even spend the night at the house.
A popular activity where you’ll spend the day jumping off cliffs.
EXPLORE BY MOTORBIKE
Many operators and hostels advertise Easy Rider tours. You sit on the back of a motorbike and a rider/guide will take you round the countryside to various sites from temples to the powerful Elephant Falls. These trips are a great way to get go and see the area without going on a big bus tours or risking your safety renting a scooter you don’t really know how to use. Cricket farms are an essential stop to sample bugs with chilli sauce and a glass rice wine.
FOOD & DRINK
Around the centre of town are small market stalls serving Vietnamese food and drinks. Hide in one of the cafes from the rain with a Vietnamese coffee.
100 Floors Bar
If you enjoyed the Crazy House then head to 100 Floors Bar, which is equally hilarious. With a similar design of strange carvings, confusing passageways it’s the best bar I’ve ever been to. Start by exploring the dim lower floors (good luck at not getting lost) with a cocktail, then head to the rooftop garden.
Hostels in Dalat all offer a family experience. Home cooked meals are prepared every night for all guests can eat together. It’s a lovely way to meet new people. Be warned that rice wine will make an appearance at some point during the meal and that this stuff is potent!
Tiny Tigers and Mr Peace are both recommend for their amazing staff. $4 a night.
Dalat has no airport so you’ll need to get a bus from Ho Chi Minh or Nha Trang. The bus journey from the Ho Chi Minh is about 7 hours, while the beach resort of Nha Trang is only 3 hours away. Ho Chi Minh has an international airport with flights arriving directly from London.
Visited December 2016
Little Amy Tours @littleamytours
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