Discovered and architecturally planned by the French more than a century ago, the temperate climate of Da Lat found up here makes it one of the most romantic cities in Vietnam. I’m planning a trip to Da Lat again this Tet and I want to share with you, not only my previous experiences but also my new findings! The city has so many things to offer, hence, you may want to expand your to-do list after scanning through my suggestions.
Visit Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda – Gate to Heaven in Lam Dong
A Japanese Zen sanctuary in our 21st century? Peaceful nature? A boat floating among the clouds? A gate leading to heaven? You can call this hidden gem whatever name you want because it’s truly a little heaven in the clouds!
Located among tea and coffee plantations, on a remote highland of Bao Loc city, Lam Dong province, Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda requires visitors to cross a trail in order to reach the site. Thanks to that, this place is a quiet sanctuary. A Zen garden with white sand and bonsai stones crafted into the mountain encourages deep breaths of fresh air. You can witness the sun disappearing amongst a sea of fluffy clouds creating one of the most magical views you will ever see. The pagoda opens during Tet.
Bao Loc is located mid-way between Saigon and Da Lat. Hence, you can stop by the pagoda, then catch the bus to Da Lat afterward.
Address: Hill 45, Village 4, Loc Thanh Ward, Bao Lam District, Lam Dong Province
Truc Lam Monastery
Located on Phung Hoang mountain, the monastery is known as the biggest Buddhist sanctuary of Lam Dong province. Truc Lam Monastery was designed under the instruction of a respectful Buddhist Master – Zen Thich Thanh Tu – with the purpose of recreating the spirit of Zen Buddhism during the legendary Tran Dynasty. Visiting this monastery, you will witness the beautiful public quarter designed by architect Ngo Viet Thu – the admirable professor who designed the Reunification Palace, contemplate the magnificent Tuyen Lam Lake lying in front of the temple, and inhale the peaceful fresh air that could hardly be found in any other city.
Address: Phung Hoang Hill, Ward 3, Da Lat
Son Pacamara Farm
Last year I visited Son Pacamara when the farm was at its very end of the harvest season. I spent an afternoon harvesting coffee with Uncle Son – the loving nickname baristas have given to farmer Nguyen Van Son – and listening to his coffee stories. It was the very first time I realized that Arabica can only be grown healthily at the height of 1,500 meters above the sea. Da Lat is one of the very few places in Vietnam that satisfies this natural condition.
That Saturday night, we went back to Uncle Son’s house. He made his living room into a café salon. Some of his friends had been waiting there before we got home. Every Saturday night, people gather at his house, located on Le Hong Phong street, singing with old guitars and enjoying different types of specialty coffee. If you ever notice the menu of The Workshop café – one of the most well-known specialty coffee shops in Saigon – you will find that a part of their coffee comes from Mr. Son’s farm.
You should contact them on their Facebook and ask for an experience trip.
Address: 1/3 Le Hong Phong, Dalat
Website: Son Pacamara
K’Ho Coffee Farm
This beautiful organic farm settled at the foot of Langbiang Mountain. There is also a small café located in a modest corner of the farm. This café is widely known for its high quality and enthusiastic owner – Ms. Rolan, a K’Ho villager. From the stories of Ms. Rolan and her husband, Joshua (from the US), you will gain insight not only into the coffee but also about how K’Ho people are making progress in their lives.
Opening Time: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (During Tet)
Closes: Every Sunday
Biofresh Strawberry Garden
This farm is currently dominating Instagram with tons of check-in photos. Located on Ho Xuan Huong street (center of Da Lat), the standard of care farmers put on the strawberries grown here is that of European quality. You can enter the garden with a $ 0.50 USD ticket, take as many photos as you wish, and be sure to pick some New Zealand juicy strawberries to take home, $14USD per kilogram.
Opening Time: 7:00 AM – 4:30 PM (During Tet)
Address: Ward 8, Dalat City
Japanese Strawberry Garden
Strawberries here originated from Japan, and are of a bigger size and sweeter taste than other species you could find in Da Lat. They are grown on hydroponic rigs in so you can feel safe about what you’re eating!
Opening Time: Closes on February 3rd – 6th, 2019
Address: 162 Thanh Mau Street, Ward 7, Dalat
Visit Da Lat Authentic Café
What I love most about visiting a café is that I can talk to the owners and workers. It’s one way we can learn more about people and enrich our notion of the human experience. In Da Lat, you will find cafes with baristas that are owners, living a simple life and contributing to society a comfortable and homey place to relax. Below are just a few among many amazing cafés in Da Lat that you should visit.
The Married Beans – Coffee Concept
At this shop, you will enjoy the beautiful flavor of specialty coffee made of Cau Dat Arabica – a well-known Arabica brand of Vietnam. If it’s your first time visiting the café, sit at a bar seat, where you can chat with the baristas. You will love the coffee talk! �
Opening time: 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM (During Tet)
This café is like a tree nursery garden, with cacti and many sandy lotus plants. Thong brings you the chill atmosphere of Da Lat city – a place that is most well-known for its silent romance. What surprises you will be the menu with amazing drinks, some are even made with homegrown plants!
Opening time: 7:00AM – 10:00PM
Closes for 5 days: February 1st – 6th, 2019
Spend time around Am Phu Market and Xuan Huong Lake
How does this sound: a hot cappuccino in your hands, walking around Xuan Huong Lake and enjoying the moment where the sun sets through the fog and the trees, and then dropping by Am Phu Market for the evening? This market, commonly known as Da Lat Market, located in the heart of Da Lat city, is conveniently a few minutes’ walk from the gentle Xuan Huong Lake. You should spend your dinners here to witness the bustle of the atmosphere! Take a look at the adorable wool clothes colorfully displayed in their stalls.
Pro Tip: Banh Trang Nuong (fried rice paper cake) and steamy Sua Dau Nanh (soymilk)
Dive into Nature in the Valley of Love
Da Lat is one of the few remaining cities in Vietnam that balances comfortable living and beautiful nature. The Valley of Love is one of the typical natural spotlights of Da Lat that has been well constructed to facilitate tourism. If you visit the valley during Tet, you will witness the happy bustle of people integrating into the natural rustle of pine trees and alluring flowers.
Enjoy the Local Culture in Cu Lan Village
Located at the foot of the well-known LangBiang Mountain, Cu Lan village has been the shelter of K’ho people since the 1960s. Lately, the villagers have successfully used the natural beauty to make their village an interesting traveling spotlight. You will enjoy the calm serenity when walking the soil trail during the evening while listening to the rustling pines along the side singing the rhythm of the forest. At night (6:30PM – 7:00PM), you can enjoy the Cong Chieng Tay Nguyen (Central Highland’s Gongs) dance with K’ho people.
Visit Da Lat Flower Garden
This city’s flower garden is located on Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, beside Xuan Huong Lake. With the space of more than 15 hectares, there are over 300 species of flowers displayed here. You can even find an impressive cacti garden, many of them originally from Africa. The garden is in the center of the city, so don’t miss it!
Visit Pongour Waterfall
Enjoy Da Lat with its familiar silence and magnificent nature! Pongour waterfall, meaning the waterfall with seven layers, is also known as The Most Heavenly Waterfall of the South. The waterfall is 50 kilometers to the South of Da Lat, so it is quite a ride away. The ticket fee is only 20,000 VND ($1 USD), but if you new to hiking, you may want to get a guide to accompany you.
Vinamilk Organic Farm Tour
It’s free every Saturday morning! Vinamilk is the largest dairy producer in Vietnam. Recently, the company launched the very first organic milk farm of Vietnam in Da Lat, where cows are raised exclusively. Tours during February and March are sold out! You should ask your Vietnamese friends to help register your April attendance in advance here: vinamilk.com.vn Or you can even reach out to us to do it for you!
Da Lat is beautiful no matter the time you visit. There will always be many beautiful things for you to see.
Looking to book a place to stay in Da Lat? Check out our newly opened house: Christina’s Da Lat!
If you enjoyed this and want more Tet guides, check out Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An, and Saigon.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like some more fun info about what to see, do and eat (and a bunch of interesting cafes!) in Vietnam, follow us at the Christina’s blog!
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