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Da Lat in Vietnam’s Central Highlands: perfect picnic spot, sports destination for holidays

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 10:00 GMT+7
Da Lat in Vietnam’s Central Highlands: perfect picnic spot, sports destination for holidays
Two visitors enjoy an alpine coaster ride at Datanla Waterfall, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V./ Tuoi Tre

Both picnickers and adventure-seekers should consider adding Da Lat, a resort city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, to their travel list for the ongoing holiday.

From this weekend, workers in Vietnam will have five days offs lasting from April 29 to May 3 to celebrate Hung Kings' Commemoration Day (April 29), Reunification Day (April 30), and International Workers' Day (May 1).

The Central Highlands city recently ramped up efforts to promote sports and adventure tourism, aside from offering its conventional tourism services such as picnicking, sightseeing in the super relaxed ambience and the cool, fresh air of the upland locality.

Sports and adventure tourism services, which may not win much favor from domestic visitors, have wooed a host of international travelers to the city, which is easy to reach by road and air.

Da Lat, a resort city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, is easy to reach by road and air. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Da Lat, a resort city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, is easy to reach by road and air. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Visitors from major Vietnamese cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Can Tho can book direct flights to Da Lat. 

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Da Lat are the busiest domestic routes to this holiday hotspot in the Central Highlands region, with two to five daily roundtrip flights.

Besides, Da Lat offers passenger bus services to and from most of the provinces and cities nationwide, especially on the routes linking Da Lat with Ho Chi Minh City and central localities from Thua Thien-Hue to Binh Thuan.

Visitors departing from Ho Chi Minh City can opt for various passenger bus services using seven- to 48-seater cars.

On the Ho Chi Minh City-Da Lat route, each sleeper bus ticket sells for around VND300,000 (US$12.88). 

Passengers traveling on buses equipped with normal seats or sleep pods will be charged VND200,000-500,000 ($8.57-21.44) each.

Travelers from Ho Chi Minh City mostly choose night bus trips, with each normally taking six to eight hours, in order to arrive in Da Lat early the following day.

Tickets for passenger bus services to Da Lat from central localities running from Hue to Binh Thuan are offered at VND100,000-400,000 ($4.28-17.15) each.

There is one passenger bus running every 30 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam’s Central Highlands region. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
There is one passenger bus running every 30 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam’s Central Highlands region. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

How to travel in downtown Da Lat

Tourists can move around Da Lat City using rented motorbikes, electric cars, charter cars, or public buses.

Many lodging facilities and other tourism businesses offer motorbike rental services at VND100,000-200,000 ($4.28-8.57) per vehicle per day.

Besides, electric car services operated by City Tour Company would suit families of eight to twelve members and those with motion sickness as the electric cars are airy and travel at an average speed.

Passengers are charged around VND24,000-30,000 ($1.02-1.28) for each kilometer. The company also offers tailored tours to visitors.

Those who love public transport means can travel around the city by bus, which is available from 4:30 am to 5:30 pm daily, with bus fares at VND5,000-60,000 ($0.21-2.57) per trip.

Visitors can travel around Da Lat City and other localities in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam’s Central Highlands region by bus. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Visitors can travel around Da Lat City and other localities in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam’s Central Highlands region by bus. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Destinations for art lovers in Da Lat

Pho Ben Doi Creative Studio

Pho Ben Doi (Hillside Town) Creative Studio sits on the third floor of the Lam Dong Province Children and Youth Culture Center, Ly Tu Trong Street, Ward 2, Da Lat City.

The studio showcases a wide selection of art works in various fields, such as photography, painting, sculpture, among others.

Pho Ben Doi (Hillside Town) Creative Studio also hosts music shows of high quality. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Pho Ben Doi (Hillside Town) Creative Studio also hosts music shows of high quality. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

YOUI’S Art Space

Located at No.100 on Dankia Street, Ward 7, Da Lat City, the facility was designed as a standard art space featuring modern and convenient facilities yet still giving the unique mountain vibe of Da Lat.

Stop and Go Art Space

Stop and Go, nestled on a small winding road in the pine forest, is among the favorite destinations for artists and tourists. It is located at No. 88, Ly Tu Trong Street, Ward 2, Da Lat City.

These three art destinations offer free admission to visitors.

Explore adventurous activities in Da Lat

A traveler takes a zip-lining ride over a valley. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
A traveler takes a zip-lining ride over a valley. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Datanla High Rope Course

Situated in the Datanla Waterfall tourist site, some five kilometers from downtown Da Lat, Datanla High Rope Course promises to offer visitors thrilling experience through challenging physical activities in the nature.

Fans of outdoors and physical activities can challenge themselves by trying different sections of a high rope course with different levels of difficulty, including a 200m-long and 20m-high zipline ride through pine trees. 

Tickets: VND350,000 ($15.02) each, or a bit cheaper on some online platforms.

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) in Tuyen Lam Lake

Going SUPing in Tuyen Lam Lake enables tourists to practice physical exercise while enjoying the stunning scenery of the lake.

Participants have to strictly follow the safety protocol, including wearing a life jacket properly.

Many tourism operators provide the SUPing service, such as Dalat Discovery which offers the service from VND200,000 ($8.57) per person.

Two women go SUPing in Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Two women go SUPing in Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Canyoning tours in Datanla Waterfall

This adventurous activity is only recommended for visitors with good health conditions, especially without underlying cardiovascular diseases.

Those joining this kind of extreme sport are provided with professional climbing tools, enabling them to experience the thrills and spills when zip-lining over the waterfall, or sliding down the waterfall.

Participants in this extreme sport must strictly follow safety instructions and fully wear specialized gears as required.

Each canyoning tour lasts around 6-8 hours and is available from 8:00 am, with the tour price at some VND1.1 million ($47.12) per person.

Travelers join a canyoning tour at Datanla Waterfall, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Travelers join a canyoning tour at Datanla Waterfall, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Datanla alpine coaster

Adventure-seekers can experience the thrill of the 2,400m-long alpine coaster trail, reportedly the longest in Asia. Coaster riders will go through the lush pine forest and end the ride at the strikingly beautiful Datanla Waterfall.

The alpine coaster was designed to ensure the ultimate safety of tourists with a brake system and can automatically control the distance between cars.

Ticket: VND155,000 ($6.64) per person.

Must-visit destinations along the way to Da Lat

Bobla Waterfall

It is located alongside the National Highway 20 section passing through Lam Dong Province’s Di Linh District, some 70 kilometers away from Da Lat.

Visitors from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat can choose this waterfall as their first stop in their Central Highlands trip.

Bobla Waterfall was a hidden gem among its kinds in the Central Highlands region until it was transformed into an ecotourism site.

Bobla Waterfall is an impressive destination located along the way to Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Bobla Waterfall is an impressive destination located along the way to Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

The waterfall measures over 40 meters high, more than 20 meters wide, with the surrounding infrastructure facilities being arranged adequately so that visitors can move close to the waterfall and enjoy its cool, fresh air.

The Bobla Waterfall ecotourist site also houses coffee shops, restaurants, as well as offers lodging and camping services. This is reportedly the only waterfall tourist site in Lam Dong to provide accommodation services.

Valley of Love

This popular tourist attraction underwent renovation in 2018, with most of its tourism services renewed to attract more visitors. Entrance ticket includes all services offered inside the area, except for dining services, at VND250,000 ($10.74) per adult and VND120,000 ($5.15) for children under 1.2 meters tall.

Robin Hill Da Lat

Located at No. 1 on Dong Da Street, Da Lat City, this tourist attraction offers visitors a wonderful view to admire the beauty of Da Lat.

Robin Hill also features a 2km-long cable car system linking the hill with Truc Lam Zen Monastery. Each cable car ride takes roughly 12 minutes, allowing visitors to admire the splendid panorama of Tuyen Lam Lake, fly above the magnificent mountains and pine forests, vividly-colored flower gardens and ancient villas.

Round-trip ticket prices are about VND80,000 ($3.43) for adult and VND50,000 ($2.14) for children.

A cable car system links Robin Hill Da Lat with Truc Lam Zen Monastery in Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
A cable car system links Robin Hill with Truc Lam Zen Monastery in Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Da Lat Clay Tunnel

The Clay Tunnel, located in the city’s Ward 4, is considered an extraordinary tourist destination in Da Lat with multiple sculptures simulating famous destinations of Da Lat, such as Da Lat railway station, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Xuan Huong Lake, among others.

Ticket: VND60,000-100,000 ($2.57-4.29) per person

Infinity Lake is among the favorite destinations of visitors to Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
Infinity Lake is among the favorite destinations of visitors to Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Bali Heaven Gates in Da Lat

Located in the Green Hills Resort on Dong Da Street, Da Lat City, the Da Lat version of the Bali Heaven Gates boasts lots of Instagrammable spots.

It situates in an airy place and looks like a version of the Heaven Gates in the Indonesian island of Bali.

Tourists should visit the place early in the morning so as to take great photos.

Free admission is offered to guests buying drinks and using services at the resort.

Lumiere Da Lat Light Garden

The Light Garden, located at 222B Mai Anh Dao Street, Ward 8, Da Lat City, features an artistic light exhibition space with tremendously impressive displays.

A woman explores Lumiere Da Lat Light Garden in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre
A woman explores Lumiere Da Lat Light Garden in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

The place promises to attract visitors thanks to its creativity and combination of installation art and modern technology. It comprises nine exhibition rooms with different themes and spaces.

Visitors are allowed to freely record video clips and take photos at the location.

Ticket price is VND120,000 ($5.13) for adults and VND80,000 ($3.42) for children.

Zoodoo

Zoodoo is another popular tourist site located in Da Nhim Commune, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province.

It comprises a zoo, a café and campsites that are suitable for families with little kids, who will love gentle and funny animals, such as camels, sheep, ponies, kangaroos, among others mainly imported from Australia at Zoodoo.

In addition, Zoodoo, whose main house is surrounded by the tranquil and lush pine forest, offers camping services at affordable prices.

Visitors to Zoodoo need to make reservations at least one day in advance, as this tourist site limits the daily visitor numbers.

Ticket price is VND100,000 ($4.29) for adults, VND50,000 ($2.14) for children under 1.2 meters tall, while children under 0.9 meter tall are entitled to free admission.

About some 40 kilometers from Da Lat City, ZooDoo is home to many animals imported from overseas. Photo: ZooDoo
About some 40 kilometers from Da Lat City, ZooDoo is home to many animals imported from overseas. Photo: ZooDoo

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Mai Vinh - Hong Ngan / Tuoi Tre News

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