Feel the Power of Elephant Waterfall – Dalat, Vietnam
The cascade of Elephant Waterfall enveloped us. Two slow, ambling steps into the curtain of water, and we were completely drenched. Sharp winds electrified our skin into a billion goose bumps. The water relentlessly splashed down on our faces, but we couldn’t help looking up. It was hard to see. We blinked through our temporary “splash-blindness.”
Catching glimpses of beauty, it was like a living slideshow with the roar of the falls as a soundtrack. The dark towering cliffs. The white wall of water. The sun breaking through, framed by cliffs. We stood together in amazement.
Here we were, holding hands under an exotic waterfall, on the other side of the world. We shivered from the cold, and we shivered from giddy exhilaration. This was exactly why came to Elephant Waterfall.
We had a blast at the Elephant Waterfall in Dalat, Vietnam. Elephant Waterfall was one of our 4 favorite falls in Dalat, Vietnam. It is unlike most of Dalat’s other great waterfalls. There are no cable cars, no animal rides, no gardens, nothing contrived or manmade.
Elephant Waterfall is only about the natural experience. Elephant Waterfall has “nothing” to do, and “nothing” happens. But we were completely entertained. The only attraction at Elephant Waterfall was the sheer power of the falls AND the chance to get under them to feel that power.Here we were, holding hands under an exotic waterfall, on the other side of the world.Click To Tweet
The best thing about Elephant Waterfall is how immersive it is. Sure getting soaked right under the cascade was as immersive as it gets, but the rocky trails around the waterfall are a big part of the fun.
These trails are the only way to get down to Elephant Waterfall and the cave at its base. They weren’t a major physical challenge. There are even a couple constructed steps and handrails, but the tree-lined trails were steep, rocky, and full of obstacles.
Trekking down these trails became a mini-adventure that really drew us to the surrounding nature. The real challenge was slowing down when were stoked to see Elephant Waterfall. We had to pay close attention to nature and to each moment – to each wobbly rock, to each iffy vine, to each tempting glimpse of the falls through the leaves.
Having to slow down made the experience more immersive and enjoyable.
After the fun hike down to the main viewing area our anticipation was peaking. We could hear the roar of the waterfall the whole time. We could smell it in air. And we could occasionally see a little sliver of the falls through the trees. But we were yearning to see it all. We walked around the last bend.
Wow! Elephant Waterfall was beautiful. They say that the physical force of the rushing water charges the air with ions. We don’t know if that’s true, but seeing Elephant Waterfall up close for the first time made our skin tingle.
The next leg of the trail took us down to the “Wind Cave” at the base of Elephant Waterfall. This part of the trail was even more dramatic with dark narrow passages, big tree roots, and the roar of the falls echoing in the cave. The Wind Cave was rather narrow with sheer 100 feet tall walls.
Mist filled the cave. We couldn’t wait to get under the falls, but everything was so wet and slippery. Every step was a slow, careful shuffle, as we inched closer to our goal. When we finally we made it, we were on sensory overload with the raw power of the falls. Our whole bodies were electric. Standing in Elephant Waterfall was one of our best moments in Dalat. It was a simple pleasure, but the moment was magic.
Tips for Elephant Waterfall
Take a Private Tour
Private tours in Dalat are cheap and easy to book. Elephant waterfall is 25 winding mountain miles from Dalat City center. It’s a beautiful, scenic ride. Why ruin it with the stress of driving yourself on foreign roads? Work with your private guide to ensure that you miss the peak times for tour buses, and your experience will be the most ideal.
Since you’re booking a private tour, make a day of it with a full itinerary. Check out our favorite things about Dalat for some itinerary ideas. Elephant Waterfall fits in nicely with many of other great attractions around Dalat.
One of our favorites is the giant Happy Buddha statue. He’s only a five-minute walk away from Elephant Waterfall. Two of our other top recommendations to combine with Elephant Waterfall are the Silk Factory and the Coffee Plantation.
Bring a Picnic
The area around the waterfall is perfect for a picnic, even a small one. If we would do it again, we would definitely bring your basic “can’t go wrong” picnic – wine, fruit, cheese.
Prepare to Get Wet
Bring quick-dry clothes or a change of clothes. And don’t forget some towels.
Being Vietnam, many of us unwittingly show up wearing flip-flops. It won’t be a tragedy. You can hike the trails in flip-flops, but you will be safer and more comfortable in better shoes. You don’t need hiking shoes, but you’ll want to wear shoes that give you some traction and support.
Protect your Camera
We had a couple close calls with our cameras on the hiking trails. We were constantly bending over and twisting and hopping down. Using both of our hands was required in order to be safe. This left our precious cameras dangling loosely from the neck straps.
The cameras did swing free and bang into various trees and rocks. Luckily we avoided any major damage, but it was only luck. It was this experience at Elephant Waterfall that led us to buy more secure camera shoulder harness.
Another Advantage of having a private guide is having him keep your cameras and phones dry while you venture into the rush of Elephant Waterfall. We saw others just leaving their phones and cameras near the cave entrance.
It’s only other happy visitors down in the cave, so it’s kinda safe. But no way would we want to leave a couple grand worth of electronics sitting unattended in the cave.
Katalin @ Our Life, Our TravelPosted at 21:50h, 20 November
The waterfall seems pretty wide! Looks like a lovely day trip!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:56h, 20 November
Hi Katalin. Yes, it is really wide and gorgeous. Spending the entire day there enjoying a picnic by the falls would be awesome!
GarethPosted at 06:20h, 21 November
It really is incredible the sheer number of great sights there are in Vietnam and the Elephant Waterfall is most certainly one of them. The surrounding area is just so lush and as you mentioned, while there isn’t anything specifically to do there, it can be easy to stay for quite a long time just gazing at the waterfall and enjoying the atmosphere. Couldn’t agree more about bringing comfortable shoes. My girlfriend is a repeat offender on this front and there is no surer way of detracting from nature that to have your Significant Other complaining of painful feet!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 06:25h, 21 November
Hi Gareth. We could spend hours at Elephant waterfall. Its a great place to relax and have a picnic.
Ana RosePosted at 06:55h, 21 November
I have never read about the Elephant Waterfall in Vietnam. By reading your post, it seems that is it indeed interesting to give it a try. I would like to visit it during the summer season. Your words are so convincing that I think I will miss half of my life if I did not go there. Nice blog 🙂
The Travel NinjasPosted at 10:28h, 21 November
Hi Ana. Thank you. Elephant waterfall was so fun and beautiful. I hope you get chance to visit.
Mr MikePosted at 19:12h, 21 November
This waterfall is MASSIVE! Great tips about how to enjoy it. I’ll definitely bring a picnic when I go and camera protection is a MUST!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 19:34h, 21 November
Hi Mike. Thank you. Elephant waterfall was so powerful. It is a great place for a picnic too.
Fair Dinkum TravellerPosted at 19:51h, 21 November
How great that I found this article since I am heading to Dalat in January. The Elephant waterfalls look amazing and I can’t wait to see it for myself. Hey those day tours any good ones with kids aged 9-11? Cheers
The Travel NinjasPosted at 19:59h, 21 November
Hi Fair Dinkum Traveller. Thank you. Glad to hear you’ll be visiting Dalat. There are so many tours and tour companies that you’ll easily find one that’s family friendly. Elephant waterfall itself is perfect for kids that age. It will be like a natural playground, with streams to splash around in, boulders to climb, and nearby fields to run in.
kallsypagePosted at 23:25h, 21 November
Both my husband and I have a fascination with waterfalls and this one seems incredible! The sheer power of it alone is jaw dropping. We, like you two, would have a hard time slowing down once seeing first glimpse of the falls but since you mentioned how slippery it is (and knowing how clumsy we both can be at times) I think I would TRY to take my time. Keyword: try! 😉
The Travel NinjasPosted at 00:15h, 22 November
Hi Kallsypage. We had a blast Elephant waterfall. Climbing down to the wind cave was so exciting. Slowing down on the slippery surface is not just safer, it’s also more fun. You can saver the magical moments.
StephanieAPosted at 13:56h, 26 November
Great post. I was in Vietnam last year but sadly did not get to Dalat.
This waterfall looks amazing. Hopefully, if I ever go back to Vietnam, I can visit Dalat and see this 🙂
The Travel NinjasPosted at 13:59h, 26 November
Hello Stephanie. Elephant waterfall is very beautiful and so is the rest of Dalat. We hope you can make it to Dalat. It’s very different from the rest of Vietnam and a great place to visit, especially for a romantic getaway.
gelykaPosted at 22:52h, 27 November
Such a breathtaking place. Waterfalls has always been something I am excited about because of the fresh water and cooling experience it offers. The trail in the cave looks so scary though.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:59h, 27 November
Gelyka, the Elephant Waterfall really was breathtaking! The trail is a bit scary but definitely worth it in the end. You just need to be cautious. Getting to feel the power from under the falls is an incredible experience!
Amber MyersPosted at 21:56h, 13 December
How gorgeous! I would love to see a waterfall like this up close. I hope to make it here someday.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:00h, 13 December
Hello Amber. We are waterfall addicts. Hope you get to see Vietnam someday.
DivyaPosted at 06:40h, 14 December
Oh my gosh – this is incredible.
One of my favorite things to do is hike around or near a waterfall. To be able to hear the peaceful sound of the water – quite literally falling – is so serene and peaceful.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 06:45h, 14 December
Hello Divya. Well said. We love waterfalls too.
RosePosted at 22:33h, 14 December
Beautiful pictures. This sight would make quite a reward and maybe even a well deserved one after the hike there.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:36h, 14 December
Hello Rose. It is a good reward for the hike. Good way to say it.
AnosaPosted at 01:20h, 15 December
What a gorgeous waterfall I have not heard of elephant waterfall but looks like I have been missing out and I agree about private tour guide advantages I did the same recent in Monaco
The Travel NinjasPosted at 01:45h, 15 December
Hello Anosa. Private guides can be the best to of both worlds. You can travel independently and follow your own itinerary, but you can get help, tips, and transportation from the guide.
blair villanuevaPosted at 07:25h, 15 December
Ohh this place is splendid! Very dreamy and romantic, the waters falling down your back is a good therapy. I like it.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 07:30h, 15 December
Hi Blair. It was amazing! The sound of the waterfall is so relaxing. ?
Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.comPosted at 08:19h, 15 December
I would love to visit the waterfall one day. It’s looks like a wonderful experience and the perfect place to just relax.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 08:23h, 15 December
Hi Tasheena. It is a beautiful waterfall. We hope you get a chance to visit in the near future. 🙂
RoxyPosted at 12:04h, 15 December
Elephant waterfall looks gorgeous. I’ve never seen a waterfall in person before and I’m not totally sold on a super long hike, but with a private tour guide i think I’d actually really enjoy this.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 12:06h, 15 December
Hi Roxy. The Elephant waterfall was quite impressive! You would absolutely love it. ?
Briana MariePosted at 16:25h, 15 December
I’ve never seen a waterfall in person. This would be so cool to visit!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 16:30h, 15 December
Hi Briana. The Elephant Waterfall was powerful and beautiful. We hope you get a chance to visit a waterfall sometime in the near future. 🙂
OindrilaPosted at 03:07h, 17 December
Woah. This is incredible. How lucky you’re to witness such a beautiful sight so close. I wish someday I can too. 😀
The Travel NinjasPosted at 03:09h, 17 December
Hi Oindrila. We are obsessed with waterfalls. I hope you get the chance to visit one soon. ?
Amrita BasuPosted at 06:19h, 17 December
Such a beautiful waterfall and stunning pictures.Loved your special tips about camera safety.I read about the happy Buddha too. Dalat appears like a nature overload. The picnic idea appears perfect
The Travel NinjasPosted at 06:21h, 17 December
Hi Amrita. When we went to Dalat, we had no idea what to expect. You’re right there is SO much natural beauty. We loved it! ?
Sandy N VyjayPosted at 05:31h, 18 December
Such a breathtaking place. The waterfall is so soothing and the surrounding area is also lush and greenery all around. Just need to be little cautious while going near the water. would love to visit elephant waterfall whenever travelling there.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 05:35h, 18 December
Hi Sandy. The Elephant Waterfall was absolutely gorgeous! It was so cool to have the guide lead us to the cave underneath. We would have never known that we could do that had it not been for his guidance. We hope you get the chance to visit someday. 🙂
ValeriePosted at 13:42h, 18 December
The older I get the more of an obsession I have with waterfalls. This one is beautiful.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 13:45h, 18 December
Hi Valerie. Waterfalls are absolutely stunning! We are definitely obsessed with them. Every waterfall has its own unique charm. ?