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.
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.
Dalat is Extremely Affordable!
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