Our 8 Favorite Things About Dalat (And What We’d Do Differently) – Part 2
Dalat is a vacation wonderland. The region has the best weather in Vietnam, some of the best scenery, and more attractions and activities than you could possibly enjoy. This post rounds out the list of our 8 favorites things about Dalat and confesses our biggest regret. You can read more about the most enjoyable experiences in Dalat here.Dalat, Vietnam is a vacation wonderland. Click To Tweet
5. Animal Encounters in Dalat
These were some our most anticipated events in Dalat. When we heard that we could ride an Ostrich at Prenn Waterfall, we were giddy with anticipation. Prenn Waterfall also has Water Buffalo, Elephant, Horse, and Camel rides on offer. Only the uber-symbolic Water Buffalo is authentically Vietnamese, but the rides were still so much fun. We rode the Ostrich, Water Buffalo and Elephant at Prenn (which was our second Elephant ride). You can read more about our rides here.
Baby Porcupines were the cutest animal encounter we had at Dalat. It was just a happy coincidence that totally took us by surprise. We saw this little family at the Thien An Cricket Farm. We came for the icky food adventure of snacking on spicy crickets (which we did), but those baby porcupines stole all the thunder.
6. Swiss Belresort
We lived like royalty in Dalat at this secluded 5-star resort. Our experience at the Swiss Belresort was one of our favorite things about Dalat.
It’s located about 30 minutes from Dalat city in some of the most beautiful scenery around. We loved our stay there. We totally recommend doing something different from the norm and staying outside Dalat city. You can read our full review here.
7. Wacky Stuff
Yes, Dalat is an idyllic, tranquil and relaxing setting. But the people of the region are wacky, garish, eccentric, and downright amusing.
Some of our fondest moments are chuckling about a weird statue, quirky monument, or ironically placed sight. We’ve already mentioned a few wacky attractions like Linh Phuoc Pagoda and Camel rides at a waterfall in the forested Vietnamese highlands. But here are a few other wacky things that we loved.
Crazy House This place is fun and captivating. It’s the brain child of Dang Viet Nga, an artist, architect, and daughter of a former Prime Minister. You can read more about the Crazy House here.Chicken Village The iconic statue of this ethnic minority village is not a humorous attempt to draw tourists. The chicken statue is deeply engrained in the founding myths of the village and an authentic part of their culture. And its pretty wacky.Floating Faucet at Love Valley Lake this little oddity really stands out in the otherwise romantic setting. Far from ruining things, giggling together at this bit of kitsch added to the romantic ambiance.
What we’d do differently – We’d spend one night in the Crazy House. By day, it’s visited by thousands of tourists. By night, some of those lucky visitors actually get to stay in one of the outlandishly themed rooms. We loved our resort, but spending one night in the Crazy House would have been such a unique experience.
8. Random but Rewarding
“Local Industry” attractions are often just tourist traps that aren’t worth visiting. But the silk factory and the coffee plantation were definitely worth our visit. They were actually highlights of our time in Dalat that gave us some great conversation pieces. We tell our coffee plantation story every time we talk about Dalat. And we mention the silk factory to each other just about every time we see fine silk.
Silk Factory We saw a whole silk production line from wiggly worms to wonderful weavings. Vietnam is world famous for its silk cloth and fine silk clothing. From traditional garments to modern custom-made suits, you can see beautiful silk clothes everywhere in Vietnam. We were fascinated to see the difficult and unattractive process that produces such beauty.Weasel Poop Coffee Yes, you read that correctly. The finest and most expensive coffee comes out of a weasel’s butt. And we drank it! The short story is that they process the beans after the weasel has eaten and pooped them out. Something about its digestive process improves the beans. As you can see, the post-weasel beans look like the world’s most disgusting granola bars. It was weird drinking the coffee right after seeing actual weasel poop. Gross to think about, but DELICIOUS to drink.The Highlands Coffee Plantation was a beautiful sight in itself, so green. The onsite café had a big terrace with spectacular views of the landscape. We’re coffee addicts, but this was our first visit to a coffee plantation. We’ve never had coffee this fresh. We were in heaven. We spent all morning chatting, sipping our weasel poop coffee, and gazing at the panoramic views.
NOT Getting Wet and Wild at Datanla Falls
Other than seeing the waterfalls in the rainy season, experiencing the canyoning tour at Datanla falls is the first thing we’d do if we ever visit Dalat again.
What we’d do differently – At Datanla Falls, you can go “canyoning” through the series of falls there. This involves some rock climbing, rappelling, cliff jumping, and variously having fun in rushing water. It’s supposed to be a nice physical challenge with just enough danger to get your heart racing. The final event is a 50 feet tall rappel down a fast, spiraling waterfall known as the “Washing Machine!”
Depending on the group size you can finish a canyoning tour is just over a half-day. We could have found the time for the canyoning tour by making 2 changes. First, we should have skipped some historical sites like Bao Dai’s Palace. Second, we should have spent one night in the Crazy House. We spent a couple hours visiting each location because they are both big and have lots of interesting details. The Crazy House was worth the visit, but we should have saved time by experiencing it as overnight guests. Bao Dai’s Palace is nice, but we should have removed it from our itinerary to make time for the canyoning tour.
No worries though! In hindsight, we’d do some things differently, but we are ecstatic about our time there. The good times come to you in Dalat. Of course, good planning can take your visit to another level. We hope our experiences help you craft a trip of your dreams.
Are you traveling to Dalat? What things interest you?