Truc Lam Monastery

Truc Lam Monastery – Vietnam’s Largest Zen Monastery

Truc Lam Monastery is just outside the resort town of Dalat. It is Vietnam’s largest Zen monastery and a wonderful, must-see when you’re in Dalat. We completely loved this place and think most visitors will too.

It’s easy to get “templed-out” when visiting Vietnam, but Truc Lam Monastery is more than your typical temple visit. Truc Lam is also located on a mountaintop, immersed in natural beauty, has great views of Tuyen Lam Lake and the surrounding highlands.

Visiting the Truc Lam Temple allows you to experience both the culture of Vietnam and some its natural beauty at the same time. And we haven’t even mentioned the scenic cable car ride that brings you here.

Truc Lam Monastery is more than your typical temple visitClick To Tweet

The Cable Car Ride to Truc Lam Monastery

Robin Hill and Our Scenic Sky Ride to Truc Lam Monastery in Da Lat, Vietnam

Robin Hill and Our Scenic Sky Ride to Truc Lam Monastery

The best way to reach Truc Lam is via the gondola cable car from Robin Hill. The cable car ride spans for 1.6 miles (2.6km) from Robin Hill to Phoenix Summit, the location of Truc Lam Monastery. The ride is fun and incredibly scenic.

You’ll pass over picturesque farmland and gaze on rolling, green hills that stretch out to infinity. A round trip ticket is only 70,000VND ($3USD). You could also take a taxi to the monastery, but come on. You can’t pass us on that view!

The Temples and Meditation Halls of Truc Lam Monastery

The Main Temple of Truc Lam Monastery in Dalat, Vietnam

The Main Temple of Truc Lam

True to its Zen heritage, Truc Lam Monastery is beautiful but has a refined and elegant style. Other Buddhist temples around Dalat have a more grandiose and even wacky style.

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Linh Phuoc Temple has its glass dragon made from 12,000 broken beer bottles. Linh An Temple has its 50 ft. tall (15m) Happy Buddha. Van Hanh Temple has its 80 ft. tall (25m) Golden Buddha.

If you have the time, we recommend seeing these too. They all impressed us in different ways, but if you want the beauty of simplicity and serenity, Truc Lam is the place.

The Simple Beauty of the Main Altar at Truc Lam Monastery in Da Lat, Vietnam

The Simple Beauty of the Main Altar


The Main Meditation Hall at Truc Lam Monastery in Dalat, Vietnam

The Main Meditation Hall


A Meeting Hall in Truc Lam Monastery

A Meeting Hall


The Monks Living Quarters and Their Spectacular View at Truc Lam Monastery in Da Lat, Vietnam. This is Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

The Monks Living Quarters and Their Spectacular View


A Small Outdoor Altar and Beautiful Jade Buddha in Truc Lam Monastery in Dalat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

A Small Outdoor Altar and Beautiful Jade Buddha


The Views, Grounds, and Gardens of Truc Lam Monastery

Located on the top of Phoenix Summit, there are scenic views everywhere you look.

Beyond the view itself, there’s a liberating feeling of the vast, expansive space. You can get this on any mountaintop (especially taller ones), but when you’re standing in a Zen monastery on a mountaintop call Phoenix Summit, it adds a few cool points to the experience. At least it did for us.

A View From the Monastery at Truc Lam Monastery in Da Lat, Vietnam. This is Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

A View From the Monastery

The beautiful grounds are massive. You could walk around for hours if you wanted. There’s a paved walkway around the grounds that’s lined with fragrant and pretty pine trees.

A Paved Path Makes Exploring Easy at the Truc Lam Temple in Dalat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

A Paved Path Makes Exploring Easy

The path will take you to Truc Lam’s huge fish pond. It’s manmade from concrete, but it’s lovely and oddly entertaining, with so many turtles and lively fish.

Truc Lam’s Massive Fish and Turtle Pond at the Truc Lam Temple in Dalat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

Truc Lam’s Massive Fish and Turtle Pond

The path also goes all the way down to Tuyen Lam Lake. So if you wanted, you could spend time enjoying the lake or have a nice boat ride, before returning to the monastery.

You Can Get to Tuyen Lam Lake from Truc Lam Monastery in Da Lat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

You Can Get to Tuyen Lam Lake

As you walk the grounds, you can’t help but be impressed by the many gardens. There are just so many gorgeous flowers.

The Beautiful Gardens of Truc Lam Temple in Da Lat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

The Beautiful Gardens of Truc Lam

The trees with intertwining trunks are also a very Zen-like treat as you admire their beauty and try to figure them out.

The “Zen Trees” with Intertwining Trunks in Dalat, Vietnam. Central Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

The “Zen Trees” with Intertwining Trunks

Truc Lam Monastery is so beautiful, scenic, and serene, it’s tough to leave it. Until you realize that you get to ride the sky gondola back to Robin Hill and Dalat city.

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Travel Tips

Entrance to the monastery is free, but they accept donations.

* A taxi ride from Dalat city center to Robin Hill is a few minutes long and costs only a couple bucks.

* Spending at least one hour to explore the many buildings, sprawling grounds, and lovely gardens of Truc Lam is highly recommended. We actually spent more than 3 hours here, but we really took our sweet time. We even had a little picnic under the pine trees.

* There are food and drink vendors right outside the main gate, close to the cable car station. Having vendors nearby makes a picnic in the monastery hassle-free. Keeping the vendors outside the monastery maintains the right atmosphere inside the gates.

* By the way, if you haven’t tried the famous Vietnamese sandwich called a “Bahn Mi” this is a good opportunity. It’s delicious and an easy picnic food.

What interests you about Truc Lam? Would you include it in your Dalat itinerary?


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  • Author Brandi Kennedy
    Posted at 21:49h, 05 February

    I can’t imagine ever being “templed out.” Just looking at these photos is probably the most relaxed I’ve been all day – imagine what it must be like to really sit inside that Meditation Hall for a real meditation session. *sigh*

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 21:55h, 05 February

    Hi Brandi. Truc Lam is very serene and relaxing. We loved visiting.

  • Rowena C
    Posted at 22:58h, 05 February

    Oh I am planning to visit Vietnam this year and I will take note of this places and deals. This place has rich history and culture that I want to uncover.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 23:00h, 05 February

    Hey Rowena. You’ll love Vietnam. And Dalat is great to add to your plans. It has lots of great sites like this.

  • LC
    Posted at 23:04h, 05 February

    Ah, I know what you mean about getting “templed out” – I felt that way when I was in Japan a few years ago. Really hoping to make it to Vietnam at some point in this year, so will probably want to see some temples (although wish to spend the biggest majority of the time eating food!)

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 23:11h, 05 February

    Hi LC. Yeah the food in Vietnam is definitely a big highlight. And the temples are irresistible but there are so many of them. You have to pick and choose the best ones of you.

  • Punita Malhotra
    Posted at 23:19h, 05 February

    So peaceful and calm it all looks. One could stroll around in those gardens for hours. And there’s even a lake up there!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 23:22h, 05 February

    Hello Punita. Truc Lam is very peaceful and great for strolling around for sure.

  • Eazynazy
    Posted at 01:05h, 06 February

    Lovely place…I would definitely put this in my bucket list:)

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 01:11h, 06 February

    Hi Eazynazy, That’s cool. It’s a great place to visit.

  • Stacey
    Posted at 01:50h, 06 February

    With so many temples you have to look for ones that are unique. This definitely fits the bill

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 01:55h, 06 February

    Hi Stacey. Yes the location and cable car and gorgeous surroundings make this temple a unique place to visit.

  • AJ Money Matters
    Posted at 02:05h, 06 February

    Wow, the gardens and the temple looks amazing! I get the whole ‘templed-out’ kind of thing, but it’s not every day you get to immerse yourself in such a different culture.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 02:11h, 06 February

    Hi AJ, It is a special temple. It ranks pretty high in our book when visiting Dalat.

  • KatrinaJeanCarter
    Posted at 02:27h, 06 February

    One of my favorite things about travelling is the ability to be immersed in their culture. From tradition, to art, to architecture, etc. Your experience definitely falls in it! Thanks for sharing! I would love to see it in person

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 02:33h, 06 February

    Hi Katrina, we love Vietnam’s rich culture too. Hope you can visit one day.

  • saidat
    Posted at 08:18h, 06 February

    I love sightseeing though i hardly have time for it. Thanks for sharing.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 08:22h, 06 February

    Hi Saidat. Thanks for your comment. We love sightseeing too.

  • Carmen Baguio
    Posted at 09:30h, 06 February

    I agree– you have to take the cable car up, especially at that price. A picnic at the monastery sounds for tranquil and peaceful!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 09:34h, 06 February

    Hi Carmen, That cable car ride up to the mountaintop is one of the highlights for sure.

  • CourtneyLynne
    Posted at 15:17h, 06 February

    Omg so many awesome photos!!! It looks like y’all had one fabulous trip!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 15:23h, 06 February

    Hey Courtney. Thanks so much. We did have a great time. We’ve been exploring Vietnam for over a year now.

  • Krysten
    Posted at 16:24h, 06 February

    Because it’s at the top of my mind. Bahn mi is one of the most amazing sandwiches ever!
    This place looks gorgeous!
    I would probably get sick on the cable car though, it’s too far up for my taste.
    I would love to see the dragon, that’s super cool!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 16:26h, 06 February

    Hi Krysten, Bahn Mi’s are super awesome. Truc Lam is a great place to enjoy on too.

  • Matthew
    Posted at 16:32h, 06 February

    Wow, so beautiful. It’s amazing how similar these temples are to the ones in Japan. Vietnam was the one place we missed in Southeast Asia but I guess we’ll have to go back! 🙂

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 16:33h, 06 February

    Hey Matthew. We love Vietnam and totally recommend a visit. Maybe you’ll make it one day.

  • Nadine Cathleen
    Posted at 17:36h, 06 February

    Oh this looks so pretty 🙂 I was close by but opted for beach and relaxing holiday. We had so many temples and cultural heritage in Hoi An which was also super impressive. Love this country!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 17:38h, 06 February

    Hi Nadine, I know what you mean. We’ve been exploring Vietnam for over a year and we still have so much more to see and do. Hoi An is awesome and Vietnam does have some great beaches.

  • Marlies - Crazy Dutch Abroad
    Posted at 18:42h, 06 February

    The gardens are really beautiful and the views those monks have are just stunning. It must be a great place to meditate. The feeling of being “templed-out” I recognize but this one seems so worth it!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 18:43h, 06 February

    Hey Marlies, We agree, Truc Lam is worth a visit. It has so much more to offer that a typical temple.

  • Wanderlust Vegans
    Posted at 18:44h, 06 February

    I can see how you can get templed out in Vietnam but your right that this temple has a lot more to see around it. The scenery is beautiful and it’s nice knowing that it is easily accessible with nice walking paths. A picnic in the monestary from the food vendors sounds great

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 18:45h, 06 February

    Hey Wanderlust Vegans, This is much more than a normal temple in Vietnam. The views of the scenery alone is worth a visit.

  • Global Girl Travels
    Posted at 19:55h, 06 February

    This monastery looks spectacular! The fact that you have to take a cable car ride to get there adds to the isolation of the place. And the ornate design and details of the buildings are impossible to appreciate. I would love to explore these when I do get to visit Vietnam!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 20:00h, 06 February

    Hi Abigail. I think you’ll enjoy Truc Lam a lot when you visit Vietnam. That cable car ride is fun and the views are spectacular.

  • Jen
    Posted at 22:56h, 06 February

    Absolutely stunning! Hopefully I’ll get to visit there someday (maybe when the kiddos are bigger).

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 23:00h, 06 February

    Hello Jen. Thanks. Yes, we saw some families there too. And the kids loved playing in the woods there.

  • Ticking the Bucketlist
    Posted at 00:27h, 07 February

    Your post has spiked my interest in the Zen culture! The views are absolutely stunning
    Many monasteries in a Asia allow a monk meal, purely vegan. Does this place have that option?

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 00:33h, 07 February

    Hi Ticking the Bucketlist. Well, the monastery doesn’t provide food for visitors. The food is from vendors outside the gates. Not sure about vegan options. You can find them in Vietnam, but the food carts aren’t usually vegan friendly.

  • Abhinav Singh
    Posted at 02:33h, 07 February

    I have been wanting to visit Vietnam since a long time. I keep researching more for inspiration. This place looks impressive. The meditation hall seems huge. The zen trees are quirky and artistically done.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 02:34h, 07 February

    Hey Abhinav. Vietnam is a great place to visit. It has so so so much to see and do. And its so cheap and easy to travel around here. We recommend it.

  • Angela Zimsky
    Posted at 03:31h, 07 February

    From the looks of these pictures you had an amazing trip. That view is absolutely breath taking. I wouldn’t mind visiting one day. Maybe have some market pho.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 03:33h, 07 February

    Hi Angela. Hopefully you can visit Vietnam one day. Yes, the Pho is awesome.

  • Hra
    Posted at 03:59h, 07 February

    i love this place!! I want to go in Vietnam so badly, Awesome photos, you make me travel there 🙂

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 04:00h, 07 February

    Hi Hra. You’ll love it when you get here. Wait until you see it in person.

  • kathy (from
    Posted at 06:15h, 07 February

    You have brought back memories. I think it was 7 years ago when I was here. It was one of the first monasteries I visited. I have now seen many. The views from Phoenix Summit are really beautiful.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 06:16h, 07 February

    Hi Kathy. That is cool. Yeah, you never forget your first one.

  • Stephanie Fox
    Posted at 06:17h, 07 February

    I love cable cars you always get the best views! Ever since a friend went to vietnam I’ve wanted to go and your photos havent changed my mind, they are beautiful it looks a really interesting place

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 06:22h, 07 February

    Hello Stephanie. Vietnam has some great landscapes and cable cars are a favorite way to get 360 views for us.

  • FS Page
    Posted at 09:42h, 07 February

    A gondola ride to a monastery sounds like its a fun place, more of a tourist place but you are so right about the description of the place. The monastery looks so elegant and classy. Its simply beautiful and serene. Thanks for a detailed informative blog on it.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 09:44h, 07 February

    Hi FS Page. The gondola ride to the monastery is one of our favorite parts of the visit too.

  • Jen
    Posted at 09:48h, 07 February

    Looks like a great place to visit. I haven’t been out of the country but hoping to visit Asian places in the future. Seems like a good place to start a tour.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 09:55h, 07 February

    Hi Jen. We totally recommend a visit to Asia. There are just so many great places, like Vietnam. Hope you can make it soon. The flights are getting cheaper and cheaper.

  • Revati
    Posted at 11:08h, 07 February

    So similar to the cable car to Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong’s Lantau Island! Sounds like a fantastic experience!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 11:19h, 07 February

    Hi Revati. It is cool. Po Lin is great to visit too.

  • Bonita
    Posted at 14:10h, 07 February

    I love Vietnam and it is in my bucket list. The temples,landscape and people.You must have had a time of your life in the cable car! I enjoyed reading the post!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 14:22h, 07 February

    Hello Bonita. Thanks. We did have a blast. Enjoy your trip to Vietnam.

  • Shane
    Posted at 15:08h, 07 February

    So beautiful and ornate! Wish I would’ve had time to visit Vietnam to see the unique differences from the rest of SE Asia.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 15:11h, 07 February

    Hey Shane. Yeah its tough southeast Asia has so many great places to visit.

  • Chloe
    Posted at 16:45h, 07 February

    Truc Lam looks so beautiful. I think this would be the perfect place for a holiday to get away from city hustle and bustle.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 16:55h, 07 February

    Hello Chloe. You’re so right. Dalat is great to mix into a longer Vietnam trip and have a change of pace from the hustle and bustle.

  • Debra Schroeder
    Posted at 18:35h, 07 February

    The grounds of the monastery are beautiful. I’m with you, I’d take the cable car up for the views.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 18:44h, 07 February

    Hi Debra. the cable car is un missible in our view too.

  • Hallie
    Posted at 20:59h, 07 February

    Great place to have a picnic! I love places with gondola rides up too. Just makes for a fun time. So beautiful.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 21:00h, 07 February

    Hey Hallie. Truc Lam was perfect for a picnic. Its so pretty and peaceful.

  • Kassie
    Posted at 21:45h, 07 February

    I actually went to this temple when I was in Dalat and loved it. I agree that sometimes it’s easy to get templed out but this one, with it’s beautiful grounds, really caught my interest!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 22:00h, 07 February

    Hi Kassie. Thanks. Truc Lam is a very lovely and unique monastery among all the great ones in Vietnam.

  • Tracie Howe
    Posted at 16:46h, 08 February

    I know what you mean about being templed out! But I would make an exception for this place too. Temples surrounded by nature are my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer L
    Posted at 20:40h, 08 February

    Wow this monestary looks absolutely incredible! I love seeing all the flowers and the fish pond with the turtle. Just gorgeous.

  • Ance
    Posted at 21:24h, 08 February

    This look like so peaceful and beautiful place. Great pictures I enjoyed reading this post!

  • Chelsea Daigle
    Posted at 00:28h, 09 February

    Thank you for the travel tips. I am beyond ready to travel somewhere outside of the United States.

  • Cynthia Williamston
    Posted at 15:26h, 09 February

    I have not traveled far outside of the US so it is nice to be able to experience Truc Lam through your eyes. Indeed it looks quite relaxing and picturesque. That one mile trip down the cable line has me a bit nervous but still looks worth it.

  • Samantha Sparrow
    Posted at 06:16h, 10 February

    I’ve never visited this part of the world, but the temples are one of the things I really would like to see. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s so beautiful and there is definitely something magical about this part of the world. I loved your comment about being “templed out” 🙂

  • Mohit Agarwal
    Posted at 07:02h, 10 February

    Vietnam is so much on every travelers list I am sure and I see why Dalat is so renowned..those picturesque views of the monastery and the walk between the pines is great

  • Kimberly Hsieh
    Posted at 22:18h, 10 February

    Vietnam is on my to-go list!! This monastery looks so magnificent and your photos are amazing!!

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    Posted at 00:47h, 11 February

    The view from the cable car looks enthralling. The monastery is so simple, elegant and graceful that I can feel the peace enveloping it even in the photographs. The view from Phoenix Summit has blown my mind away with its beauty. The flowers have made the rose look like it has been over hyped. Amazing pictures, beautiful till the last word.

  • neha
    Posted at 22:19h, 11 February

    I love visiting monasteries. Because they are always set amidst nature. And then they are so beautiful and vibrant. This one also looks so so beautiful. I like the interiors as well as the landscape all around.

  • Snigdha Bhowmick
    Posted at 11:34h, 12 February

    Vietnam is on my travel list this year. I’ll surely visit the places you mentioned. Your post and the details share will surely come handy. Thanks for the post.

  • Dave Jaques
    Posted at 16:33h, 12 February

    Wow, what beautiful photos and landscapes. I can see why they decided to build it there. Also, the logistical info was super helpful!

  • Alessandra
    Posted at 08:55h, 13 February

    This place looks like a not to miss one when in Vietnam. I love everything and everywhere that brings out a sense of zen and relaxation to my life, so I am sure I would enjoy visiting it!

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