Looking for a new travel destination to explore? Check out Da Lat, the charming capital of the Lam Dong province in Vietnam, known for being a floral wonderland.
In 2017, CNN included Da Lat in their list of underrated travel locations in Asia. This lesser-known destination has so much to offer, and is actually a popular honeymoon spot for Vietnamese locals.
Da Lat’s pleasant weather makes it perfect for growing flowers. Depending on when you go, you’ll be treated to gorgeous sights of different flowers, with the peak being in December. This is when the Da Lat Flower Festival takes place every other year. This year, it’ll be from 20 December 2019 – 24 December 2019, with ‘Dalat and Flowers’ as the theme.
Da Lat is known for its pleasant weather, earning it a reputation as The City of Eternal Spring. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons:
Winter (October – December)
The weather is cool and dry, and the flower gardens are crowded at this time of the year.
Highlight: The mountain roads to Da Lat will be covered with yellow sunflowers.
Spring (January – March)
Temperatures can be quite cold, especially in January so winter wear could be required.
Highlight: All the flowers, including cherry blossoms, will be in full bloom.
Summer (April – June)
The weather is warmer, with the occasional instances of fog and light rain.
Highlight: Peach and avocado harvest.
Autumn (July – September)
This is the most humid time of the year, with the Southwest monsoon bringing heavy and long periods of rain.
Highlight: Enjoy persimmon season and the beauty of gardens covered in white mustard flowers.
Getting to Da Lat from Ho Chi Minh City takes quite a while – it’s about 6 hour drive. But you can now fly directly there from KL with AirAsia!
There’s even an ongoing promo to celebrate the launch of this new route, so you should totally take advantage and book your tickets now.
Here are all the deets:
Booking period: 18 September 2019 – 29 September 2019
Travel period: 20 December 2019 – 27 March 2020
Fares: From RM99 for members | From RM104 for non-members
Click here for more information.
Here are some suggestions of what you can do in Da Lat:
1. Soak in the beauty of nature as you enjoy stunning views
Places to check out:
- Pongour Waterfall & Elephant Waterfall – These majestic waterfalls are located within 20km of each other.
- Liang Bang Mountain – Offers panoramic views of the city.
- Tuyen Lam Lake – Best viewed from above, especially from Robin Hill.
- Xuan Huong Lake – An iconic symbol of Da Lat city located in the city center.
2. Treat your stomach and tastebuds to all kinds of yummy street food
Things to try:
- Banh can – Mini pancake made of rice flour, egg, and beef, served with fish sauce and seasoned with spring onions, garlic, and chili.
- Kem bo – Avocado ice-cream served with sweetened coconut milk, coconut shavings, ground peanuts, and chocolate syrup.
- Nem nuong – Combination of rice paper, Vietnamese grilled pork sausage, fresh salad, cucumber, starfruit, herbs, and fried rice paper.
- Banh uot long ga – Steamed rice paper with chicken intenstine.
- Banh trang nuong – Vietnamese “pizza” with ingredients such as pork, green onions, quail eggs, and dried shrimp on rice paper.
- Che – Sweet soup with lots of different flavours like beans, corn, pomelo, banana, and many more.
- Ca kho to – Fish braised in a caramelized sauce of fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and ginger.
3. Visit the hottest local hipster cafés that are as gorgeous as they are famous for good coffee and treats
Places to check out:
- La Viet – Serves locally grown and roasted coffee from Da Lat, and you can even go on a tour of its on-site production plant.
- The Dreamer – Located in Da Lat’s French Quarter, their unique Artichoke Tea is a must-try.
- Bicycle Up – A lovely little hole in the wall café that you’ll regret missing out on.
- Tiem Ca-Phe Co Bong & Tiem Banh Totto-Chan – The most photo-worthy café in Da Lat located downtown behind the train station, specialising in Vietnamese-style drip coffee and known for its baked goods.
4. Check out famous landmarks and unique attractions that are part of what make Da Lat such a charming place to visit
Places to check out:
- Linh Phuoc Pagoda – Located at the end of the Da Lat railway station line, this pagoda is famous for its encrusted walls of painted pottery and is home to a 49-meter long dragon statue made of 12,000 beer bottles.
- Con Ga Church – The cathedral of Da Lat city it called con ga, which literally means chicken, because it has a huge bell in the shape of a chicken.
- Crazy House – Also known as Hang Nga guesthouse, this set of surreal buildings are connected by dreamlike (and sometimes terrifying) staircases in a mountain town of Da Lat.
5. Go on themed tours that will show you different sides of the city
Things to do:
- Experience flower season – Now is the best time to enjoy the flowers (especially if you’re travelling in December!) You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of different types of flowers from lavender to light pink buckwheat flowers, and even cherry blossoms.
- Ride a motorbike to Lak Lake – Take zigzagging mountain roads past rice paddies and green fields of tea and coffee. If you’re lucky you might even see elephants!
- Explore Da Lat’s coffee culture – Visit the many coffee plantations located in Lam Dong Province and the hills surrounding Da Lat, tour a roasting house, or simply go café hopping.
Click here to book your flight to Da Lat with AirAsia today!
This story was originally published on SAYS.