When you visit Vietnam, there are top must-do’s while you’re there and then there are places you go only if you have time. Da Lat, Vietnam: is it worth it?
I’ve met people who say they like Da Lat. Actually, most people say they LOVE Da Lat. I, on the other hand, would give it a hard NAH. Not worth it. I mean, to be honest it’s nothing special. Other parts of Vietnam were way better (in my opinion, obvi) so I would say do not go to Da Lat if you have only a week in Vietnam. There are tons of more other more amazing places in Vietnam.
Da Lat was #3 of my 11 or so stops in Vietnam. Geographically speaking, it’s kind of out of the way between Mui Ne and Hoi An. I had the choice of stopping in Da Lat, or going straight to Hoi An. Like I said, so many people told me they love Da Lat so I wanted to check it out for myself.
To start, the road to Da Lat is up a super wind-y mountain on a not-so-great bus. Once there, it was just a simple little town with not much charm. I stayed for a couple of nights to give it a chance.
I went on a landscape tour where we saw a weasel coffee farm, silk worm factory, elephant waterfall, strawberry garden, a temple on top of a mountain, and even saw how rice wine is made.
I went to the night market, I went to Maze bar, I walked nearly the entire city and around the lake.
There isn’t much (if any at all) street food during the day. I wanted local food; something, anything. I walked what seemed to be several blocks around the top of the city and even down and around the lake. Nothing. No street food. Maybe it’s just not a thing in Da Lat? Either way, I wasn’t impressed.
I had already went to Maze Bar (a fun maze with tunnels and multiple bars), so I wanted to try something different the next night. We walked for nearly 20 minutes and couldn’t find a cozy intimate bar with live music anywhere. We ended up at some dead sky bar being the only ones in there. After one drink, we left and walked down to the night market which was now open. We sat at an outdoor street food stand, ordered a couple beers, and people watched. A great place to spend the night.
Maybe Da Lat just didn’t rub me the right way. Or perhaps I’m comparing it to astonishing places like Hoi An. Either way, I’d still give Da Lat a pass. Maybe if you had a month and were going to pass through Da Lat anyway, stop by for a few nights to see for yourself.
One thing that I did love about Da Lat was the hospitality. Almost every single hostel was rated nearly 10/10 and for a reason. The people of Da Lat are extremely friendly. I stayed at Da Lat Alan Hostel for $5/night and the best thing about it was the family dinners! Included! Everyone in the hostel comes together to eat dinner together, it was the best! I wish I had a picture of it.
$5 for a bed, a dinner, AND breakfast in the morning. SERIOUSLY?! Maybe you should go to Da Lat just for that. HA! If you make your way over there, let me know what you think! XOXO MEL
SUMMARY OF TWO DAY COST IN DA LAT
Day 1: $17
$4 bus form Mui Ne to Da Lat
$2 Banh Mi snack
$0 dinner (included w hostel!)
Day 2: $27
$0 breakfast (included w hostel!)
$13 landscape tour
$0 dinner (included w hostel!)