March 13, 2013

Dalat, The City of Eternal Spring

Dear Travel Junkies:
Dalat isn't a place where all dreamers would dream of visiting, it is a wonderful vacation spot for the Vietnamese and serious adventurers. Like the French Alps, the climate in Dalat is cool and the valleys are covered with mist all year round which is why the small city is named, "the city of eternal spring." The Vietnamese like to escape the heat and humidity of the coast and of Ho Chi Minh City to the clear and cool mountain air. 

Dalat is the capital of Lam Dong province in southern Vietnam. It is home to many beautiful flowers, typically the hydrangea and the golden everlasting.  The city also produces many agricultural products for all over Vietnam due to its year-round cool weather.
  

How to get there: There are many bus services and tours that will take you to Dalat. You can check for prices at any tour company. The cost for everything is ridiculously cheap. The ride to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh City is approximately 6-7 hours long, so my family and I opted for the bus with beds which totalled to about 90,000d per person which was under $5 USD per person. Otherwise it would be 60,000d per person for the regular bus. I recommend taking the same bus I had taken because sitting upright in a bus for that many hours is extremely uncomfortable. Also, there are packaged tours that can take you to Nha Trang and Halong Bay along with Dalat. The long distance drive takes you through the hills and the mountains so try not to sleep through the entire ride or you'll miss out on the incredible views like my photo below.

The long distance ride to Dalat from HCMC.

Things to do:
Central Market   For cheap eats, souvenirs and shopping, head up to the upper and lower level of the Central Market. You will find everything you need and more at a ridiculously low price. I find that the prices in Dalat are much lower than in Ho Chi Minh City so I got everyone a little something. 
Dalat Flower Gardens   Home to the floral industry, walk through Dalat's natural true beauty of flowers like hydrangeas, orchids and fuchsias.
Love Valley   Fall in love inside this cute fun park. Everything about it is cute and lovey dovey so take your loved ones here for a stroll or a horseback ride through the park. 
Lang Biang Mountain   Hike 3-4 hours or ride a Safari-like jeep up to the cool misty mountain. If you're lucky and the sunshine happens to come out on the day you visit, take full advantage of breathtaking view of Dalat City, the forest and the rivers. The name Lang Biang derived from a legend of a young couple, the boy named K'lang and the girl named Ho Biang, who couldn't marry because the couple came from two opposing tribes. After the couple had committed suicide, the girl's father unified the tribes into one called K'ho and allowed boys and girls from both tribes to marry each other.
Nightlife   There are many nice bars and nightclubs in the heart of downtown. Dalat looks just as beautiful at night as it is during daytime so take a walk into town after dinner and have a couple of drinks. Whether its alcohol or non-alcoholic, its up to you ;)

 Downtown Dalat
Central Market


 Vendors of Central Market

 Love Valley
Spreading the love

 Love Valley grounds
Horseback riding with my little brother 
Shopping inside Love Valley
Welcome to Lang Biang
 
 Dad shopping for some local gear

 Lost children =p
The whole gang 


Happy Traveling =)

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