Friday, October 5, 2012

From Sand Town to the Highlands

From the shores of Mui Ne we move further up to Da Lat. Another 5-hour bus (a minibus really) ride and we arrive in cool temperatures. The first thing I saw as we approached Da Lat was the huge lake. That and the cool temperature reminded me of Baguio.

Xuan Houng Lake
Need exercise? Walk the path circumnavigating the lake. It will give your legs a good 7-kilometer workout. You can stop along the way for some food and drinks. There are vendors and a restaurant to energize you. And if you're feeling lovey-dovey with your other half, shell out 60,000VND and gather up some pedal pushing power for a swan ride.

Make sense of these rules before sitting on the swan.
Click and read the English translation.

Night Market
I am not sure if the night market comes alive daily or just weekends. It was a Saturday when we went. There's food sold just about anywhere. Clothes, bags, balloons, and some other things, too.

Crémaillère or the Da Lat Railway Station is the "most ancient one in Vietnam" (that's what the sign says). From 1928 to 1964 it linked Da Lat and Thap Cham-Phan Rang. Now, it only operates to Trai Mat village.

 Train Schedule

Inside the station

Choochoo train

For 35,000VND (admission fee), you enter into the weirdest house ever. This "crazy" house is the brain child of Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga. It has maze-like hallways, stairways with uneven steps, theme rooms with a bear, a giant eagle, or some other animal (you can rent any of these rooms), and bridges and stairs all over the roof. I left this place feeling rather bizarre.
Dining room

Stairway to get from one side of the roof to the other
 Giant spiderweb on the house

Uneven steps

Prenn Falls
About 10km from the city is Prenn Falls. Admission fee is 20,000VND. See the waterfall, walk the hanging bridge, row around on a raft. An elephant ride (separate fee) is also offered inside the vicinity.

Walk behind the falls, cross the hanging bridge, or row around on a raft

The only form of public transportation in Da Lat is the taxi. Tours around Da Lat can be availed thru the hostel/guesthouse. We were taken to these places on Vietnam's preferred mode of transportation—the motorcycle—by our newfound friends.

Veni, Vidi, (South) Vietnam:
Do You...?
What's in a (Business) Name? Vietnam
Bed Hopping
Adopting a Fellow Traveler
Strolling Saigon
From Concrete City to Sand Town
From Sand Town to the Highlands (you're here!)
Would You Call Us Lucky or Unlucky?
Wedding Crashers
Vietnom Nom Nom
Ding Dong, Dong's All Gone


  1. Would you recommend that people go to Da Lat? It doesn't seem to have the interesting qualities of say Mui Ne or other cities along the coast. I love Sagada and I generally favor mountains over beaches but I don't feel compelled by the idea of going to Da Lat. hehe

    1. Hi Benj. Personally I wasn't impressed. It felt like Baguio to me. But my friend loved it there. It is difficult to get around in Da Lat, unless you know how to ride a motorcycle and/or are willing to rent one then you can explore the outskirts. I think there are more waterfalls (not the overdeveloped ones like Prenn) beyond the city limits. Oh, I had a great time in Sagada (thanks to your visit Sagada site, that was very helpful).

    2. Yeah, it kinda felt and looked that way. Haha. I think I would enjoy Nha Trang and Hoi An more. Can't wait for the next adventure!