Dalat, Vietnam: what to see & do

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Dalat is quite different from everything you have visited in Vietnam. The city is located 1500m above the sea level and has typical mountain climate: it can get very warm during the day when the sun comes out and very cold during the night, so you might need a warm jacket and a scarf.

Streets of Dalat might remind you of some European city in the Alps, with beautiful lake in the city center, nice cafés and beautiful nature around. If you are in Vietnam, do not miss this spot. Here are my favorite things to see and do in Dalat.

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1. Crazy House
Crazy house, original name Hang Nga Guesthouse, is an unusual building designed and constructed by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga. An interesting fact about the architect, is that she got her PhD in architecture in Moscow. The architecture of this house reminded me the projects of Austrian architect and artist Hundertwasser and Spanish architect Gaudi. The idea of this project was to entice people back to nature. Visiting Crazy House is a must in Dalat. Please wonder around the stairs and paths, it’s easy to get lost here but it is a part of the experience.

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2. Linh Phoc Pagoda
Linh Phoc Pagoda is also called Dragon Pagoda was build from debris of glass, pottery bowls, and porcelain between 1949 and 1952. Walk around this beautiful place, climb each and every stairs, meditate in front of buddha, visit all the rooms, observe small details of architecture and enjoy… There is something magical about this place: it can make you cry, it can make you laugh or feel as peaceful as never before. This place would not leave you indifferent.

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3. Golden Buddha Statue
Large statue of Golden Buddha, located at the highest point in Dalat in Van Hanh Pagoda is seen from many places in Dalat. This sight is quit unique showing specific characteristics of Buddhist architecture. The Buddha statue itself is 24m high and 20m wide, rising a lotus in his hand. Do not go here only to take pictures, but sit, observe, smell, listen and enjoy. There is something very peaceful about this place.

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4. Biggest waterfall in Vietnam

The Voi Falls is also known as elephant falls are the biggest waterfall sin Vietnam. They are about 40 meters high and located 30 meters above the ground. It is quite a drive to get to waterfalls, 60 km from Dalat, but with beautiful scenery: first coming down the mountain and then driving through local villages. Take some light cloth as it is very warm as soon as you get down and swimming suite for the waterfalls itself.

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5. Flower Park

This beautiful place is very easy to find, just follow the Xuan Huong Lake from the city center and you would not miss it. After paying small entrance fee, thi magic place is all yours. The garden is covered with fine examples of all kind of blooms grown locally. You can find here not only many beautiful flowers, but also amazing installations from bushes. It is a beautiful spot to enjoy nature, flowers and peacefulness of Dalat city.

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6. Visit Dalat Market and eat local food
Do not miss going to the local market and just wonder around. There are so many interesting stuff sold out there. The part with fresh food on the ground floor is amazing. So many different kinds of salads, vegetables and greens. Over 10 diverse sorts of rice, beans and dryed fruits. If you want to buy fresh fruits, it is cheaper to do it inside the market. After walking around the market, go to the second floor and order something local to eat! The food is amazing. Explore different kinds of Vietnamese food, do not be afraid!

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7. Eat street food at the night market
The market in Dalat closes around 7pm, and that’s the time when the sellers move their products outside. You can find everything at the night market: from clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories to restaurants and street-food sellers. I am a big fan of street food. I have never had any problems or troubles with my stomach after eating it! I love trying new stuff, I love eating what locals eat and where they eat. Of course I do not try everything, but if it does look appealing to me, I will get it.

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