Da Lat is a unique destination in South Vietnam, evidenced by its popularity as a honeymoon destination for Vietnamese newlyweds. The mountainous town offers cooler temperatures with a higher altitude, similar to Sapa in the north, but also heavily influenced to this day by French colonialism not unlike Ho Chi Minh. In fact, back when the French occupied Vietnam, colonists took to Da Lat to escape the heat of Saigon, shaping the town with many a summer chalet and villa. The landscape only supports the structure, abundant with fruit crops including strawberry fields, as well as beautiful waterfalls and lakes.
The distinctive architecture and European likeness is an obvious draw for visitors, but that’s certainly not all Da Lat has to offer. Another reason to come here are Da Lat’s dozen or more pristine falls. The best ones that see the fewest visitors are logically furthest from town: Dambri is 130 km away, Bo Bla is 80 km, and Bao Dai is 50 km.
Bao Dai is considered the most spectacular falls of them all; Bo Bla is surprisingly an abandoned tourist site, and is also stunning with a more intimate setting; and Dambri is beautiful although victim to the intrusive tourism around the country. Depending on the falls, locals and foreigners alike enjoy water sliding, and swimming in the turquoise pools.
Given the hilly area, charming architecture, and outdoor adventure, Da Lat is perfect for bike travel, but keep in mind that temperatures can dip at night depending on the season, so bring a light jacket for evening outings. Also don’t expect much nightlife, since this destination scores as a getaway to unwind amongst the surrounding natural beauty.