Da Lat, Vietnam is also known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’ due to its consistent cool climate. Having been used to sticky heat for the past 3 months arriving there was a refreshing change and finally gave us an excuse to wear our hoodies we’ve needlessly packed.
On our first night in Da Lat we walked into town with some new pals from the hostel to check out the night market and a bar called ‘Maze Bar’.
The Night Market
Having been to many a night market we weren’t expecting anything special from another one but we were mistaken. This one was buzzing with hundreds of clothes stalls, groups of teenage boys having a breakdancing competiton in the street, people playing and selling ‘Hackie Sack’, countless food vendors and due to the cooler climate a lot of very well knitted hats and scarfs available in the design of animals and disney characters.
Maze bar may be the best designed bar we’ve ever been in! The building has been designed unsurprisingly as a maze but one that goes up and down and makes you feel like you are tunnelling through caves. You would think that you had cracked it and seen every area when you’d work out there was another hole you hadn’t explored yet. Well worth a visit, it is A-Maze-Ing!
On our second day we went to the ‘Elephant Waterfall’ and ‘The Crazy House’
Oh my gosh the Elephant Waterfall was stunning! After paying a tiny entry fee of 20,000 Dong (about 70p) we were free to roam the grounds.
We made our way down the questionable route to the bottom of the Waterfall.
Once at the bottom standing there literally took your breath away because of the amount of power the water created on its way down. We also got very wet, which was quite refreshing after a few in the maze bar the night before.
The Crazy House
The Crazy House was designed by architect Mrs Dang Viet Nga and started in 1990 to entice people back to nature. However, Lonely Planet advises to ‘Think of Gaudí and Tolkien dropping acid together’ to get an idea of the crazy house. The place was pretty cool but it’s more of a mansion than a house and they seem to still be extending it…there can be a such a thing as too much crazy.
On our third day we decided to go on the number one recommended trip in Da Lat, Canyoning.
Canyoning is an activity that includes abseiling, sliding down rocks into the water, jumping down waterfalls, hiking and swimming.
On arrival we had a good hour of practising abseiling with our friendly guides, Tiger, Number 2 and Terry before we were ready to go.
It was a great day, the harnesses felt safe and the guides were really helpful. We mastered all the challenges bar 1 for Louise as she is too chicken to free jump the 7 meters into water, luckily there was a path to walk down.
Da Lat was a lovely city and we ended staying there an extra 2 nights more than we had planned, whether that was because we had found a cheap hostel or because we were a bit ill after canyoning I don’t know but it was a good choice.
Sleep: We stayed in Solo Da Lat hostel. For about $3 each a night we got a bed in a dorm, breakfast and dinner! The hostel was clean and the staff were really friendly, they even printed off and laminated a photo of us both from our canyoning trip which they had found on Facebook.
- Da Lat night market. Great place to wonder even if you don’t want to buy anything. We didn’t have any but the food looked tasty too.
- The Elephant Waterfall don’t miss it!
- The Crazy House I don’t think you could forgive yourself if you went to Da Lat without visiting here. Obviously quite touristy but good for a bit of fun and has some really nice views from the top.
- Maze Bar For some reason Maze bar is also called 100 roofs so look for that if you are using google maps. The drinks are more costly than other venues in Vietnam but well worth it.
- Canyoning We booked our trip with Highland Sport Travel (through our hostel). They were very professional and helped make the day a lot of fun.