Christmas is around the corner. In Vietnam one can get some hints by finding x-mas decoration outside and inside shopping malls, bars and restaurants – everyone is getting pumped up for the big event, even our office got a magnificent five meters tree installed in the lobby. Snow is unfortunately, or logically, not around the corner. The weather is still warm and pleasant in HCMC, but there is a possibility to experience colder wither by travel ling to Dalat, a hill station 320 km away.
Best way to travel to Dalat is said to be from beginning of November to end of February. I managed to visit Dalat in August last year, which was nice… but pretty cloudy and rainy, like a classic Swedish summer day. It feels refreshing to make the transition from the hectic city of Ho Chi Minh to the more peaceful atmosphere in the mountains around Dalat.
A popular option is to travel by bus late at night and arrive in the early morning. Buses are modern and of good standard (even if the seats/beds are not optimal for people over 170 cm). The total stay in Dalat lasted from three full days and two nights, and later continued further north east to Nha Trang (check the map).
Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat takes around 6-8 hours to cover the 320 km distance. There is also a possibility to travel by air
To summarise, the days in Dalat it included walking around the city, its markets, churches, and small narrow streets, as well as visiting temples (pagodas), riding cable car, enjoying amazing food and drinks, and driving around the hills. Renting a scooter should be a must as it makes it easy and convenient to explore the area. There is supposed to be plenty of nice waterfalls around too, but we did not have enough time during this trip. And during the last week of December there is also a famous flower festival – lots of flowers and lots of people. I will definitely go back to Dalat over a weekend now when I live in Vietnam. Gonna buy lots of avocados, they are super big haha!