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

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!

Everybody gets a nice VIP bed/seat on the way to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh City. Seats are not optimal for people with long legs
Everybody gets a nice VIP bed/seat on the way to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh City. Seats are not optimal for people with long legs
Early morning in Dalat. Walking around to find a place to rent a cheap scooter
Early morning in Dalat. Walking around to find a place to rent a cheap scooter
Breakfast time. I think noodles
Breakfast time. I think noodles
200kg of avocados on the way to the central market in Dalat
200kg of avocados on the way to the central market in Dalat
Besides avocado one can buy some (pet) fish around here
Besides avocado one can buy some (pet) fish around here
Went for some "chicken race" with the locals
Went for some “chicken race” with the locals
Dalat is also a good place to buy your favourite flowers. I bought zero flowers
Dalat is also a good place to buy your favourite flowers. I bought zero flowers
... instead I could enjoy eating mutated avocados (well, just normal Vietnamese super avocados)
… instead I could enjoy eating mutated avocados (well, just normal Vietnamese super avocados)
Let's have a quick look at the hotel. Very, very decent place as the hotel was build like a small castle hosting tons of relics, including old cars and motorbikes. Check out Saphire Hotel
Let’s have a quick look at the hotel. Very, very decent place as the hotel was built like a small castle hosting tons of relics, including old cars and motorbikes. Check out Saphire Hotel
Someone parked inside the hotel. Not ok
Someone parked inside the hotel. Not Ok
Took my private cable car to next morning to get a better view of the city. To my surprise we were followed by other evil cable cars
Took my private evil cable car the next morning to get a better view of the city. To my surprise we were followed by other evil cable cars
Overview of Dalat in the rainy weather. Around 200.000 people live in the central part of down (as per Wikipedia's 2010 numbers)
Overview of Dalat embedded in rainy weather. Around 200.000 people live in the central part of town (as per Wikipedia’s 2010 numbers)
From the cable car one can get to Thien Vien Truc Lam temple. Peaceful place close to trees, hills, flowers, and lakes
From the cable car one can get to Thien Vien Truc Lam temple. Peaceful place close to trees, hills, flowers, and lakes
Flower garden in Thien Vien Truc Lam temple
Flower garden in Thien Vien Truc Lam temple
Heading down the hill to check out the lake
Following random people to check out the lake
Forest
Forest
Lake
Lake
Blueberry/Raspberry/Strawberry drink!!! Alright, berries are cheap and delicious here. Buy from the street or indulge it inside any of the small boutique coffee shops around town
Blueberry/Raspberry/Strawberry drink!!!
Alright, berries are cheap and delicious here. Buy from the street or indulge them inside any of the small boutique coffee shops around town
Exploring the down by night. Not very crowded in rainy August
Exploring the town by night. Not very crowded in rainy August
Found an epic Playstation 1 cafe!
Found an epic and rare Playstation 1 cafe!
Local wine shop
Local wine shop
This turned out to be our dinner place for the evening. Best BBQ in town
This turned out to be our dinner place for the evening. Best BBQ in town
To prepare for the next days long motorbike trip we had to upgrade our bikes
To prepare for the next day’s long motorbike trip we had to upgrade our bikes
Out driving around the hills the next day. Planning to visit some hidden restaurant on one of the mountain tops. Asking truck drivers where to go
Out driving around the hills the next day. Planning to visit some hidden restaurant on one of the mountain tops. Asking truck drivers where to go
Some beautiful scenery around the hills. Unfortunately the weather was is cloudy and rainy during August
Some beautiful scenery around the hills. Unfortunately the weather was a bit cloudy
More landscape pictures
More landscape pictures
And here was the dead end. Too much water and impossible to continue further. No mountain peak restaurant this time
And here was the dead end. Too much water, hence impossible to continue further. No mountain top restaurant this time
Came to a small park around the hills. Didn't swim
Came to a small park around the hills. Didn’t swim
Top quality snails for dinner
Top quality snails for dinner
Forgot about including one of the famous churches in Dalat
Forgot about including one of the famous churches in Dalat
Also forgot about the poor chickens in the market
Also forgot about the poor chickens from the market
And lastly, the romantic flower guy
And lastly, the romantic flower guy

 

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