Da Lat is known as a popular destination in Vietnam for tourists and couples. The city surrounds Xuan Huong Lake which adds to the dream like atmosphere.
With an elevation over 4,500 ft, the climate is a lot cooler than Ho Chi Minh City. A lot of people complain that Da Lat is cold but I think when the sun is out the temperature feels just right.
Back in the 1890’s the French used Da Lat as their vacation spot by building a resort which is why there is ton of French colonial influence with the architecture.
How to Get to Da Lat
If you’re short on time, I would definitely recommend flying to Da Lat especially if you’re coming from Ho Chi Minh City because nothing beats a less than an hour flight.
A round trip flight is very affordable as well. I only paid $55 USD for a round trip flight with no baggage included since it wasn’t really necessary for a 2 day trip.
Another option to get to Da Lat from Ho Chi Minh City is a 9 hour bus ride which would really eat up your time but is a lot cheaper. Check out Vietnam Bus Tickets to see prices and book.
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Arriving in Da Lat
We flew to Da Lat with Vietjet at 9:10 pm and had landed by 10:30 pm. For convenience, we took a 30 minute shuttle from the airport to the city center.
The drop off was actually a hotel right outside the city so we took a quick taxi to Eudora Homestay which was our accommodation for the night.
The guy who greeted us was very nice and let us choose which room we wanted. The place was small but cute and did the job. In addition, the view of the city from the balcony during the day was amazing!
Shortly after arriving, we went to sleep so we could wake up early and check out the market.
During a visit to Lara’s Homestay a few days before, we met Jane who was the instructor for a watercolor workshop.
She told us that her parents owned a banh mi shop in Da Lat called Muse Corner so we went there after walking around the market. Luckily Da Lat is smaller than Ho Chi Minh City so it was easy to get around on foot.
My first impression of Da Lat during the day was that it’s so beautiful! The air was crisp and there are a ton of gorgeous colorful flowers everywhere.
The French architecture is stunning and really makes you feel like you’ve transported to a different country.
Banh Mi’s at Muse Corner
After walking through the streets of Da Lat for a bit, we finally found Muse Corner and got the shredded chicken banh mi. It was the best one I had during my trip to Vietnam. The chicken was so tasty so I would highly recommend stopping by to get your banh mi fix.
Drinks at The Married Bean Cafe
Da Lat is well known for their coffee shops and cafes, so we headed to The Married Beans Café to get a drink after those delicious banh mi’s.
The space had an earthy feel with the use of a lot of wood and neutral tones. The energy was definitely calm making it the perfect place to come read a book or get work done.
I ordered an iced coffee because I can appreciate the taste of coffee but as someone who rarely drinks coffee it can really knock me off my feet.
DIY Photo Walk
After getting caffeinated, I went on a DIY photo walk around the area and took a ton of photos of any buildings that caught my eye.
The one thing that I absolutely love is the architecture in Da Lat, it’s literally a photographers dream with all the colors and foliage.
Checking into Tre’s House
After chilling for a bit, we headed back to Eudora Homestay to grab our stuff, check out then check into Tre’s House.
Tre’s House is a homestay on a farm nestled a bit higher up. The rooms are submerged in nature making it absolutely divine. There are few different rooms you can rent depending on how much you want to spend.
We chose the Dreamer’s Bungalow retreat which had extreme tree house vibes. The lower level has a small lounge area and bathroom. The bed was on the upper level so you could only reach it using a ladder.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t spoiled by modernism but I absolutely loved the entire space.
Being surrounded by greenery and just having the basics really brings you back and reminds you that you really don’t need much.
I took a shit ton of photos of the grounds and main house that has a lounge area and kitchen, so you can only imagine what it looks like in real life.
Lunch at Pizzeria Primavera
After exploring the property, we headed to Pizzeria Primavera to enjoy some Italian food for lunch. The restaurant was situated in an alley so it had a picture perfect aesthetic.
There was no one else at the restaurant, so we got the whole balcony to ourselves. We had a nice view of the street and with all the architecture it definitely felt like we had transported to Italy.
We ordered glasses of wine, a margarita pizza and gnocchi and wow it was so good! Like really good, so I would highly recommend this place if you want some Italian food while in Da Lat.
The cost of our meal was really cheap too, just look at the prices in the photos of the menu above.
Watching the sunset at Maze Bar & Cafe
As you do while in Da Lat, we headed to another cafe after eating but this time it was Maze Bar & Cafe. The name is exactly what it is and that is a giant maze with a ton of different levels and rooms.
Since there’s no admission fee, before entering you have to order a drink from the menu. I kept it simple and got a lemonade then headed into the unknown darkness.
The maze was very interesting to say the least. It’s super dark with only a bit of mood lighting so you honestly have no idea where you’re going with all the twists and turns and little steps.
I stumbled upon a balcony that faced the front of the cafe which gave me a nice view of the street below.
After sipping for a bit, I continued to wander until I ended up outside in this magical oasis. My eyes were greeted with a huge outdoor garden with a bunch of greenery and a magical stone staircase.
I continued up until I had an amazing view of the city just as the sun was setting. There was only a few people there so the space was quiet and just so beautiful.
Once the sun had gone down I headed back to the Married Beans to meet up with my friend before heading back to Tre’s House for the night.
Hanging Out With a Local
Before heading off to sleep, we spent the rest of the evening befriending Tree, a local Vietnamese guy who works at the Tre’s House.
With no training, he’s a really talented musician so it was cool to hear someone play guitar and sing in Vietnamese.
It was also interesting to learn more about Vietnam from someone who was born and raised there. It’s the best way to learn about a place.
One thing that I learned is that Da Lat is full of extremely naturally talented people but they don’t care about the recognition and just create for themselves which I think is so awesome.
Another thing that I learned is that a lot of people in Vietnam open up cafes as their stream of income and then spend their free time doing what they actually enjoy.
If I was Vietnamese, I definitely wouldn’t mind that kind of low key lifestyle.
Tree gave us really awesome recommendations for things to do in Da Lat, so we made plans to go get Com Hen for breakfast in the morning and then head to a cafe with one of the best views in Da Lat.
Eating street food for breakfast
Com Hen is a traditional rice dish of the Hue people topped with mussels or clams, crispy noodles, peanuts and greens.
There was a little authentic spot that Tree took us to. The food spot was literally in someones home so we sat on these little plastic chairs with a matching plastic table.
The space was so intimate that you could see the lady preparing our food less than 3 feet away.
The clam flavor of the dish was surprisingly nice and the peanuts and crispy noodles added a real nice crunch. I couldn’t even finish my bowl because the proportion was huge and I’m sure it didn’t cost more than $5 USD.
Visiting Kong Coffee
Once we were stuffed, we hopped on the back of motorbikes and headed to Kong Coffee which is located in the mountains of Da Lat.
The little ride there was so beautiful and riveting. By this point I had grown to appreciate the beauty in the chaos of driving in Vietnam.
Kong Coffee had a really cozy log cabin vibe with all the brown wood. I ordered a Vietnamese coffee and we enjoyed our drinks outside with an amazing view of the entire city in the distance.
There was a swing on the porch that I loved swinging on. It felt so whimsical with all the greenery and mountain views.
It was so refreshing and nice to spent the morning just enjoying life with no plans or pressure and in good company.
I honestly can’t believe that this is a place that people have the option to enjoy everyday.
After spending the rest of the morning there, we headed back to Tre’s House to pack up and check out.
The walk down the hill to catch a Grab was a nice little walk. There was a bunch of greenery around and a few people’s homes that gave a nice glimpse into true life in Da Lat.
Checking out of Tre’s House
That morning the dog was up barking at 5 a.m. so the owner Indy let us stay past our checkout time a few more hours.
I ended up taking more photos of the main house, took a nap and woke up around 3 or 4 p.m. which was just in time for the sunset.
Before officially checking out we got to meet Indy, the lady who owns Tre’s House and she was so sweet.
I would definitely recommend staying at Tre’s House when in Da Lat because it’s clean, beautiful and so refreshing for the soul.
Watching the sunset at Cheo veooo
Last stop before the airport was Cheo veooo which is a cafe to watch the sunset. It was on the same street as Kong Coffee but further down and with a view facing a different direction.
This cafe is definitely the spot for sunset because there was a bunch of people already there.
There’s two levels but they each have open walls that face the gorgeous mountain skyline and city in the distance. The space is so peaceful and romantic.
I ordered a tea (don’t remember the name of) that was so good, but what was even better was the sunset. I can’t even explain it but it was truly a sunset I had never seen before.
The pictures without a doubt don’t do it justice but the colors started off red orange and then turned into a rainbow sunset. I swear every color of the sunset was there, it was so wild.
Watching the sunset was such a lovely way to end our chill Da Lat adventure so I would highly recommend going to Cheo veooo cafe to watch the sunset.
Flying back to Ho Chi Minh City
We took a Grab to the shuttle pick up spot to catch the shuttle to the airport.
We flew back with Vietjet so of course our flight ended up getting delayed so we didn’t get to back to Ho Chi Minh City until close to midnight.
Overall, I absolutely loved Da Lat because of the slower pace lifestyle and architecture. It seems like everyone there really just enjoys life and minding their own business which I can appreciate.
There are a ton of things to do in Da Lat such as going on hikes and seeing waterfalls so you’ll definitely need more than just a few days.
What city in Vietnam do you want to visit? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!