It is a breath of fresh air both literally and metaphorically after the mayhem and humidity of HCMC.
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Dalat is the stepping stone to the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This former French hill station with its own mini replica of the Eiffel Towere stands at 1475 metres. It is a breath of fresh air both literally and metaphorically after the mayhem and humidity of HCMC.
There are three likely points of entry to Dalat:
From the north via Nha Trang on the coast. The most common tourist route is up and down the coast travelling by open tour buses or train. Dalat is a short detour inland from the hub at Nha Trang.
From the north via the Central Highlands. Some more adventurous travellers will avoid the coastal route and head inland from Hoi An then go through the beautiful Central Highlands on the way to Dalat. Please note that permits are required to enter most of these central districts and travel with a guide and private transport is recommended.
From HCMC to the south. This was the way we chose, travelling on the Sinh Cafe Open Tour bus. We left HCMC at 8.30am arriving in Dalat at 3.30pm. It’s only a 308km journey but the roads are slow but that’s not a problem amidst such beautiful lush scenery.
Dalat also has an airport 30km to the south of town with daily flights to and from HCMC.
Temple in Dalat VietnamDalat has long been a popular centre for domestic tourism attracting over 800,000 Vietnamese tourists a year. Average daily temperatures range from 15ºC to 24ºC so you’ll need to wrap up in the evening. We were there in November and there was a chill in the air even in daytime. The dry season is officially from December to March and the rainy season from April to November though we fortunately managed to avoid any rain at all.
See more: best places to visit in Vietnam.