I don’t know if you guys are anything like me, but I don’t deal with the heat too well. I mean don’t get me wrong, I like hot weather! However the humidity in Asia can get a bit much at times. Da Lat was a VERY welcome break awarding it the nickname, the ‘City of Eternal Spring’. It felt nice to not sweat the moment I walked out of my hostel, however there was a fair bit of rain while I was there, so I still got fairly wet! The English were even wearing tracksuits and hoodies, I was comfortable in my shorts and a t-shirt though.
Tip: Do not attempt the bus trip from Mui Ne to Da Lat hung over! This will result in you shamefully throwing up into a plastic bag on the bus – there are many twists and turns…
Where to stay!
Okay, well I stayed at a place called ‘Da Lat Family Backpackers‘. From what I could gather, they’re relocating, however for the moment they hire out to a lot of the backpackers on the same road as the main building. I’m going to be straight up, the rooms were very average. I was in a dorm with about 20 beds (10 bunks), spread through 3 small rooms with open doors. The bathroom in the part we stayed at was shocking. One morning I had a shower with literally 2 drops of cold water (Da lat is the one place in Asia where a cold shower is not at all a comfortable thing). In saying this, the other blocks had better bathrooms/showers and living arrangements, so I guess it’s the luck of the draw…
HOWEVER don’t let me scare you off it because the real draw card for this hostel and the reason why so many people rave about it, is its incredible atmosphere! From the moment you walk in, you are greeted and hollered at across the room by the entire family who run this place. You are kissed and hugged and sat down and FED before you even check in! You are also able to book things through them easily as they are all so very kind.
Where to eat!
The Da Lat Family Hostel DINNERS were one of the highlights of my trip! For 45,000DONG you are sat at a table with about 20 other hungry backpackers while the family brings out dishes upon dishes of incredible food including spring rolls, rice, noodles, vegetables, meat and much more. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is great, sitting so close to a stranger means you are all but forced to make conversation. Especially if you eat as much as I do, I found I spent more time asking the girls next to me to pass me food dishes than I did conversing.
What to do in Da Lat!
Note: Now I probably should have adventured around the town more, however every time I tried to leave my hostel it would start to rain.
In Da Lat, all the backpackers seem to do canyoning. The hostel advertises it and it seems every day a bunch of people come back from doing it.
The hostel runs canyoning which appeared to be good, however they go in groups of around 20 – meaning you have to wait around all day for everyone to finish. I had heard suggestions for a company called ‘Groovy Gecko‘ which raved about a 65 metre abseil down a waterfall (after an 8m, 25m, 30m, 32m and 36m). I thought I may as well challenge myself and do the harder one if I was going to do one, so I booked through them. It was definitely an interesting experience. We had a small group, 8 of us, so we weren’t waiting around all day which was great! The tour guides were super enthusiastic, ending their speeches with “Don’t be lazy, be crazy!” I would suggest them to anyone who wants to challenge themselves with canyoning in Da Lat.
Note: they also take photos of you while you do it and post them on Facebook so you can get them after!
Da Lat has plenty of nice bars. The hostel runs a pub crawl, however I found it pretty badly organised when I went (twice). Make sure they end up (or go there yourself!) at the 100 Rooftop Bar or ‘100 Roofs Cafe‘ because it is EPIC! The most architecturally awesome bar I have been to in my life. It is a super quirky jungle themed bar, set out in a maze like fashion making it super easy to get lost.
Note: Most bars shut at 12am in Da Lat.
On my last day I finally managed to see a proper tourist attraction, ‘Crazy House‘. I was told the same architect that designed the 100 Roofs Cafe also designed this place, and I believe it! It is another crazy architectural wonder in Da Lat. It is actually a hotel, but you can pay a small entry price and spend an hour or so walking the grounds and admiring the madness of this mad house! Would definitely suggest checking it out while you’re in Da Lat. We just took a taxi from the hostel there and split between four it was barely anything.
Travellers! Tell me your Da Lat highlights! 🙂
I hope you’ll stick around and follow me on my adventure,
The Virgin Backpacker xx
Ps. If you have any travel questions/queries or feedback, don’t hesitate to comment, hit my socials, or use the contact form below!