Exploring around Dalat and seeing as much as possible in my short time in this beautiful town was high on the priority list for the last days. With only four full days in the area seeing everything was always going to be impossible. So come days 8 and 9, it was full throttle as we rushed around to as many locations in and around Dalat as possible.
A word or two on Dalat before I wrap up my diaries in this amazing city. If you are ever in Vietnam, be sure to put Dalat on the list. It’s a great city full of amazing landscapes, water features and buildings. For me four days is certainly not enough but heck I will take it and I am certainly glad I visited.
Now to the highlights of days 8 and 9 of Vietnam Diaries.
Best Bits of the day
Day 8 – Dalat star – A village made of clay, Dalat Star is about 20-minutes from the city centre. To wander through the maze of sculptures and housing is a sight to behold. A good hour is all that you will spend but you will be glad you made the trip through windy roads as it is truly unique design and artwork put into this truly remarkable place will leave a lasting effect.
Day 9 – The crazy house – The architecture around the Crazy House is fascinating. Designed by one lady who took 14-years to design what can only be called a masterpiece and the end result is nothing short of sensational. The initial thought before coming to the crazy house if you haven’t seen any pictures prior is, it’s just a hotel. Upon arriving you realise any such thoughts are plain crazy (pardon the pun). While an hour is all you need and perhaps a coffee in the café, you will be caught stunned at this crazy and quirky hotel.
Climbing up the steps and reaching great heights as you go through skinny obstacles and dodge other tourists. Each structure is different and quite odd. You couldn’t even give a name to any of sculptures that you are starring at, except for the fact that it would be perfect for a Halloween party. I guess that’s why the Crazy House was named the top 3 most unique hotels in the world and here it is in the middle of Vietnam.
Chasing the Waterfalls
Dalat has a lot of waterfalls, I did not have time to visit them all as some are a bit of a drive away. A couple of waterfalls to visit that I didn’t see are the Pongour and Datanla Waterfalls. Let’s discuss the falls I did see.
Elephant Waterfall – Driving through incredible terrain to get to this waterfall, about forty-five-minutes South West of Dalat town centre. The Elephant Waterfall, which got its name from a rock resembling an elephant, will truly amaze you as the fresh water flows freely creating a picturesque view that your camera will appreciate.
Once you enter after you drive through the Nam Ban Village, pay a small fee and from the carpark it is a short hike through slippery terrain (wear good footing). From there you will get all sorts of angles and views of the fall.
Prenn Waterfall – Unlike the Elephant Water, the attraction here is much more than a waterfall, which is fabulous in itself. While most of the attention will be on the falls and the unbelievable path that will take you directly under the fall as you feel splashes of water rain onto you.
There is plenty of other activities to do at Prenn. Take a brisk walk through some gardens, amusements for the kids and a cable car over the falls. Also available is the unethical elephant and ostrich riding, at an extra cost, but I never choose to participate, it never seems right especially seeing the elephants in chains and all for human pleasure.
Highlights of Days 8 and 9
Linh Phuoc Pagoda – Not too far from the city-centre, too long to walk but a short taxi ride. Linh Phuoc Pagoda is a must visit, especially since it is free of charge. The Pagoda, a Buddhist temple, made from broken glass and smashed up pottery, is brilliantly designed and a treat to gaze upon. Go inside one the man temple halls, have prayer and spend a minute wondering if monks praying are real or not. Or perhaps that is just me.
Weasel Coffee Plantation – The story of the Weasel coffee beans is made is fascinating story. The Weasel eats the coffee bean, it goes through their system undigested, with the acid from the stomach giving it its distinct flavour. So yes, the coffee beans come from the droppings of a weasel.
It may sound disgusting but for coffee lovers this place is a must visit. You can see the process happening the coffee beans drying out and the weasels having a nap. Of course, there is the taste tasting it cost a small fee and I have got to be honest with you as a mad coffee fan, I loved it.
Cricket farm – A bit of honesty here, unless you are visiting this place as part of a tour, which you usually are if visiting the Elephant Waterfall. There is not much to see here unless you love seeing cricket’s bounce around in a dark room or perhaps have a snack on a crispy dried cricket. Otherwise, move right on. There is plenty more to do around Dalat.
Read days 7 diaries in Vietnam right here and see plenty more around Dalat.