Travel tips and advice for Dalat, Vietnam

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Da Lat, Vietnam

Travel tips and advice for Dalat, Vietnam Da Lat Reviews

hnmahoney hnmahoney
1 reviews
Vietnam Pre trip vacations Oct 12, 2011
Pre trip vacations

Recommended Vaccinations Starting

Diphtheria 1 day

Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis) 1 week

Tetanus 1 day

Yellow fever – transit 10 days

Malaria in Vietnam 1-7 days

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a throat infection, which infects from person-to-person through the air. The vaccination should be less than 10 years old otherwise a booster is needed.

Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)

Infectious hepatitis infects through contaminated food and water.

Tetanus

Tetanus is a complication to wounds contaminated by soil. If there has been a vaccination within the past 10 years it is not necessary to give a booster in case of wounds and accidents.

Yellow fever - transit

Certain countries without yellow fever require a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate if you arrives (even in transit) from a country where yellow fever is present.

If you arrive from a country without yellow fever, there is no requirement for a yellow fever vaccination.

Malaria in Vietnam

The risk of malaria in Vietnam is low and is mainly found in the central highlands. The choice of drug for prevention is between: Malarone, Doxycycline or Lariam. Protection against mosquito bites will reduce the risk.
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andygl andygl
1 reviews
Great for single girls you are so safe Jun 22, 2011
The Motor bike tour guide was really nice, so polite and showed me the cheapest places to stay and ordered food for me. He even made sure my salad was washed properly.

Dalat Cowboys are superb and if you are traveling alone I would heartily recommend that this is the only way to travel.

Get out of Saigon and head for Dalat, then find one of these guys, it is so much fun.
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batran batran
3 reviews
Jul 11, 2007
Chances are if you take a bus to Dalat, they'll be waiting for you when you get off. These guys, recommended in Lonely Planet amongst other places, are English-speaking tour guides with their own motorbikes, who will take you on a day tour of Dalat, or if you're feeling more adventurous, up the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the Central Highlands, to Hoi An or further afield. Real professionals who really know their stuff, they can show you a side of Vietnam you might not be able to see otherwise. Try and find the genuine Easy Riders as there are many impersonators.

Other things to do:

Dalat Palace Golf Club, Dalat

In 1994 this historic golf course was meticulously revitalized and enhanced; it was also upgraded from nine to eighteen holes.

Attraction type: Golf course

Valley of Love (Thung Lung Tinh Yeu)

If you know anything at all about Vietnamese university life, it is that university students are hopeless, and I really mean hopeless, romantics.

Attraction type: Valley

Lam Ty Ni Pagoda, Dalat

Eccentric Zen artist and poet Thay Vien Thuc is the main attraction at this popular pagoda; part monk and part sideshow, he creates personal on-the-spot paintings for any visitor willing to pay.

Attraction type: Art gallery; Religious site

Bao Dai's Palace, Dalat

Preserved almost intact, this is the most popular of the three Bao Dai palaces in town; Bao Dai was ousted by Ho Chi Minh in 1945.

Attraction type: Historic home

Where to eat?

Specialty Foods

If you have an adventurer's palate, there are places where you can try something you may never have eaten before. Many are suitable for a group of five or six friends.

• Barbecues

You will be impressed by the way chefs season their meat. Your mouth will water as you watch the waiter fill a plate with unusually arranged pieces of meat on your table. If you are sitting at the same table with someone from northern Viet Nam, s/he will immediately tell you the taste is typical of northern cooking. A good restaurant for barbecue is Sa Pa on Hai Thuong Street (Tel. 835760). The house is modeled after the stilt house of the northwestern part of northern Viet Nam and the Central Highlands. The price for a plate of roasted meat for four persons is VND 30,000.

• Dishes prepared from local or marine products

Some restaurants serve dishes made from both local and marine products, but if you want to have 200-gram lobsters, the place to go to is the restaurant with the name meaning "sea and mountain," which is Hai Son, near Da Lat Market. The telephone number is: 827252.

• Asian and European food

Tourists may also dine at restaurants serving both Asian and European dishes. In particular, try Cafe de la Poste, the casual cafe that is near the Sofitel Palace and Novotel. They serve French pastries, and next to the bar is a pool table.

Below are some good restaurants:

- Nhat Ly, 88 Phan Dinh Phung, Tel: (063)821651

- Phuong Hoang, 81 Phan Dinh Phung, Tel: (063)822773

- Nhu Ngoc, near Da Lat Market, Tel: (063)822651

- Nam Do, near Da Lat Market, Tel: (063)824550

- Long Hoa, 63 thang 4 Street, Tel: (063) 822934

- Thanh Thanh, 4 Tang Bat Ho, Tel: (063) 821836 - 829158

- Tan Hue Do, 27/2 Hoang Dieu, Tel: (063) 826848 (serving a specialty prepared from goat meat)

- Van Hue Lau, 22/2 Tran Phu, Tel: (063) 824794

- Nhu Y, 143B Phan Dinh Phung, Tel: (063) 823770

- Quan Suoi Mo, 17 Nguyen Van Troi, Tel: (063) 823022

- Hoa Le, 1 Nha Chung, Tel: (063) 833399 (specializing in sea food)

• Cabbage

Da Lat is a city of cabbages. They not only carpet the hills surrounding the town but also occupy pieces of land near Xuan Huong Lake and Le Dai Hanh Street. Da Lat's cabbages are grown with hygienic technology, so you're safe eating such vegetable dishes. The nets covering the plants not only protect them from insects, but enhance the local landscape.

Cabbages are so abundant that some restaurants won't even charge customers for a plate of cabbage topped with sliced egg. Such generosity may even be extended to include goat meat hot pot (lẩu dê), a dish that you can enjoy with your cabbage dish.

Below are some good lẩu dê (goat hot pot) restaurants:

- Ngan, 32C Ho Tung Mau, Tel: (063) 823808

- Phu, Hoang Dieu St.

Some law-end lẩu dê restaurants are on Le Quy Don Street (near Nguyen Van Cu Street and 3 thang 2 Street), and khu Ba Toa (one kilometer from Da Lat Market). A good lẩu dê dish for four diners costs VND 40,000 to 60,000.

• Coat Meat

Coat Restaurant (Quán Dê), 5 Ho Xuan Huong Street, Tel: (063) 824197, serves many traditional dishes made from goat meat, including goat blood for the bolder diner.

• Artichoke

Artichoke season runs between December and June. For six months, this voluptuous vegetable becomes a regular item in many restaurants. The most popular artichoke dish is stewed with pig legs, it is believed to have medicinal values, facilitating urination, cooling the liver system, and ensuring a sound sleep. Tourists on holiday during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tết (end of January - February) usually eat this dish.

• Mekong Delta dishes

Nhu Ngoc 2 Restaurant, which serves dishes from the Mekong Delta, is an interesting place. It is conveniently located behind the central post office in the town center, overlooking the central market. The menu includes, among other things, rice cooked in the traditional style, using small terra cotta pots. Adding to the rustic ambience are the waitresses who are dressed in the traditional bà ba uniform of the Mekong Delta. You can find Nhu Ngoc 2 Restaurant at No. 19/8 Ho Tung Mau Street. The telephone number: (063) 833999.

Where to eat at night

Da Lat eateries usually remain open until midnight. They have good reason. Tourists often bundle themselves up in warm clothing and wander the streets in spite of the chilly mountain air. Their hunger pangs may lead them to a place with an off - putting name - chợ Âm Phủ (Hell's Market). But the food there is palatable. The market is located next to Hai Son Hotel, near Da Lat's central market.

A few years ago, on the steps leading to Da Lat Market of Hoa Binh Quarter, there were several vendors serving cheap food at night. Their businesses flourished so well that they blocked the streets and ruined the view. That's why the local authorities decided to move the market to its current location, 200 meters from the previous one.

At Hell's Market, restaurants and food stalls serve dishes from the northern, central and southern areas of Viet Nam, and even from China. These include noodles, rice porridge, soy beverages, roasted squid, and corn on the cob.

Make sure you check the prices of the dishes before you order. Some sellers may try to take advantage of your innocence to grab an easy buck.

In addition to Hell's Market, you can try these other eateries:

There are the bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodles) restaurants in the alley called Anh Sang (light) by Xuan Huong Lake. The cooks are natives of Hue City in central Viet Nam, so you can taste real Hue dishes. On a cold night, the hot peppery foods will certainly cut the chill. Some food shops also serve dishes, such as Quảng noodles and duck rice soup.

If you miss phở (rice noodle soup), try the phở restaurants on Tang Bat Ho Street before midnight. Only two big phở restaurants on this street remain open until 2 a.m. in the morning.

Cassava vermicelli soup also is a very popular dish in Viet Nam. If you want a bowl of cassava vermicelli soup topped with chicken, go to the restaurant at No. 12 on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Tel. (063) 823578, near Ngoc Lan Hotel. Please note that this restaurant is only open at night.

Great coffee

If you love coffee, try Thuy Ta and Thanh Thanh restaurants by Xuan Huong Lake, the coffee street on the slope going up to Hoa Binh Quarter. Also, visit the bars on the top floors of some hotels. From these higher levels, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the brightly lit town below.

Thuy Ta and Thanh Thanh serve food indoors, but reserve the outdoor space for drinkers. On a quiet evening, what could be more blissful than sipping hot coffee on a terrace overlooking the lake, and watching the veil of mist rising from the water's surface?

The cost at Thuy Ta may be a little high, but you have both European, Asian and Vietnamese food and good coffee at the same place. In addition, the restaurant has performances of traditional Hue music on weekends. You can request that the local musicians and singers perform your favorite pieces.

Many coffee bars in the Hoa Binh Quarter are open from morning until night. You can find the most popular and cheapest coffee at the bars around the central markets, such as Phan Boi Chau, Nguyen Chi Thanh, Nguyen Van Troi and Truong Cong Dinh. The price for a cup of hot black coffee is only VND 2,000.

In the middle of the slope leading to Hoa Binh Quarter is a row of coffee bars on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street. From here, you can enjoy a good view of the town landscape. These bars attract customers in the early morning and late evening. The price for a cup of black coffee is as high as VND 4,000-5,000; a cup of coffee with milk, VND 6,000. This area is named "the coffee street" of Da Lat. Of special note: Internet access is ubiquitous in this area.

Another popular coffee bar in Hoa Binh Quarter is Tung. The owner is known for playing recordings of classical music to create a more relaxing atmosphere. And the coffee is highly regarded.

Below are some other favored coffee bars:

- Valentine in Ho Tung Mau Street provides a great view of Da Lat. There are actually 3 different locations - the best one overlooks the main lake. Valentine also sells its own blend of arabica, robusta and cherry blend, roasted in wine and butter. You can come with a group of friends and dine in your own "pavilion."

- Bich Dao near Bao Dai Mansion is for those seeking a quiet environment and selection of fine musical recordings.

Entertainment

Make your vacation complete with, at least, one night of Karaoke. Don't worry if you can't sing on tune. It's more fun when everyone is an amateur. Most hotels have their own karaoke bar. They often are crowded with younger folks during the tourist seasons, so make sure you book your room in advance. The price for one karaoke room is VND 40,000 per hour during the daytime, and VND 50,000 during nighttime. Below are some popular karaoke spots:

- Quynh Huong, Quang Trung, Tel: (063) 825522

- Dang Nguyen, 3S Bui Thi Xuan, Tel: (063) 828702

- Nhat Quang, 33/19 Phan Dinh Phung, Tel: (063) 831391

- Minh, 94 Nguyen Van Troi, Tel: (063) 824815

- Da Vang, 4S Bui Thi Xuan, Tel: (063) 828702

- Bich Dao, 8 Trieu Viet Vuong, Tel: (063) 822753

- Quan 007, 242C Phan Dinh Phung, Tel: (063) 827903
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photo by: Biedjee