Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed April 27 2016

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | April 27, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Heart-Pumping Adventure in Dalat, Vietnam

    Heart-Pumping Adventure in Dalat, Vietnam

    PHOTO: A quaint section of Dalat — more westernized than you’d expect for Vietnam. (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Dalat is the kind of place you plan to go to for two days and end up staying a week (or more!).

    I’ll admit, when I first arrived in Dalat, I was a little taken aback. I went based upon backpackers continuously raving about how it’s a “not-to-miss spot” and the way it appeared was that I was heading to a cute little mountain village with stunning scenery and activities for days!

    Well, the second part was true — there’s a ton to do, but this cute, little mountain village ended up being a big city and a very touristic one at that — but don’t let it stop you from going.

    If you look past the lovey-dovey hotels and overpriced restaurants, you’ll find that Dalat has a lot more to offer!

    READ MORE: The Truth About Modern Life in Vietnam

    For one, a highlight among us all were Dalat Sky Hostel’s Family dinners, where you will meet wonderful friends to travel with throughout the rest of your journey in Vietnam.

    Secondly, you have a million options to get your heart pumping while taking in some spectacular scenery and going past your comfort zone by jumping off of cliffs, abseiling waterfalls or mountain biking.

    You’ll inevitably wake up the next morning having every part of your body hurt but you’ll be happy and feel truly accomplished knowing you scaled a 200 feet tall waterfall all by yourself!

    PHOTO: Canyoning was one of the craziest and thrilling experiences I’ve ever had.

    Lastly, to celebrate making it out alive — at night, you will get to experience one of the craziest and most unique maze cafes in Vietnam (or possibly the world) feeling as though you’re the next Alice in Wonderland at 100 Roofs Cafe!

    Best Hotel: Xuan Cuong ($15/night)

    If you feel like treating yourself, split a hotel room with a friend and spend a night feeling like you’ve won the lottery.

    Hotels in Vietnam are quality, cheap and cozy. We splurged and spent one night at Hotel Xuan Cuong for $15/night (after bartering the price down from the original $25) and it was the nicest feeling in the world after spending over a year in dorms.

    Best Hostel: Dalat Sky Hostel ($5/night)


    • Comfortable beds with light and plugs

    • Lockers

    • Hot showers

    • Free shampoo, soap and toothbrushes

    • Plenty of seating

    • Rooftop lounge

    • Bar/restaurant

    • Social atmosphere

    • Family dinners

    Cheapest Eats:

    The cheapest and most delicious eats have to be the Bahn Mi Sandwich. In Dalat, you will find them for only 10k, which is equivalent to 45 cents US!

    PHOTO: Visiting “Crazy House” was fun but 100 Roofs Cafe is free and will blow your mind.

    VIDEO: A trek through Hanoi, Vietnam

    Must Do’s:

    • Get your heart pumping and go canyoning.

    • Rent a scooter and head to Elephant Falls or Datanla Falls.

    • Forego checking out “Crazy House” and head straight to 100 Roofs Cafe to get lost in the maze-like cafe with beers in hand!

    • View a beautiful outlook of Dalat on the Thien Vien Truc Lam Cable Car.

    • Wander around the city on foot, walking around the length of the stunning Xuan Huong Lake.

    • Get lost in the massive markets.

    • Partake in the Family Dinner at Dalat Sky Hostel.

    • Get outdoors and go on an adventure kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, trekking or swimming in the falls!

More Vietnam


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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