Da Lat – Love At First Sight

Known to create a bank of beautiful memories, especially for Saigonese, Da Lat offers visitors multidimensional points of view. The area’s tourism has been growing in recent years and it attracts not only domestic citizens but also international travelers.

Located on the Lam Vien plateau, covered by dense forests, Da Lat has a cool climate and has the nicknames “Capital of homestays” and “The land of dreamers.” Read on to discover why.

Misty Da Lat

My homestay was Jang & Min’s house, a lovely small wooden house in the heart of the city. That morning, after tossing and turning in bed all night, I woke up to see the house surrounded by mist. The poetic vision made me want to gaze at it, sip a cup of coffee, and write a few lines in my diary to save this precious memory. That pleasing moment made me realize why Da Lat was able to attract famous writers and poets. Since it’s always misty in the early morning and late at night, Da Lat is known to young people as “The land of dreamers.”

Da Lat, capital of homestays

Da Lat welcomes a lot of visitors, regardless of whether it is a holiday season or during regular weeks. Hotels and motels are available, but I recommend trying a homestay. Although the city is only about 395 square kilometers in size, there are 15,000 homestays as well as other types of accommodation.

Every year, I pack my bags and take the bus to Da Lat several times. Each time I experience a different homestay.  Every place is unique and leaves different impressions. Jang & Min’s house is a cozy bungalow with full facilities and is good for couples. Its location is convenient for guests to visit attractions such as Bao Dai Palace I, II and III, Da Lat night market, and Xuan Huong lake. The price of this homestay is also reasonable and ranges from 150,000 – 500,000 VND, which is approximately $12 to $30 Canadian dollars.

Da Lat has many other special homestays, including Da Lat Vui Ma, Dalat Lacasa Homestay, and Da Lat Cui Homestay. Depending on if you want to stay close to town, or immerse yourself in nature, there is a variety of places to choose from.

What to eat?

There are many must-try dishes in Da Lat, and you will probably gain some weight when visiting the city!

A suggested breakfast is banh can, mini rice pancakes that are available on. Rice is the main ingredient, and through an elaborate process, the cakes take on a unique beauty. They are eaten with dipping sauce, onions, and meatballs and served with spring rolls. Enjoy this dish with a glass of hot, fresh soy milk.

Warm up a cool afternoon with a lunch at Quan Go Beef Hotpot. Located on a small road, it’s always crowded with customers due to its reputation. As I walked along the road, I detected the scent of beef hotpot and did not need anyone to lead me to the restaurant. The dish is called by a strange name, “Ba Toa.” The locals said it originated from the French word “abattoir.” Later, when many beef hotpot restaurants opened, the dish continued to be called by the same name. Ba Toa beef hotpot is famous for its rich, fragrant broth and soft and delicious meat.

The best dessert choice is a cup of tasty Thanh Thao avocado cream. Made of avocado and whipped cream, this dessert attracts hundreds of tourists every day.

Banh uot, a type of steam rice cake, is a good option for a late afternoon meal. Unlike the normal banh uot in urban areas, the banh uot of Da Lat is not eaten with Vietnamese sausages. Instead, people make it with chicken giblets and shredded chicken along with a special fish sauce.

Another spicy dish to enjoy in cold weather is warm meatballs with bread.

I ended my food journey by going to the Da Lat market to try a few more snacks such as grilled rice paper, cheese yogurt and hot soy milk.

Da Lat has many other things to experience. Go once, and you will fall in love with this city just as I have.

Alex Tu

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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