Da Lat Sports

What to Do in Da Lat

Da Lat is a south central Vietnamese town that offers travelers good weather, great food, fun shopping and plenty of things to do. In the city you’ll find many interesting French colonial buildings and deeper inland and in the mountains there are waterfalls, hill-tribe villages while farms and rice paddies can be seen everywhere.

Da lat is never short of fun outdoor opportunities such as golf, horseback riding, kids-friendly horse-and-cart rides, hiking, paragliding, and cooking classes. Those who come here just for a few days break from big hectic cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, will definitely enjoy it here. Its mild and pleasant temperatures alone (usually between 17°C to 25°C even in summertime) make Da Lat worth a visit and as a result it’s a refreshing destination to escape the constant heat from lower-lying regions.

This doesn’t mean Da Lat is a quiet town though; it is a very popular holiday destination for local tourists but the attractions are spread out over vast rolling green hilly areas, meaning you won’t feel crowded out most of the time.

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Activities in Da Lat

Adventure Sports

Fans of adventure activities will love it here. Dalat and the nearby area is where visitors can enjoy great outdoor sports such as whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, paragliding and canyoning. There are a few companies in Dalat offering good tour packages including Phat Tire Ventures. This company seems to have the most experience as well as a great team as their guides go through an intensive 30-hour Wilderness First Aid course designed by the Wilderness Medicine Institute and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). They also are sent to a refresher first aid course each year through Family Medical Practice in Ho Chi Minh City. That says a lot.

  • Opening Hours: All year round
  • Location: Dalat and around
  • Tel: Phat Tire Ventures Tel: +84 (0) 63-3829422

Cable Car

The cable car ride from/to Truc Lam Monastery Complex is a popular way to see Dalat from above. Along the two and a half kilometre ride, you can enjoy the attractive scenery such as pine tree-covered hills, rivers, rice plantations and the sea. Truc Lam Monastery Complex is rather new and already famous for its beautiful pagoda. Avoid national and school holidays as well as weekends if you want to avoid the crowds. Truc Lam is a lovely place for picnicking.

  • Opening Hours: Truc Lam Monastery open daily from 06:00-18:00 but the cable car station closes at 17:00
  • Location: Located on a hillside very close to the city centre and just above Tuyen Lam Lake
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Cooking Class

Dalat is home to many talented chefs and some of them don’t mind sharing their secrets with strangers.

  • Opening Hours: All year round. Hours vary depend on the class. Advance booking is necessary
  • Location: Cooking Class at Dalat Palace Hotel Tel: +84 (0) 63-3825444 The Courtyard Café Cooking Class at Evason Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Tel: +84 (0) 63-355 5888

Easy Riders Motorbike Tour

As soon as you arrive in town, the Easy Riders will somehow find you. This is a group of local men who offer to take tourists sightseeing around Dalat’s countryside on vintage Russian motorbikes and newer Hondas. The Easy Riders cleverly select many remarkable spots (mostly off the tourist track) including pine forests, local farms (rice fields are everywhere, as are fruit plantations and vegetable farms), silk factories, waterfalls, minority villages and some of the city’s major landmarks such as the Crazy House.

Easy Riders is not a business company therefore they don’t have an office but you can easily get a hold of them along Troung Cong Dinh Street, usually in front of the popular Hangout Café. They’re not professional tour guides (and some have limited English) but with their enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the area it makes for an interesting way to see the real Vietnam (and in a laid-back way).

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Around town

Elephant and Ostriches Ride

Prenn Waterfall is not just another pretty site to visit in Dalat. It offers many interesting activities including elephant and ostrich rides. The humble elephant will take you through unspoiled nature such as small creeks, lakes and green forests. For those who really want to try something different, here is your chance. Ostriches might not be a common transport option but here in Dalat you can ride on one. The idea of climbing up on an ostrich’s back can be quite a challenge but once you manage to get up there and start the ride it is one of the most interesting experiences as these well-trained animals are used to human and are amazingly friendly.

  • Opening Hours: All year round
  • Location: Prenn Waterfall

Hiking in Dalat

Leisurely nature walks along forest trails (or many more adventurer treks for the experience hikers) are another way to discover this area’s beauty. Dalat is full of many natural sights where interesting animals and birds can be found. Some treks may lead you to caves, waterfalls, lakes, volcanic peaks, minority villages, suspension bridges and farmlands too.

Lang Bian Mountain (about 12km north of downtown Dalat) is one of the most popular locations for a day or a half-day out hiking. It has five peaks that range from 2100m to 2400m in altitude. Other hot locations for hiking include Ba Be Lake National Park, Pongour Falls and the Lake of Sorrows.

To go hiking in Dalat is quite easy and simple and you don’t really require a tour company; many people just rent a bike and use a local map and off they go. Warm clothing, a raincoat, sunblock lotion and mosquito repellent are usually needed.

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Around town

Horseback Riding

Another way to enjoy Dalat’s beautiful countryside is on horseback. Visitors can hire horses by the hour and for about twice the amount they can also take a horse-drawn carriage for a pleasure ride around Dalat Flower Garden and the Lake of Sorrow too.

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Dalat Flower Garden and the Lake of Sorrow
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Paddle Boats

If you travel as a family with young kids, don’t forget to rent a huge swan paddleboat and take a spin around Dalat lakes such as the manmade lake inside Valley of Love, the Lake of Sighs (Ho Than Tho) and another popular artificial lake, Xuan Huong Lake. It can be great fun for a few hours at least.

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: The Lake of Sighs is located on Ho Xuan Huong Road about six kilometres northeast of town. Xuan Huong Lake is in city centre. The Valley of Love is just five kilometres north of the city centre.
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Toboggan Rides

If you want a bit of thrill in Dalat and without having to work out too much, check out the toboggan ride at Datanla Waterfall. With more than 40 cars (each with two seats), the roller coaster features medium-sized rapids and you can slide down the 800m long track with speeds of up to 40kmh. The toboggans are user friendly design and according to the operator the safety system fully meets European standards.

  • Opening Hours: Daily
  • Location: Datanla Waterfall
  • Tel: Lam Dong Tourist Co. at Tel +84 (0) 63-832 238

Golf in Dalat

Golf courses in Vietnam offer extra facilities such as bars, restaurants, and pro shops where rental clubs are available. Some courses offer also other recreational choices, with tennis courts, swimming pools and children’s playgrounds.

In general it is cheaper to play golf here in the afternoon from around 14:30 onward and weekdays are less busy and cheaper than weekends.

Dalat Palace Golf Club

The 18-hole Dalat Palace Golf Club first opened in 1922 (originally as a 9-hole course) and later was abandoned until 1993 when it underwent restoration and has since opened to the public. It is now considered the best golf course in the country with lakes, pine trees, valleys and beautiful flower gardens. Famous golfers who have played there beside regulars such as Bao Dai (the last emperor of Vietnam) were Masa Nishijima (the author of the award-winning book Analysis of a Golf Course. Nishijima was also the sixth person to play all the courses listed on GOLF Magazine’s World Top 100 List) and Billy Casper (American golf legend who won 27 tournaments on the PGA Tour).

  • Opening Hours: All year round
  • Location: Dalat Palace Golf Club situated on the western side of Xuan Huong Lake, Dalat
  • Tel: +84 (0) 63- 821 201
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Ocean Dunes Golf Club

Located adjacent to the Novotel Ocean Dunes Resort, the Ocean Dunes Golf Club designed by Nick Faldo features 18 holes, 6,746 yards and par 72 on a remarkable natural site on the central coastline with sand dunes and fresh breezes.

  • Opening Hours: All year round
  • Location: Phan Thiet City
  • Tel: +84 (0) 62-823366
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