The former French hill station of Dalat, once called ‘Le Petit Paris’, is situated 300 km north of Ho Chi Minh City in the Central Highlands. It is an ideal place to escape from the heat of Vietnam’s largest city. Because of its elevation, 1,500 meters above sea level, Dalat’s climate is much cooler than that of the surrounding lowlands.
This tour is ideal for those people with limited time and can be booked with the option of drive/fly or fly both ways. Likewise, the accommodation can be upgraded to five-star if desired. Sightseeing tours include the art deco summer residence of Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai and the village of the Lac minority people, after whom the city is named.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – Dalat
This morning you will leave Ho Chi Minh City and head for the hills, literally. The scenic eight hour drive along Highway 20 to Da Lat will be broken up by stops at some of the tea and coffee plantations where you will stop for lunch at the picturesque Pongour waterfalls, about 15km from the highway. Arriving at Dalat, sometimes known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” by late to mid afternoon, there will be the chance for a short walk to get a feel for this delightful city. This evening you will head out to one of the fine restaurants in town.
Day 2: Dalat
This morning leave for a trip to the summer palace of Vietnam’s last Emperor, Bao Dai. Bao Dai was forced to abdicate in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II and spent the rest of his life in voluntary exile in France where he was educated as a child. It is believed that he spoke better French than Vietnamese. From here you will visit the rather bizarre and very aptly named Crazy House, a brightly painted concrete house which winds itself around trees, mimicking their shapes. It now functions as a guesthouse. Lastly visit a Lat minority people’s village, where the people live in wooden, thatched huts. This afternoon, for those who are interested you can take the short train ride on the Cremaillere railway to the village of Mat. This evening there will be more fine cuisine at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Dalat
This morning depart from the hotel and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.