Vietnam

7 Things You Must Do in Da Lat

1. Family Dinner

Most of the hostels in Da Lat host a nightly “family dinner,” where, for the price of about £2, you can sit around a huge table with your fellow travellers and enjoy copious  amounts of local food. The family dinners that I enjoyed in my hostel, the Wolfpack hostel (which, incidentally had the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in), were not only great for meeting people, but were also great opportunities to try lots of different kinds of local food that I would never think to pick from a menu in a restaurant.

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2. Crazy House 

Hãng Nga guesthouse, commonly known as the ‘Crazy House,’ is an unconventional building created  and designed by Dang Viet Nga. It resembles a giant tree, with themed rooms including the tiger room, the kangaroo room and the ant room. Although it is possible to stay here, most tourists pay a couple of pounds just to walk around and have a nosy.

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3. Pongour Waterfall 

Pongour Waterfall is one of those special waterfalls that is both beautiful and easy to access. I’m not a fan of jungle treks so I usually miss out on the most beautiful Asian waterfalls, but, provided you don’t mind a few steps (maybe 200), Pongour is very accessible for even the biggest scaredy cat.

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4. Cable Cars

Truc Lam Pagoda is an active monastery, and while it is always nice to see a new Pagoda, the highlight of this particular  one are the cable cars that you can ride whilst there. For about £2.30, you can enjoy the 40 minute magical round trip over the mountains of Da Lat, and let me tell you, it’s not to be missed.

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5. Weasel Coffee 

Although I felt a little morally compromised  seeing the caged weasels at one of the Da Lat coffee plantations, as someone who eats  meat daily without even thinking of the animals who died to feed me, I had to remind myself that it would be hypocritical of me to lambast one and not the other, and so I decided to try a cup of Vietnam’s famous weasel coffee. This coffee is made in the same way as the Indonesian Kopi Luwak, with the weasels eating the coffee beans, digesting them and then pooping them out for us to enjoy. Yum.

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6. 100 Roofs

100 Roofs is a bar/restaurant in Da Lat with the same insane characteristics of the Crazy House. Mostly underground, there are a couple of bars in this place, and the rest involves lots of dimly lit tunnels with hidden tables and chairs to enjoy a drink away from everyone. There is also a ‘secret garden’ which only opens for 15 minutes each night, and thus only a very limited amount of people get to see. 100 Roofs is a drinking experience like no other and I can’t recommend it enough.

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7. Book an Easy Rider Tour

Booking an Easy Rider Tour is the easiest way to explore Da Lat, even if you’re able to drive yourself, as not only do the friendly drivers know Da Lat better than anyone, but they also double as tour guides, explaining local customs, legends and more along the way. I paid $35 for the full day tour which includes a trip to Pongour Waterfall, as well as visits to Elephant Waterfall, a  cricket farm, flower farm, mushroom farm, coffee plantation, chicken village and more. as interesting as all of these things were, the best bit of the day had to be speeding down the mountains on the back of a motorcycle, taking in the breathtaking views of Da Lat.

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