Visit Hang Hga Gallery and Guesthouse
It is nicknamed the 'Crazy House' by locals, this guesthouse, cafe and art gallery is about 1 km southwest of Xuan Huong Lake. The architecture is something straight out of Alice in Wonderland and cannot easily be described: there are caves, giant spider webs made of wire, concrete 'tree trunks', a nude female statue (a rarity in Vietnam), a concrete giraffe (with a tearoom built inside) and caged turkeys providing the surreal soundtrack. Yes, it's tacky and exceedingly commercialised but many are astounded to find such a counter-cultural construction in Dalat.
The gallery's designer, Mrs Dang Viet Nga, is from Hanoi and lived in Moscow for 14 years, where she earned a PhD in architectuere. She dresses in pure 1960s hippie garb, burns incense and has something of an air of mystery about her. Hang Nga, as she's known locally, has designed a number of other buildings, which dot the landscape around Dalat, including the Children's Cultural Palace and the Catholic church in Lien Khuong.
The Dalat People's Committee has not always appreciated such innovative designs. An earlier Dalat architectural masterpiece, the 'House with 100 Roofs', was torn down as a 'fire hazard' because the People's Committee thought it looked 'anti-socialist'. However, there is little chance that Hang Nga will have such trouble with the authorities (her father, Truong Chinh, was Ho Chi Minh's successor). He served as Vietnam's second president from 1981 until his death in 1988.
If you'd like to stay in one of the cavelike, quirky rooms, booking in advance is recommended.
Photographs will be uploaded shortly...
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Thien Vien Truc Lam(Buddhist Meditation Monastery)
It is a lovely coloured building. The giant bell is on the right of the main building and a giant drum is on the right. The sign on the front gate reads 'Phat Giao Viet-Nam' (Vietnam Buddhist Association).
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Go on a motorbike trip with the Easy Riders
During your stay in Da lat you have chances to be asked by one of the Da lat Easy Riders to go with them on a motorbike tour.
They are professional guides and unlike other ´tour guides´ we experienced before in Vietnam they do speak good English and have a repartoire of ample knowledge.
If you are only interested to see Da lat and its surroundings they offer one day tours at $10 per person. We rode on most scenic roads and stopped several times where we got excellent explanations about the country and its people. Among many things we saw the most interesting was the visit to a silk farm where we got in direct contact to the farmers and workers at the factory.
But the Easy Riders also offer longer trips,
virtually everything is possible. Most common tours are 2-5 days from Da lat.
As we enjoyed the day trip so much we decided to get off the beaten path and go up to Hoi An with the guides. With our belongings nicely packed on the back of the bikes and us leaning against them we started our tour the morning after. The trip led us through the central highlands, places where hardly tourists go unless they are sitting on the back of a motorbike. We stopped at waterfalls, monuments, markets or just for having tea or coffee or sugarcane juice. We got in direct contact with the locals, had tea with silk farmers or visited children and their caretakers at an orphanage with our guides translating for us.
Parts of our ´life on the roads´ were incredibly scenic, like when we rode a piece of the Ho Chi Minh trail...
The evenings we spent cooking together or just having dinner, chatting and playing games with our guides. The country and its people being brought closer to you by a local person...what more could you ask for?
A truely genuine experience that I can hugely recommend to people with the same taste of travelling!
As there are unfortunately more and more people claiming to be ´Easy Riders´ (students mostly) and offer similar tours at a lower price, you´d need to be careful to pick a ´real´ Easy Rider.
- Road Trip
Ride the cable car
The Dalat Cable Cars opened for business in 2003. The ride is beautiful, and almost a mile and a half (2.3 km) long.
It runs from 7 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m.
50,000 Dong one way, or 70,000 round trip.
Truc Lam Pagoda
The Truc Lam Zen Buddhist Pagoda was built in 1993. Some parts of it, such as the living quarters, are off limits, but visitors can enjoy the beautiful gardens. There are unusual flowers such as the bright blue Dragon’s Claw hanging from a trellis, and hedges carved into dragons and lions.
It is on a mountain 7 km. from town. You can get there by road, or from the cable car.
- Arts and Culture
Lake or no lake...
i have been travel more than 35 countries, and this is the first time i have to write a negative review....
All the other who has written here has nice found the best in the attractions, im sorry but would say there is not much to come here to see... as my picture show even the beautifull lake is... gone... Dalanta waterfalls is the minimum to be called a waterfall, crazy house well, 5 min then thats done. In generel the resturants charge doubble or tribble when a european come in the door, when my asian GF (not vietnamise) order a cup of coffe when im not arround its 1/3 the price when i arrive 5 min later. After my 2 weeks i Vietnam i would never come back unless someone are paying me to do so. If you use 1-10 scale and Thailand is 8 then Vietnam is close to 1.
This is only a review from my eyes and other may have other experiences.......
XQ Su Quan, the Historical village.
This is a MUST place to visit, the XQ Su Quan, the Historical village of hand embroidery. This was a fantastic time to see and check out the ladies who work here on hand embroidery in traditional work way. Best place also to purchase some traditional handmade souvenirs.
Words are just too short to describe all what available here, check the travelogue for more photos.
The gardens in the temple sites
It will be interesting also to check out the gardens and the gardening capabilities in and around the temple sites, I notice few interesting plants while hanging around there as well as beautiful flowers.
Hang Nga, the Crazy Woman House
The Hang Nga is more known by the name of the Crazy Woman House, just because that this lady (Photo 5 ) wanted to have something special with influence of Gaudi design this unique place is a must see, it is gallery, cafe and guest house as well.
The Dragon made of glass bottles
This is a unique dragon at the Phuoc Pagoda temple site made all of recycled glass of bottles. You really have to look at this from close to realize that. Now this is a good idea, I could have one of my own if I would collect my bottles :)
Xuan Huong Lake
The Xuan Huong Lake is the lake in the center of the city and you will surely see it while hanging around it the city. Depends very much on the time of the year and the season of how much water will be in the lake while you visit here.
More of the temple site
This temple site has many other interesting traditional building which I was not exactly sure which one was used as temples and which one were for administrative use. Maybe I should have taking a guide while I was here ;-)
Buddhist temples of Da Lat
To be honest, I found lots of information contradict with the temples names so I rather not naming this place but only to add that there are beautiful Buddhist temples of Da Lat located at the top of the hill with beautiful gardens and many other traditional structures around.
If you walk around you would also see the beautiful landscape of the Tuyen Lam Lake.
Tuyen Lam Lake
This lake can be found at the end of the cable car and is located just a few kilometres south of the town. You can take boat trips here with prices at: 1-5 pax: 200,000 VND, 6-10 pax: 250,000 VND, 11-15 pax: 300,000 VND.
Truc Lam Pagoda
Overlooking the Tuyen Lam Lake, a few kilometres south of town, is Truc Lam pagoda. Built in 1993, it's Da Lat's best maintained and prettiest Buddhist shrine. The temple halls are immaculate and a very impressive cast bronze bell sits at the site, but the best thing is the location. The grounds are set on the hillside above Tuyen Lam Lake, and there couldn't be a more perfect place for a picnic. The best way of getting here is by taking the cable car from the main road that heads south and downhill from the town.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel