Da Lat nightlife

by Long Vu
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Located in the Southern Central Highlands of Vietnam, it is hard to find any Vietnamese who don’t know about this lovely town. Well-known for its magical gardens of flowers, strawberries and chilling coffee shops, Da Lat is now one of the hottest tourist spots for both domestic and international travelers. With its unique food, weather, and scenery, Da Lat is surely a big MUST one should not miss when coming to Vietnam, especially if you fancy a night adventure in the foggy and chilling town of Vietnam.

I. Why Da Lat is so perfect for night travel?

Maybe the name “the city of sadness” makes Da lat so perfect for a trip with looming lights and a cold atmosphere.

Unlike the energetic vibe from large cities like Ho Chi Minh City or beach cities like Phu Quoc or Phu Yen, Da Lat is a place of feeling and, according to Vietnamese, to enjoy yourself and to befriend your inner sadness. The whole reason for this saying may lie in Da Lat’s temperature and natural scenery. This mountainous area is an ideal place for romance lovers to visit with many special lighting at strawberry gardens, coffee shops, and camping valley. There is also a saying that, a coffee late at night in this romantic town tastes nothing like the coffee you have anywhere else.

Moreover, along with the development of Da Lat, tourists have the chance to try many activities that one can only do at night like visit the night market, campfires or wishing with a paper lantern with candle lighting up the whole river, and so on. The BBQ culture at Da Lat is so popular that you can’t say you have been to Da Lat if you did not try the unique taste of grilled meat here.

II. Best things to do at night in Dalat

1. Visit Lâm Viên Square

What’s the fun at night in Da Lat? If you are looking for a place to visit in this small town, there is no place more unique and typical than Lam Vien Square with its two most famous architectures:  The Artichoke and The Mexican sunflower. If you check the hashtag Dalat on Instagram, the chance are you see most people check-in with the enormous Artichoke made of green glass.

Source: Instagram @aeymilanda

Besides, the square is so huge that it has enough room for every activity you can think of such as skateboarding, street food area or public dancing of the elders. Some foreign tourists even jokingly called this place “The little mountainous Paris” because you can easily catch some street artists playing the piano or violin on this square. You can have your portrait drawn by many talented artists sitting along the sidewalk. 

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Instagram @tung.ti

Lam Vien Square is a MUST in the check-in list of all tourists coming to Da lat, but enjoying a hot soy milk at this busy square while watching the surrounding is something you should try. It will give you a totally different impression of Da Lat.

2. Dalat Night Market

It will be a pity if you go to Da Lat without visiting its famous Cho Am Phu. This night market has a very scary name in Vietnamese: The Afterlife market due to the fact that it only opens at night, from 6pm to 2 or 3 am the next day. You can go to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street right at the city center and experience all the exotic food, ethnic-patterned clothes, and souvenirs here. The price for Da Lat’s fresh vegetables and flowers is more reasonable and elsewhere in Vietnam, so if you need so accessories for your photoshoot in Da Lat or you are simply a flower lover, don’t forget to buy some lovely flowers here. 

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Pixabay @tookapic

You should ask for the price before making any decision for purchase. You can also ask your tour guide or receptionist at your hotel for the average price in the market. Below are some notices to remember when you come to the Afterlife market

  • Some may appear all of a sudden and ask you to pose for a picture and resell it to you. If 
  • Always keep an eye on your purse and pocket since the night market is very crowded, especially at festivals or holidays.
  • If you bring your kids with you to the market, always hold their hand and keep an eye on them because kids are easily distracted by the colorful goods displayed all over the market and they may get lost if kept unwatched.

3. Xuan Huong Lake 

It is unknown that the name “Xuan Huong” meaning “The lovely smell of springs” comes from a famous female poet named Xuan Huong, who lived in the 18s century or the name given to honor the fact that every spring, the herbs, and flowers grew around the lake will bloom, giving out a unique and soothing smell. 

Da Lat nightlife

Source: luxurytravelvietnam

Most cities in Vietnam especially and in the world generally make their central area near a lake or river, and Da Lat is no exception. Considered the “Heart of Dalat city”, there are many things you can do here in a beautiful evening: watch the white La Grenouillère built in the French Colony area, have a nice, hot cup of hot chocolate or coffee while walking around the lakeside, or ride a pedalo. Kids here love the lake because there are shops that offer princess and fairy or Marvel characters for them to have a photoshoot by the lake.

4. Explore The Gong Culture With Ethnic Minority Communities In Da Lat

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Flickr @BK Pham

Because Da Lat located in a mountainous area, foreign tourists should not miss the chance to explore the unique culture of the Gong with Vietnam’s ethnic minority community. You are more than welcome to visit the foot of Langbiang, where the Lat village nestled. Traveling here, outsiders can join their campfire with old, strong wine made by the most experienced elders in the village. You will be amazed when learning about the rich and bizarre history and culture of the Gong and understand its importance to the community. 

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5. Flower Village Thai Phien

You will be surprised at how different and magical a simple flower garden can become once all the lights are turned on. Also called “Trai Mat”, many young people living in Da Lat visit here sometimes to enjoy the romantic scenery of a thousand lights, go camping or watch the peach blossoms in springs.

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Flickr @danglamhn

At night, all the huge greenhouses in the garden lit up, giving out a cozy and very Christmas-y vibe to anyone looking at them. The fact that Da Lat is a huge provider of fresh vegetables, flowers, and fruits in Vietnam is the main contributor to this strange scene since the fragile plants need to be warm in order to grow normally. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to miss the amazing scene if you walk around Da Lat at night. The best time to go to the valleys or hills to watch the flowery lights are a warm and starry night.

6. “Foreigner Street” Truong Cong Dinh

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Flickr @binhcao28

The name of the street has spoken for itself – this street is crowded with foreigners all over the world. Some of them are tourists, but some of them are restaurants and bar owners who run business here for quite a long time. On special occasions, such as holiday or festival, this street is even more busy with colorful decorations and people coming all the way here to enjoy an authentic Italian cup of coffee or have a bite of the original New York Pizza. You can barely feel any quiet or sadness, which contributes to the fame of Da lat here.

Go to Truong Cong Dinh street in the evening and watching crowded bars and restaurants with the amazing smelling of food, you may be given the illusion that you are in some European country at Christmas!

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7. BBQ Dinner At Your Hotel Garden Or On The Street

With its mild and mountainous temperatures, it is common sense that the most famous fest in Da Lat is BBQ-style dinner. Tourists can choose between a homemade fest from your homestay hosts, hotel owners or enjoy your meal at a fancy restaurant. But even if your choice is just a street food stall with simply plastic stool to sit on, you will feel content eating the delicious grilled food here.

Here is a list of the specialties of Da Lat that you should not miss.

a. Grilled potatoes and corns

You will love how sweet and chewy these grilled foods are! You can walk right to Xuan Huong Lake to see that there are several street food stalls selling these two rural-styled Vietnamese dishes. People may or may not boil the food before grilling it, making it softer and chewier with enough moisture. You can also have the chance to enjoy boiled corn seed duck, some cake on a windy night.

b. Warm noodles

There is nothing better for your stomach than a warm bowl of noodles with the phenomenal Vietnamese broth after a long walk to discover Da Lat’s nightlife. There is a wide range of choices for you: crab vermicelli, Pho, Chinese noodles, and so on. Imagine drinking some hot and spicy soup while listening to the cries of food vendors in a chilling evening? What an experience!

c. Grilled Vietnamese-style pizza

There are many places in Vietnam that sell this special dish, but Da Lat’s magic makes this rice-based pizza tastes so amazing you can find the flavor in nowhere else. This dish may be the most popular one in Da Lat, yet it is so delicious, crunchy and comes with such a reasonable price that you will feel the need to try again and again to taste every flavor this dish has. It includes crunchy fried or baked onion rings, cooked quail eggs, meat, roasted cloves, and some chili. You can eat it unseasoned or add more ketchup and mayonnaise to enhance the flavor.

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Instagram @porington

d. Porridge and sausage soup 

One more warm dish for a night walk around Xuan Huong Lake. The porridge in Da Lat is barely cooked and comes with pork congee or dumplings. You can pay for extra special breadfruit cake such as rubber, sponge cake, or pie pepper.

e. Soymilk 

Soymilk sounds… normal, right? But in fact, soymilk is a hot-selling across all markets in Da Lat. You will realize this when walking around the night market or any hot spot with soy milk pot everywhere. The rich, hot flavor from a sip of warm soy milk can easy your cold and bubble hot, content feeling inside your stomach.

f. Crab soup 

Crab soup with spicy and delicious crab meat selling everywhere is also a highlight of Da Lat cuisine. With a very reasonable price, you can have a big bowl of hot crab soup with thickening texture and lovely fragrant

g. Yogurt

You have some bizarre choice of yogurt flavor when coming to Da Lat like Pumpkin, fermented rice or lemon. Here, all the jars of yogurts are not frozen or cold but warm instead.

8. Go To A Bar Or Club At Night

With the sadness and quiet vibe of Da Lat, it is hard to find the energetic and crazy atmosphere of nightclubs and bars in big cities like Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nha Trang, but there are some good one to give a shot.

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Instagram @thao_doll

a. The Hangout Bar (71 Truong Cong Dinh street)

This bar is so popular among tourists who love to meet up and exchange stories about their journeys in Vietnam. Located in the center of the city, it is surprising that the prices here are very reasonable. You can also pick the music of your linking and ask them to play after a warm welcome when walking in.

b. Beepub (74 Truong Cong Dinh Street)

Small and so yellow-y, the bar provides a lovely and cozy place for all customers coming to their place. With its desirable drink menu and a great acoustic band every evening, Beepub attracts not only foreign tourists but also young locals who love music and making new friends. You will listen to a DJ playing pop until 9 pm that the band arrives.

c. Cafe 13 ( 75 Truong Cong Dinh Street)

The name cafe doesn’t defy how variety Cafe 13 is. Nestled in Tang Bat Ho Street, this small place is a good place to relax after a busy day. You can stay indoors or walk out to enjoy your nice drink in the green garden bar, decorated by many pop culture décor. They also provide a wide range of Vietnamese and Western fast food including fried bacon and eggs, steaks or burgers.

d. Larry’s Bar (Basement of the Hotel Sofitel Dalat Palace, 12 Tran Phu Street)

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Pixabay @Concord90

This fancy bar is located inside the vintage and legendary Hotel Sofitel Dalat Palace with wood panels and a swimming pool and darts. This lovely bar is named after an American billionaire businessman Larry Hillblom, who played an important part in turning Da Lat into the up-market resort it is now. You can freely enjoy the pool tables, private corners, games and Oled TV with a delicious menu of cocktails and French-styled finger food.

e. Rain Club (1 Lê Hồng Phong Street)

The night club located on Lê Hồng Phong is frequented mostly by young locals who love EDM music with exotic dancers and strong drinks to blow off some steam on the weekend. This lace is loved by many foreign tourists for its services and drinks.

9. Go To A Coffee Shop 

For elder tourists or people who are more into the chill and cozy atmosphere, the coffee shop culture in Dalat is quite attractive. In Vietnam, there is no such place that has the coffee culture as huge as this small city. There are countless coffee shops in town with cute, mysterious or vintage decorations that provide either lively scenery of locals’ life or an astonishing natural view. Many live bands lay many old, traditional Vietnamese songs or hot hits from Billboard 100.

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Instagram @yuu.yenn

Some recommended coffee shops for tourists to try out at night:

a. The Panorama cafe (Circular 723 Trại Mát)

This very bizarre and unique coffee shop is located on a rooftop overlooking Dalat. You can have an overview of this lovely city at night, glowing u under thousands of city lights while enjoying a hot drink or lay with the pets living inside the cafe.

b. Up Coffee (6 Triệu Việt Vương street)

This lace is called ‘the most ideal place to see Da Lat’ because it is such a cozy coffee shop with a nice view of the town. 

c. Cafe Nông Trại Vui Vẻ (Sunny farm)

Actually, this cafe sho is not in town – it is 7 kilometers away from the city center. But if you love a Da Lat nightlife watching tri, the chances are you don’t want to miss this special coffee shop with a view over the glowing greenhouses at the vegetables and flower gardens. 

Da Lat nightlife

Source: Instagram @ticstawcs

There are many things to do in Da Lat, not only during the day but also at night. The nightlife in Da Lat is so different, so unique yet have a subtle ‘sadness vibe’ that you can only feel when you are in Da Lat. So, don’t miss out on the chance to visit this lovely town in Vietnam!

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