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HOW TO GET TO DALAT: From North or South of Vietnam by Bus, Plane, Motorbike

Dalat or Da Lat is known as the flower city today. Back in the day, it is known as a summer retreat for the Emperors and then for the French during the colonisation. Today, Dalat is one of the most popular destinations to visit both for local and foreign tourists.

What attracts these tourists to this little mountain town are first, the amazing cool and breezy weather, second, being close to the environment where you can take a break from the busy part of the country, third, it’s one of the cheapest towns you can explore in Vietnam. There are many more reasons like the flower festival that happens twice a year, the water rafting tours, and Bánh tráng nướng (the Vietnamese pizza).

In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get to Dalat either by bus, plane, or motorbike from north of Vietnam or South.

ALSO READ: Best hostels in Vietnam and where to stay in Dalat


HOW TO GET TO DALAT - From North or South of Vietnam by Bus, Plane, Motorbike

If you look at the map, Dalat is sort of out of the way especially if you are hitting the top destinations in Vietnam which are mostly located at the shore of the country. However, visiting Dalat is very much worth of your time, you’ll see a different side of Vietnam.

ALSO READ: Best restaurants in Dalat; both for local and international cuisine

Here are the ways to get to Dalat either from the north or south of Vietnam:

By Bus or Limousine Bus

One of the cheapest ways to get to Dalat is to take a bus. If you are in the central of Vietnam, you will have to take a 16-hour bus from Da Nang for $20 or from Nha Trang, it’s only a 3 to 4-hour journey f0r $7-$10.

If coming from the south of Vietnam, Mui Ne is only a 4-hour drive and the bus fare is $15 while there are many direct buses from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat is a 7 to 8-hour bus ride, the ticket cost between $10-$15.

Limousine Bus or Limo Bus is also an option, they are more comfortable and the seat price cost about $20.




By Plane

One of the best features of Dalat is having its own airport which both caters to domestic flights and international flights. If you are coming from Hanoi, Danang, or Ho Chi Minh and doesn’t have a lot of luggage, it’s best to take a flight that cost between $20-$35 and $40 and up for a ticket with check-in luggage.

The airport is about a 40-minute drive from the city centre of Dalat. You can either get a taxi for as cheap as 185.00 VND ($17) or on a minibus for 40.000 VND ($1.70).

Getting to Dalat city centre from the airport

When you get off the plane, you will take a stair or escalator down. On your left is where the luggage belt where you can pick up your bags, in front of it are taxi and minibus booking tables.

HOW TO GET TO DALAT - From North or South of Vietnam by Bus, Plane, Motorbike
Look for these tables in front of the luggage belt

If you want to take a taxi (4-seater or more), look for LaDo taxi, they offer the cheapest fixed price for 185.00 VND ($17). The lady on the desk will give you a paper where your hotel name is written and the plate number of your taxi. The taxi can be found just outside the exit door (look for LaDo taxi) or she can also walk you out if she’s not busy. Show your ticket/paper to the taxi driver of LaDo taxi.

If you want to take the cheaper option, minibus. Next to the LaDo taxi table is San Bay. The texts on their table are mostly in Vietnamese, but you will see a sign that shows “PRICE: 40.000 VND” and “AIRPORT SHUTTLE BUS TO DALAT”. The lady on the table will also be saying “shuttle bus or San Bay shuttle”.

You can either get the ticket from the lady behind this desk or walk right out of the exit doors and look for a minibus that says “Airport Shuttle Bus or San Bay Shuttle”, there will be another lady standing by the door of the bus where you can get your ticket for 40.000 VND.

HOW TO GET TO DALAT - From North or South of Vietnam by Bus, Plane, Motorbike
Minibus ticket

You will be dropped off the hotel called Ngoc Phat Hotel [map], from there you can walk to your accommodation, take a taxi or book a Grab bike or taxi. For taxis, we recommend LaDo taxi or Mai Linh. If your accommodation is located in the city centre, don’t pay more than 60.000 VND.

NOTE: The minibus gets full pretty fast and often there’s only one minibus that goes every one flight that lands in the airport. If you miss it or there are no more seats left, just ask the lady when is the next bus.

By Motorbike

Motorbiking in Vietnam is a fun drive, it’s one of the best ways on how to get to Dalat whenever in the country you’re coming from. This section will show you the routes you can take.

From Nha Trang

The drive is only 3 to 4-hours, there are two ways you can reach Dalat from Nha Trang. One way is to take the QL27C just head west of Nha Trang which is a pleasant drive once you’re out of the city, the view is stunning, the roads are pretty nice.

Halfway through, the road becomes windy and steep. Not to mention, it can be foggy and hazy and the visibility is almost zero. Make sure your break and lights work well, drive slower, and use the honk as much as needed. Don’t forget to pack a jacket, long pants, raincoat, and even gloves because it can be very cold.

Sometimes, there are buses on the road too. Don’t start your drive later than 3 PM to avoid trucks and getting caught in the dark.

The second route you can take is to go south of Nha Trang and drive-through QL1A and then QL27B and head towards QL27, after that, drive straight through QL20 all the way to Dalat. I personally haven’t tried this road, hence, I can’t say much what to expect.

From Ho Chi Minh City

Driving all the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat on a motorbike can be a bit challenging. It should take 6 to 8-hours which is actually too long in my opinion. When I did this, I stopped in Bao Loc, the first main town proper of Lam Dong Province which is 2-3 hours from Dalat.

You can easily take QL20, however, some parts of it doesn’t allow motorbikes not to mention it’s filled with massive trucks and buses, which can be dangerous for motorbike riders.

Once you reach Bao Loc, you can take QL28 and then DT725 and stay on the road or take the turn on QL27 then to CT14 for nicer landscape filled of coffee farms.

I hope this guide on how to get to Dalat has been useful for you. If you have tips to add or questions to ask, let us know in the comment section below.

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