I have been noticing from a few posts on this website that there seems to be a new, shorter road connecting Nha Trang and Dalat now, is this the case and if so how long does it now take by bus?
We were planning on going to Dalat from Nha Trang by bus and then flying to HCMC from there.
I have also heard alot of mixed opinions about Dalat, is it worth visiting or should we just add on a few extra nights somewhere else instead & fly straight from Nha Trang to HCMC?
#1 mlr has been a member since 3/5/2009. Posts: 31
I used a Sinh Cafe bus, it left at 7:00 am and took 5 hours. The price was around US$4.50 (from memory).
I liked Dalat a lot. It is very different to the rest of Vietnam; cooler, more European, hillier.
I had the best coffee anywhere in the world at Dalat (in a place diagonally opposite the rail station). It was like an Italian espresso but with a good moccha twist and wonderfully sweet (but not sickenly). Still remember. :)
The CBD area of Dalat is OK, but I loved the outlying areas, especially all the waterfalls. The trip to Elephant falls also included silkworm farm, etc. The crazy house is a must if architectural fantasy is appealing.
The new road is a beauty, although you won't find it in the "Giao thông đường bộ Việt Nam". It goes from Nha Trang through Khanh Vinh and then up to Dalat.
Not sure if the buses are going on the new road though - probably still going through Cam Ranh to pick up people along the way.
Check out the roller coaster at Datanla in Dalat .... good fun!
#3 tingers has been a member since 9/4/2009. Posts: 36
I do like bizarre architecture and like the look of the surrounding areas around Dalat so i think it will be worth adding in to our itinerary now.
If we were to get the early morning bus to get there by lunchtime and then take the early evening flight to HCMC will 2 nights be enough to allow us to take a look around?
#4 mlr has been a member since 3/5/2009. Posts: 31
From my memory, the bus didn't actually leave till some time after 7, maybe 7:20. And, it made a couple of drink/toilet stops. From my memory, it arrived closer to 1:00 than 12. But, that's Vietnam.
The flight leaves about 11, if my memory serves. So, essentially, you'd have one full day - would that be for you to look around town on your own, or would you do a Dalat Easy rider? If the latter, then the crazy house in the arvo of arrival, a day on the bikes... you'd get a brief taste.
Just an FYI update to this thread...
I took a bus from Nha Trang to Dalat just two days ago (March 30, 2010) and the bus definitely took the new road. We left Nha Trang around 8:30am and arrived by 12:30pm. That said, the road is slow and there are still some unfinished parts that are very bumpy detours on dirt at the moment, but I'm guessing in a few months that will be history.
In other news, the Xuan Huong Lake, which is the supposed scenic heart of the city, was evidently drained for maintenance in January 2010 and won't be refilled until sometime in 2011. It's a small matter, but worth knowing before you commit. A mountain town with a drained lake loses a bit of its charm.
Dalat is one of the nicest and most unique places in VN - don't pass it up. I took the Mai Linh Express van from NT on the new road - not at all bad, and later flew down to Saigon on VN Air. The Dalat/Central Highlands area is a huge agricultural area (flowers, fruits, coffee, veggies) and has some of the best produce, and with the French influence of days gone by, Dalat has some damn good places to eat (great pastry, dried fruit, French/Vietnamese food). Waterfalls are spectacular in the area too.