A Refreshing Escape: From Danang to Dalat
A Refreshing Escape: From Danang to Dalat

A Refreshing Escape: From Danang to Dalat

A Refreshing Escape: From Danang to Dalat

Introduction:

Feeling the weight of work stress and the sweltering heat in Danang, I jumped at the chance to join my long-time Vietnamese friend, Helen, on a spontaneous trip to Dalat. Despite the last-minute decision, she graciously agreed and helped me secure a ticket on a VIP sleeper bus, complete with plush seats that promised a comfortable journey.

And just like that, Dalat was going to get 1 more person (*well, 2, Helen and I ) .

image.pngimage.png


Just an aside: The VIP Sleeper Bus Experience in Vietnam

If you’ve never taken a bus in Vietnam before, I highly recommend trying the VIP sleeper buses. While the ticket price of 700,000 VND (approximately $30 USD) for a one-way journey might seem a bit steep compared to other options, the added comfort and convenience are well worth the extra cost.

Unlike the cheaper buses, which often feature cramped and uncomfortable sleeping berths, the VIP sleeper buses offer a much more luxurious experience. The plush seats provide ample room to stretch out and relax, allowing you to fully recline and even watch the world go by through the large windows. The spacious layout ensures that you won’t feel confined or claustrophobic during the long journey.

image.png

One of the advantages of taking a sleeper bus is the opportunity to cover large distances while still being able to rest and sleep comfortably. The VIP buses are equipped with amenities such as blankets, pillows, and sometimes even personal entertainment systems, making the journey feel more like a cozy bedroom than a mode of transportation.

Throughout the trip, the bus makes regular stops every three hours, giving passengers a chance to stretch their legs, freshen up, and use the restroom facilities. These rest breaks are a welcome respite from the long hours on the road and provide an opportunity to take in some fresh air and explore the surrounding areas briefly.

image.png

At a designated point during the journey, the bus will pull into a larger rest stop, usually coinciding with dinner time. While these rest stops offer a variety of food options, I personally never found the quality of the meals to be particularly appealing. The dishes often lack flavor and freshness, and the hygiene standards can be questionable at times.

To avoid disappointment and ensure a satisfying dining experience, I recommend bringing your own food and snacks for the journey. Pack a few sandwiches, fruits, or any other favorite travel-friendly meals that will keep you satiated throughout the trip. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel light, you can simply hunker down and wait until you arrive at your destination to indulge in a proper meal.

Despite the minor inconvenience of subpar rest stop food, the overall experience of traveling on a VIP sleeper bus in Vietnam is a memorable and enjoyable one. The comfort, convenience, and ability to cover long distances while still getting a decent night’s sleep make it a popular choice among travelers exploring the country.

So, if you find yourself planning a trip from Danang to Dalat, or any other long-distance route in Vietnam, consider opting for the VIP sleeper bus. The extra cost is justified by the enhanced comfort and the opportunity to arrive at your destination well-rested and ready to embark on your next adventure.

Ok, Back to the story, friends…


Arriving in Dalat:

After an overnight ride, we arrived in Dalat at the early hour of 4:30 am. We hopped in a cab and made our way to a quaint coffee shop, where we indulged in delicious pancakes and coffee. As we savored our breakfast, the cool temperatures and serene atmosphere of Dalat began to work their magic, melting away the stress and fatigue.

An CaFe Global

63Bis Ba Tháng Hai, Phường 1, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng 661100, Vietnam
https://maps.app.goo.gl/fPCk5DYRqMf8eA5F7

image.pngimage.png

Exploring the City:

With a few hours to spare before checking into our homestay, I decided to tackle some pending work on my laptop. I set out on a leisurely walk, scouting for a cozy spot to settle in with a cup of coffee. Along the way, I soaked in the charming sights of Dalat, already falling under its spell.

image.png

At noon, I checked into our homestay, a delightful little place tucked away in an alley.

Soft Homestay

Hẻm 59 Phan Như Thạch, Phường 1, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
https://maps.app.goo.gl/ucDtZXxJhTJJSseQ8

After a quick shower and ditching my bag, I consulted Google Maps and embarked on an exploratory walk. I spent the better part of the day wandering around the local area, captivated by its beauty and tranquility. The large central lake, the crisp air, and the overall peaceful vibe were exactly what I needed.

image.pngimage.pngimage.png

A Unexpected Mission:

Unfortunately, my laptop bag broke early in the day, setting me on a personal mission to find a replacement. Though my search was unsuccessful on the first day, I decided to unwind at a swanky bar called Ci Cocktail Bar. As one of the few patrons, I had the pleasure of engaging in a fascinating conversation with a fashion designer, discussing the intricacies of the industry.

Ci Cocktail Bar

31 Đường Trương Công Định, Phường 4, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
https://maps.app.goo.gl/jvGiLiQYsUY2AJWu5

image.pngimage.pngimage.pngimage.png

Wine Tasting Adventure:

The following day, Helen, who had been occupied with a business meeting, was finally free to join me. I convinced her to accompany me to a winery for a wine-tasting experience. Despite her initial reluctance, she soon embraced the adventure. We rented a motorbike and drove about 20 minutes to Ladora Winery.

image.png

Ladora Winery : Nhà máy Ladora Winery

Thôn Phát Chi, Xã, Trạm Hành, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
https://maps.app.goo.gl/LrxuyN6Cj6gB9YT6A

image.pngimage.pngimage.png

Once again, we found ourselves the sole visitors, but our tour guide proved to be incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. They led us on a tour of the wine basement, explaining the various types of wines they had to offer. We sampled a few delightful varieties and engaged in a lively conversation with our guide until the darkening sky signaled it was time to head back.

image.pngimage.png

A Night of Unexpected Camaraderie:

Later that evening, we reconnected with our tour guide and invited him out for beers. Despite my initial reluctance to drink, I found myself joining Helen and our guide in a night of laughter and libations. We stumbled home around 1 am, giddy from the unexpected camaraderie.

image.pngimage.png

A Scenic Drive and Farewell:

On my final day in Dalat, Helen and I decided to take a scenic drive to a nearby lake. The winding hills, farms, and cool breeze made for a delightful journey. Though the coffee shop we stopped at was overpriced and the coffee subpar, the experience was still enjoyable.

image.pngimage.png

Returning to the villa, Helen checked out as she had to catch a bus to Saigon. With a few hours to spare before my overnight bus home, I spent the remaining time wandering and taking in the sights one last time before heading to the bus depot.

image.pngimage.png

Conclusion:

Around 5:30 pm, I boarded the VIP overnight bus back to Danang and Hoi An, feeling refreshed and grateful for the impromptu getaway. Dalat had worked its magic, providing the perfect respite from the daily grind. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting this charming city to experience its beauty and tranquility for yourself. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, Dalat has something to offer every traveler.

So pack your bags, embrace the unexpected, and let the allure of Dalat enchant you, just as it did for me.


P.S. A Unexpected Twist: The Motorbike Mishap

As a final note to this adventure, I must share an unexpected twist that occurred upon my return to Danang. After disembarking from the VIP sleeper bus, I eagerly made my way to where I had parked my motorbike, ready to ride home and reflect on the wonderful memories made in Dalat. However, to my dismay, I discovered that my trusty two-wheeled companion had decided to take a break of its own.

Despite my best efforts to start the engine, the motorbike remained stubbornly silent. It was as if it had chosen this precise moment to go on strike, leaving me stranded in the early morning hours. With no other option, I resigned myself to pushing the motorbike a few blocks, hoping to find a mechanic to rescue me.

To my surprise and relief, I stumbled upon a mechanic’s shop that was already open, despite the ungodly hour of 5 am. The mechanic, a friendly and skilled individual, wasted no time in diagnosing the problem. It turned out that my fuel pump had become clogged, preventing the bike from starting properly.

As I watched the mechanic work his magic, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of frustration and amusement. Here I was, fresh off a delightful getaway, now faced with an unexpected mechanical hiccup. The irony of the situation was not lost on me, and I found myself chuckling at the absurdity of it all.

image.png

Two hours and 500,000 VND (approximately $21 USD) later, my motorbike was back in action, purring like a contented kitten. The mechanic had skillfully unclogged the fuel pump, and I was finally able to make my way home, albeit a bit later than anticipated.
Looking back on this experience, I realized that sometimes the most memorable moments of a journey are the ones that catch us off guard. The motorbike mishap, while inconvenient and slightly frustrating, added an extra layer of adventure to an already eventful trip. It served as a reminder that travel, much like life itself, is full of unexpected twists and turns.

In the end, I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation. The additional expense and the delayed homecoming were a small price to pay for the incredible memories I had made in Dalat. And who knows, perhaps this little motorbike mishap was just the universe’s way of ensuring that my adventure quota was well and truly met.

So, dear reader, if you find yourself in a similar situation during your own travels, remember to embrace the unexpected and find the humor in the challenges that come your way. After all, it’s these unplanned moments that often make for the best stories and the most unforgettable experiences.

image.png

Tim on a Rock
Tim on a Rock
Roaming Sparrow is a project by Tim Mack. It is a life on the road, an adventure to gain knowledge and share genuine experiences.
Find some great experences, check out Viator!

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with a fellow traveler. 

Read Other Posts from the Sparrow.

The Enchanting Tiki Vibes at MAKARA Bar in Danang
Discovering the Charm of Purple Lantern Restaurant and Home Stay at An Bang Beach, Hoi An
Discovering Vietnamese Culture at An Nhàn Cultural Gallery & Coffee
A Refreshing Escape: From Danang to Dalat