Another major attraction of the city is the Dalat waterfalls. There are many beautiful and impressive waterfalls near town and you need to make choices. Seeing them all seems like a big task, so first, you should select the ones you want to see.
I didn’t visit the biggest one cause it is far from the city and there is no public transport to get there. Of course, I could join a tour, but instead, I decided to visit the Elephant falls that are accessible by local bus.
I joined a traveler from the Netherlands and we visited it together but finding the right bus stop was not that simple. First, we had no idea about the bus schedule. Second, we don’t know exactly at which bus station we should wait because we don’t even know in what direction is the bus going.
Getting to the Elephant falls by local bus
Our first attempt was at Bus Mai Linh, a bus stop near Phở Tiến – Ăn sáng. We saw the bus about to depart and ran to it. The lady was rushing us in, but we didn’t even know if that bus was heading to the Elephant waterfalls. So we asked her in a rush before hopping on the bus. We asked for “Elephant waterfalls”- what a stupid idea. Of course, they don’t know it as Elephant waterfalls. While I was searching for the Vietnamese name in a hurry, she told the bus driver to depart and left us hanging there staring incredulously at the bus. We were in the middle of a conversation, I thought, and she just left us there all of a sudden. I was very amazed and disappointed with her attitude. We could have just missed our bus and have no idea about it. We laughed at the event and sat waiting for some other bus to show up. That’s when I saw another bus station on the other side of the road and a few meters away.
We decided to go there and try to figure out if that is our bus station. We were lucky! That was it. The right bus station is near Sakura Homestay and the bus had already many Vietnamese inside. After the confirmation that this bus is heading to the elephant falls- Thác Voi in Vietnamese- we have a seat and wait no more than 5 minutes for the bus to depart. We were lucky as I think the bus doesn’t run very often. The trip from Dalat to Elephant waterfalls by bus is cheap and it takes about 45 minutes. The scenery along the way is very green and beautiful, and of course, we are the only foreigners on board.
The ticket seller tells us when to drop it off. The bus stops so near the waterfall!!! Less than 5 minutes walk away.
Linh An Pagoda
But before seeing the waterfall we went to the nearby temple that still has this huge Lady Buddha statue under construction. That was the tallest statue I have ever seen at that time. Later I visited a taller one in Monywa, Myanmar.
Linh An Pagoda has other things to see besides the huge statue. The temple is beautiful! From here you can have a glimpse of the waterfall and the view around is lush green. There are so many butterflies here!
Dalat waterfalls: Elephant falls
Next, we head to the waterfall complex that requires a small entrance fee. This is so ridiculous but I think this was the first waterfall I have seen in Asia haha. How is it possible that after traveling for so long…
Anyway, this waterfall is very beautiful. The boulders around it make it one of a kind. The path to get to the very bottom isn’t that easy to walk, so bring some good shoes because everything is very wet. There is a couple taking wedding pictures. What great scenery for a wedding picture! The Elephant waterfall was loud and impressive. The boulders around with a majestic shape are being covered in moss which brings extra mystic to the place. I really loved to visit this waterfall and I think it is worth a visit.
We had lunch nearby in a place that I was very happy to discover. It’s a pretty normal-looking typical Vietnamese restaurant, but this one has a beautiful view of a lake that I had no idea that existed. The small lake was surrounded by houses and fields and eating here was very pleasant.
To go back to Dalat we waited for the bus in the same place where we left on the way to the waterfall. This time we were not so lucky as we waited for a long time in the sun. I would say that 2 hours are enough to explore around the area.
Once back in town we decided to visit another waterfall that was not so far from the city center: Cam Ly Waterfall
Dalat waterfalls: Cam Ly Waterfall
We went there cause we had nothing else to do that day and I saw it on the map, but I had no idea what to expect… I thought it would be just a small cascade on the river. But I was wrong. This is a proper touristy Dalat waterfalls. Therefore, it has an entrance fee. This waterfall has nothing to do with the Elephant waterfall but it still has its charm. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and there were many people visiting. There were a horse and people dressing like cowboys taking pictures with the waterfall in the background. Weird…
Pitty that closer to the waterfall the smell isn’t very pleasant… I’m not sure if it is due to its location near the city center, but yep, not cool. Smelled like sewage. Still, this was a different waterfall and we enjoyed visiting it as it has many nice places to chill around it.
However, the most beautiful and impressive of Dalat waterfalls are the Pongour Falls that are further than the Elephant waterfalls. I didn’t visit them cause I was running out of budget and joining a tour was not my thing. I found no public transport to get there, but I’m sure they are worth a visit. They are about 50 km away from Dalat city center.
Here is a video about Dalat waterfalls: