First published May 2014 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle
This post was last updated 9 years ago. Please check the comments section for possible updates, or read more on my Updates & Accuracy page.
Bảo Đại falls (also known as Jráiblian falls) is named after Vietnam’s last emperor. It’s said that Bảo Đại (1913-1997) would stop here on his numerous hunting trips to the region, during which he and his royal entourage would hunt wild tigers and elephants, among other magnificent animals that are now almost entirely gone from the forests and mountains of Vietnam. These enormous, thundering falls are far from the beaten path and the area has only recently been developed as a tourist site. So far, development has been subtle and tasteful, perhaps suggesting a new approach by the Vietnamese tourism authorities. The modest entrance leads into peaceful landscaped gardens with a couple of attractive wooden houses. Stone steps and pathways through sheer rock lead down to the waterfall. Dense jungle foliage and screaming cicadas create a thrilling and exotic atmosphere as you scramble over boulders covered in roots, brush aside vines, climbers, creepers and other epiphytes, to reveal the first sight of this huge and powerful waterfall. At around 70 metres high and over 100 metres wide these falls are the biggest and most spectacular in this list. The cascade of muddy water drops straight down over a wall of volcanic rock. At its base one or two local fishermen cast their lines into the rock pools, looking fragile and delicate in the presence of the towering falls.
The odd tour bus visits now and then, especially on weekends, but during the week there’s only a trickle of visitors and you may well have these spectacular falls all to yourself. There’s no entrance fee yet and (gasp!) no sign of any concrete elephants or colossal statues of ethnic minorities adorning the site – let’s hope it stays that way as visitor numbers rise, which they surely will. Bảo Đại falls are about 50km south of Dalat and it takes around an hour and a half to get here. Take a left (due south) off Highway 20 at Ninh Gia) and continue for about 8km until you see a gas station on the right. Here, take a left (due north) which is clearly signposted to Bảo Đại waterfall [MAP]. You can either arrange your own transportation from Dalat or take a public bus to Đức Trọng and hire a motorbike taxi from there to the falls. The nearest accommodation is in Ninh Gia on Highway 20. If you have your own wheels, a visit to this waterfall fits in nicely with the Southeast Motorbike Loop.
Images of Bảo Đại waterfall:
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Went today for the first time and can report that the falls are technically closed. You can however squeeze through a hole in the fence and gain access this way. And boy was it worth it! Super impressive cascades and right in the middle of rainy season 🙂
And it even looks like they might be doing some repairs to QL28b finally!
Thanks for the update. I’m glad you got to see the waterfall. I wonder why it’s closed – I guess it’s Covid-related.
Tom- I used your guide as a way to make a local tour company some money, building 2 full day custom tours for me.
Bo Dai falls is certainly “not to be missed” it was my favorite, although i think owould have been had I not chosen the worst possible day to go. Its amazing so few people come when you can see both from the bottom and from the top this great view.
Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I agree: it’s a fantastic waterfall, and a strange thing that so few people choose to visit.
Hello Tom, First off thanks for this great guide to Dalat´s waterfalls. My wife and I will be spending a few days in Dalat during the middle of July and are interested in trying to locate one or two that are not as touristy and would be worth a visit. After reading your guide we have some good ideas about what are the possible alternatives. We would appreciate any updates regarding changes and or suggestions. Best of regards, Brett
In July there should be plenty of water at all the falls in this list as that is the rainy season.
If you want to go to the least touristy of the falls you should visit on a weekday rather than a weekend and check out Bao Dai Falls, Tiger Falls and Bo Bla Falls.
I hope you enjoy your time in Dalat.
Just now arrived from trip to Bao Dai… Weather was perfect as perfectly dried out waterfall :)))) road from Da Lat was unpleasant cuz of construction work, lots of dust, but eventually later there will be good road. But yes, waterfall was out of water :)))) on the way back I had heavy rain on me… So fun trip today :)))
Sounds like a rough trip. Yes, it’s just coming to the end of the dry season so that’s why there was no water left 🙁 I hate that road down from Dalat too.
I hope you other trips are more fun. Try the Pine Tree Road.