Description | Map
First published May 2014 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle
Dambri waterfall is 130km from Dalat, but it still makes this list because the falls lie within Lâm Đồng Province. This impressive waterfall is, by some accounts, the highest in the province. Clear, cold water runs off the mountains of the Central Highlands and spills over a dramatic, rocky escarpment, falling 70 metres into a large pool before continuing to gurgle down the valley in a series of gentler, terraced cascades. Giant tropical trees surround this grand waterfall, but, unfortunately, so do kitsch decorations and theme park rides. Yes, Dambri is a major domestic tourist attraction, which, in the spirit of Vietnamese ‘eco’ tourism, dooms it to tasteless development. There are swan-shaped pedalos, a mini roller-coaster, trinket shops, and gigantic restaurants. However, the waterfall itself is still magnificent and pathways cut into the rock offer dramatic views from in front of and behind the avalanche of white water. Even in the mist and rain during my visit it was a majestic sight and a lot of fun.
According to local legend the falls were created by the endless tears shed by a woman who waited for her lover’s return from the forest. He never did come back, and the woman died of sadness, her body turned to rock and her tears kept flowing; as they continue to do to this day. To get to the falls take Highway 20 from Dalat to Bao Loc and turn right (due north) for Dambri waterfall, which is clearly signposted in Bao Loc. This rural road leads through an attractive landscape of coffee and tea plantations for 18km before reaching the entrance to the falls [MAP]. The journey from Dalat to the Dambri waterfall takes at least 2 hours by car or motorbike. Admission to Dambri is the most expensive of all Lâm Đồng Province’s waterfalls: 50,000VNĐ ($2). Try to come on a weekday as weekends and holidays can get very crowded with excited Vietnamese teenagers on day trips.
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