Datanla waterfall is only 6km from Dalat city centre. It’s no surprise then, that this is the most touristy and developed of all the falls in this list. Just off the pine-studded Prenn Pass, Datanla’s entrance tells you all you need to know about this waterfall: the big, asphalt car park is usually packed with coaches; there’s a queue of tourists outside the ticket office; the restaurant is teeming with people; loud music bellows from the public address system, while tour groups study a billboard displaying a map of Datanla’s wide array of activities, including, a roller-coaster, cable car, abseiling, rafting, and ‘free jumping’. The waterfall has several ‘levels’, each of which offers a different one of the ‘attractions’ just listed. Entrance is only 10,000VNĐ, but you have to pay separately for any activity you wish to do, (most of which are reasonably priced).
The waterfall itself is quite pretty but not impressive. There are excellent pathways, through lush foliage, leading down through the ‘levels’ of the falls. The crowds, the music, the kitsch decorations, and – all too often – the litter, are enough to put most people (including me) off. However, if you’re short of time and want to visit a waterfall in Dalat, Datanla will suffice. Also, for moderate adrenaline junkies, this waterfall offers a gentle ‘hit’. Try to visit on a cold, rainy day (there are plenty of these in Dalat from April to September) as the bad weather tends to keep tour groups away: last time I visited, I had the entire site to myself – surely the first time this has happened to anyone, ever.
To get to the falls take Highway 20 a few kilometres south of Dalat, the entrance to Datanla is on your right (west). Many tour agencies in Dalat include Datanla waterfall as part of a day trip, or you can easily ride here by hired motorbike, bicycle, or even walk. [MAP]
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