Pongour Waterfall

Pongour Waterfall

Description | Image Slideshow | Map

First published May 2014 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Pongour falls suffers from reduced volume of water

Pongour is one of the most famous waterfalls in the province. It’s much loved and much visited by Vietnamese of all ages. As a result, the falls are developed to cater to large amounts of visitors, but, unlike other popular waterfalls, Pongour is tastefully done. Wide gravel pathways and steps lead through lush, landscaped gardens (no concrete animals here!) to the gaping valley below. There are two routes to the waterfall: a gentle dirt path and some steps, or a steep, long staircase. It makes sense to take the latter down and the former up. At the bottom there are dozens of rather unattractive trinket stalls and food outlets, but you’ll be glad that drinks are available here because it gets exceptionally hot and humid in this craterous valley. Beyond the trees, that provide shade for the stalls, is a wide and exposed, rocky basin. This enormous chasm was once filled by the torrent of the Đa Nhim River. These days, however, its flow is controlled by the Đa Nhim dam, which you can see from Highway 20, about 10km east of Pongour falls. Unfortunately, this has also affected the majesty and might of the waterfall. What water there is gushes over a wall of rock, 100 metres wide and 40 metres high, and flows down across seven separate levels of terraced rock to the big placid pool at the bottom.

Gazing at the falls

The waterfall is still very, very pretty, but the reduced flow robs it of its gravity and grandeur. Instead of being ‘impressive’ I would call these falls ‘poetic’ – there’s a light and playful quality to them; one gets the impression that Pongour is a somehow benevolent waterfall, as opposed to Elephant falls, for example, which is brutal, raw and powerful. One of the myths surrounding Pongour likens the heroine’s hair to moving water which, given the fine and flowing nature of Vietnamese hair, seems a fitting and beautiful poetic metaphor for the gentle cascade of these falls. Indeed, Pongour is a popular place for couples, young and old, to come for a romantic afternoon, jumping in and out of the multi-leveled falls while holding hands. It’s possible to climb up all seven levels of the waterfall, bathing in the shallow pools on each tier, but you should be very careful as some sections are slippery and treacherous (there are signs warning you not to climb – but everyone does it anyway).

With the huge rocky chasm, wide, terraced falls, lush foliage, intense heat and screaming cicadas, Pongour is the most ‘exotic’ of the waterfalls in this list. To get to Pongour from Dalat take Highway 20 past Liên Nghĩa until you see the falls signposted to the right (due west). Take this paved rural road for 10 minutes until you reach the entrance [MAP]. Many tour agents in Dalat can arrange a trip here, and it’s also an easy drive by rented motorbike. Admission is only 10,000VNĐ ($0.50). Pongour is a popular picnic spot in the late afternoons, so if you want to experience the falls without too many people (and less trash) try to visit during the middle of the day.

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  1. Dai says:
    February 18, 2024 at 10:13 AM

    Went to Pangour Falls last week. There is a shuttle buggy that will take you and bring you to the falls for 15K VND. Awesome place to visit.

    1. Tom says:
      February 20, 2024 at 1:08 PM

      Hi Dai,

      Thank you for the update. I’m glad you enjoyed this waterfall.



  2. Debbie says:
    June 18, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    Hi Tom!
    Is the road to the Pongour falls challenging?
    My parents who are on their 60’s are coming with me and I’m wondering if they will be able to make it.
    Moreover, are you familiar with the roaler coaster ride in Datanla? Do you think it would be scary for them?

    1. Tom says:
      June 18, 2018 at 9:15 AM

      Hi Debbie,

      Last time I went, the road to Pongour Falls was in good condition – but remember that to get there from Dalat requires you to travel on Highway QL20 which can be busy.

      Personally, I don’t recommend taking the roller coaster at Datanla, but there are lifts and slower ‘rides’ you can take.


    2. Tim says:
      June 24, 2018 at 2:28 AM

      Debbie, I was just there in March. It is quite well kept. The walk down to the falls is time consuming, but safe and I had the displeasure of having to visit during the full moon festival which follows tet once a year, there were about 10000 people there, at least. The falls are gorgeous, and if your parents don’t have any physical limitations, they will be fine, it will just take awhile. This place is gorgeous, don’t miss it. I’m just sad I couldn’t get any great photos with drones of locals everywhere when I went.

  3. Holger Franz says:
    September 30, 2017 at 8:08 PM


    is it possible to stay there overnight ? May be there is a dormitory at the entry station or a homestay nearby ? Or is it possible to camp on the area ?

    best regards

    1. Tom says:
      October 1, 2017 at 12:39 AM

      Hi Holger,

      When I was last at the falls I was told it would be OK to camp on the grass near the entrance kiosk, but you’d have to ask permission first. There are local guest houses (called nhà nghỉ in Vietnamese) not far from the falls – just keep a look-out for them.

      I hope this helps,


  4. Jana says:
    March 25, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    Today i was there and it isnt possible climbing or swimming anymore 🙁

    1. Tom says:
      March 26, 2016 at 12:00 AM

      Hi Jana,

      Oh dear. That probably has something to do with the tragic deaths of British tourists at a waterfall near Dalat earlier this month.