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Chasing Cherry Blossoms: A Vietnam Travel Adventure in Da Lat

Last updated: October 29, 2023
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Have you ever wanted to experience spring in full bloom surrounded by the vibrant pinks of cherry blossoms? Then you need to plan a trip to Da Lat, Vietnam in the spring. Nestled high in the Central Highlands, Da Lat comes alive each spring with the Da Lat Cherry Blossom Festival. For a few short weeks, the city is awash in pink blossoms and floral scents. You can bike or walk under canopies of cherry blossom trees with delicate petals drifting down around you.

As the petals fall and blanket the ground, the city takes on an ethereal pink glow. Locals and tourists alike flock to the city to view the cherry blossoms, enjoy the spring weather, and celebrate the natural beauty surrounding them. A trip to Da Lat in the spring is a feast for the senses that you won’t soon forget. The crisp cool air, the floral fragrances wafting on the breeze, the vibrant pink hues - it’s an experience that will stay with you long after the petals have fallen. If chasing spring blossoms and adventure is calling your name, then a journey to Da Lat needs to be at the top of your travel bucket list. The cherry blossoms are waiting!


The festivities kick off with an opening ceremony where singers and dancers perform traditional Vietnamese and ethnic minority dances. You'll find cherry blossom-themed events happening all over town like art exhibits, culinary shows, and music concerts.

By day, simply stroll through the streets and parks, soak in the spring atmosphere and capture photos of the cherry blossoms in bloom. As night falls, the trees are illuminated, creating a magical scene you have to see to believe.

The Best Time to Visit Da Lat for Cherry Blossoms

Every February, the Da Lat Cherry Blossom Festival transforms this charming Vietnamese city into a sea of delicate pink petals. For a few short weeks, the streets are lined with thousands of cherry trees in full bloom.

Weather Conditions

The dry season from December to March is one of the most pleasant times to visit Da Lat, with warm, sunny days and cool evenings. Daytime highs average around 72°F, while nighttime lows can drop down to 50°F, so pack a jacket. The low chance of rain means you'll have plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Possible peak season

Do keep in mind that Lunar New Year sometimes falls in February, which can draw large crowds of domestic tourists to Da Lat. The blooms are stunning regardless, but you may want to avoid major holiday dates if you're aiming for smaller crowds.

Other Activities

In addition to the cherry blossom festival, there are lots of other things to experience in Da Lat during these months. Go for a bike ride or hike at Elephant Falls. Take a coffee tour at the Cau Dat tea plantation. Visit religious sites like Truc Lam Monastery or Linh Son Pagoda. Or simply wander the charming cobblestone streets, ducking into art galleries, cafes and boutiques along the way.

Overall, late December through February is an ideal time to visit Da Lat if you want to chase cherry blossoms in a sea of pink petals and escape the crowds. The pleasant weather and range of activities mean a fun, relaxing getaway in Vietnam's Central Highlands.

Top Spots for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Da Lat

Da Lat’s temperate climate creates the perfect conditions for cherry blossoms to thrive. During the annual Da Lat Cherry Blossom Festival from late December to February, the city comes alive with soft pink flowers blossoming everywhere. If you’re chasing cherry blossoms in Da Lat, here are some of the top spots to view these floral wonders:

Da Lat Flower Garden

This sprawling 64-hectare garden in the heart of Da Lat is a prime viewing location. Meander down pathways lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The garden’s manicured lawns, ponds and gardens provide a photogenic backdrop for the blossoms. Entry to the garden is free, so you can return multiple times to enjoy the seasonal cherry blossoms.

Xuan Huong Lake

Surrounded by rolling hills, this picturesque lake is fringed with walkways and cycling paths perfect for blossom viewing. Rowboats are available to rent if you want to get up close to the blossoms dangling over the water. Xuan Huong Lake turns into a sea of pink during the cherry blossom festival, with petals drifting onto the lake’s surface. Find a grassy spot for a picnic and just soak in the beauty.

Thien Vien Truc Lam Monastery

This hilltop Buddhist monastery offers panoramic views of Da Lat and the surrounding countryside blanketed in cherry blossoms. The monastery’s gardens and stone pathways are also lined with cherry blossom trees, creating a peaceful setting for reflection. Although the monastery is located a few kilometers from the city center, the scenic drive or bike ride there during cherry blossom season is worth it.

Exploring Da Lat during the annual cherry blossom festival will fill you with wonder at nature’s ephemeral beauty. Chase the blossoms at these scenic spots in Da Lat and you'll find floral magic around every corner. The cherry blossom season only lasts a few short weeks, so catch it while you can!

Other Can't-Miss Activities in Da Lat

Da Lat offers many other exciting activities beyond the cherry blossom festival. Here are a few more must-dos to round out your trip:

Explore the Countryside

The area around Da Lat is filled with scenic natural wonders. Rent a motorbike or join a countryside tour to discover waterfalls, farms, and more. Some highlights include:

  • Elephant Falls - A spectacular 300-foot waterfall located in a misty forest. It's a short hike to the base where you can see rainbows in the spray.

  • Coffee Farms - Da Lat is surrounded by coffee plantations. Take a tour to learn about harvesting and processing coffee beans. You'll get to sample delicious fresh coffee too!

  • Flower Gardens - Da Lat is nicknamed the "City of Flowers." Visit flower farms and gardens to see colorful blooms like roses, sunflowers, and orchids.

Take a Train Ride

For a fun retro experience, take a train ride on the Da Lat-Trai Mat rail line. The historic trains run through lush countryside and pine forests. It's a scenic journey back in time.

Explore the Markets

Da Lat's markets are perfect for finding unique souvenirs.

Check out the Da Lat Night Market for clothes, art, and street food. The Da Lat Central Market sells fresh produce, meats, and baked goods. You'll find local specialties like avocados, strawberries, and coconut candy.

Relax in the Cool Air

With an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, Da Lat's temperate climate is a welcome escape from Vietnam's heat. Relax at your hotel, go for a stroll by the lake, or simply find a cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Da Lat has so much natural beauty and charm to offer beyond the cherry blossom festival. Take some extra time to experience all the countryside and culture has to offer in this mountain oasis. The cool air, stunning vistas, and slower pace of life in Da Lat will leave you refreshed and recharged.

Where to Stay to Be Close to the Cherry Blossoms

To fully immerse yourself in the cherry blossom experience, staying within walking distance of the major bloom spots is ideal. Here are some excellent accommodation options to consider:

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat

This upscale French colonial-style resort is only a 10-minute walk from Xuan Huong Lake, one of the top spots for cherry blossom viewing. The secluded villas, tucked within private gardens, feature fireplaces, balconies and butler service. With an on-site spa, fine dining and afternoon tea, it’s perfect for a luxurious cherry blossom escape.

Dalat Flower Hotel

True to its name, this charming hotel celebrates Dalat’s flowers. It’s located a mere 3-minute walk from the Dalat Flower Gardens, a key cherry blossom attraction. Cheerful rooms boast floral motifs, balconies and mountain views. The in-house restaurant specializes in fresh local produce. Staff can arrange flower tours and the hotel’s location provides easy access to Xuan Huong Lake and the city center.

Sammy Hotel Dalat

This affordable hotel sits in a quiet area a short 5-minute walk from the Dalat Flower Gardens and Xuan Huong Lake. Simple but cozy rooms offer complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking. The friendly staff can help you book local tours and the in-house restaurant serves tasty Vietnamese and Western fare. It’s an ideal budget-friendly base for exploring the cherry blossoms.

Dalat Train Villa & Spa Resort

For a unique cherry blossom experience, stay in a refurbished train carriage at this quirky resort. It’s only an 8-minute walk from Xuan Huong Lake and a 10-minute drive from the Dalat Flower Gardens. In addition to train rooms, there are villas set amidst landscaped gardens. Facilities include an indoor pool, spa, restaurant and bar. The novelty accommodation and convenient location make it a fun, memorable place to stay during cherry blossom season.

Staying close to the cherry blossoms will allow you to leisurely stroll around, soaking in the seasonal beauty at your own pace. With accommodation options to suit all budgets in the heart of the bloom, you’ll be perfectly placed to chase those cherry blossoms.

Getting to Da Lat and Transportation Tips

Getting to Da Lat and getting around the city during the Cherry Blossom Festival is easy with some helpful tips.

Getting to Da Lat

The nearest airport to Da Lat is Lien Khuong Airport, about 30 kilometers south of the city. There are daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. From the airport, you can take a bus into Da Lat for around $2 USD. The ride takes about an hour.

Another option is to take a train from Saigon to Da Lat. The scenic ride winds through forests and mountains, taking about 5 to 6 hours. Tickets range from $10 to $30 USD for a seat in an air-conditioned carriage. Once in Da Lat, the train station is centrally located within the city.

If driving, Da Lat is a 7-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. Head northeast through Bao Loc and Dambri. The mountain roads offer stunning views but can be difficult to navigate, so bus or train are easier options if you're not an experienced driver in Vietnam.

Getting Around Da Lat

The city center of Da Lat is small enough to explore on foot or bike. Traffic is minimal and the cool weather makes walking enjoyable. For longer distances, you can rent a bike for around $5 USD per day or take a short cab ride for a couple dollars.

Another fun way to sightsee is on the Da Lat City Tour open-bus. The hop-on hop-off bus stops at all the major attractions like Golden Stream, Truc Lam Pagoda, Valley of Love, and more. Tickets are $5 USD for a full day of riding.

With scenic overlooks, gardens and pagodas spread throughout the city, walking or biking between destinations during the Cherry Blossom Festival is the perfect way to stumble upon beautiful blooms and soak in the charm of Da Lat. Leave the stress of driving behind—arrive in Da Lat, then get out and explore on foot at your own pace!

Packing Tips and What to Wear for Cherry Blossom Season

Packing for the Da Lat Cherry Blossom Festival means preparing for variable spring weather and lots of outdoor time amid the blooms. Here are some tips to help you pack like a pro:


  • Pack comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll be on your feet exploring the gardens and flower fields.

  • Bring breathable clothing like t-shirts, shorts, and capri pants for warm days.

  • Include a lightweight jacket for cooler evenings and mornings.

  • Bring extras of everything, as clothing can get wet or dirty from long hours outside.

  • Don't forget pajamas, underwear, socks and accessories like scarves, hats and belts.


  • Don’t forget sun protection like sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sun hat. The mountain sun can be intense.

  • Bring a camera to capture the cherry blossoms in all their glory. Extra batteries and memory cards are a good idea.

  • Pack a day bag to carry essentials with you in the gardens.

  • Bring wet wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer and any important medicines that you may need.

  • Bring a copy of your passport and visa in case of loss or theft.


  • Pack a picnic blanket to sit and enjoy the scenery. Many locals picnic under the cherry blossoms.

  • Bring a book or e-reader for downtime.

  • Pack bug spray in case of mosquitoes or other insects around the gardens and lakes.

By preparing for a range of weather and activities, you'll be ready to make the most of the Da Lat Cherry Blossom Festival. Don't forget—the blossoms only last around a week, so pack your bags and get ready for a flower-filled Vietnamese adventure!

Tips for Photographing the Cherry Blossoms

When the cherry blossoms bloom in Da Lat, everyone grabs their cameras! The floral spectacle only lasts for a short time, so you’ll want to be ready to capture these fleeting blooms. Here are some tips to help you photograph the cherry blossoms:

Scout the Location

Do some location scouting to find the best spots for photos. The cherry blossom gardens at Xuan Huong Lake and Van Thanh Flower Village are popular, as are the orchards in the countryside. Visit the gardens during the day to see where the blossoms are most dense and dramatic. Return at sunrise or sunset when the lighting is ideal for photos.

Use the Right Lens

A zoom or telephoto lens allows you to get close-up shots of the blossoms without physically disturbing them. For wide landscape shots, use a wide-angle lens. A macro lens is best for extreme close-ups. If you only have a standard lens, just get as close as you can while still keeping the blossoms in sharp focus.

Focus on Composition

Think about composition to make your photos more compelling. Get close to a single blossom, or capture an interesting branch or cluster of blossoms. Frame your shot using other branches or leaves. Capture the blossoms with the lake or hills in the background. Shoot from different angles—close up, side view, above.

Shoot in Manual Mode

For the best control, shoot in manual mode. Adjust the aperture to f/5.6 or lower for a shallow depth of field. Use a fast shutter speed if it’s windy. Increase the ISO for low light. Shoot in RAW image format for more editing flexibility.

Edit Your Photos

Use an editing program like Lightroom to improve your photos. Adjust the white balance to capture the pink hues. Increase the vibrance for more intense colors. Add contrast and clarity. You can also convert to black and white for artistic effect.

With the right technique and a little practice, you’ll be creating stunning portraits of Da Lat’s fleeting cherry blossoms in no time. Frame a blossom or two—they’ll make the perfect souvenir of your floral adventure!


So there you have it, a whirlwind travel adventure chasing cherry blossoms in beautiful Da Lat. Whether you make it for the annual festival or visit during the regular blossom season, this charming little city in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is sure to capture your heart. The crisp mountain air, misty pine forests, colorful flowers and French colonial architecture come together to create a scene straight out of a storybook. While the cherry blossoms may fade, the memories you make exploring the city and surrounding countryside will last forever. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your tickets and get ready for an unforgettable springtime getaway in Da Lat. The cherry blossoms won't wait!