How to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat by cab, plane or bus
Ho Chi Minh, the largest city and the most popular place in Vietnam, with its bustling and crowded streets, will keep you busy for days. From colonial architecture to museums, there is always something for everyone.
But when the bright atmosphere becomes too much and you want a change of pace, the city of Dalat is just the thing. Located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Dalat is a really beautiful and peaceful city that is surrounded by pine forests and situated around a lake. Its mild climate gives Dalat a very different look and feel of the tropical cities that Vietnam is famous for. There are gardens and waterfalls, and with its almost year-round mist covering the valleys, Dalat is known as the City of Perpetual Spring.
Travel options from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat
It's just over 300 kilometers (about 190 miles), which doesn't seem like much. But, if you travel by road, it's a long journey of 6 to 8 hours. The bus is a popular way to get to Dalat, and there are many bus companies offering this route, departing from various points in Ho Chi Minh.
Buses are cheap, but there is another option that can also be very affordable and much less time consuming: a plane. Flights from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat can be purchased at a very reasonable price, making them a viable alternative to a whole day on the bus! We'll discuss the pros and cons of airplanes and buses, as well as the cab option.
From Ho Chi Minh to Dalat by bus
With so many different bus companies operating between Ho Chi Minh and Dalat you can always find a seat on the bus! Traveling by bus in Vietnam is popular because it is cheap, and although locals use these services too, many of your traveling companions will be tourists, just like you, traveling in Southeast Asia.
If you're traveling on a tight budget, you'll probably prefer to take the bus because of affordability, although it's usually not the most convenient way to get from A to B.
For a bus trip from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat, you have many options, including quite comfortable ones with the option to spend a little more. The best options are the half-bed seats, as they give you more leg room than you would get on a standard bus. Semi-sleeper seats are like comfortable reclining chairs, so you can lie on your back at an angle and stretch your legs out. Most companies provide half-bed seats, so in terms of accessibility, this is probably your best choice.
Some of the buses have full berths. Although they add to the cost of the ticket, it is a small price to pay for the extra comfort. For example, the VIP 20 service offered by the Thanh Buoi bus company is definitely head and shoulders above the others. They have fully reclining seats that are practically beds, they have their own TV and curtains for privacy. It's more expensive, but not too expensive.
Thanh Buoi also has half-board buses, there are also other bus companies so you can compare prices and services: including Phuong Trang, Thinh Phat Limousine, Minh Tri Limousine and Sinh Tourist. All of these tickets can be booked on the online travel booking site, 12Go.asia , where you can see prices and types of services on one page, which allows you to compare and then book. Buses, by the way, take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the time of day.
Plane from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat
If you want to significantly reduce your travel time, consider taking a plane from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat. The flight time is only about 50 minutes, but you will need to add the time needed to get to Ho Chi Minh City airport and the time needed to get from the airport to Dalat itself.
The nearest airport is about 30 kilometers south of Dalat, so the transfer to the city will take a little time. But even adding this time to the flight time, it should still be a little faster than traveling by bus.
You will arrive at Lienkhuong International Airport, the largest airport in the Central Highlands region, and there are shuttle buses that constantly run into town. Minivans travel at an affordable price, but seats fill up quickly after each flight. Cabs are another option: they're more expensive, but not too bad if you're traveling in a group.
The three airlines flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat are Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, and VietJet Air. The first two are comparable in price, but keep in mind that Vietnam Airlines includes a 20kg baggage allowance in the price of its tickets, while Jetstar Pacific does not. VietJet Air is considerably cheaper than the other two airlines, and doesn't really cost much more than some of the more expensive bus services. For this reason, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat is a very good option.
Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat by cab
The last option is to travel by cab, although this is by no means cheap! Even when you split the cost between several passengers - if you're traveling with family or friends, for example - it makes cabs more affordable, but will still be more expensive than a flight or bus ride.
However, we'd like to suggest this as an alternative if you're not so concerned about the cost, and that's because cabs are very convenient, getting you door to door at any time. You can make several stops along the way, and see a lot of gorgeous scenery that would pass you by if you flew by airplane.
Whether you choose the economical way to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat (by bus), the fast way (by plane), or you choose an expensive cab, all of these options can be booked online through 12Go.