Tuyen Lam Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Vietnam that can be found close to the city Dalat. It is a great place to enjoy nature and tranquility, but active travelers can also get their money’s worth here.
About Tuyen Lam Lake
If you look at Tuyen Lam Lake from above, you can see that the lake is not round, but wrapped between the surrounding mountains and hills. This is because the lake is not a natural lake, but was created by a damn in a small river. It is now the largest lake in Dalat, covering an area of 350 hectares.
What makes the lake so popular for both local and foreign travelers is not only its unique shape, but especially its location between the mountains and forests. A visit to the lake gives a wonderfully peaceful feeling, away from the busy cities in Vietnam. It’s the perfect place to unwind in nature, with opportunities to hike, visit temples and take to the lake by boat or kayak.
Things to do at Tuyen Lam Lake
1. Go around the lake
A visit to Tuyen Lam Lake is one of the best things to do in Dalat. Because the lake is quite large and there is no pedestrian path directly around the lake, walking is not the first option, but of course possible. The best way is to rent a bike and cycle around the lake or a motorbike, which will allow you to drive much further and explore a wider area.
2. Hiking & kayaking
For active travelers, the best way to explore the lake is a combination of hiking and kayaking. A trekking first takes you through the wonderful forests of Dalat, where you can enjoy the peace and nature. The train ends up at the lake, but to get a really good view of the lake, you have to go out onto the lake with a kayak. With a kayak you can get to places that the roads around the lake can’t reach, leaving you completely secluded on the lake.
Tuyen Lam Lake hikinh & kayaking tour with Local Vietnam
If you are interested in this activity, the best way to arrange it is with our kayaking and hiking tour in Dalat, including a guide.
3. Boat trip around the lake
If you are looking for something less active but still want to get out on the lake, you can do this with a boat trip. Handily enough you can arrange a boat trip right at the bottom of the hill where the Truc Lam Pagoda is located, so when you walk down from here you can arrange this directly. The motorboats are big enough for 6 tot 15 people. In addition to boat trips, they also rent pedal boats and small sailing boats here.
3. Pinhatt viewpoint
For the best viewpoint in Dalat and of the lake, head to the Pinhatt viewpoint. Keep in mind that the road to the viewpoint is closed and that you have to walk through the forest to reach the top. It’s one of the higher peaks in the area, so be prepared for a climb. But once you get to the top and see the view it was all worth it. The panoramic view here is amazing.
4. Truc Lam Pagoda & cable car
The biggest sight around the lake is Truc Lam Pagoda, that can be either reached by car/motorbike or the scenic cable car through the forest. The cable car starts not too far from the city center and brings you over the forest to the top of the mountain. On this mountain you will find the most well known pagoda in Dalat, which is called Truc Lam Pagoda. The pagoda is actually part of a monastery that is still being used today.
The buildings in this complex look nice, but what makes it really special is the beautiful setting among forests, with gardens at the top of the hill. If you look closely through the trees you can already see Tuyen Lam Lake.
The forested area of Dalat is without a doubt the best place for camping in Vietnam. There are several places where you can do this in the area and Tuyen Lam Lake is one of the best camping places. Because let’s face it, waking up between the mountains and in the forest with a beautiful lake in front of you, it can’t get much better for the real camping enthusiast.
6. Clay Tunnel
The Clay Tunnels are something completely different from the waterfalls, forests and temples around Dalat. It is a unique sculpture park where every object is made of basalt and dark red clay. There is not really one theme, you will find dragons, an entire village, large musical instruments, gigantic animals and you name it. It may not be worth traveling to from the city just for this, but if you are in the area you should definitely consider a visit.
7. Lavender garden
On the western side of the lake you will find, lavender gardens, which are especially popular with domestic tourists. A ticket to visit the gardens costs 50,000 VND and from here you have a nice view over the lake.
Other nearby attractions
You can easily spend several hours enjoying the lake, but you can also make it a full day trip by combining it with other attractions nearby.
One of Dalat’s most famous attractions is only 2.5 kilometers from Tuyen Lam Lake, the Datanla Waterfall. The waterfall is a great place to admire nature and take peaceful walks through the forest, but the best activity is the mountain coaster, where you sit in a cart on the track and control the speed yourself.
Between the waterfall and the lake you also find High Rope Course, including 80 different attractions in the forest, such as zip lines, climbing and hanging bridges.
On the east side of Tuyen Lam Lake there is a very scenic road heading to one the main highways (QL20). From the road you have great ways and it is also recommended to stop for a drink at a coffee shop called The Wilder-nest (location) with great views and tasty fruit drinks.
How to get there
The city center of Dalat is about 7 km from Tuyen Lam Lake.
The best way is to take a taxi to the Dalat cable car station, 3km from the city center. The cable car takes you all the way to Truc Lam Pagoda that is located on a hill next to the lake. There is both a road and are stairs that bring you down from here to the lake.
There are also several roads that bring you directly from Dalat to Tuyen Lam Lake, which can be a better option if you want to take your motorbike or bicycle around the lake. The best way is following the Tran Thanh Tong road that brings you from the center along Dalat Crazy House and Bao Dai Summer Palace. Just before you are at the lake you can choose to go either left to the west-side of the lake with the lavender gardens and clay tunnel, or keep straight to the east side of the lake, with the pagoda.
Accommodation at Tuyen Lam Lake
In addition that this is one of the best places for camping in Dalat, there are also a number of hotels (especially luxury resorts) around the lake. You are further away from everything, so for another restaurant than the hotel restaurant, you always have to travel a bit. But in return you get a place in one of the most beautiful locations around Dalat with a lot of peace. Some recommended luxury resorts around the lake (if you are not on a budget) are: Terracotta hotel & resort Dalat and Cereja Hotel & Resort. There are no mid range and budget accommodation directly around the lake.
Tips for visiting Tuyen Lam Lake
- If you are going cycling, mountain biking or trekking through the hills around the lake, it is wise to bring some comfortable shoes and clothing.
- Keep in mind that you are dressed respectfully when you visit the Truc Lam Pagoda. This means no short skirt and keep your shoulders covert.
- There are not many restaurants around the lake and eating here can be a bit more pricey. If you are on a budget it is best to eat around the city center or take a pick nick lunch with you.