Ahhh, Da Lat. The little mountain town known for magical waterfalls, the best coffee in Vietnam, and the most popular weekend destinations for locals. I spent a few days in Da Lat, and in this post, I’ll tell you what I did & what I wish I’d done. This is Da Lat, Vietnam : Where I Slept, Caffeinated, & Ate.

Da Lat, Vietnam

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

One of the most important things to note about Da Lat is that the weather is extremely unpredictable. If you are planning to make the most of it, I’d suggest at least 4-5 days to ensure you get at least a couple of days of good weather.

I was only in town for two full days (I don’t count the days that I arrive/leave), and the first full day I spent about half of it switching my accommodation. I still managed to find some hidden gems in this city and have a relaxing getaway.

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Where I Stayed

I stayed in an airbnb (my favorite type of accommodation) and I got so lucky with this one. It is owned by the same person who owns the hostel next door, so I really got the best of both worlds.

A full time receptionist was at the hostel to answer questions for me, I got unlimited free drinking water (you can’t drink tap water in Vietnam so this was very helpful), and to top it all off, the hostel had a FREE family dinner every night at 6 PM. The most amazing thing about this was the the family dinner was completely vegan.

My room came to $11 a night, including my own private bathroom.

Have you tried airbnb?? If you haven’t, click here for $35 off your first stay!

Da Lat Best Coffee

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

I am a huge coffee snob. I love a good cold brew, americano, sometimes I’ll even slip into the iced coffee world. Finding good coffee shops is one of my top priorities while traveling. In Da Lat, I had coffee at the following shops:

The Married Beans Coffee

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

This was by far the best coffee in all of Da Lat. Definitely try the cold brew (it comes in a wine glass!) and stay a while. The ambiance is adorable and the coffee is out of this world.

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

An Cafe

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

This adorable Hoi An-inspired cafe is filled with lanterns and amazing coffee. I was drawn to this cafe due completely to how cute it was (and how much I loved Hoi An), but was so happy to find that the coffee was amazing as well!

Da Lat, Vietnam : Where to Find the Vegan Food

Biang Bistro

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

I found this hidden gem (it was truly hidden – I walked past it twice before finding the sign) on Happy Cow. It was recommended for Western-Vietnamese fusion, so I popped in for dinner the first day I was in Da Lat.

Da Lat, Vietnam: Where to Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

I absolutely loved it and came back the next day for breakfast and coffee. The iced americano and chia pudding was great, but I can highly recommend this place for lunch/dinner – try the gnocchi! (Also the green juice brought me back to life).

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Dai Loc

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

If you are looking for something a bit more local, head down the street to Dai Loc. I came here a couple times for some good, cheap eats. The first night I had tofu & tomato (a vietnamese dish that can turn out either amazing or not), and the second night I had the “beef” noodle soup. I’m not the biggest fan of faux meat, but Vietnamese vegans seem to be really into it, so I thought I’d give it a try. The soup was very good, and I was so happy to be eating with the locals!

Where to Relax in Da Lat

After a lot of walking and sight-seeing, I decided to spend one night out on the town. I was feeling pretty wild, so I went to a tea shop! As I was wandering down the street, this little shop caught my eye and I stopped in. I saw big pots of tea on the menu, along with three stories of comfy couches and magazines.

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Once inside, I ordered a massive pot of jasmine tea and walked up to the second story to take in the ambiance. I highly recommend Trangs Cookery for a chill night out.

Da Lat, Vietnam : Popular Day Trips

There are a lot of things to do from Da Lat. Something I was really looking forward to was waterfall chasing (Elephant Falls is a popular one, often referred to as the Niagara Falls of Vietnam) and motorbike riding through the mountains.

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Da Lat Vietnam: Where To Eat, Sleep, & Caffeinate

Another popular day trip from Da Lat is visiting coffee farms and weasel coffee farms. If you plan to visit a coffee farm, PLEASE do your research. In many cases, weasels are held in small cages, forced to eat coffee beans. Once the coffee beans are digested and excreted, the beans are used to make “weasel coffee.” This is a Vietnamese specialty. Drinking/supporting weasel coffee is contributing to animal abuse – you are supporting these little weasels being held against their will and being force fed coffee beans to make coffee for tourists. I personally would never support these farms.

Now, a regular coffee tour – sign me up!

This is everything I did, ate, drank, and chilled in Da Lat, Vietnam.

Interested in Vietnam? Check out my other Vietnam posts here:

 

 

 

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Hoi An, Vietnam, is considered to be the most photogenic city in all of Vietnam. It’s not hard to see why – there is amazing architecture, a river running through the city, and lanterns that light up the streets by night. This is Hoi An, Vietnam : A Photo Diary.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An, Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Let’s start off the photo roll with the absolutely adorable airbnb that I stayed in, called La Terrazza. [Pro tip: get $35 NZD off your first trip with Airbnb here!]

Hoi An, Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Next: a girl’s gotta have wheels!

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

You better believe that the first place I took that bike was to the beach. I love a good beach day! Instead of hitting up the uber-crowded, “tourist beach,” I drove the motorbike about 30 mins north, toward the white sand beaches of Da Nang. But, I didn’t make it all the way to the city before finding this deserted gem.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

After a relaxing day in the sun, I made sure to check out what the city of Hoi An has to offer for magic hour.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Sunset is when the city truly comes alive.

I ate loads of smoothie bowls and drank alllll the coffee to stay alive & thrive. (Highly recommend Rosie’s Cafe).

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

I made sure to check out the local temples.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

And the ruins of the ancient city, My Son.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

I took the bike for another spin up to Marble Mountain (where there is actually marble all over the ground… it’s slippery).

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Then I went for a little spin of my own under the lanterns of the city.

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An Vietnam : A Photo Diary

Hoi An, I think I love you. <3

Hoi An is by far one of my favorite cities in Vietnam. If you make your way to this beautiful country, make sure Hoi An is on the top of your list! Tell Rosie’s I say hi 😉

This was Hoi An, Vietnam : A Photo Diary.

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I arrived in Vietnam having no idea what to expect as a vegan. I’ve heard omnivores rave about the amazing food in Vietnam. Luckily, upon doing a simple google search, I found loads of vegetarian and vegan restaurants to try out. This is the best vegan food in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food in Hanoi

In Hanoi, you’ll find vegan food of all price ranges – I ate at a vegan street food vendor for $1.14 (or 35,000 Vietnamese Dong), and I ate at a super high end fancy vegan restaurant for $14 USD (or 335,000 Vietnamese Dong). These are my favorite places to eat the best vegan food in Hanoi.

Uu Dam Chay

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

This is by far the best meal I’ve eaten in Hanoi, and one of the top 3 meals I’ve eaten in my life. It’s that good. This is one of the more expensive meals you’ll eat in Vietnam, but it is completely 10000% worth it. I was hesitant about eating here at first, as I try to be budget-friendly, but after reading the reviews, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

I ordered a kiwi mojito to drink (I don’t know if they put alcohol in it, but I asked for it non-alcoholic), a seaweed salad to start, and a tofu stuffed tomato for the main. The portions were perfect to fill me up. The flavor was absolutely perfect. I can’t even describe in words how amazing this food was.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

The best part about this whole experience was that I left feeling completely satisfied, not overly full or gross feeling. (Sometimes when eating abroad I feel a bit bloated from too much oil or processed food). I loved this place so much, I would come back to Vietnam just to eat here again.

Jalus Vegan Restaurant

When you google search Best Vegan Food in Hanoi, Jalus is one of the first to pop up. It’s well-known, and for good reason. Jalus offers a menu full of fresh, tasty vegan food.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

I ordered a spicy potato curry and a kombucha. The curry was so good, I devoured it super quickly. The kombucha was served at room temperature, which I wasn’t used to. I had a hard time drinking it, being used to really cold kombuchas. The service was amazing here and the food was tasty and wholesome.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

I came back later in the week to try the lentil stew (highly recommend) and the sweet potato and chickpea burger (pictured). The burger was suuuuper filling, which was perfect as I was about to embark on a 15 hour train ride. I’d definitely recommend Jalus.

Hanoi Social Club

Though not a vegan restaurant, Hanoi Social club has lots of vegan options. This restaurant is stationed in a remodeled 100 year old villa. The decor is absolutely enchanting. They are open early for breakfast, which is the meal I came for every time I stopped in.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

My favorite dish here is the black rice and chia pudding. If you’re a coffee snob, try the cold brew – it’s the most intense cold brew coffee I’ve ever had!

Minh Chay

Also in the Old Quarter, Minh Chay is a Vietnamese restaurant that is completely vegan. Serving up pho, vietnamese noodles, spring rolls, and lots of other local Vietnamese dishes made vegan, Minh Chay even offers fake meats to make the dishes authentic.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

I loved the Vegan Old Quarter Snail Vermicelli Noodle Soup (pictured), and the Vegan Mixed Glass Noodles. They offer amazing spring rolls and lots of other goodies, including western food. I highly recommend making a stop in.

Banh Mi Chay

If it’s a truly local experience you’re after, look no further than Banh Mi Chay. I found this place online – it’s a completely vegan, local restaurant. It’s not easy to find from the street. I added the address 66B Tran Hung Dao to google maps and walked past it a few times before I saw the sign.

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

Best Vegan Food Hanoi : Vegan Restaurants

There are only three things on the menu. You can try a vegan Banh Mi, a pillow donut (aka a local samosa), or fried spring rolls. I just ordered one of everything and tried it out. It was all amazing! And the total for the meal came up to 35,000 dong (which is $1.14 USD). This is what Vietnam is all about.

The vegan food scene in Hanoi is insane. If you check out Happy Cow, you’ll see that there are ninety-five vegan-friendly restaurants in Hanoi. It could take months to try them all! These were my favorites out of the ones I tried.

Would you try vegan Vietnamese food??

If you like my Best Vegan Food City guides, check out other destinations I’ve reviewed!

 

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The Catlins was one of my top destinations to visit in the South Island of New Zealand. Known for its numerous waterfalls, long stretches of beach, and beautiful sunsets, the Catlins is a not-to-be-missed destination of the South Island. This is how to spend 24 hours in the Catlins.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How to Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

The Catlins is a roughly four hour drive from Queenstown, which makes it difficult to do a day trip. I booked an airbnb for two nights, and we drove from the Milford Sound. It was a long day of driving, and we got in late. We just enough time to make dinner and watch the sunset over the beach before going to sleep.

In the morning, we had a leisurely brekky at the airbnb and mapped out our adventure with the help of our host. We decided to drive all the way to the farthest place we wanted to visit and then stop at each destination on the way back.

Our rental car took us all the way to McLean Falls for our first stop. McLean Falls is the tallest waterfall in the Catlins, and is pretty impressive. I am a fan!

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

We stopped at the Whistling Frog on the way back from the waterfall for a spot of lunch. I asked about vegan options and the staff was super accommodating, making me a “veggie burger” (roasted veggies inside a bun).

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

Next, we had a quick stop off at Florence Hill Lookout. What a view!

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

Our next stop was The Lost Gypsy. Jenny, our Airbnb host, had described this magical place as a bus filled with little creations. Having no idea what that meant, we stopped in. I’m so happy we did, because this turned out to be a highlight of the day.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

This old bus is filled with little creations that the owner has spent years and years making. It is a fantastic way to spend an hour. I could have easily spent an entire day in here.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

A little coffee shop outside sells matcha lattes, coffees, and teas.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

Don’t go to The Catlins without stopping here!!

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

Next, we headed to the famous Purakaunui Falls. This is the most well-known waterfall in The Catlins, for good reason. It’s a triple-tiered waterfall that is uber-photogenic. In the short time we were there, I saw at least five photographers with tripods and multiple lenses rock up.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

One of the last, and best, stops was the Nugget Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was what I was most looking forward to visiting, but I didn’t want to go until sunset. This area got the name “nugget point” because when the sun sets, it glows on these little rocks, making them look like golden nuggets. How cute is that?!

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

The sunset was magical at Nugget Point Lighthouse. It may have been made even more magical with a cheeky bottle of New Zealand Sauv Blanc and a little spotting of seals and penguins.

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

How To Spend 24 Hours in The Catlins

The Catlins is an amazing place in New Zealand, I would highly recommend making time for a stop. This was how to spend 24 hours in the Catlins.

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You can’t visit the South Island of New Zealand without planning at least one day in Wanaka. Known for the beautiful Lake Wanaka, the Wanaka Tree, and the endless sights to see, Wanaka is a nature-lovers’ paradise. This is how to spend a day in Wanaka.

How to Spend a Day In Wanaka

How to Spend a Day in Wanaka

If you’re staying in Queenstown, the drive to Wanaka will take you just about an hour through Crown Range. Start your day off with a tour of the gorgeous Wanaka Lavender Farm, which is just on the outside of Wanaka.

Wanaka Lavender Farm

The Wanaka Lavender Farm consists of a little building stuffed with lavender-scented goodies and an absolutely adorable café serving up teas and cakes. You can take a tour of the farm and gardens for $2 in the off-season (from March to November) and just $5 during the high season (from December to February). Just pay in the shop, there is no need to book in advance. The entry fee grants you access to the gardens, which you can wander through at your own pace. There are animals on the property, including alpacas, sheep, bulls, a furry pig, and two ponies. The ponies are the friendliest and love being pet.

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

After a stroll through the gardens, take a break with a pot of tea in the little café. I ordered a lavender tea, and Michael ordered the strawberry plum. The café has the cutest, most relaxing tea-time vibes, with dried lavender hanging from the walls and beautiful photo books from which you can learn more about farming lavender and the uses of this medicinal plant.

 How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

The Wanaka Tree

Once you’ve had enough of the lavender farm, stop by the famous Wanaka Tree for a classic tourist photo. The Wanaka Tree is a well-known icon in this little town as it’s been growing for over 70 years in Lake Wanaka. Any time of year would be wonderful to visit this cute little tree; we went in autumn which was beautiful with the trees changing colors on the outskirts of the lake.

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

This could also be a great picnic spot, as there are a few tables just a short walk down the lake.

 The Blue Pools

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

After the Wanaka Tree, take a little bit of a drive to the beautiful Blue Pools. These crystal-clear pools are known for their bright blue color and pristinely clear waters. The walk from the parking lot will take 20 minutes to get to the pools. Once you get to the pools, you’ll walk over a suspension bridge for your first views of the blue river. If there has recently been rain, the color of the water may be a bit murky or green. Waiting a few days post-rain will give you the best color. Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun, the fresh air, and dipping your toes in this refreshing water. Don’t forget your sand fly repellent as they are swarming this area.

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka

When you’ve had enough of the Blue Pools, hop in the car for the two hour drive back to Queenstown. Take the scenic route and stop at a winery or two in Otago. We stopped at an absolutely amazing organic winery called Aurum Wines. I highly recommend making the stop here for a quick tasting. Grab a bottle to take back to Queenstown and watch the sun set over the lake.

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka : Wine Tasting

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka : Wine Tasting

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka : Wine Tasting

How to Spend A Day in Wanaka : Wine Tasting

 

Wanaka is a beautiful area and a destination not to be missed on your trip to Queenstown. This was how to spend a day in Wanaka.

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