Dalat is the stepping stone to the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It stands at 1475 metres and this French influenced city is a breath of fresh air after the mayhem and humidity of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Dalat has been known for decades as the "City of Eternal Spring". This is due to its year round cool crisp mountain climate. Dalat is the centre for vegetables and flowers, which grow in abundance in the rich, dark colored soil.
Golfwise, it is well serviced by three golf courses, although two are only nine holes, with both scheduled for completion of 18 holes this year. In 1994 Dalat Palace Golf Club emerged again as the ideal golf retreat in Southeast Asia. The 18- hole golf course is crafted into the area’s rolling hills, surrounded by stately pine trees and seated above the majestic lake Xuan Huong.. The course weaves its way through stately pine trees to oversized and delicately manicured bent grass greens. For many years it has been rated as the best golf course in Vietnam and many would tell you that it still is.
The course makes full use of its mountainous setting and cooler climate with breathtaking views of famous Xuan Huong Lake nestled amongst French inspired architecture. It really is a delight to play and tee times are easy to get during the week. Weekends tend to be busy due to the influx of native golfers from Saigon and Hanoi. The clubhouse sets the scene for the entire course, built in 1956 and restored to its former beauty. It houses a fully equipped pro-shop, locker rooms and international standard restaurant. Stya and play packages are available from the golf course owned Hotel du Parc and the upmarket Dalat Palace Hotel. Check the website for promotion packages, such as twilight golf. www.vietnamgolfresorts.com
Located about 15 minutes drive from the airport, Royale City Golf Club, whilst only 9 holes is an absolute gem of a golf course. Some of the views will take your breath away and the par three third hole, with its 80 metre drop from tee to green is just stunning. Designed by Peter Rousseau, his concept is to keep the site as natural as possible, preserving the beautiful trees, some of the paddy fields and other water features. At the same time, enhance it with more exotic flora and fauna and to utilize the many natural springs, waterfalls and smaller lakes.
With four sets of tees, then it is recommended to play nine holes off one set and another nine of another tee box. We can guarantee you will never get bored with this course! Because of the many changes is elevation and the distances between holes, a buggy is mandatory. The current price is only $3 per hole, including green fee, caddie fee and a buggy. This is great value for money. www.royalecity.vn
The latest addition to Dalat is Tuyen Lam Golf Club and Resort, situated halfway up the mountain heading into Dalat City. The resort is located by the beautiful Tuyen Lam Lake, right outside of Dalat town. The valley topography is surrounded by sloping hills and primeval pine forests. 18 holes are planned to be completed by April 2104 and nine holes have been opened since February 2013.
The heart of the valley is a natural high mound which is a highlight for the formation of a four-star hotel, a golf clubhouse and next to it is the driving range. Halfway is a winding path following the slope of the hill. You can feel a combination of high-level works among the pure natural hills by standing anywhere. http://www.sacomresort.com.vn/.
Dalat is highly recommended not only for the magnificent golf courses, but also a wonderful and relaxing place to visit.
With its mountain setting, the temperate weather is usually warm to hot during the day and cool during the evenings. There is no need for air conditioning. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season is from November to April. The wet season does not prevent golf, as the rain is not continuous and many days are dry. One word of warning! Due to the high altitude, the sun’s rays are much stronger; therefore use plenty of sun lotion to avoid getting sunburn.
Staying in Dalat
There are many hotels and resorts in Dalat, from five star to one star and therefore accommodation is plentiful and built in a French style. There are many restaurants and cafes offering interesting local and international cusine.
There is an international airport, with regular daily flights from Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Hanoi. For visitors on a budget, sleeper buses from companies such as Sinh Café. Be warned that is it about 7 hours from Ho Chi Minh to Dalat. BEWARE. The usual charge for the 35 kilometer journey from the airport to Dalat centre is around 300.000 Vietnam dong. Do not use the meter if you are using a taxi. You can buy a ticket from the taxi booth inside the terminal.
Golf Asian – www.golfasian,com - and Golf Dalat – www.golfdalat.com – specialize in booking golf trips to Dalat. They can book not only tee times but also accomodation and make all travel arrangements as well.