Dalat is a small town in the Central Highlands and not one of Vietnam’s metropolises, so you won’t find extensive malls and lots of luxury shopping opportunities here. But Dalat is not known for these things anyway. It is the range of delicious food and beautiful handicrafts, that makes Dalat interesting for shoppers.
The Central Market is definitely a top address for a shopping spree. The night market around the city center is also worth mentioning, as well as the many shops around, selling the fresh or conserved produce of Dalat.
The Central Market of Dalat City offers mainly items of food and clothing. Contrary to most Saigonese markets, the fashion in Dalat is more suitable for cold climates. At dusk, the market building itself closes down, and the stalls of the night market sprout around it. The market also features a showroom and store for traditional clothing, as well as silk embroidery, which make marvelous souvenirs.
The night market is a chaotic and joyful experience. Vendors appraising their wares with loud voices, mostly from self-repeating tape recorders. From avocados to strawberry jam, woolen bonnets to secondhand jeans, potted plants to oddly shaped roots that serve a purpose in traditional medicine… the night market has much to offer.
Of course, there are many shops around at the city center. Most of them selling herbal infusions, such as trà atisô, artichoke infusion, which is very popular in Dalat and the Highlands. They also have various wines for sale, and other food items.
Apart from the usual range of small supermarkets and corner shops, you can find a Big C Store at Lam Vien square that stocks a full variety of foods.
People from ethnic minorities sell colorful, embroidered purses and bags at major tourist spots. If you are interested in some eclectic Vietnamese coffee, check out our post about the weasel coffee farm in Dalat.
For a great insight into how silk is made, take a look at our visit to a silk factory.
Interesting and beautiful silk embroidery, and its making of, can be witnessed and purchased at XQ Historical Village