Nestled in a valley of brilliant forestry, this former ethnic village has its perks but only if you visit early.
When we arrived in Da Lat we were ready for some adventure and also some peace and quiet away from Ho Chi Minh City. We were rewarded with a beautiful mountainous city stuck in eternal spring.
On our second day we rented a motorbike and went for a tour in and around Da Lat. We found a small village called Cù Lan Village. It is located here just past Golden Valley on Route TL722 about 14mi northeast of the market in central Da Lat. You will see old wooden signs posted on trees reassuring you are headed in the right direction.
NATIVES OF CU LAN VILLAGE
The K’ho people of Cù Lan village made their living mostly off of hunting and farming. However, most of the indigenous people left Cù Lan to make their living and in their place a travel company set up a conservation to restore the day-to-day activities of the K’ho people and preserve the awe of the valley.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE
When you arrive you’ll notice it is built to be a tourist money making machine. Fit with a large parking lot for buses, cars and bikes, Cù Lan village can hold 200-300 visitors on a busy day. As is with most countries in SEA, arriving early will benefit you immensely.
Cù Lan village fits most budgets with a variety of ways to see the property and have some fun. You can pay a minimal amount and have yourself a walk around, at your own pace.
You can take a river tour in a military jeep. This looked ok but for the price we took a skip. You can also do both and make a day out of it although for what its worth, a walk around will satisfy most travelers. when the water is high enough you can even rent rafts.
Laid out on a small valley floor with towering hills all around, Cù Lan village is home to the near extinct Slow Loris (Sloth). A nocturnal primate that is slow and shy. They live in the surrounding forests and immaculate pine trees.
Your walk will take you over a few bamboo bridges and around a small lake lush with greenery and flowers. There are horses, goats and other furry animals all along your walk making the scenery feel quite lively.
Cù Lan also has a few overpriced bungalows in the village for rent however I’m not sure why one would want to stay in a touristy village conservation, unless the peacefulness at night is to die for. We wouldn’t know, we left after a few hours of trekking and relaxing.
WHAT TO BRING
Bathing suit - If rafting or taking the Jeep tour.
Sneakers - The terrain is quite mild but sneakers will serve you well.
Lunch - You can be buy lunch on site or if you choose to search for a more affordable bite, just head back to Da Lat. Passing through the the forests and by the lake will subdue your hunger until you arrive back into town.