Guide to Datanla Alpine Coaster Dalat Vietnam
Only 6 kilometres south of Dalat city center is a charming spot called Datanla. Boasting a multi-tiered waterfall, and a bunch of adventurous activities at every tier, this place attracts both local and foreign visitors.
One of the most popular activities that is suitable for all ages and fear tolerance is the Datanla New Alpine Coaster.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply a nature lover wanting to coast along at a comfortably slower speed, the alpine coaster promises you an unforgettable ride through Datanla’s natural wonders.
While the Datanla Waterfall and attractions are open all year round, the best time to go is during the dry season from November to the end of March.
If you go during the rainy season between April and October, it can be dangerous because the areas around the waterfall get very slippery.
I went in July, and it did rain while I was waiting for my ride on the coaster. Although some of the carts came with plastic awnings, these were pretty limited in number, and if the rain was heavy, the awnings wouldn’t do much to shield passengers from getting soaked.
How to Get to the Datanla Alpine Coaster
The Datanla waterfall and alpine coaster are located about 6 kilometres south from Dalat City Center. Unfortunately, there is no public transport to get there.
If you have your own transport, take the N20 highway, and the waterfall is only 400 meters away from the main road. The huge billboard at the entrance is hard to miss.
If you don’t have your own transport, you can take a taxi or book a ride on the Grab app. I prefer using Grab Bike for getting around in Vietnam, as it is cheap and convenient.
Many day tours in Dalat also include a side trip to the Datanla waterfall.
How to Book the Datanla Alpine Coaster
The alpine coaster ride is priced at VND 170,000 (USD 7.40) per adult for round-trip tickets. You can either purchase it at the counter or pre-book on online booking apps, such as Klook, which frequently offers discounts.
Never heard of Klook before? Read this article to find out more.
What to Expect on the Datanla Alpine Coaster
I booked my ticket through Klook, so upon arrival, the first thing I did was redeem my ticket at the counter. It was during the low season and quite late in the day, so there weren’t too many people.
Still, I had to join the queue for my turn, as we had to wait for the previous riders to arrive before we could take over their carts. A cart can fit two people — one adult and one child, or two adults if they’re both smallish.
The cart is equipped with an electromagnetic handbrake, so you can adjust your own speed as you slide down the tracks.
You can go as fast as 40 km/h, but be aware of the person in front of you — they may be going at a slower pace or stopping whenever they like. Likewise, you shouldn’t be going too slow either, or you’d be obstructing the people behind you.
It reminded me of the Frakigaudi Summer Toboggan on Mount Pilatus Switzerland that uses the same concept. But unlike in Switzerland, here in Datanla, photography is allowed, so I managed to record some videos of me on the coaster ride.
The Datanla alpine coaster is used as both an attraction and a real transport system to take passengers to the Datanla Waterfall at the end of the ride.
The 2,400-metre-long winding course starts at the top of the hill, takes you down the slope, and makes a stop at the majestic Datanla waterfall at the bottom. Once you’re done at the waterfall, you can hop on another cart to get back to the top.
I had visited Datanla solely for the alpine coaster and not so much for the waterfall. Besides, it had already started to rain by then, so after a quick photo, I quickly joined the queue again for my ride back.
Other Things to Do at Datanla Waterfall
The alpine coaster may be one of the most popular attractions at Datanla Waterfall, but other than that, there are a few other fun things you can do:
For VND 50,000 for a single ticket, you’ll get to see the beautiful landscape of mountains and forests, while floating high above the waterfall.
High Rope Park
If you’ve got a bunch of restless kids on your hands, or if you yourself crave for some physical activity in the great outdoors, there’s no better choice than the High Rope Park.
Perfect for participants of all ages, this 2-hour adventure takes you through the lush forest of Dalat as you make your way across obstacle courses of varying difficulty levels.
Abseiling and Canyoneering
For those who are true adventurers at heart, the Datanla Waterfall is also famous for canyoning.
Canyoning, also known as canyoneering, is an activity of canyon exploration using a range techniques that may include hiking, scrambling, sliding off natural slides, abseiling (rappelling), swimming, and cliff jumping.
The canyoning activity at Datanla Waterfall involves all of these. Highlights are abseiling from a 25-metre-high waterfall, followed by a 13-metre-high cliff jump.