A six people group of two women and four men around 30 going Canyoning in Da Lat - Vietnam
South Vietnam,  Vietnam

Canyoning in Da Lat – Vietnam

I want to preface this by saying I am afraid of heights. So of course I had to go on a 2,4 km long alpine coaster ride at Datanla waterfalls and then afterwards went canyoning in Da Lat where we climbed down waterfalls up to 25 meters and abseiled into a raging river. I can recommend this for thrill seekers or as exposure therapy.

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Alpine Coaster at Datanla Waterfalls

The alpine coaster at Datanla Waterfalls in Da Lat is 2,4 km long and very fun to go down! You have to get down to the waterfalls anyway, so you might as well go the fun way!

Originally I was going to go to the alpine coaster myself and spend some time at the waterfalls, but then I saw that this is some way out of Da Lat city, so organizing transport wouldn’t be easy. Then I found that the canyoning company I had chosen offered a tour with both things combined and the tour with the alpine coaster included was just the price of the ticket more expensive than only canyoning.

The car can go quite fast, but you have to be mindful of the people in front of you. If you get too close there is an emergency break. I tried to go slow on some lengths to be able to go faster on others, but the two guys behind me went at full speed constantly so I was forced to move.

On the way back up I had more opportunities to go at the speed I wanted since most people spend at least an hour in the tourist area of the waterfalls.

Tourist Area of Datanla Waterfalls

The tourist area of Datanla Waterfalls is pretty and more extensive than I thought it would be. You can easily spend an hour here, look at the natural beauty or take a picture at one of the photo spots. I only spent 15 minutes since I had somewhere else to be, but in those 15 minutes, I almost had the place to myself since it was so early in the morning.

Canyoning in Da Lat

Then it was time for the main event(s): Canyoning in Da Lat, in the area of the Datanla waterfalls.

At the base everyone got a wet suit, water shoes (if you didn’t bring your own), a harness and butt protector, gloves, a helmet and a swimming vest. Then Tony explained how to use the ropes and harness to stay safe before everyone had to go down a 5-meter-high practice wall. I can tell you: My legs already wanted to give out. But I did it, then did it again and again and again.

First half of the tour – cliffs, zipline and waterslide

After practice, we walked straight through the sightseeing area and behind the main waterfall until we reached an edge. Our first time doing “real” rappelling of the day was down a dry cliff of about 18 meters beside the big waterfall that everyone takes pictures in front of. I guess I ended up in a few people’s vacation shots. When you reach the bottom of the cliff you just let yourself fall backwards into the water and pull yourself across to avoid the rocks at the bottom.

To “relax” after this climb, there was a zipline next up. Which was even worse for my fear of heights, but turned out to be quite fun. Mainly because you go down the roughly 40 meters backwards, so you don’t have to see the ground, or in this case the river, rushing towards you.

The actual relaxing part for me followed after the zipline: when we were floating down a lazy river in our life jackets. It felt like I was a lizard on a log, living my best life: unbothered, moisturized, thriving. 

Next up was what our guide called a “water slide”. That’s when you lie down on top of a waterfall and then slide down into the water, where you will be pulled under for a few seconds. This was honestly my second favourite part. And we got to do it twice!

Sky Waterfall – Highlight of the canyoning tour in Da Lat

The official highlight of the tour is the “sky waterfall”, which is 25 meters high and a real challenge to rappel down. About halfway down the water of the waterfall is only going up to your knees, but once you go over the edge the descent drops to 80 degrees and the full force of the water hits you. That’s when the helmet comes in handy!

sky waterfall - canyoning in da lat

Second half of the tour – abseiling

After the big waterfall, we floated down another lazy river, this time deep enough to swim if you wanted, until we got to the last stop of the day. A waterfall aptly named “washing machine”. This fall is 14 meters high and when you abseil into it (hanging freely, not climbing down the wall) it will spin you around underwater until you don’t know where is up and where is down anymore. You can hold your nose closed, just keep your elbows close to your body.

Before we could take off the wetsuits and shower we had to hike back up the hill the waterfalls were coming down from. At the end of the trek, we were picked up on the highway by the van.

Once back in town, we got a delicious lunch and one of the pictures they had taken of us during the day as a printed and laminated souvenir.

Recap of my canyoning tour in Da Lat

I went with Highland Adventure Travel and chose the tour that combines both the alpine coaster as well as the canyoning in Da Lat. Originally I had planned to go to Datanla and do the alpine coaster on my own, but since the canyoning also took place in the area of Datanla waterfalls I thought “I’m not coming back here, so I should do both in one”.

I booked with them on Instagram and then paid in person, but that only worked because the day I picked didn’t have many bookings yet. If you want to make sure you have a spot you can also book on Klook: Datanla Waterfall Canyoning*

This tour was the most expensive one I went on so far in Vietnam, but to be honest I am happy to pay if that means safe equipment and insurance. And it was so very worth it. I felt like I was in good hands with experienced guides. It was scary but also fun. And the lunch and pictures we got afterwards were a cool bonus!

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