800m above sea level, Bao Loc is not as hot as Sai Gon or as cold as Da Lat. Instead, the little city has an average temperature of 21-23 Celsius degrees all year round. Little sunshine, much rain and a lot of fog typically color a week in Bao Loc. This combination, mixed with natural beauty, vibrant culture and famous tea, make the small town a poetic destination.
How to reach Bao Loc
Bao Loc is 180km northeast of HCMC, 110km from Da Lat, and 100km from Phan Thiet City. From HCMC, the 5-6 hour ride costs VND210,000/ticket on an open bus.
Hiring motorbikes once one has arrived in Bao Loc is not so easy, however, due to its undeveloped tourism industry. Some hotels offer motorbike services, but others do not. However, tourists can travel around the city by taxi.
Many consider the dry season — which lasts from December through April — the prime time to visit Bao Loc. Clearer skies allow tourists to sip their tea and savor the sights in their fullest glory.
Most hotels in downtown Bao Loc are located in Tran Phu St., near many of the city’s restaurants. An average hotel costs only VND100,000 – 150,000/night.
Right there, tourists can hire motorbikes at the price of VND80,000 – 100,000/day to zip around the city with convenience
Dam B’ri Waterfall
The Dam B’ri Waterfall Tourist Site boasts splendid falls, crystalline lakes, a recreation area and primeval forests taking up thousands of hectare.
With a height of 60m and a width of 30m, Dam B’ri is the highest and the most majestic waterfall in Lam Dong. White columns of water drop down into white foam, casting off a curtain of fog. On sunny days, rainbows shoot out of the blue pools and white mist.
At the foot of the waterfall, you can cross a small, mossy bridge. From afar, the bridge seems to come straight out of an ancient kung fu story.
In late October and early November, purple blossoms unfold everywhere, and the area becomes even more poetic.
The road leading to this site is well-maintained; tourists can easily visit by motorbike or taxi. Tourists should note that Tam Chau Tea Company employee buses can offer a lift free of fees.
Tam Chau Tea tree hill
Known as the city of tea, Bao Loc lays claim to the largest concentration of tea trees in Central or South Vietnam. B’lao tea (B’lao being the old name for Bao Loc) is incredibly popular among tea lovers. Less bitter than its Northern counterpart, B’lao tea is more arid and fragrant.
Tam Chau Tea tree hill cannot boast the long history that Cau Dat Tea tree Hill in Da Lat can. However, the beauty of its sites and the taste its tea lure many travelers. Imagine an early morning when the sky is still misty. As the sun rises, the first light hits the morning dew kissing the tea leaves. You walk along the road, embracing the lake and drinking a clear, fragrant cup of tea. How does it feel? Tam Chau Tea tree hill offers moments like this. Moments like when your bus runs through the hill roads, and you open the windows and suddenly get hit by the air full of tea.
Bat Nha Monastery
Bat Nha Monastery is one of Bao Loc must-visit destinations. Its name, (“Bat Nha” means Heart of Perfect Wisdom), hints at its sense of ethereality. The quiet splendor offers sights to see, a Buddha to make offerings to, and even guest rooms to spend the night. The monastery is tucked away in a gorgeous pine forest, and its water comes from the forests’ clean streams. Follow the streams and you will find a waterfall lying behind ancient trees. Be sure to keep quiet here; the monks often come to the waterfall for meditation hours.
Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda
Unlike the quiet Bat Nha Monastery, Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda is part of a bustling scene. The pagoda has big gates, evoking the Gates to Heaven.
Quan Chieu Duong (Quan Chieu Hall) is popular in part because of its architecture. Its interior boasts big wooden poles and golden lanterns, hallmarks of ancient aesthetics, inspires legions of photos. Quan Chieu Hall is often crowded, so tourists should come on weekdays to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. The pagoda also proves itself a prime place to catch the sunrise and sunset.
Bao Loc has some feature dishes. In the morning, we recommend bun rieu (local crab noodle) by O Lan. It’s a big bowl of noodle, crab, tofu and an especially crispy pig meat dipped in golden color.
From noon to night, enjoy Thuan Thanh rice pot at the crossroad of Tran Phu and Ly Tu Trong streets. The rice is cooked with sophistication and put in a clay pot that keeps everything warm throughout your meal. The warmth and flavors suit the breezy Bao Loc weather.
Once you travel from this crossroads toward Bao Loc Lake, you will find other nice dishes, especially sweetened porridge by cook Thao Uyen. Her best porridge, made of chestnut and lotus seed, will far surpass expectations.
Bao Loc is not a tourist city like Da Lat, but that fact brings with it a sense of peace and green space. Slow down, sip some tea, and enjoy your stay.