Bao Loc

A Quick Guide to Bao Loc

If you’re trying to get off the Vietnam tourist trail, then Bao Loc is the spot for you. I first visited during my motorbike trip across Vietnam, and honestly, it was a bit of an afterthought. However, this relaxed city, surrounded by nature has snuck in as one of my favourite spots to escape the hustle and bustle of Saigon. From the rolling hills that surround the city to the lakeside coffee shops, it’s easy to disconnect and find peace here. Here is a quick guide to help you plan your own escape to Bao Loc.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, all marked with * Booking through these links generates a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

Bao Loc at a glance

Bao Loc is the little brother to the more commonly visited city of Dalat, also in Vietnam’s central highlands. The city is surrounded by lush green fruit farms and a sea of tea and coffee plantations. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and the heat of the south while experiencing a slower pace of life. There aren’t a huge amount of tourist sites to “tick off” but the city offers a really calm and relaxed atmosphere, and there are plenty of cute coffee shops to soak it up with a local brew.

How long to stay – 1 or 2 days is the perfect length of stay.

Best time of year – The climate is cooler than the surrounding south, with mid-20°C temps all year. Dec to Mar has clearer weather, while summer is the wettest time of year.

Things to see in Bao Loc

There isn’t a huge amount to see in Bao Loc, hence why it’s often overlooked by travellers to Vietnam. If you’re looking to experience the calm of a Vietnamese mountain town then this is a great place to unwind. I recommend spending some time driving through the countryside and relaxing in the many coffee shops that line the lake.

Dambri Waterfall

Dambri is one of the largest waterfalls in Vietnam, with the main plunge dropping an insane 90 meters! Dambri waterfall and another called Dasara falls, are located 20kms outside the city so you will need a motorbike to visit.

✍️ Read more about visiting Dambri Waterfall here.

Drive through coffee plantations and fruit farms

The countryside around Bao Loc is beautiful and well worth a morning getting lost on the back roads. After living in Saigon for years this is the kind of city escape I crave.

travel guide to Bao Loc dambri waterfall Vietnam

How to get to Bao Loc

I don’t think I can say it enough; Bao Loc is really off the tourist trail. There is no train station in town, and no airport nearby leaving bus as the only way to get to here, however, I’ve never taken the bus having only travelled here as part of road trips on my own motorbike.

It seems that most of the buses that stop in Bao Loc are heading to Dalat, just stop en route, My usual go-to site for booking transport in Vietnam, Baolau*, doesn’t have any direct bus options but you can find direct buses on Vexere.

From Ho Chi Minh City

⏰ 4hrs
💰 200k

From Dalat

There doesn’t seem to be any regular buses operating between Bao Loc and Dalat but a local hotel owner might be able to direct you to a local public bus. Alternatively, you could take a taxi/shuttle car as it’s only 1.5hrs away.

⏰ 1.5hrs
💰 200k

From Saigon to Bao Loc

There are two main routes you could drive from Saigon; the scenic route (mountain passes and countryside) and the direct route (highway). Both start and end the same way, with a different segment in the middle. I’ve driven both and highly recommend the scenic route if you can afford to add the extra time (about 1 hour extra).

⏰ 4.5hrs (highway) – 6hrs (scenic)

From Dalat to Bao Loc

When coming from Dalat there is one main road through the mountains. This is a beautiful section of road with lots of viewpoints overlooking the hills as you come into the city.

⏰ 1.5hrs +

✍️ For more information on motorbiking in Vietnam, check out my Complete Guide to Motorbiking in Vietnam.

Getting Around Bao Loc

Getting around the city is relatively easy as it is not large, so you can wander around with ease. Unfortunately, Grab doesn’t operate here, so going further afield will require either a local taxi or a motorbike. I didn’t see any motorbike rental stores but I’m confident your accommodation* can get you up with a rental if you ask them.

Where to eat in Bao Loc

Bao Loc has lots of restaurants for Vietnamese food, but very little foreign food on offer. The area around the lake has lots of street vendors set up at night.

Coffee culture is strong in Bao Loc, unsurprisingly when you consider the coffee plantations that surround the city. I tried a few cool coffee shops when I was there, like Cafe Cõi Riêng. The lake is surrounded by many nice cafes to enjoy a brew and a view.

Coffee Doi Gio was by far the cutest place I’ve visited in Bao Loc and a great place to watch the sunset. The coffee shop has a rustic aesthetic and serves up great hot chocolate. The coffee shop is on top of a small hill and is accessed via a dirt track road, so you will need to use the Google Maps location to find it (linked below).

📍  Coffee đồi gió

Go for a drink at DC $treet Cocktail bar. Shop by day, bar by night. This was a really cool spot to hang out in Bao Loc and seems to be the place all the local “street-style” kids hang out. They sell eclectic, edgy clothing, host Dj nights and have an old school PlayStation set-up.

DC $treet Cocktail📍 9 Trần Quốc Toản, Bao Loc

travel guide to Bao Loc vietnam

Where to stay in Bao Loc

Bao Loc is not a very popular tourist stop, and as such there aren’t a huge range of hostels and hotels to pick from*. However, all the accommodation options are very affordable which is great. I’ve stayed at Ngoc Phuong Hotel* and An Ngoc Linh Hotel* which both offer basic but clean facilities. Both locations are nearby the lake and just a stone’s throw away from cheap street food and restaurants.

Daily budget

Bao Loc was the cheapest stop on my motorbike road trip, and it’s a great budget-friendly escape from the bustle of Saigon.

🍜 ~$6.50

The food here was cheap, with lots of street food available between 15k – 50k, coffee in a coffee shop for less than 50k. I would estimate that I spent no more than 150k on food and drink in a day.

🛏 ~$8.00

The average hotel room in Bao Loc is around 200k, making them some of the cheapest hotel rooms I’ve seen in Vietnam. Browse all accommodation options here*.

📸 ~ $8

Dambri Waterfall is the only “attraction” to see and only costs 180k to visit. If you don’t have a motorbike and need to rent one you can budget a further 150k per day to hire.

🚗 between $5 – $25

If you plan on taking the bus to Bao Loc, you can budget between 400-600k for a return trip. Book a direct bus with Vexere.

Daily budget: ~$30


Meet Frances; Scottish lass turned Vietnam expat, and creator of this space. She can be found sippin’ ice tea’s and writing about her adventures from her sunny base of Saigon, Vietnam’s southern metropolis. All with a healthy side of researching her next road trip. With 5 years of living, travelling and scooting around Asia under her belt – let Frances be your guide to travelling the region.

post a comment