HIKING LANG BIANG MOUNTAIN IN DA LAT
Hiking Lang Biang Peak in Da Lat is slightly challenging. The 4 km vertical climb will leave you out of breath but it’s worth a trek. If not for the most spectacular views at the top, but for the challenge itself. If nothing else, it’s a great exercise.
For the western travellers, Da Lat is all about nature, the hills, the national park and trekking. And as independent as we are, we decided to find our own way up to the tallest peak in the area.
How to Get to Lang Biang Mountain
Lang Biang is located 12 km from Da Lat centre and is within an easy reach by bike, motorbike or a local bus.
Local bus #5 (look for Lang Biang written on the bus windows) leaves from Da Lat bus station near the central market every hour and drops you off by the main entrance to the national park. The journey shouldn’t take longer than 45 minutes.
If you are planning to reach the mountain on a bike or scooter, you can leave your transportation parked at one of the stalls just outside the park. The friendly locals will look after them for a small fee.
Where is the Right Hiking Path?
Step 1. On your arrival to Liang Biang, get your entry pass at the ticket booth on your left-hand side by the main entrance.
It’s not really clear whether you need to buy a ticket or not if you are going to hike the peak. Most likely, the pass is needed only if you are going to see the Holywood-style Lang Biang sign in the park. And take pictures with horses painted to look like zebras. Don’t ask!
But we bought ours anyway. Further down the path, there’s another checkpoint so beware that in high season, someone might demand to show the ticket.
The next step is crucial.
Step 2. After buying your tickets DON’T go through the main gate but take the narrow path to your right-hand side right outside of the main entrance instead.
The path, depending on the time of year, can be muddy and may not look like a path, but it is. It will lead you into the national park through the strawberry fields, veg greenhouses and a coffee plantation.
If in doubt, ask the locals. They are used to people hiking up this way. It’s safer than the main road and more peaceful too.
Step 3. Once in the forest, follow the steep path up until you see the main road. The trek, depending on your fitness level, takes approximately 2-3 hours.
Unfortunately, you will have to step onto the main road for around 50 m or so to reach the base of the mountain. Once you see a large map in a wooden frame and a small wooden ticket booth, you know you are on the right path.
Prepare for the Lang Biang Trek
Have a good breakfast, wear good footwear and take a rain jacket or a jumper – it gets slightly windy and cold at 2,167 m above sea level.
But above everything, make sure you have plenty of water. The climb is steep and sweaty so you will want at least a 1l bottle if not more per person. Have snacks with you, but nothing too salty.
There are a few places in the car park or just outside the gate to buy water and Bánh mì (baguette sandwich) if you haven’t had the chance to have breakfast.
Climbing the Tallest Peak in Da Lat
Climbing the tallest peak of Lang Biang can be a little challenging, yet refreshing.
As you start climbing the mountain, it gets darker and the trek gets narrower leading you up through the jungle. The forest suddenly sinks into the soft fog. Luckily, it also gets cooler.
There are signs along the way to tell you how much you’ve got left to climb, but at times, we preferred not to know as the trek seemed never-ending. We were tired, sweaty and thirsty.
The most challenging bit is the last 360 m. At this point, the climb seems to take forever. But it’s not the steep climb that’s the most challenging here. It’s the big steps that require a lot of effort and energy to move upward.
You are nearly at the top, just a few more steps…
Langbiang at 2,167 Meters Above Sea Level
As you reach the top, if you are lucky, you’ll see panoramic views across the Vietnamese highlights. But don’t be disheartened to find the mountain covered in fog. It happens a lot.
Sit on the grass, catch your breath, relax. The fog will shift eventually.
The panoramic views of Da Lat might not be the most spectacular from the peak, but it’s the challenge itself that’s worth achieving.