Located about 40kms south of Da Lat, Vietnam are the Pongour Falls. And if you’ve got a motorbike, getting there is a snap. The roads are nearly perfect and there is little to no traffic through the countryside.
The falls are amazing. And, yes, I climbed them.
There’s a relatively famous photograph (above) that was taken here by Dan Ngo. And while I didn’t see and monks on this day, nor was that water flowing as full, the falls were still amazing.
At roughly 55 meters high, the stepped waterfalls are breathtaking. The top edge of the falls are also a couple hundred meters wide. At the bottom, there are several pools, one very large, several smaller in which you can swim. But for me the shining moment of the day came when I realized that I might be able to climb this thing.
Thankfully, I had my dry bag for electronics in my backpack, so, I sealed up the camera and other devices that don’t like water and began my climb. It was relatively easy going for the first half. Then it got tricky, not so much because the climbing was difficult, but because the right path up was sometimes very hard to identify. Several times I had to backtrack and come back down a face before trying another route.
And boy did I get wet. Soaked to the bone wet. But I couldn’t have cared less. The sun was warm, and here, at nearly 1000m lower elevation than in Da Lat, I wasn’t freezing (I would freeze on the ride home however).
From the top, I had an incredible view of the canyon below. It’s a wide open space and families were picnicking on the rocks. It’s a very romantic spot.
I found a path from the top of the waterfall out of the riverbed. Thankfully, I did not have to climb down.
The only thing that might possibly have been better is if I had come a week or two later. In mid-January at the full moon, there is a huge festival here with games, music, and dancing. Thousands of people come out for the day to enjoy the waterfall.
Then again, I felt like I had the place to myself today, and perhaps that’s even better.
For further ideas on what to do in the Da Lat area, read my “24 Things To Do In Da Lat” article.