I planned one day to see the waterfalls around Dalat. This city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands is known for nature and beautiful waterfall views. I made the mistake, however, of not properly vetting the waterfalls and their distance from the city. Had I planned better, I would’ve spent the day exploring Elephant Falls and the better-known Pongour Waterfall.

prenn vietnam
The entrance to Prenn Waterfall

After getting stuck in an elevator at Datanla, I found an available taxi in the parking lot to take me farther down the road to Prenn (it’s not always easy finding a taxi that isn’t waiting for passengers who had already hired the driver for the day). Despite the elevator mishap, I was excited to visit another waterfall — Datanla was beautiful, albeit crowded.

Upon paying my minuscule admission fee to Prenn, I wondered if I had made a mistake in my itinerary. But I was already sweating from the walk through Datanla and my taxi had already departed, so there was nothing left but to take in what I had paid to see.

prenn waterfall
Is the view that much better from the cable car?

The best description I can offer of Prenn is that it looks like a Disney knock-off nature park with signs in Vietnamese, English, and Russian. There are rides, fountains, animals, a cable car about 15 feet in the air, and a natural waterfall that flows into a carefully constructed stream through the park. And there are overpriced souvenir shops set up to look like a village.

prenn vietnam
Just some cultural statues around a muddy pond

If that description isn’t off-putting enough, there’s also elephant and ostrich riding.

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I don’t know what this is about

Alright, Prenn Waterfall is not all bad. The hillside above the waterfall is a beautifully-maintained garden with views of the mountains. And the waterfall itself is pleasant, though nothing impressive — muddy water isn’t so aesthetically pleasing.prenn waterfall

The highlight of Prenn is the footbridge that leads visitors behind the waterfall.prenn waterfall

Prenn is a waterfall over a large overhanging rock into a muddy pool. The walk around the waterfall is short, making the visit a little less inspiring, but it’s still a brief pleasant time as much of the crowd is engaged in the theme park-like attractions.

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The view from the hillside garden is nice

Following that underwhelming experience, I hopped in a taxi back to town to find a late lunch near my hotel before taking another walk Dalat. That day I extended my wandering through the market in the center of town — I bought a few packaged food products to bring back to Taiwan (and some to the U.S., like the wonderful coffee).

prenn waterfall
The walkway gets a little wet too

The journey to Prenn Waterfall may not have been the best, but it was still part of a great experience in Vietnam.

Have you ever visited a natural attraction that felt unnatural?

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