Pongour waterfall is a must-see destination in Dalat. This waterfall is well-know for its magnificient beauty that is loved by evryone who visit there once.
Pongour Falls is the largest in the area when the dam above the river hasn’t siphoned off all its water. If you don’t feel like walking down to the falls, check out the view from the reconstructed royal pavilion. The original structure was built for Emperor Bao Dai’s hunting expeditions. The falls are signposted on the right about 50km towards Ho Chi Minh City from Dalat and 6km off the highway.
There are two routes to the waterfall: a gentle dirt path and some steps, or a steep, long staircase. It makes sense to take the latter down and the former up. At the bottom there are dozens of rather unattractive trinket stalls and food outlets, but you’ll be glad that drinks are available here because it gets exceptionally hot and humid in this craterous valley. Beyond the trees, that provide shade for the stalls, is a wide and exposed, rocky basin. This enormous chasm was once filled by the torrent of the Đa Nhim River. These days, however, its flow is controlled by the Đa Nhim dam, which you can see from Highway 20, about 10km east of Pongour falls. Unfortunately, this has also affected the majesty and might of the waterfall. What water there is gushes over a wall of rock, 100 metres wide and 40 metres high, and flows down across seven separate levels of terraced rock to the big placid pool at the bottom.
The waterfall is still very, very pretty, but the reduced flow robs it of its gravity and grandeur. Instead of being ‘impressive’ I would call these falls ‘poetic’ – there’s a light and playful quality to them; one gets the impression that Pongour is a somehow benevolent waterfall, as opposed to Elephant falls, for example, which is brutal, raw and powerful. One of the myths surrounding Pongour likens the heroine’s hair to moving water which, given the fine and flowing nature of Vietnamese hair, seems a fitting and beautiful poetic metaphor for the gentle cascade of these falls. Indeed, Pongour is a popular place for couples, young and old, to come for a romantic afternoon, jumping in and out of the multi-leveled falls while holding hands. It’s possible to climb up all seven levels of the waterfall, bathing in the shallow pools on each tier, but you should be very careful as some sections are slippery and treacherous (there are signs warning you not to climb – but everyone does it anyway).
Mining legend Pongour
According to K’Ho magnanimous legend, in the old time, this land was managed by a beautiful woman named Kanai (a head of a Kho tribe). She was very good at conquering dangerous animals. Among those, there were four big rhinoceros which always obeyed her commands; to change waste land to cultivate and to fight against enemies. Suddenly, one spring, she was dead on the full- moon day of the first month. That made the four rhinoceros very sad, they didn’t eat anything just sit by their boss until they died.
Then, one morning, native people here saw that the place where she was born had a splendid waterfall. They told that Kanai hair turned into the water and rhinoceros horns turned into fossil stones to be arranged into order. It symbolized the attachment of human and nature.
Activities at Pongour falls
Every year, on the occasion of mid-January festivity (Lunar month), thousands of people come to the place to enjoy festivities and the atmosphere of spring. This is also an occasion for young boys and girls to date each other.
In recent years, people also hold the festivities like Gong performance, Buffalo – stabbing, folklore game, rice cooking contest, Thai dancing, ect. Which attract more and more tourist to the waterfall. Beside Pongour fall, there are also some other place for visiting in this tourists site such as precious tower, Bao Dai house, yacht, brocade weaving village, etc.
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