PONGOUR WATERFALL IN DALAT
Pongour waterfall, commonly known as the Seven Cascades, is the most spectacular waterfall in the Central Highlands. The waterfall is in the Duc Trong area, some 50 kilometers south of Da Lat on National Highway 20. Pongour plummets 40 meters off a precipice. The cliff is almost 100 meters wide and pours into a deep valley. The primeval forest that surrounds the Pongour waterfall is amazing and lovely, and the stony interstices between the water coming from the falls are spectacular and beautiful. The water spilled from the top of the waterfall into the valley via a series of seven steps high staircases, thus the name "seven cascading waterfalls."
- The Legend of Pongour Waterfall In Dalat:
Pongour is one of the most famous waterfalls in the province. It’s much loved and much visited by Vietnamese of all ages. As a result, the falls are developed to cater to large amounts of visitors, but, unlike other famous waterfalls, Pongour is tastefully done. Wide gravel pathways and steps lead through lush, landscaped gardens (no concrete animals) to the gaping valley below. 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 meters wide and 40 meters high, and flows down across seven separate levels of terraced rock to the big placid pool at the bottom.
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.
With the huge rocky chasm, wide, terraced falls, lush foliage, intense heat, and screaming cicadas, Pongour is the most ‘exotic’ of the waterfalls in Dalat. To get to Pongour from Dalat take Highway 20 past Liên Nghĩa until you see the falls signposted to the right (due west). Take this paved rural road for 10 minutes until you reach the entrance.