An attraction built on the typical local soil in Dalat is the Clay Tunnel, also called the Sculpture Tunnel. This place has become a well-known tourist attraction that attracts many visitors because of the creativity of combining the art of sculpture and nature to create unique roads.
Being a tunnel, but not like a closed tunnel like in Cu Chi (HCM) or Vinh Moc (Quang Tri). Here is an open, roofless road as trenches, so you can walk freely. Therefore, you should also bring a hat or umbrella to block the sun or rain while visiting it.
Now let’s explore this interesting tunnel in detail!
Located in the mountain area, only 12 km south of the city center and Dalat market.
- Address: Ward 4, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam
- Opening hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm
- Ticket price: 90,000VND/person over 1.3m, and 30,000VND/person under 1.3m
- Estimated time to visit: from 1 hour, excluding travel time to the attraction.
Notes when visiting the clay tunnel
Usually, we leave notes at the end of the article, but this place is quite special, so this part is important for you to have a perfect visit.
- The road to the sightseeing area is quite deserted, there is no gas station from the foothill. You should pay attention, if you go sightseeing by yourself, prepare a car or motorbike with enough gasoline to go up and back.
- The mountain pass is a bit roundabout, so you should be careful when driving.
- Pay attention to moderate driving, especially when there is a vehicle coming from the opposite direction because the road is narrow.
- This area is full of clay, so it is easy to get dirty on clothes. Therefore, if you wear light-colored clothes, you should be very careful when moving and taking pictures in the tunnel area.
- Do not lean on the sculptures.
- Do not be curious to check the layers of soil on the work to avoid damaging the artwork.
- Be careful to avoid slipping, especially on rainy days.
- There are many paths. You should choose a flat path, or when going up and down, you choose steps to make walking easier. Don’t jump from the high point.
Now we will go into detail exploring this area.
The best time to explore this unique tunnel
The best time of day to visit the clay sculpture tunnel is in the morning and early afternoon, avoid going in the late afternoon because the road moving from the foot of the mountain to this attraction has no electricity and the road is narrow. When visiting in the morning or early afternoon, you can have more time to visit and relax in this typical area.
The good time of the year to come here also coincides with the best time to visit Da Lat, which is in the dry season from November to July next year. You need to check the weather carefully if your vacation to Da Lat is in the rainy season from late July to late October. If you go on a rainy day, the clay tunnel will become slippery, which can be less enjoyable to explore.
Interesting things to discover at the tunnel
To easily have an overview of this area, we divide this destination into the following 4 main areas:
- Ticketing area, including parking lot, ticket counter, refreshment-water counter, and small sights
- Clay tunnel area, including all clay paths, sculptures, models
- Infinity lake area, a favorite place to take pictures of many young people
- Water sales area, including coffee shops, water counters, and souvenir shops. These stalls are scattered across the ways, but we grouped them.
This division of the area is our own intention to easily capture the highlights of sculpture tunnels, nothing else for purpose.
Now explore each highlight in details here.
1. The Greeting Gate and the Dragon
Immediately after buying the ticket, you easily see the welcome gate with clear words: “Đường Hầm Điêu Khăc”, meaning Sculpture Tunnel. The special greeting gate is made of clay outside, which looks like beautiful trees. Vietnamdrive likes the material used to make it, so right from the gate, you will not be able to ignore to take souvenir pictures.
Right behind the gate is the largest clay dragon in Vietnam, very impressive. Dragon is seen as a symbol of strength, warding off bad things, and protecting peaceful life. Dragon has become one of the four sacred animals of Vietnamese people, including Dragon – Unicorn – Turtle – and Phoenix.
2. Monkey statues represent the various senses
Next to the gate and the dragon statue, along the way to the main area of the sculpture tunnel, you will encounter monkeys with human-like shapes, slightly larger than the actual size. These monkey images depict different human notions, to remind people to restrain themselves.
The concepts are: Don’t Talk – Don’t Hear – Don’t See – Don’t Think – Don’t Do; that is, do not speak nonsense, do not listen to what is wrong, do not see what is wrong, do not think of bad things, and do not do harmful things. Use the mind to see, use the mind to hear, and use the mind to do.
3. Magnified models
You can see lots of magnified models of objects, utensils, and vehicles in daily life. Through the art of making clay, you can encounter many things in everyday life that are much bigger, creating a very interesting feeling. It seems the authors want to tell us that human beings are still small compared with the universe. It will be the place where you can’t miss taking pictures to remember your trip.
Magnified models are very diverse, you will see a huge Vespa, a giant motorcycle, a big crocodile, a large spider, a turtle, a monkey, an artichoke flower, a music sheet, a guitar, a phone, a timepiece… All are beautiful conventions under the ingenious craftsmanship of the artists.
In contrast to magnified things, you will come across miniature models. It seems that the intention is to reverse things from small to big, from big to small in clay making here. Everything is magical, attracting from one work to another.
Miniature models include Langbiang mountain, a church, a castle, Truc Lam Zen Monastery, and ancient train carriages… Standing in front of these models, you will have an interesting view of real things in life.
5. Infinity lake
Becoming a highlight in this site is the infinity lake, located deep in the sightseeing area. This artificial lake is carefully designed with an unlimited lake surface connected with nature. That is why it is called infinity lake.
The main spot is the image of two people facing each other as if they are confiding. This point becomes a favorite photo spot for many tourists. You step on the stone steps to the middle of the lake, where two faces are in the background. Remember to walk carefully, lest you slip and fall into the water.
6. Coffee shops and small eateries
If you want to stop and rest, you can visit any of the small water stalls scattered throughout the tunnel area. You also see a few small restaurants serving food if you need it. Food and drink prices are very affordable. However, we prefer to choose famous restaurants in Da Lat City to enjoy local dishes during the trip.
Even so, we chose to stop at Dalat coffee shop where there are four big stylized light bulbs. Sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of cool water to relax before moving on to the infinity lake and the following areas. That’s interesting!!!
Above are the highlights of the clay tunnels in Dalat City that we choose to introduce to you. Coming to this clay sculpture tunnel, you can also find countless clay models and impressively decorated sculptures.
Now it’s your turn! List this outstanding place in the famous attractions in Dalat for the next trip to this romantic city!