Da Lat is located in the central highland of Vietnam
Da Lat is located in the central highland of Vietnam
Then French started to invest in the town as the playground with a lot of hotels and villas in the clear mountain air to escape from the heat and humidity of the coast and Saigon at that time. Da Lat became different from anywhere else in Vietnam, and it looks like a cross between Vietnam and France.
There are many buildings built base on the French architecture such as Da Lat train station, the Crazy House, Hang Nga guest house, the three palaces and summer home of the last emperor of Vietnam Bao Dai,...
The city spreads across a series of pine-covered hills, with a small lake in the center and surrounded by a lake and higher peaks, making for some lovely scenery.
All the lakes in Da Lat become famous because of its romantic name and charming sightseeing as Ho Xuan Huong, Than Tho, Da Thien, and Tuyen Lam. In addition, the city is surrounded with LangBian highland, one of the attractive spot at Da Lat with the height 1900m, also the living area of some ethnic minority villages.
Thanks to its pleasant weather, Da Lat is also called “Eternal Spring” city, warm during the day and pretty cool at night. Sometimes, it could be down to 10 degree.
That weather is quite good condition to grow plenty kinds of plant, so Da Lat is the supplier of vegetable and fruit all over Vietnam. Moreover, the city also has another name of “City of flowers” with 2 famous typical flowers: hydrangea and golden everlasting. The flowers growing industry is highly developed so the city organizes the Flowers festival every year to attract more tourists.
Nowaday Da Lat is one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam. About 800,000 domestic tourists and 80,000 foreign tourists visit every year, and it becomes the country’s favorite honeymoon spot thanks to its romantic scenery.
Thing To Do Dalat!
Dalat also has lots of beautiful sites such as Xuan Huong Lake – center of town, Lake of Sorrow (Lake of Sighs) – 5km Northeast of town on Ho Xuan Huong Road, Valley of Love – Phu Dong Thien Vuong Street, Lang Biang Mountain
Lang Biang Mountains is located on Lang Biang Plateau, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province. It’s only about 12km from Dalat centre and sometimes called Lam Vien Mountain as well.
K’Lang and Ho Biang love story
Only 12km from the central of Dalat, you will see Lang Biang Mountains standing imposingly and beautifully like the roof of Dalat city.
Legend says that the name Lang Biang was derived from the name a couple who were deeply in love with each other - the boy named K'lang and the girl named Ho Biang. They fell in love with each other after K’lang saved Biang’s life from a fierce heard of wolves. However, they weren’t allowed to get married due to the long-standing feud between their tribes.
Generally, there are two versions of this story. One said that at last, they got married and then moved onto a mountain to live. Unfortunately, when Biang caught a critically illness, K’lang had to come back to the tribe to ask for help, the people here shot him with a poisonous arrow.
However, it was Ho Biang to be shot since she had shielded her husband. K'lang could not suffer such loss, he cried and his tear made up a big stream which is now called Dankia (the Golden Stream). The second version said that: the couple committed suicide together since they couldn’t get married.
In both versions, Ho Biang's father was so repentant of his daughter’s dead that he unified the tribes into one called K'ho and allowed boys and girls in K’Ho group to get married to each other. Their graves then grew into the two giant mountains, and in order to memorize the couple with profound love, the mountain range was renamed into what we call it today: Lang Biang.
The Dalat’s roof
Since Lang Biang consists of the two highest peaks of Lam Vien Highland: Lang Biang (2,167m) and 2,287m high Bidoup Ban, which is often regarded as the roof of Dalat. The mountain is famous for its spectacular nature, as well as its marvelous view of the whole wide area of Dalat City, the forest, the rivers and houses of tribal people.
Standing on the top of Lang Biang Mountain, tourists can see the Golden Stream and Silver Stream, or observe fanciful Dalat, which looks like a lush green valley with two pieces of silver silk (the Golden and Silver Stream)
Camping, exploring the natural flora, bird-watching and enjoying the unique culture of ethnic minority groups are recommended activities for tourists coming to Lang Biang. Also, Lang Biang is an ideal place for adventurous activities like mountain climbing, conquering high peaks, paragliding and trekking. “Thung lung Tram nam” (Hundred-year valley) which lies at the foot of the mountain is regarded as an entertainment and ecological tourist site.
How to get there
For those who enjoy the convenience of transport, car and motorbike are absolutely suitable to climb up the beautiful path to Lang Biang peak. Moreover, trek-goers wouldn’t be disappointed with such a challenge. The up-to-the-top-hike takes from 3 to 4 hours.
Xuan Huong Lake lies charmingly at the very heart of Dalat City, surrounded by Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, Tran Quoc Toan, Le Dai Hanh and Yersin St. Used to be the site in which many indigenous people of Langbian highland inhabited, this man-made lake is nowadays the most beautiful lake of Dalat, giving the city an invaluable gift of having a lake right in the center.
The history of Xuan Huong Lake distinguishes it as one of the most special lakes in Vietnam. In the past, there was no lake where we see Xuan Huong Lake today. In 1919 and 1923, two dams were formed on a branch of Cam Ly River to create two small lakes.
Unfortunately, during a severe storm in 1932, both dams were destroyed. Between 1934 and 1935, a larger dam was built of boulders below the sites of the two previous dams to create one large lake. At that time, the French named it Grand Lac (large lake), but in 1953 it was renamed Xuan Huong Lake to express the people’s appreciation to the famous Vietnamese female poet in the 19th century who has the same name. The lake has gone through several constructions. There would be time when it's not full of water (very unlucky if you drop in the city by then, though)
What to do
The crescent-moon-shaped lake covered an area of nearly 43 ha, stretching through several other attractions such as the Dalat Flower Park and Cu Hill. The surface of the lake is as smooth as a mirror reflecting the romantic scenery of Dalat with pine forests, meadows and gardens. Nowadays, visitors can not only enjoy strolling along the lakeside but also resting under the conifers, pedal-boating on the lake while admiring the spectacular architecture of Thuy Ta Pavilion.
Try the elegant swan boat ride, it's the best way to discover the beauty of the lake. Having a cup of coffee overlooking the lake is another suggestion. As a major attraction of Dalat, the lake is a place for people from both inside and outside the city to meet, talk and fall in love. Thus, you don’t need to be on honeymoon to visit this wonderful place (even though honeymooners do it all the time), just come and let the beauty of Xuan Huong Lake inspire you.
Dalat Flower Park
Address: 2 Phu Dong Thien Vuong Street, Dalat City
Hours: Open daily from 7.30 am to 4.00 pm
Being the top must-see in Dalat, this 7000 m² park is located at the end of Xuan Huong Lake, close to the romantic Cu Hill, just about 2km from the city centre. This used-to-be Bich Cau Flower Garden has been renovated and renamed to a flower garden of the city, where visitors can enjoy the biggest selection of flowers in Dalat.
It’s also an appealing attraction on the occasion of annual Flower Festival, with hundreds kinds of species such as: ortensiaes, mimosas, roses, as well as other imported kinds like daffodils or lilies. Especially, this natural museum houses a garden of orchids and a garden of thousands cactus from Africa.
Langbiang Flower Farm
Address: 42 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Dalat City
This site is about 5km from the centre, on the way to Langbiang Mountain and Suoi Vang Lake. Besides traditional kinds like rose, lily, chrysanthemum, this 7-ha-farm is famous for the dominance of eustomas. This kind of flower has made the name of Langbiang Farm all over the country.
After a walk through 20 greenhouses stretching from the slope to the foot, which is enough to fascinate, as well as to tire visitors’ foot, it would be so relaxing to visit the large flower exhibition room and listen to music.
Anh Quynh Orchid Farm
Address: 44B Van Kiep Street, Dalat City
Anh Quynh Orchid Farm’s famous for its cultivation of orchid, especially cymbidiums. Mr. Quynh, owner of the farm has successfully applied the technique of growing orchid on husk, which helps solve the problem of natural substrates. He’s also known as a pioneer in planting new species of flowers in Dalat.
Lam Sinh Farm
Address: Ap Lat Valley, Da Sa Commune, Lac Duong District
Similar to Anh Quynh Farm, this farm focuses on cymbidiums. However, Lam Sinh Farm of Mr. Che Quang De is even bigger, that’s why its owner is titled as the “King of Cymbidiums” in Vietnam with more than 20,000 orchid pots. It was his great dream with cymbidiums – “the queen of flowers”, that motivated him to moved 20km from the city centre, to reclaim 22 ha land. Today, people visiting this kingdom of orchids can listen to Mr. De talking about his new dream: exporting Dalat cymbidiums worldwide.
Bao Dai’s Summer Palace (also known as Palace 3 as there are 2 other palaces of Bao Dai in Dalat) is a must-visit villa for almost all travelers.
History and location
The palace was built from 1933 to 1937 under the dynasty of King Bao Dai, the last king of Vietnam feudal court. The palace was designed in the art deco style and lies in the middle of a pine forest near the Pasteur Institute. In the past, this villa was constructed as a retreating place King Bao Dai and his royal family to escape the summer heat but after 1950, when the French colonial came back to Vietnam, the palace occupied a role as the office and house of the king. Today, tourists can find it on Trieu Viet Vuong St.
What to see
Visiting this 2 stories structure, travelers will have a chance to discover the living of the royal family through 25 rooms and its amenities. The ground floor is the working place of the king. It consists of the office room, the guest room and the reception room. Upstairs is the living space of the king and his family.
The bedroom of the king also has a gorgeous balcony called the watching moon balcony where the king and the queen could appreciate the moonlight. Each of the room reflects the characteristics and status of the owner: the eldest son's room is painted yellow and considered luxurious at that time, the Queen's room can be easily identified with her feminine touch
Inside the palace, there are many valuable items still preserved in good condition. They include several sculptures of royal family, the life-size white bust of Bao Dai himself and a smaller gold and brown bust of his father Khai Dinh, picture of Angkor Wat given to King Bao Dai by King Sihanouk of Cambodia and an engraved glass map of Vietnam, to name a few.
How to get there
Bao Dai Summer’s Palace is considered one of the most famous attractions of the Da Lat. Visitors can easily get there in a few minutes from Dalat central market by taxi or xe om. The opening time is from 7 to 11am and 1.30 to 4pm. The entry fee is US$1. There is an additional fee for bringing camera. Shoes must be removed at door.
Dalat Railway Station
The history of the railway dated back to 1932, when its plan was finally carried out by two French architects named Moncet and Reveron, under the acceptance of Paul Doumer – the French Governor – General of Indochina from 1897 to 1902. Finally, the constrcution was completed 6 years later, after several difficulties such as the last stretch, traversing Lam Vien Plateau.
However, it was largely unused since abandonment of the railway (due to attack) during the later years of the Vietnam War. In 1991, 7km of the track between Dalat and Trai Mat were reconstructed and launched into operation for tourists.
Being part of French colonists’ plan to turn Dalat into a paradise in Indochina, the 1500m-above-sea-level railway is now located at 1 Quang Trung St.
What to see
Regarded as one of the finest piece of colonial engineering and architecture in Vietnam, the station was designed in Art Deco style which is perfectly in harmony with local characteristics and culture. Its three high pointed roofs resemble the three peaks of Lang Biang Mountain or as some people say, the communal house of ethnic minorities in Central Highland of Vietnam (called Nha Rong). Each roof contains multi-color glass window and the central roof has a huge clock which has been restored recently.
The other distinctive feature of Dalat railway station is the cog railways. The total length of the railway is 84km from Dalat to Thap Cham station with 16km of cog railway designed by Swedish engineers. Because of the mountainous geography, a system of cog railroad and locomotive is needed to provide the traction for uphill slopes and slow down the train when going downhill. The construction had to overcome many difficulties of the mountainous terrain so that it leaded to such a long period of time to complete which was 24 years.