August 1, 2013

Dalat Vietnam

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Dalat Vietnam Map

Da Lat is located in the central highland of Vietnam at Lam Dong province, and about 200km far from the northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It was founded in 1897 when Doctor Alexandre Yersin recommended that this area could be developed as a resort town.

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.

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.

Dalat Vietnam Attractions

Dalat cable car ride

An incredible experience awaits you aboard the cable car to savor the beautiful landscape of Dalat, the romantic city of love!

With cable car, you can enjoy panoramic view over the valley of Dalat. It also takes you to many other attractions such as Truc Lam Monastery, Lang Biang mountain or Lat handicraft village.

Dalanta Fall

Dalanta Fall is merely 5km from the center of Dalat city. The fall retains a sense of pure nature and adventure with spectacular settings.

According to the legend, the waterfall having a deep cave hidden in the forest used to be a shelter for a local troop in the war with the Chams hundreds of years ago. Hence, it is given a name of Dalanta, a compound word in K’Ho language “Da-Tam-N’ha”, meaning “water under the leaves”.

Visitors can enjoy the stunning landscapes from the top to the foot of the waterfall either by walking on foot for about 10 to15 minutes or by riding the roller coasters within 2 minutes. Since the 48 rolling coaster system was put into operation, it has attracted many travellers coming to discover the fascinating beauty of Dalanta Fall. Two-seater cars equipped with hand breaks to vary the speed run on the 1 km long route, meandering through pine forests and gradually descending to the fall bottom, which gives tourists a great pleasure and excitement while enjoying the breathtaking downhill view.

Bao Dai Palace

You cannot leave Dalat without paying a visit to the Summer Palaces of Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. His magnificent villa includes three art-deco buildings set amidst gorgeous gardens on top of a hill. All are built by the French between 1933 and 1938. The rooms are not luxurious by modern standards but they used to be so in early 20th century.

Valley of love

Valley of Love (Thung Lung Tinh Yeu) is the most famous attraction in Dalat, especially a magnet for honeymooners. The landscape is beautifully carpeted with pine and flowers. Here you may step up to the top of the Vista Hill (Doi Vong Canh) to encompass the whole valley in view or enjoy a boat trip on the idyllic Da Thien Lake.

Truc Lam Monastery

Thien Vien Truc Lam (Truc Lam Monastery) is an important Buddhist centre in Vietnam. It is perched on Phoenix Mountain near Tuyen Lam Lake. Set amidst stunning landscape, Truc Lam Pagoda is considered the biggest and most beautiful pagoda in Dalat. It is one of the many impressive constructions designed by Ngo Viet Thu, the famous architect of the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City.

Lang Biang Mountain

Lang Biang Mountain (2,167m) is one of the two highest mountains in the plateau. The mountain is well known for its legend, a romantic story about a man named “Ho Biang” and a woman named “K’ Lang”. They fell in love with each other, but their love was doomed by the enmity between the two tribes. After their death, they were immortalized in this mountain with its two peaks named after them.

Lang Biang Mountain lies 12km north of Dalat centre. A 3-hour hike on the paved path to its cloud-covered top will reward you fantastic views over Dalat and surrounding landscapes. On the way down, you may drop in Lat ethnic village at the foot of the mountain.

Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery

For unique experience, you should not miss the Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery (6B3 Huyen Thuc Khang St), usually called the “Crazy House” by locals. It looks like a little fairy-tale world full of bizarre motifs and figures. The house was distinctively designed by Hang Nga, a revolutionary female architect. She was the daughter of a Vietnamese former president.

Dalat Railway Station

For architectural enthusiasts, Dalat Railway Station is also well worth a visit. This was once the finest station in Indochina during 1930s and 1940s. About 105 kilometers of railways were built in early 20th century to connect Dalat and Cham Tower (Nha Trang). During the wars, the lines were ruined and get abandoned. In 1991, the station was restored and turned into a historical heritage site, catching the eyes of thousands of visitors every year. Its original French architecture has been well preserved and the old steam locomotive is still there.

Xuan Huong Lake

Xuan Huong Lake is a hot spot right in the heart of Dalat. The lake is nicely surrounded with smooth lawns, pine forest and flower gardens, assuring an enjoyable stroll around. There is no entrance fee but you must pay rental fee should you want to boat.

Lake of Sorrow or Lake of Sighs (Ho Than Tho)

Lake of Sorrow or Lake of Sighs (Ho Than Tho) lies 6km northeast of the city centre. The lake is so called due to a sad story of two lovers. They made an oath to marry on the bank of this lake, but then the man joined the army. Soon after their separation, the woman was so tormented on hearing of his death that she committed to suicide into the lake. Ironically, the man came back alive. Learning the bad news of his ill-fated lover, he followed her plunging his body into the water. Their love was symbolized by two pine trees standing next to each other in the north fringe of the lake. This is especially a good place to take photographs as the woods are scattered and there is decent sunshine.

Tuyen Lam Lake

Tuyen Lam Lake is a stunning lake and maybe the largest one in Dalat. It is 5km south of the city centre and can be reached by following Highway 20, passing Prenn Hill & Dalanta Falls, turning left and continuing another 1km. It is an artificial reservoir, stretching over 350 hectares. You should not miss a relaxing boat trip to soak in fresh air and tranquility while indulging in fabulous views of green hills mirrored in sparkling water. You may also hike in nearby Elephant Mountain.

Prenn Falls

Prenn Falls lies at the foot of Prenn Pass, the gateway into Dalat. Actually, it is a must stop for any tour departing from Ho Chi Minh City. You may walk on the bridge behind it to watch the water pouring gently from above or wander around the Orchid Garden or the Garden of Solar Rocks.

Pongour Falls

Pongour Falls is located on Highway 20, around 30km south of the city. In wet season, it may expand to 100 meter wide and become one of the most impressive waterfalls all over Vietnam.

Dambri Falls

Dambri Falls is found half way to Dalat, 18km from Bao Loc town. It is a magnificent waterfall with 300-feet height. To reach its foot, you may use lift or follow a paved road, but better the second way for excellent view over rolling hills. You should also spend parts of your visit to explore surrounding woods or ethnic villages with their traditional weaving techniques.

Dalat Train Station

Dalat Train Station is also well worth a visit. This was once the finest station in Indochina during 1930s and 1940s. About 105 kilometers of railways were built in early 20th century to connect Dalat and Cham Tower (Nha Trang). During the wars, the lines were ruined and get abandoned. In 1991, the station was restored and turned into a historical heritage site, catching the eyes of thousands of visitors every year. Its original French architecture has been well preserved and the old steam locomotive is still preserved.

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