What to visit in Da Lat, city of eternal spring?
- on Nov 23, 2019       By: BN
Known as the city of reverie, city of a thousand flowers or city of eternal spring, beyond a haven of the coolness of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Da Lat is a destination of choice for lovers of history and culture.
Da Lat in the colonial era
Located in the heart of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the city of Da Lat was born under the impulse of the governor of Indochina Paul Doumer with the help of the famous doctor Alexander Yersin. The governor wanted to find a resort in the climate tempered to allow French officials and soldiers to revive against the torrid climate of Annam and Cochin China. The "city of eternal spring" was born in the early 20th century and yesterday as today, it seduces travelers passing by its landscapes and vestiges of the colonial era: beautiful waterfalls, graceful lakes, meadows lush, flowery valleys, green hills, colonial villas art-deco style, convent, schools, churches and a train station inspired by that of Deauville.
Originally, Da Lat was discovered by the famous Doctor Yersin at the end of the 19th century. He’s also the one who discovered in 1894 the bacillus of the plague, was finally settled on the Vietnamese coast in Nha Trang and had repeatedly explored the region. With his friend, the governor general of Indochina, they created a sanatorium and a climatic health resort which immediately became a great success with French settlers who appreciated the temperate climate and the graceful landscapes.
Former Yersin High School in Da Lat
The Saigonese like to go to Da Lat to flee the sultry southern megacity. The city saw a dazzling development. Several famous planners and architects like the famous Ernest Hébrard followed one another to make Da Lat one of the most exquisite climatic resorts of all Asia. At its peak, Da Lat had nearly 750 villas, the last emperor of Vietnam had his residence and General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny created a military school for the Vietnamese National Loyalist Army here.
What to visit in Da Lat?
The imprint of French
While strolling in Da Lat, you can still admire some of these architectural vestiges of the colonial era as these many villas reminiscent of the style of several regions of France, the former Lycée Yersin, the Convent of Birds, the cathedral with stained glass windows made in France in Grenoble, the Balmet House, the former Lang Biang Palace, the former residence of the governor general built by Paul Veysseyre in 1937, the Institut Pasteur or the central post office.
During your stay in Da Lat, experience a relaxing night at the Da Lat Palace Heritage Hotel to immerse yourself in the Indochinese atmosphere. Built in 1922, this elegant hotel offers spacious rooms and suites designed in a typical Art Deco style. The views of the lake and cathedral, the exclusive amenities and a wide range of unique services will delight you after a day of discovery.
An exceptional natural and cultural heritage
Nestled in a beautiful natural setting 1,500 meters above sea level on the Lang Biang mountain, also used to be called Lam Vien, Da Lat and its surroundings reveal landscapes to make the hearts of the visitors capsize. Emperor Bao Dai loved to hunt and spend contemplative hours there.
Twenty kilometres from Da Lat, roosted in nature as picturesque as it is charming, Tuyen Lam lake appears in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by trees and silence. The region is known for its lakes but also for its many waterfalls as the waterfall of Pongour which is one of the largest waterfalls of the High Plateau of Lam Vien at 40 metres high, 100 metres wide and 7 floors of water.
The Prenn Falls on the eponymous hill is classified as a National Natural Heritage. All these natural wonders can be an opportunity for a superb bike ride for a day through the pine forests so characteristic of the region. In this sublime campaign, it’s also an opportunity to meet the many ethnic minorities who live there and who have preserved their rich cultural heritage. Attending a village festival of musical and dancing rhythms with sounds of gongs is a unique travel experience to try to identify fascinating cultures but oh so complex.
Da Lat, the vegetable garden and horticultural paradise of Vietnam
Benefiting from a mild climate, the Da Lat region has become a vast market gardening area that produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Practiced already during the colonisation period, Da Lat has since very quickly developed to become the market gardening window of Vietnam. There is only going to the bustling central market of Da Lat to get to that point. Stalls crumble under the weight of eggplants, persimmons, strawberries, plums, apples, peaches, pears, cauliflower, artichokes, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, avocados... Most of these products are exported all over the country where the quality of fruits and vegetables is saluted.
Da Lat has also the floriculture that has developed strongly thanks to the application of technological measures and this particular climate that appeals to both vegetables and flowers. It is the largest region of the country devoted to floriculture with 6,200 hectares. Everything grows here: roses, orchids, daffodils, camellias, mimosas, immortelles, chrysanthemums, lilies... Let’s visit the garden of flowers to admire the 300 species of flowers or the festival of flowers organized by the city each year.
The Da Lat region is also producing coffee, tea and even wine. You can visit some of these farms and enjoy the taste of this region’s products that are the pride of Vietnam. If Da Lat wine is not a great vintage for you, coffee and tea, for some plantations, are recognized both in Vietnam and abroad.
How to organize your trip to Da Lat?
The city of Da Lat has an airport with daily flights to Saigon or Hanoi. By road, you can easily reach the resorts of Nha Trang or Mui Ne. You also have, by road, the opportunity to continue deeper in Buon Me Thuot known for being the coffee capital of Vietnam and for its mythical Lak Lake, a haven of the Central Highlands.
Want to make a trip to Vietnam combining Da Lat and other beautiful regions of the country? Design your stay now with a local travel agency in Vietnam to go in the best conditions.
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