Perched at an altitude of 1600 meters on the Lang Biang plateau in the Central Highlands region, Dalat or "the city of eternal spring", enchants its visitors with its old colonial villas, its old-fashioned provincial town atmosphere and its exceptional natural setting. A refreshing stopover that will seduce nature and culture lovers.
Formerly climatic resort of the colonial period, Dalat was very appreciated by the French colonists who liked to come there on holiday to flee the Saigon bush. From the beginning of the 20th century, many villas, hotels and buildings were built to welcome the newcomers. You just have to walk through the city to admire the old colonial villas with architectural styles from Normandy or the Basque Country in particular. The Dalat railway station, a miniature replica of the one in Deauville, is a remarkable vestige of the French presence. Also to be discovered the Pasteur Institute, the Bird Convent, the former French High School Yersin, the cathedral or the villa of the last emperor Bao Daï.
Also worth seeing is the "crazy house" designed by the Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga and which looks like a giant tree, somewhere between the world of Tolkien and Disney with a pinch of Gaudi and Dali.
Dalat, a remarkable natural setting
Situated on the Lang Biang plateau in the Central Highlands region, Dalat offers its visitors a pleasant temperate climate and an exceptional natural setting between lush green mountains, vast pine forests, meadows and flower-filled valleys, spectacular waterfalls and romantic lakes.
- There are no less than 6 spectacular waterfalls in the vicinity of Dalat. Those of Pongour spread out on 7 floors are undoubtedly the most imposing but others are also worth the glance like the falls of Hang Cop, Datanla or those of Prenn classified with the national natural inheritance.
- In Dalat itself and in the surroundings, you can go admire and relax by the lakes which have consecrated Dalat "city of romanticism". The lakes Tuyen Lam, Xuan Huong or Ho Than Tho are real delights and offer you some deep breaths in your journey.
- Discover as well its numerous floral parks growing roses, orchids, narcissus, camellias, mimosas, immortals, chrysanthemums, lilies etc...
Visit the tea and coffee plantations and vineyards
Coffee was introduced to the region by French settlers at the end of the 19th century and today Vietnam is the second largest producer of robusta coffee in the world. A visit to a coffee plantation will allow you to learn about the entire coffee making process and to taste this black gold of Vietnam. Visiting a tea farm will give you the opportunity to admire the beautiful tea hills and observe the plucking. The region is also known to be home to a few vineyards that produce a modest wine having the peculiarity of being made from fermented grapes with blackberry juice added. In Dalat, red, white and even rosé wine are produced. This can be the occasion to bring back an original gift to your loved ones!
Dalat, the vegetable garden of South Vietnam
Given its very fertile land and temperate climate, Dalat and its surroundings have become, since colonial times, a vast market gardening area that producing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. While strolling in the countryside you will have the opportunity to see these market gardens but it is by going to the central market that you will take all the measure of the vegetable garden of Dalat where you will find piles of cauliflowers, artichokes, aubergines, persimmons, strawberries, plums, apples, peaches, pears, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchinis, avocados...
All these beautiful fruits and vegetables are put in the spotlight and cooked for you in the many restaurants of Dalat.
The religious heritage of Dalat
Dalat and its surroundings are home to many pagodas including the Linh Phuoc pagoda, an atypical and exuberant place of worship, nicknamed the "pagoda of broken bottles". Indeed, nearly 12,000 beer bottles were broken and then introduced into the construction. Truc Lam Monastery, whose architecture is reminiscent of Zen temples in Japan, is ideally located on top of a hill surrounded by pine forests. Here you can observe the monastic life and enjoy a beautiful view and a relaxing setting.
How to organize your stay in Dalat?
The capital of the Central Highlands has an airport with daily flights to Saigon or Hanoi. From Dalat you can then drive into the Central Highlands to Buon Me Thuot and other places, or to the seaside resorts of Nha Trang and Mui Ne.
Best season: The city of Da Lat can be visited at any season of the year. Beware of heavy rains between July and September, and avoid the school holidays, especially those during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year.