Dalat city is the capital of Lam Dong province, in the Central Highlands Vietnam. This land was originally the residence of Lach, Chil and Sre people of the Co Ho ethnic group. In the late 19th century, when looking for a place to build a French resort in Indochina, Governor General Paul Doumer decided to choose Dalat to build their rest and recreation place. In the first half of the 20th century, from a remote location, the French built up a beautiful city with villas, offices, hotels and schools, a then Indochina tourism and education center.
With an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountains and forest flora, Da Lat inherits a mild climate all year round. History of more than a century also leaves the city many valuable architectural heritages. The rich natural and human resources make Dalat one of the famous tourist destinations in Vietnam. Dalat is also a center for education and scientific research, a city of diverse religions with the presence of hundreds of temples, churches, monasteries ... a special rich agricultural area with vegetable and flower products. Thanks to its mild climate, beautiful natural landscapes and rich architectural heritages, Dalat is also known by many other names such as "Misty City", "City of Thousand Pine", “Cherry Blossom Country "or" Little Paris ".
Lycee Yersin( Cao Dang Su Pham Dalat)
The Lycée Yersin was a school founded in 1927 in Dalat, Vietnam, to educate the children of French colonialists and upper class Vietnamese. After various changes, it is now the Pedagogical College of Da Lat (Vietnamese: Trường Cao đẳng Sư phạm Đà Lạt), a teacher's training college.
The building stands on a plateau. From one side it overlooks the great lake of Dalat, and from the other side looks over the valley where the railway station was built. The French architect Paul Moncet designed the building and supervised its construction. The building was constructed of red bricks imported from Europe. The roof was also made from material imported from France, but has since been restored. The main building is three stories high, with 24 rooms, with a 54 metres (177 ft) bell tower. The building describes an arc. There are traces of a large clock on the exterior of the bell tower. It has been recognized by the World Association of Architects as one of the 1,000 original buildings of the 20th century.
Domain De Maria Church
The church, also known as the Territories of Notre Dame or Mai Anh church, was built from in 1944 by the Lady of Indochina Governor named Mme Jean Decoux. It was built in the 17th century European style on an area of 12 hectares.
The very different of the Domain de Marie is that there is no bell tower and the church’s light system comes from stained glass windows. In addition, you can see a 3m high statue of Notre Dame stading on the globe which was the gift from Lady Jean Decoux. On the back of the church is the grave yard of Lady Jean Decoux to honor her.
Dalat Railway Station
The railway staion was built from 1932 to 1938 by the French. It was the main railway connecting Dalat to Phan Rang with 84 km long. The station has a unique style, three pyramid roofs, which is a symbol of three peaks of Langbiang mountain or three communal houses.
The unique of this rail way is the Cog Railway, the Swiss Technique. It has 10km Cog railway to surpassing 1000 m altitude of Song Pha pass on its way with a slop of 12% to come to Lam Dong’s Dran land. On each train at that time, there was one wagon for goods and three wagon for passengers. This type of railway is available in Dalat and Switzerland, but what a pity, nowadays, there is no trace of Cog railway any more in Dalat.
Bao Dai palace.
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. 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.
The Crazy House
With its oddly architecture, the castle looks like ugly trees or the wild beast in the jungle. The windows are oddly shaped and arranged to look closely as eyes of a wild animals to make you feel like you are lost in the middle of mysterious forest.
The rooms look like oddly trees but actually the whole construction is made of concrete, and all rooms are full of comfortable for passengers to stay overnight.
The owner of this crazy house is the architect Dang Viet Nga who graduated from Moscow Architecture University in 1965. She has lived and worked in Dalat since 1983. At first, she named her house was Hang Nga palace( Moon palace), but because of its appearance, people call it “ Crazy House”.
Cu Lan Village
The story of Cu Lan village comes from its name Cu Lan. Cu Lan is originally a medicinal herbal which is used to stop bleeding. There is also an local animal that looks like a monkey or just like a panda, it has big round eyes, black and beautiful called Cu Lan, local people keep them as their pets.
The village is located among the romantic pine forest and surrounded by hills, bridges, beautiful small house. The you can participate many different activities such as fishing, kayaking on the lake, riding the jeep or off-road vehicle.
Truc Lam Zen Monastery.
Truc Lam Zen Monastery is located on the Phung Hoang mountain overlooking the beautiful Tuyen Lam lake. The monastery is one of three biggest Zen Truc Lam Yen Tu in Vietnam.
The monastery built followed the dream of an honorable munk named Thich Thanh tu. In his dream he saw that he was flying up the sky with a Phoenix. After awaking, he thought about Dalat which is cool temperature all year round, a dreamy place to build a Zen place for monks, nuns, and also the Buddhist followers. That is why he sketched out the entire monastery and have it built in 1994. The famous architect of the monastery was Ngo Viet Thu who designed the Reunification Palace in Ho chi Minh city.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Built in 1990 by the monk named Thich Thanh Vi with the contribution of finance from the Buddhist followers. When you step inside, the first place that impressed you is Long Hoa Vien where there is a 49 m long dragon around the statue of Buddha Amitabha. The fins of the dragon are made of 12 000 beer bottles. The main hall is a massive and unique architecture.
The entire of the pagoda was built by hundreds of tons of porcelain fragments which transport from Hanoi, Saigon and Binh Duong province.
Valley of Love
One of the most beautiful places in the valley of love is Vong Canh hill. There are two ways to access the hill: follow the path or walk follow the concrete steps. This is the most beautiful place to see the blossoming of Mimosa flowers. Surrounding the valley of love is Da Thien lake and the ever green pine forest all year round.
Con Ga Church
Chicken church is one of the typical ancient architecture left behind by the French colonial period. This is one of the biggest churches of Dalat. The reason why the church is called a chicken one because there is a large chicken statue on the top of the bell tower.
The church was built in 1942, it has 65m in length and 47m in height. If you have the opportunity to climb up the bell tower, you can see the beautiful scenes of the city.
Lang Biang Mountain
The Lang Biang Mountain is the most popular one in Dalat city, the mountain is 2,167 meter above the sea level.
The legend of the mountain come from a sad ending love story of a couple who came from two different tribes people.
The man named K Lang and his girlfriend named Ho Biang, they fell in love of each another. But there was the enmity between two different tribes. Therefore, they could not come together.
They both chose the death so they could stay together, after their death, their bodies transformed into a vast mountain range. From then the mountain was called Lang Biang.
Xuan Huong Lake
The Xuan Huong Lake was formerly the upstream of Cam Ly waterfall which was also the residence of ancient Dalat people named Lach ethnic group. In 1923 the French built two dykes to create two lakes. But in 1932 there was a huge storm which brought large amount of water and caused the dykes broke. Then, in 1934 there was a Vietnamese engineer named Tran Dang Khoa who designed to remove 2 old dykes and to built one big dyke until nowadays.
Tuyen Lam Lake
Tuyen Lam lake is one of the most attractive places to visit in Dalat. The lake is 6km south of the city center, just below famous Truc Lam Zen Monastery. There are fresh climate, quiet space, natural landscapes( forests, mountains, lakes, streams, waterfalls,..) all year round. Therefore, this place is suitable for many different activities such as: sightseeing, camping, healing, climbing, trekking, fishing… . To watch sunset on Tuyen Lam lake also an interesting activity you should not be missed.
Datanla Waterfall has abundant water all year round because upstream is a stable source of water. The waterfall itself is not so noisy due to many rocky stone among its flowing. The height of it is 20 meter rapids coming to the lower part made an deep area called the Death Zone.
According to the legend, the waterfall had deep valley in the middle of the hilly area, so it was ever a hiding place for local ancient people Lach against the invasion of the Chams people hundreds of year ago.
Dalat-Lam Dong is gifted with many hills, rivers, lakes, waterfall, pine forests. Among of them, there is a massive waterfall named Pongour Waterfall which is the masterpiece of the creation in the central highland of Vietnam.
This waterfall is known locally as Seven-storey waterfall because it flows through a 7-storey stone levels with the height of 40 meters.
Cau Dat Tea Hill
The hill is 1650 meters above the sea level, in 1927 the French saw the weather and the soil in here suitable for growing tea trees on the top of this hills. At that time tea produced in this hill was black tea. And tea was shipped to France and European countries.
Upon arrival, you will see in your front an immense space of tea hill with an area of 220 hectares. If you have an opportunity to visit this place, you will surely enjoy seeing this image in your own eyes.
Coffee Cau Dat
Cau Dat has total of coffee area 1500 hectares, the climate of the area is suitable for Arabica coffee which is not popular in Vietnam. Each hectare produces up to 4 tons of coffee beans. Cau Dat Arabica coffee is distinguished by the combination of elegant sourness and slightly bitterness. With rich aroma, you can not be able to forget Cau Dat coffee once you try it. This coffee can compete with any best coffee in the world.
In 2016, Starbuck Coffee chose Cau Dat Arabica Dalat as one of 7 types of coffee to be included in the global supply chain.
Banh Trang Nuong Dalat( Grill Pizza)
This is a kind of popular streetfood in Vietnam, but originally come from Dalat. Depending on the taste of each region, the Grilled Pizza will have different ingredients. The way to process this dish is also very interesting, the main ingredients are rice paper, dried shrimps, scallions, quail eggs, cheese, sausages. All of these ingredients will be cooked on top of a piece of rice paper, and below is hot char coal. It is so delicious to enjoy this in the cool weather at night time.
Banh Can Dalat
Main ingredients of this are rice milk, adding on to it some chicken eggs or quail eggs, then put into that mixture some spices of black pepper, salt, chicken powder. Besides the cook also needs to prepare some more tastes such as shrimps, squids, fried meat, beef.
In the morning, you can enjoy this dish with a small cup of dipping fish sauce. It is so cool to have the crunchy cakes in your mouth together with spicy, sweet, salty, sour flavor in the cool morning.
Cha Ram Nem Nuong(Grilled Pork Paste)
This dish is on top of delicious foods in Dalat. Grilled pork paste is so tasty with the ready made dipping fish sauce.
If you have a chance to come to Dalat, you should never miss this tasty dish. It is so good to serve with fresh vegetables which are grown in this dreamy mountain town.
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