Destinations - Dalat
Dalat is located on a verdant plateau containing pine forests and lakes 300 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. At 1,500 meters above sea level, Dalat’s cool climate provides a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the lowlands and it was for this reason that the French developed it in the early 1900’s as a summer retreat. Dalat’s colonial influences can still be seen in its cathedral and some of the 2,000 villas that dot the town. The town has a relaxed atmosphere and is very popular with Vietnamese holiday makers, primarily honeymooners.
In recent years, enormous amounts of money have been spent to restore the city to its former glory. Lakes have been dredged and cleaned, old buildings have been restored, and new hotels have been built. Foreign investors renovated an old French chateau, renaming it the Sofitel Palace Hotel, now managed by the Accor Group. The hotel’s stone walls, wooden floors and fireplaces make it a unique hotel in Southeast Asia and a popular destination for honeymooners.
The Dalat Palace Golf Course, built in the colonial era but recently renovated, is a world-class golf course. Dalat’s lakes and temperate climate allowed the course designers to build a challenging course with bent-grass greens and fairways, golf’s premier playing surface.
Places of interest
A French Romanesque-style cathedral set in the middle of Vietnam’s central highlands. With its distinctive red brick, stained glass windows, and soaring 47-metre high spire, Dalat Cathedral is the city’s most distinctive landmark.
Dalat’s temperate climate makes it ideal for vegetable and flower cultivation. The morning market is the perfect place to view some of the exotic species of orchids, fruits and vegetables grown in the region. Ethnic minorities from the surrounding villages also attend the market to sell handicrafts and textiles.
Xuan Huong lake
This man-made lake dominates the town – Dalat is built on the slopes rising from its shores. Although you can take a paddle boat on its calm waters, the best way to see it is to stroll along the 7km sealed path that encircles it.
This 10 meter high waterfall roars through the forest 13 km south of Dalat. Bridges near the falls allow for close up views and the chance to feel the mist spraying up from the falls. It’s even possible to walk underneath them.
Bao Dai’s Summer Villa
Built in 1933, the 25-room villa was Emperor Bao Dai’s midsummer retreat. The art-deco interior still looks much as it did early in the 1930s.
Truc Lam Buddhist Monastery
This tranquil and newly-built monastery is located in a forest above serene Tuyen Lam Lake. The monastery has a landscaped garden and small museum of Buddhist artifacts.
This village, inhabited by the K’ho people is located outside Dalat. The village is clean and well-maintained and the locals are very hospitable to visitors.