Da Lat has a unique history that combines French and Vietnamese influences. The city was established in 1897 by the French colonists who were looking for an alternative to the tropical climate of the South of Vietnam. Da Lat soon became a popular summer retreat for French aristocrats and members of the royal court. It was also a favored vacation spot for a number of famous Vietnamese artists and intellectuals.
To this day, Da Lat is known as the cultural capital of Vietnam and a gateway to the country’s diverse history. There is much to explore in the city, from its quaint cafes an restaurants to its beautiful lakes and gardens.
Top 7 Things to See in Da Lat
Da Lat has a lot to offer visitors, from its fascinating cultural heritage to its spectacular natural scenery. Here are the seven must-see places in the city:
- The Dalat Flower Gardens: This sprawling garden complex situated in the heart of the city is home to a wide variety of flowers and plants, many of which are unique to the region. Take a pleasant stroll through the blooming gardens and marvel at the vibrant colors.
- The Valley of Love: Home to a mosaic of canals and lakelands, the Valley of Love is one of the most beautiful spots in Da Lat. Visit for a romantic picnic or take a leisurely boat ride along the waterways.
- Datanla Waterfall: This majestic waterfall is located just outside the city limits and is one of the most popular attractions in Da Lat. You can brave the challenging trek to the top or get a thrilling ride down the zip line.
- Hang Nga Guesthouse: Better known as the ‘Crazy House’, this unique guesthouse features wild, twisted architecture inspired by the works of Antoni Gaudi. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth a visit.
- Thien Vien Truc Lam Zen Monastery: This serene monastery is located in the hills close to Da Lat and offers visitors a peaceful atmosphere in which to contemplate. Take a guided tour of the beautiful grounds and learn more about Zen Buddhism.
- Da Lat Market: This bustling marketplace offers a plethora of products, from fresh local produce to handcrafted souvenirs. Spend the morning wandering around and take home a little bit of Da Lat with you.
- Linh Son Pagoda: Built in honor of the Goddess of Mercy, this beautiful pagoda is filled with stunning sculptures and artwork. Spend an afternoon exploring the grounds or join in the daily chanting ceremony.
Food Culture in Da Lat
Da Lat is home to a rich food culture that reflects its heritage and combines both French and Vietnamese influences. From the famous sour soup called ‘Canh Chua Ca’ to the classic ‘Banh Mi’ sandwiches, Da Lat offers a diverse range of culinary delights.
The city also serves up a number of unique delicacies that are exclusive to Da Lat. A must-try is the ‘Banh Duc’ – a type of soft rice pancake filled with pork and mushrooms. Or try the ‘Che Troi Nuoc’- a type of sweet Trinh soup made with sticky rice, sesame seeds and coconut milk.
Unique Things about Da Lat
Da Lat is home to some of Vietnam’s most fascinating and unique attractions. Not many people know that the city is also the home of ‘Paradise Cave’ – the longest dry cave system in Asia. Or that it was once the home of Thich Quang Duc – the Buddhist monk who famously burned himself to death in protest of the persecution of Buddhists in South Vietnam.
The city is also renowned for its coffee production, which dates back to the days when it was a French colony. Today, Da Lat is one of the largest producers of Arabica coffee beans in the world.
Getting to Da Lat and The Best Time to Visit
Getting to Da Lat is relatively easy. Visitors can fly directly to Lien Khuong Airport, which is located just 15 minutes outside of the city. Alternatively, you can take a bus or train from other nearby cities in the province.
The best time to visit Da Lat is during the cooler months of winter, from December to February. This is when the weather is at its best and the city is at its most pleasant.
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Traveling to Da Lat and discovering its charm is an experience like no other. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s unique cultural attractions or just soak up the stunning natural scenery, we’d love to help you plan your perfect trip.
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