Da Lat, Vietnam – A romantic and beautiful city
Da Lat is a mid-sized city that looks like a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps. Outside of the city center, it is surrounded by a series of pine-covered hills, lakes, and higher peaks, making for some lovely scenery quite different from the rest of Vietnam. Temperatures are pleasantly warm by day, and quite cool at night, down to perhaps 10 degrees Celsius. In summer, rain comes at least once a day. It may dictate your mood and activities.
The city center is quite small and feels very urban. There is concrete, patches of streets, and buildings are in disrepair or construction. However, outside of the small urban center is a spacious landscape of well kempt and pretty hotels, cafes, restaurants, and lakes peppered among the rolling green hills and pine trees to offer tourists an escape from city life. If you go further than that, you can find fields of fruits, vegetables, coffee, and canopied flower gardens. All these agricultural products are harvested and exported across Vietnam.
Life in Da Lat
The tempo of life in Da Lat is very relaxed. Traffic is not frenetic except for the central area. The streets are spacious, and the local populace is friendly to foreigners. Da Lat is very much a niche tourism town. It is an ideal place for those seeking a respite from the heat of the rest of Vietnam, a change in scenery to lush pine forests and rolling hills. Or those who seek world-class golf. You can take a walk and see the cafes, hotels, plenty of small shops offering anything from orchids to knitwear.
The vast majority of visitors are Vietnamese. There are some Americans and Europeans on short-package tour, soul searching or drawn by the scenery. The vivid blue skies, fresh air, the park filled with flowers, local culinary, all make Da Lat an attractive place for tourists. Da Lat is a favorite destination for company weekend outings, family get-away, and honeymooners. Most guidebooks for overseas visitors describe Da Lat as a tourist town with a colorful approach to tourism. Da Lat is a very pleasant stop, on a north-south tour (or vice versa), or a pleasant outing from the heat of Saigon.
For overseas visitors, it offers mostly a chance to cool down. You can observe some beautiful landscape and agriculture, view a bit of the French legacy, the Indochina legend, and its momentous glories, and the architecture untouched by the Vietnam conflict left behind. It is a unique place to enjoy the atmosphere of a unique country and its people.
Da Lat is also surrounded by some of the best mountain biking, hiking, and canyoning opportunities in Vietnam. The hills of coffee and tea plantations evoke images of the colonial hill stations of the north of India. Da Lat’s high altitude (1500-2000m) and fertile landscape make it one of Vietnam’s premier agricultural areas, producing varieties of fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee beans, and flowers that do not grow in the lowlands. In markets as far north as Hanoi and Hai Phong, vegetable and flower vendors will tout their “made in Da Lat” produce.
Source: Wiki Travel