Da Lat is the main town of the mountain province Dam Long with 150 000 inhabitants. Da Lat is known as the “Town of Eternal Spring” due to its mid-European climate with temperatures between 17 and 24 degrees all year round. The plateau with woods, lakes and many waterfalls in the region is a new countryside experience for the Vietnamese and a destination for many wedding couples on their honeymoon.
The street markets of Da Lat offer fruits and vegetables which aren’t available elsewhere in Vietnam. In the fertile plateau of the region, coffee, tea and chalk thrive. The strawberries and peaches are a delicacy for the Vietnamese especially in Ho Chi Minh city and the strawberry jam has an unrivalled reputation. Just like the wine from the mountains around Da Lat which is sold throughout the whole country.
A city of flowers – since 1966 there is an unique flower garden with waterworks surrounded by countless types of orchids, roses, narcissi, gladiolas. In addition to their optical beauty, the lotus flowers have a high religious meaning in Buddhism. As an offering to Buddha and holy statues, they symbolise the purity of the soul in an impure world.
The views in the town are characterised by French architecture. Villas and hotels affirm the French plans to establish Da Lat, at the beginning of the 20th Century, as a health spa and resort for the Europeans – including a radio tower in a smaller version of the Eifel Tower in the city centre, which also gave the name “Small Paris” to the city.
The 49 metre long, shiny dragon writhes through the Long Hoa Vien, a dragon flower park, in the middle of the Linh Phuoc pagoda site. First built in 1996 it is an example of an exceptional and eccentric architectural style of Vietnamese temples, which was even praised by the New York Times. It is built from colourful fragments of glass, clay and china.
Da Lat is also appealing for excursions into the surrounding areas. Until his death, the last King of Vietnam Bao Dai had his summer residence here, alongside his main residence in Cannes. The “Valley of Love”, the “Lake of Sighs” and a walk alongside the river Cam Ly – which according to a Vietnamese pop song should be “sobbing in lovesickness”.