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activetravelvietnam.com Country Guides > City Guides > Dalat

Dalat travel information

Illustrated photo: Xuan Huong lakeDalat was established as a hill resort at the beginning of the last century by homesick French colonials who were attracted to its cool, spring-like weather, pine forests, waterfalls and lakes.

Many reminders of Dalat’s colonial past can be seen in the hundreds of European style villas, chalets and other buildings still standing around town. One fine example is the cream-colored art deco villa that was once the summer home of Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai. Another slightly grander example of Dalat’s colonial architecture is the superbly restored Dalat Palace Hotel overlooking the central Xuan Huong Lake. On the opposite side of Xuan Huong Lake is Vietnam’s first golf course, originally built for Emperor Bao Dai and recently restored, it is now one of the top courses in the region.

Apart from its colonial heritage Dalat is known in Vietnam for its market gardens growing everything from carrots and cauliflowers to avocados and bananas as well as many varieties of flowers. For Vietnamese, Dalat means romance, and with attractions like the Valley of Love. It is the destination of choice for local honeymooners.

A few kilometers from Dalat, at the base of Mount Langbian is the village of the Lat ethnic minority from whom Dalat takes part of its name. The rugged country around Mount Langbian offers some good opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing.

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