Saturday 16 February 2019

Getting To Know Dalat

To people living outside of Vietnam, Dalat may not be as well known or as popular as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi or even Danang.  Nevertheless Dalat has a lot to offer. Located about 300 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh, this hilly city boasts of a temperate climate where flowering plants easily thrive. Dalat which means "City of thousands of pine trees" is also bestowed with lakes and beautiful waterfalls in the midst of a panoramic forest setting. As Vietnam was once under the French Colonial Rule [1880s to 1954], there remains a European feel to this city. Century old buildings with European style architecture passed down from French rule have become its added allure.

I like Dalat for several reasons. I like its cool weather and flowers which are seen in abundance even in the busiest part of the city. I also like the fact that all the attractions it offers are within easy accessibility from the city centre. I like its big variety of authentic farm produce and because it is still little known to foreigners, there is no tourist congestion, no long queues and plenty of space and privacy to savour its eco charm.

Glimpses Of The City - Some Highlights
Đài Phun Nước is a little roundabout park, located in a bustling part of Dalat. The park is decorated with garden props in the form of cars and other vehicles and a fountain in the middle which is beautifully lit up at night.

The hub of the city is where the Dalat's market and night market are located. Choosing an accommodation around this area is a good way to feel the city's pulse. I stayed in TTC Premium Hotel which is just a stone's throw from these markets.

Flowering plants which vivify hotel grounds, parks and walkways are refreshing sights that Dalat offers.

Cho Dalat or Dalat market is home to over a hundred stalls selling local produce from nearby farms and factories.

One of Dalat's specialty produce is artichokes, a health food rich in antioxidants. Artichoke tea which makes a good souvenir to bring home are sold in abundance around the marketplace.

The bulk of Dalat's commercial activities centers around the marketplace in front of which is a round-shaped park with an imposing statue.

The city is built around Xuan Huong Lake, an arificial crescent-shaped lake which stretches 7km through numerous tourist attractions in the city such as Dalat Flower Park,Yersin Park, Lam Vien Square and Cu Hill.

Anh Sang Park is one of Dalat's many city-centre parks ideal for strolling or a leisure time out.

Other than some hotel buildings which are quite high, there is an obvious absence of towering sky scrapers.

Lam Vien Square is a huge square beside Xuan Huong Lake. This is a favourite hangout destination for the locals who come to skate and indulge in other recreational activities.

This dome shaped structure sitting on Lam Vien Square must be one of Dalat's most contemporary architecture, the Da Quy (wild sunflower) Theatre. There is an underground shopping mall in its vicinity.

Another highlight of Lam Vien Square is a uniquely shaped building that houses a cafe. 

One of the best places to shop in Dalat is the Night Market which occupies the entire stretch of Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Road. There are many things to see, to eat and to buy here.

Some of the best architecture seen in Dalat are European style hotels, palaces and churches which sporadically dot the city. 

Related Posts:
1. Getting To Know Dalat
2. Dalat's Valley Of Love
3. Top Things To Do In Dalat: A Cable Car Ride To Truc Lam Monastery
4. Top Attractions Of Dalat Part I
5. Top Attractions Of Dalat Part II
6. Dalat: Food Time
7. Dalat In Video: Beautiful Colours Of Dalat

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