Da Lat

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Da Lat

Thành phố Đà Lạt
Đà Lạt City
Dalat market, Vietnam.jpg
Da Lat Center Market
Blason de Dalat.png
Coat of arms
City of a Thousand Flowers, City of a Thousand Pines, City in the Fog, Little Paris
Vietnam location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Da Lat
Location of Da Lat in Vietnam
Coordinates: 11°56′30″N108°26′18″E / 11.94167°N 108.43833°E / 11.94167; 108.43833
CountryFlag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Province Lâm Đồng
Region Central Highlands
Demonym Dalatese
   City (Class-1) 394.64 km2 (152.37 sq mi)
1,500 m (4,900 ft)
   City (Class-1) 406,105
  Density1,029.1/km2 (2,665/sq mi)
Climate Cwb
Website http://www.dalat.gov.vn/

Đà Lạt (Vietnamese pronunciation:  [ɗâː làːt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), or Da Lat (pop. 406,105 as of 2015, of which 350,509 are urban inhabitants), is the capital of Lâm Đồng Province in Vietnam. The city is located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level on the Langbian Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands region. Da Lat is the most popular tourist destination in Vietnam.


Da Lat's specific sights are pine wood (forming the name: "City of thousands of pine trees") with twisting roads and tree marigold (Vietnamese: dã quỳ) blossom in the winter. The city's temperate weather stands in contrast to Vietnam's otherwise tropical climate. Mist covering the valleys almost year-round leads to its name "City of the Eternal Spring".

Da Lat is also known as an area for scientific research in the fields of biotechnology and nuclear physics.

With its year-round cool weather, Da Lat supplies temperate agriculture products for all over Vietnam, for example: cabbage, cauliflower, coffee and wine. Its flower industry produces two typical flowers: hydrangea (Vietnamese: cẩm tú cầu) and golden everlasting (Vietnamese: hoa bất tử). The confectionery industry offers a wide range of mứt, a kind of fruit preserve that closely resembles varenie, made from strawberry, mulberry, sweet potato, and/or rose.


According to some sources, the name derives from the acronym of the Latin phrase 'Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem' ("It Gives Pleasure to Some, Freshness to Others"), which the French colonial government used in their official emblem of Đà Lạt. In reality, the name Da Lat derived from the language of the local ethnic group Lạt and its original meaning is "Stream of the Lạt", and the acronym above is in fact a backcronym.


Da Lat ca. 1925 Da Lat ca. 1925 (1).jpg
Da Lat ca. 1925

During the 1890s, explorers in the area (including the noted bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin, protégé of the renowned French chemist Louis Pasteur), which was then part of the French colony of Cochinchina, asked the French governor-general, Paul Doumer, to create a resort center in the highlands. The governor agreed. The original intended site for the hill station was Dankia, but Étienne Tardif, a member of the road-building expedition of 1898-99, proposed the current site instead. In 1907, the first hotel was built. Urban planning was carried out by Ernest Hébrard. [1]

A street of Da Lat ca. 1925 A street of Da Lat ca. 1925.jpg
A street of Da Lat ca. 1925

Many Europeans used to travel up to Da Lat to escape the heat of the lower coastal areas . 

The French endowed the city with villas and boulevards, and its Swiss charms remain today. Hébrard included the requisite health complex, golf course, parks, schools, and homes but no industry. The legacy of boarding schools where children from the whole of Indochina were taught by French priests, nuns, and expatriates still existed as late as 1969. In 1929, the Christian and Missionary Alliance established a school which later relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, due to the Vietnam War and has been located in Penang, Malaysia, since the 1970s. There were seminaries of Jesuits (such as Pius X Pontifical College) and other orders. The elite Vietnamese National Military Academy graduated its first class of future leaders in 1950. There was an aviation school at Cam Ly Airport.

During World War II, Da Lat was the capital of the Federation of Indochina, from 1939 to 1945.

In the mid-1950s, the Vietnamese Scout Association established their national training grounds at Da Lat.

The only major involvement Da Lat had during the Vietnam War was within the 1968 Tet Offensive. Fierce battles raged from January 31 to February 9, 1968. Most of the fighting took place between the South Vietnamese MP units stationed in Da Lat and the Việt Cộng (VC) forces. American MPs were also involved in the fighting and suffered several KIAs during a rocket attack on their compound. Defeats and victories alternated between the two during the sporadic-yet-intense battles. However, the South Vietnamese MPs were eventually able to regain control of Đà Lạt. It is stated that around 200 VC were killed-in-action (KIAs) during this battle. Although South Vietnamese MP forces were known to have significantly fewer KIAs, their injured list grew steadily throughout the engagement because of periods of low supplies and support. What ultimately saved the South Vietnamese MPs was the fact that they held strong defensive positions throughout Da Lat from the beginning to the end of the battles.


Ho Xuan Huong - Huy Phuong 2.jpg
Xuan Huong Lake in the morning

Da Lat is located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level on the Langbian Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands (in Vietnamese: Tây Nguyên).


Da Lat is a source area for pyroxene from the Australasian strewnfield. [2]


Da Lat is divided into 12 wards which are numbered 1 to 12, and 4 communes: Ta Nung, Xuan Truong, Xuan Tho and Tram Hanh. [3]


Đà Lạt
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Vietnam Meteorological Administration

Da Lat features a subtropical highland climate under the Köppen climate classification (Cwb) and is mostly mild year round.

Da Lat's year-round temperate weather, standing in contrast to central & southern Vietnam's otherwise-tropical climate, has led it to be nicknamed the “City of eternal spring”. [4] The average temperature is 14 °C (57 °F) - 23 °C (73 °F). The highest temperature ever in Da Lat was 31.5 °C (88.7 °F), and the lowest was −0.6 °C (30.9 °F). [5] Mist covers the adjoining valleys almost year-round. Its temperate climate also makes it ideal for agriculture. Indeed, Da Lat is renowned for its orchids, roses, vegetables, and fruits. There are nascent wine-making and flower-growing industries in the region.

There are two separate seasons in Da Lat. The rainy season lasts from April to November, and the dry season is from December to March. The average annual precipitation is 1,768 mm. [6]

Climate data for Da Lat (1964–1998)
Record high °C (°F)30.0
Average high °C (°F)22.3
Daily mean °C (°F)15.8
Average low °C (°F)11.3
Record low °C (°F)−0.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)11
Average rainy days22511182023222319105160
Average relative humidity (%)82787784878890919089858485
Mean monthly sunshine hours 2552342552021901471571361331401722152,236
Source #1: Địa chí Đà Lạt (extremes 1918–1940, and 1964–1998) [5]
Source #2: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology (sun) [7]


A Vietnamese Hon Non Bo in front of the Art Deco-influenced Da Lat Railway Station of vernacular French architecture. Rock garden at Da Lat Station.jpg
A Vietnamese Hòn Non Bộ in front of the Art Deco-influenced Đà Lạt Railway Station of vernacular French architecture.

The architecture of Đà Lạt is dominated by the style of the French colonial period. Đà Lạt Railway Station, built in 1938, was designed in the Art Deco architectural style by French architects Moncet and Reveron, although it incorporates the high, pointed roofs characteristic of the Cao Nguyen communal buildings of Vietnam's Central Highlands. The three gables represent an art deco version of Normandy's Trouville-Deauville Station. [8] The station's unique design—with its roofs, arching ceiling, and coloured glass windows—earned it recognition as a national historical monument in 2001. [9] [10] They designed the Lycée Yersin, which opened in 1927. [11] The Dominion of Mary Church and Convent, home to Roman Catholic nuns of the Mission of Charity, were built in 1938 with a similar pointed-roof style.

Hang Nga guesthouse is decorated with twisting organic forms. HangNgaCrazyHouse1.jpg
Hằng Nga guesthouse is decorated with twisting organic forms.

Of particular note is the unconventional architecture of the Hằng Nga guesthouse, popularly known as the “Crazy House”. Described as a “fairy tale house”, its overall design resembles a giant banyan tree, incorporating sculptured design elements representing natural forms such as animals, mushrooms, spider webs and caves. Its architecture, consisting of complex, organic, non-rectilinear shapes, has been described as expressionist. Its creator, Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga (also known as Hằng Nga), who holds a PhD in architecture from Moscow State University, has acknowledged the inspiration of Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí in the building's design. Visitors have variously drawn parallels between the guesthouse and the works of artists such as Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney. [12] [13] Since its opening in 1990, the building has gained recognition for its unique architecture, having been highlighted in numerous guidebooks and listed as one of the world's ten most “bizarre” buildings in the Chinese People's Daily. [14] [15] While superficially amusing, the compound is let down by the construction debris and household refuse behind the facades, and the lack of attention to safety issues.

The Third Mansion Dinh Bao Dai, Da Lat (3).JPG
The Third Mansion

Đà Lạt is also well known for a series of three Mansions of the Vietnamese Last Emperor. The First Mansion was built in 1940 by the French millionaire Robert Clément Bourgery and was bought by Emperor Bao Dai in 1949. It was used as a summer mansion for President Ngo Dinh Diem and following presidents of the Republic of Vietnam until 1975. The Second Mansion was built in 1933 as the summer mansion for Governor of French Indochina Jean Decoux. Built in 1933-1938, the Third Mansion was the residence of Emperor Bao Dai and his family. The whole mansion itself attributes to the typical European style since both its front and backyard have flower gardens. [16] The Third Mansion is currently open for tourists who wish to have a look back in time when Queen Nam Phuong resided during her lifetime.

Sister cities



Da Lat is a famous tourist city of Vietnam which was included in the list of Asia's overlooked places by the CNN in 2017. [17] Da Lat attracts both domestic tourists, more than 800,000 tourists and about 80,000 foreign tourists per year. It is also the country's favourite honeymoon location. [18]

Hoa Binh Area is the center downtown of Da Lat which attracted numerous visitors. Some popular sites located at Hoa Binh Area are Coi Xay Gio bakery, Lien Hoa bakery, Windmills coffeehouse and Tung coffeehouse. Coi Xay Gio is known as a perfect selfie spot thanks to its remarkable yellow wall. [19]

See also

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Da Lat–Thap Cham Railway

The Da Lat–Thap Cham Railway or Da Lat-Phan Rang Railway was an 84 km (52 mi) rack railway connecting the city of Da Lat to the main North–South Railway at Tháp Chàm in Ninh Thuận Province. It was established by the French administration of Indochina in 1932 after thirty years of construction in phases, beginning in 1903. The first section, running 41 km (25 mi) from Tháp Chàm to Sông Pha, opened in 1919, and the second section, running 43 km (27 mi) from Song Pha to Da Lat, opened in 1932. Due to the mountainous terrain, the Sông Pha–Da Lat section used rack rails in three sections, and included five tunnels. The Da Lat–Tháp Chàm railway is occasionally referred to as a Crémaillère railway, referring to the French word for the rack used on its rails.

Da Lat railway station

Da Lat railway station is a railway station on the Da Lat–Thap Cham Railway line in Vietnam, serving the town of Da Lat in Lâm Đồng Province. It was designed in 1932 by French architects Moncet and Reveron, and opened in 1938. Largely unused since abandonment of the railway during the later years of the Vietnam War, it was returned to a limited level of service in the 1990s with the reopening of a 7 km (4.3 mi) section of track leading to the nearby village of Trai Mat, operated as a tourist attraction. It is notable for its unique architectural style, which incorporates an overall Art Deco theme with elements of native Cao Nguyen communal houses from Vietnam's Central Highlands.

Dalat Flower Festival

Dalat Flower Festival is a cultural festival which takes place every other year in Đà Lạt city, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam and some other localities in Lâm Đồng Province. The festival is held with the purpose of exhibiting flowers, vegetables and ornamental plants from the local as well as other regions within the country and many other countries in the world in order to attract visitors to come to Đà Lạt, promote economic development of the city. Dalat Flower Festival is also an activity honoring the value of flowers and floriculture, calling for investment in Đà Lạt flower industry as well as promoting a positive image of the city, the culture and the people of Đà Lạt.

Domaine de Marie

The Domaine de Marie is a Catholic convent in Da Lat, Vietnam. The church's history goes back to its initial construction in 1940 and is French and Vietnamese style of architecture. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Đà Lạt and contains a nunnery which operates schooling for local children.


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Coordinates: 11°56′30″N108°26′18″E / 11.94167°N 108.43833°E / 11.94167; 108.43833