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What to See in Dalat

Alternately dubbed the City of Love and Le Petit Paris, Dalat has a distinctly French influence, from the strong cafe culture to the approximation of the Eiffel Tower perched over the main square. It is a town perfect for strolling, small and condensed with enough streets and scenery to keep your eyes occupied.
Local life in Dalatrevolves around the central market, a hub of activity from the early morning rush all the way through dinner. Famous for its fresh produce, be sure to investigate some of Dalat’s signature crops.
Lush conditions echo throughout the area, resulting in a dizzying collection of manicured gardens, wild woods, sweeping plantations and hidden mountain retreats. Many attractions such as Datlana Waterfall are nestled into pine forests, within a day hike’s reach.
For the religiously minded, there is a selection of stunning pagodas to choose from and a few leftover French churches. Not ones to skimp on decoration, the French touch is evident, present also in the two towering palaces, Bao Dai Summer Palace and Dalat Palace. Classical reminders of the city’s initial status as a getaway for Vietnam’s upper crust, pay a visit to the glory of the past.

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  • Truc Lam Temple

    Truc Lam sits at the other end of Dalat’s cable car ride, and is best reached by parking your bike at Robin Hill, getting a round trip cable car ticket and easing down the scenic 2.4 km route to the pagoda. Built in 1994, the young monastery overlooks Tuyen Lam Lake and follows the practice of Truc Lam, started by ...

  • Linh An Pagoda

    Linh An Pagoda is located in Nam Ban hamlet around 30km southwest of Dalat. At first glance this pagoda seems quite plain, apart from the two side Buddhas with many arms in the main hall. The true treasure though is the enormous white Buddha statue around the right side of the pagoda, which sports a massive cheeky grin.

  • Linh Phuoc Pagoda

    Also called Ve Chai Pagoda, it was built mosaic style from glass, pottery and porcelain shards between 1949 and 1952 in a residential area south east of Dalat. The front of the pagoda is lined with ornate pillars in the shape of flying dragons, while a 4.8 metre tall statue of Buddha sits amidst 12 glaze-work reliefs which illustrate the ...

  • The Tofu Factory, usually the first stop on the Easy Rider tour, is much less a factory than a 2-person operation in a single room. In fact, this cottage industry is as mom-and-pop as you can get.

    At 3 a.m. the tofu couple rises to sell their product on the night market. The tofu is good for a day – afterwards it begins to sour, so they have to sell fast and in large quantities. Their principal clients are school cafeterias, but small restaurants buy in bulk as well. Each chunk (around the size of a child’s fist) sells ...

  • Mr. Loc is in the business of turning civet dung into profit, a man of the “weasel poop coffee” trade (the bean variety is officially dubbed Kopi Luwak) who raises the weasel-like paradoxurus hermaphroditus, or Asian palm civets, in order to dry out their excrement and extract the undigested coffee beans. He's been doing this for the past seven years and doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.

    He began his venture with three civet couples bought from the Bao Loc district in the Lam Dong province. Soon after giving the couples some intimate space, 30 civets were inhabiting ...

  • Bao Dai Summer Pal...

    Otherwise known as Palace Number 3, Bao Dai’s Summer Palace was used as a retreat by the family of King Bao Dai, the last king of Vietnam. Built from 1933 to 1938, the cube-like art deco exterior angled away from the entrance point, disguises the true size of the palace, which contains 25 rooms built within the colonial architectural framework. ...

  • The Dalat Palace

    The Dalat Palace was built between 1916 and 1922, although the architecture, concept and design were determined before the start of WW1. Originally called Langbiang Palace, the hotel faces the mountain of the same name and looks down on Xuan Huong Lake. Restoration work has retained the French-colonial style, with 1920’s desk lamps, authentic claw foot tubs and period furnishings. ...

  • The Railway Statio...

    Built in 1943, the recently renovated Dalat Railway Station has a quaint art deco style, with Vietnamese architectural elements. The interior features the original ticket windows. There is an original wood-burning steamer train on the tracks at the rear of the station. Originally the track ran 84 kilometres, linking Dalat with Thap Cham in Ninh Thuan Province and due to ...

  • It is Vietnam’s Central Highlands most interesting and well-known Christian centre. Built in 1931 in the style of the Roman Church, with the bell tower reaching 47 metres, it is the highest in south Vietnam providing a city centre landmark. It was originally built for use by French colonial residents and holiday-makers alike. The Cathedral was funded by donations gathered by Father Nicolas, the Catholic priest of Dalat. The church itself is rarely open outside of mass times. Mass is held at 5.15am and 5.15pm Monday to Saturday and 5.15am, 7.00am, 8.30am, 2.30pm ...

  • It is also known as the Cherry Church as it was formerly surrounded by cherry trees and home to 50 Roman Catholic nuns of the Mission of Charity. The complex consists of the main church and two convents. Built from 1930 to 1943, the facade is designed as an isosceles triangle with small arched windows and a central rose-shaped window, typical of the 17th century French style. The Vietnamese arrangement of this church makes it different with the roof taking its design from the stilt houses of the central highland ethnic minorities. Today the nuns support themselves by making handicrafts ...

  • The Dalat Market represents the heart of Dalat, sitting in the city centre. Local fresh produce such as artichokes, dried fruits, vegetables and lots more are available here throughout the day, and in the evening the roads around the market are closed to traffic and the market spills on to the surrounding streets.

  • Exploring the many hallways, courtyards and themed rooms of the XQ Historical Village brings an image of two resistant forces: a sort of yin-yang relationship between the ancient tradition of embroidery and the subversive modern art it can produce. Some of the "paintings” can take months, even years to create. A closer look at the art gives a sense of divine dedication coursing through each carefully sewn strand. This is hardly surprising – embroiderers sometimes refer to their piece as their son or daughter, and output as much care and attention to it as they would for a real child. While ...

  • This stunning temple is one of the only that practices Cao Dai syncretism-combining different religious beliefs that would otherwise be considered contradictory. Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism are all incorporated, honouring the principle of a singular God. The name Cao Dai translates to 'a high place', which accurately describes the architecture, high ceilings that combine elements of pagodas and churches.

Travel Blog

Blog The Zebras of Dalat: A Langbiang Trekking Tour Posted May 15, 2015 in category Blogs by frank
Blog Madagui Forest City Posted March 13, 2015 in category adventure by city-pass
Blog Discover Dalat, Vietnam Posted Feb. 12, 2014 in category attractions by vinhdao
Blog How to plan a romantic getaway to Dalat? Posted Feb. 12, 2014 in category attractions by editor
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