Dalat is a hilly romantic city with a cool ‘western’ climate. The French named the city Dalat from the latin ‘Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem’ (“Giving Pleasure to Some, Freshness to Others”, and it is commonly known as ‘the City of Eternal Spring’, which has made it a popular destinations for holiday makers who want to beat the heat, and for Vietnamese couples, for whom it is known as the city of love.
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The average temperature is is 17°C, and does not exceed 25°C in the hottest season. In the early mornings, the city arises to mystic fog over the lake. Its temperate climate is ideal for agriculture, and in recent years the number of farms and plantations around the city have grown rapidly. It provides most of flowers and vegetables for the massive markets across the south of Vietnam. Dalat is also very well-known for its variety of flowers and orchids as well as expansive pine forests, which may remind travellers of home more than the tropics in the valleys below.
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TuantaDalat is another one of those Vietnamese towns that began as a French resort area. Whatever else might be said about the French, they certainly had good taste in choosing sites for resorts, and Dalat is living proof of that. Designed to be almost a Swiss alpine village, the French urban planner Ernest Hebrard designed the highland town with broad boulevards, elegant villas, a golf course, open green spaces, schools, and modest homes.
Luckily for Dalat’s modern visitors, the city was virtually untouched during the American Vietnam War, however its popularity amongst amorous Vietnamese couples has lead to a fair amount of kitsch ‘attractions’ and this combined with the booming agricultural industry means the town is now much busier than the tranquil hill station of the past, with more and more concrete buildings, karaoke rooms and ‘mini hotels’ springing up across town. These days to enjoy the best of Dalat it is best to use the town as a base to explore the hills and nature surrounding it than to expect too much from the town itself.