Dalat city in Vietnam - City of Spring

Dalat in Vietnam having an area of ​​393 km² is the capital of Lam Dong province located on the plateau of Lam Vien, at an altitude of 1500 m above the sea level. With many beautiful landscapes, Dalat is one of the most famous sites while travel in Vietnam. Dalat meaning: Water Source of the Lat people also comes from the Latin name:  Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem meaning "Give joy and happiness to each others." Thanks to its features, many names as City of Flowers, City of Love, Spring City, City of Fog...are given to Dalat.

Dalat in Vietnam

Geography of Dalat:

Dalat has an area of ​​394.64 km square, located on the Lam Vien plateau at 1,500 meters above the level of the sea. After adjusting of the newest administrative boundaries in 2009, Dalat comprises 12 districts which are numbered from 1 to 12.

On the territory of the city of Dalat, there are more than 20 rivers with a length of 4 km belonging to fluvial system of Cam Ly, Tam Da and Da Nhim. The Cam Ly River having 64.1 km long joins the Xuan Huong Lake in the city - center. This is the largest river system in Dalat which plays important role in creating landscapes for this charming city. Dalat is also known as the city of lakes and waterfalls with about 16 small and large lakes scattered throughout the city, most of which are artificial lakes. Xuan Huong Lake which is located in the city center, with an area of ​​approximately 38 hectares, was created in 1919 during the construction of the city. Before 1986, the Xuan Huong Lake, Chien Thang Lake and the Than Tho Lake provided mainly water to Dalat.

Dalat in Vietnam

Climate of the City of Love:

Due to the effects of altitude and pine forests around, Dalat has many characteristics of the temperate climate. The average annual temperature is 18-21 ° C, the maximum temperature rarely exceeds 30 ° C and the lowest temperature is 5 ° C. Dalat has two distinct seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October; the dry season is between November and May. In the summer, there are usually rains in the afternoon, sometimes hail. The annual precipitation is 1562 mm on average and the humidity is 82%. There is never storm, but sometimes are strong winds due to the influence of storms because the east of the city of Dalat has no mountains.

Population of City of Spring:

Before World War II, Dalat was not very populated. Apart from the local population, there were only a handful of Europeans people, above all French people. In the period from 1933 to 1938, many traffic works were completed. From that time, the population of Dalat began to grow rapidly: from 1500 people (1923) up to 9000 people in 1928 and 11,500 in 1936. At the end of 1942, Dalat has reached 20,000 people and up 25,000 people in 1944…

During the Second Indochina War (1945-1954), Dalat population has stabilized at about 25,000 people. At the end of 1954, the population was 52,000 persons and 53,390 persons in 1955 due to north-south migration. Dalat population in 1965 was 73,290 people, 89,656 people (1970) and in 1982, the population of Dalat has exceeded 100,000 people. In 1999, the population of Dalat was 129,400 people and 212 276 people in 2011...

Dalat in Vietnam

History of the city of Dalat:

Dalat is located on the Langbiang plateau which was, before 1893, the place of residence of ethnic minorities such as: Lat, Co ho.... The first Vietnamese people who wanted to explore Dalat is Nguyen Thong, but for several reasons until the end of his life, he has not managed to realize his intention. From1884 to 1880, there were the French explorers who came to the Liangbiang plateau: Dr. Paul Neis of the French Navy, Lieutenant Albert Septans, A. Gautier, Nouet L. (1882), the commander Humann (1884).

August 3, 1891, Dr. Alexandre Yersin made the first expedition with the intention of finding mountain road between Nha Trang and Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City today, but this journey has not been successful. From March 28 to June 9, 1892, he continued an expedition from Nha Trang, at about 180km from Dalat today, crossing the highlands to Stung Treng which is located along the Mekong River in Cambodia.

In January 1893, at the request of the Indochina governor Jean Marie Antoine de Lanessan, Yersin made the exploration of the road between Saigon crossing the region of mountain tribes to end at a convenient location on the coast of central Vietnam.

Yersin made also enquiries about the resources of the region: forest products, minerals, and the ability of livestock ... From April 8 to June 26, 1893, Yersin made three important trips. In 15:30, June 21, Yersin came to the current Liangbiang plateau.

Dalat in Vietnam

With the need to find a region with a temperate climate, similar to Europe to build a climatic mountain resort, Yersin proposed Dalat to the Governor of Indochina Paul Doumer. In March 1899, Paul Doumer came to Dalat with Yersin by deciding to build a convalescence station here.

In both 1900 and 1910, the French people built a road from Saigon to Dalat and another from Phan Thiet to Dalat. This very convenient transportation system allowed Dalat to grow rapidly. In 1893, Da Lat was almost deserted. But in late 1923, the first city plan was completed, Dalat had 1500 inhabitants.

In 1916, Governor Maurice Long appointed the architect Ernest Hébrard as head of the planning of the city of Dalat. Hebrard chosen the classic architectural style of Europe, but added some Vietnam decorative art elements to create a unique style that he called Indochinese architecture. Hebrard used this style of architecture in other buildings such as the headquarters of the French School of the Far East in Hanoi.

For thirty years, from a desert location, the city of Dalat was created with a complete infrastructure system: Schools, hospitals, hotels, offices, residential areas...

Dalat in Vietnam

During the years of 1940, Dalat has entered into its peak of the colonial era that was named "Summer Capital in Indochina." During the years of the Vietnam War, the city of Dalat has always kept the central role in tourism and science education of the Republic of Vietnam or the Government in South Vietnam: Many schools, cultural centers… have been built. But since 1964, when the Vietnam War came in a fierce period, urban development has ceded place to military works...

After the war in 1975, Dalat in particular and Vietnam in general had its difficult times in its history. Dalat slept to wake up in the last years of 1980. A number important of hotels, restaurants, numerous villas…were maintained to activate tourism. Dalat become one of the main travel destinations in Vietnam with many festivals organized every year.

Tourism characteristics in Dalat:

Known as the Little Paris, Dalat is dreamy and poetic through the cold of the night, morning fog and pine forests that surround the city.

In Vietnam, Dalat has been a famous tourist destination for longtime. With its cool climate, abundant resources of nature and humanity, the city attracts millions of visitors each year. After a quiet period in the 1980s, tourism in Dalat has started to have significant changes in recent years.

Comparing to other cities of Vietnam, the nature gives to Dalat many favors. The landscapes scattered in the center and the suburbs as: Xuan Huong Lake, Cu Hill, Valley of Love, Lake of Sighs, Prenn waterfall ... that are so famous for long time.

History has left in Dalat valuable architectural works, such as workplaces, schools, churches, monasteries, temples, public works ... and thousands of beautiful villas scattered throughout the city. Over time, buildings, ancient palaces ... that belonged to the characters, are now open to visitors.

Dalat in Vietnam

The Cu Hill is located in the center of Dalat, near the Xuan Huong Lake. The local inhabitants believe that Dalat will be less beautiful without Cu Hill and the Xuan Huong Lake. In 1942, while creating the plan of the Dalat city, the architect Lagisquet considered this hill as inviolable in order to create a clear and open vision to this city. Cu Hill is now a golf course with 18 holes.

Previously named the Grand Lac, Xuan Huong is located at the heart of Dalat. This is actually artificial lake that was created in 1919 by the initiative of Cunhac by building a dam in a river. The area of ​​the water surface is 25 hectares with a perimeter of 5.1 km long. Around the lake, there are many aesthetic and unique architectural value buildings like: Palace Hotel, Union Hotel, Thanh Thuy restaurant... In the morning mist, the lake is so beautiful and poetic.

Suoi Vang Lake is the largest in Dalat to provide drinking water to the city. The lake is also a famous tourist destination with gardens, pine forests...

Dalat in Vietnam

With 7,000 m², the Dalat Flower Park is located in north of Xuan Huong Lake. With a spacious planning, the park leaves good impressions to visitors. The types of flowers and plants of Dalat are planted here carefully to create the beautiful and fresh scenery all year around. The annual flower festival is held there to invite investors to come Dalat to develop the city to become one of the horticultural production centers in the country and in South - East Asia...

Dalat has many distinctive buildings of European architecture but especially French style. Compared with other cities in Vietnam, Dalat is still a young city, but was built with Western style. Dalat was built by the French people for the French people and the plan had to be decided by the Governor, engineers, architects ... who have been carefully selected and must have good professional skills...

The Graduate School of Dalat (formerly Yersin Grand Lycee) is the architectural monument recognized as one of 1000 most beautiful buildings in the world in the 20th century by the Union of International Architects (UIA). The school was built in 1927 with material transported from France to be reserved for French children and for Vietnamese rich families. In 1932, the Small Dalat High School was renamed the Grand Dalat High School and Yersin Grand High School in 1935 in memory of Dr. Alexandre Yersin...

Dalat in Vietnam

The Dalat Railway Station, until now is the only one of Vietnam recognized as the vestige of Culture and History of the Nation. The station was designed by the French architects Moncet with his colleague Revenron who also taken care of the management and construction that lasted from 1932 until 1936. The Dalat Railway Station’s roof symbolizes the tops of mountains in Langbian Plateau. The station had the first cogwheel train in Vietnam. In 1975, this system was destroyed during the war. Now, there is only a charcoal steam locomotive with daily trains operated to go to Trai Mat in the suburbs of Dalat.

The Dalat Cathedral is often called the Cathedral of the Rooster because there is a statue of a rooster on the top of the steeple. Its construction began in 1931 to be completed in 1942. The cathedral is one of the typical monuments of ancient architecture in Dalat.

Dalat also has many churches like: Domaine de Marie with a beautiful French architecture, Du Sinh Church having Vietnamese traditional architecture with curved roofs, Cam Ly church built 1960-1968 with the style of communal houses of local tribes in the plateau.

Dalat in Vietnam

Dalat has many beautiful palaces and villas as Palace I (House and office of former king Bao Dai), Palace II (former home of Governor Decoux, of presidents of the Government of South Vietnam as: Ngo Dinh Diem , Nguyen Cao Ky ...), Palace III (also known as Bao Dai Palace, built in 1933), Long My villa belonging to Mr. Nguyen Huu Hao (father of the queen Nam Phuong or Bao Dai King's wife) ... and also hundreds of other ancient villas scattered throughout the city of Dalat.

Furthermore European architectures, Dalat is also known by the Vietnamese architecture monuments. Thien Vien Truc Lam is the largest meditation monastery in Vietnam. Inaugurated in 1994, it is one of the largest Buddhist temples built after 1975. With 25 hectares, the pagoda is located along Tuyen Lam Lake that can connect with the city of Dalat by cable...

Linh Son Pagoda was built 1938-1940 by the contribution of Buddhists followers, especially Mr. Nguyen Van Tien and Vo Dinh Dung.

Thien Vuong Co Sat Pagoda was built in 1958, at 5km from the center of Dalat city, on a hill. In the main room of the pagoda, there are three Buddha statues purchased in Hong Kong, each is 4 m high. Behind the pagoda on the hill, there is a Buddha statue of 20 meters high which is the biggest in Dalat...

Dalat in Vietnam

Culture and education in Dalat:

Even from the French colonial era and during the Vietnam War, Dalat remained a center of culture, education and development in the south with several centers of scientific research. After the Vietnam War in 1975, Dalat always keeps the role of a center of culture, education, training and scientific research.

The mission of education, scientific research in Dalat serves not only the local population of the province of Lam Dong, but also the center, the Central Highlands and the Southeast of the country with the annual growth of 10-12%. These are the University of Dalat, Nuclear Research Institute, the Institute of Biology, the Institute of the army, Vaccine Institute (Pasteur Institute), the Normal School with nearly 100 schools from kindergarten to high school...

Despite being a young city, but the depth of the culture of Dalat is very noticeable with the richness, diversity… which is both traditional and modern. So, Dalat is an always new, attractive and rich subject for everybody, from the travelers to the natural, social, literary scientists...

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