Da Lat – the kingdom of beautiful flowers

Nga Do
Da Lat is the capital of Lam Dong province in Vietnam. The city is located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level on the Langbiang Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands. During the 1930s, a large number of Hanoi farmers migrated to Da Lat (Lam Dong Province) to earn their living through flower growing on this sunny and windy highland. Nowadays, their posterity, with their forefathers’ experiences combined with high technology, have taken the flower growing to a new height, turning Da Lat into  a flower “kingdom” of the country with many products known in international markets.

A well-known tourist destination of Vietnam

In Vietnam, Da Lat is a popular tourist destination. Da Lat’s specific sights are pine wood (forming the name: “City of thousands of pine trees”) with twisting roads and tree marigold 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 eternal spring”. Da Lat is also known as an area for scientific research in the fields of biotechnology and nuclear physics. 

Da Lat is the vegetable & flower garden of Vietnam

With its year-round cool weather, Da Lat supplies temperate agriculture products for all over Vietnam, for example: cabbage and cauliflower. 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 made from strawberry, mulberry, sweet potato, and rose. Da Lat is quite different from anywhere else you’ll visit in Vietnam. You would almost be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the French Alps in springtime. This was certainly how the former colonists treated it – escaping to their chalets to enjoy the cooler climate. 

The French feel is compounded by a radio mast shaped like the Eiffel Tower and the local bohemian artists’ predilection for swanking around in berets. Da Lat is small enough to remain charming, and the surrounding countryside is blessed with lakes, waterfalls, evergreen forests and gardens. Local products include silk, garden vege­tables and flowers (especially beautiful hydrangeas), which are sold all over southern Vietnam. But the biggest contribution to the economy is tourism: more than 800, 000 domestic tourists and another 80, 000 foreigners visit here every year. It’s the country’s favorites honeymoon spot and still retains the final word in Vietnamese kitsch.

The Da Lat area was once famous for hunting and a 1950s brochure boasted that ‘a two-hour drive from the town leads to several game-rich areas abounding in deer, roe, peacocks, pheasants, wild boar, black bear, wild cows, panthers, tigers, gaurs and elephants’. So successful were the hunters that all of the big game is now extinct. The closest you’ll get to the formerly diverse fauna are the taxidermied specimens about town.

The city’s population includes about 5000 members of hill tribes, which make up 33 distinct communities in Lam Dong province. Traditional dress can occasionally be spotted in the market places. Hill-tribe women of this area carry their infants on their backs in a long piece of cloth worn over one shoulder and tied in the front. The City of Eternal Spring, Da Lat’s temperature hovers between a pleasant 15°C to 24°C. Effectively Da Lat has two seasons – dry (December to March) and wet (April to November). Despite the mild temperatures, by the end of the dry season the lush green surrounds turn to brown. Even in the wet season, mornings normally remain dry – allowing time for sightseeing before the deluge begins.

Each kind of flower has its own attractiveness and various kinds of flowers seem take turn to embellish the glamourous scenery of the flower city. And it is a certainty that you will be engrossed in such ravishingly compelling surroundings of Da Lat. For the flower lovers, this is really a paradise of flowers for them to enjoy, so every two years, Da Lat jubilantly welcome thousands of visitors to Da lat for experiencing the Flower Festival. If you are a flower lover but you have never experience discovering the beauty of these kinds of flowers in Da Lat, you have wasted part of your life.

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