Into the spotlight

New and diverse attractions are popping up all the time in Da Lat.

By Le Diem on July 12,2019 10:56 AM

Into the spotlight

PHOTOS LE DIEM, DUY THINH, KIM CUONG

Situated 1,500 meters above sea level on the Langbiang Plateau in the southern reaches of the central highlands, Da Lat is a popular destination with an average temperature of 25oC, beautiful landscapes surrounded by mountain ranges and forests, especially pine forests, and nice French architecture. Visitors can have a great trip anytime of the year and almost all wish to return. Classic sites like palaces, churches, Langbiang Mountain, Love Valley, and waterfalls are joined every year by something new to discover. This month The Guide introduces readers to wonderful spots in the city that have attracted more visitors recently.

FIELDS OF FLOWERS

With its temperate year-round climate being ideal for flowers and plants, Da Lat is also known as the city of flowers. Visitors at any time of year can take in the beauty of various flowers blooming here and there, some of which are unique to the area.

One of the most common are hydrangeas, boasting a shape that impresses many, which are easy to find and planted in different spots around the city. The most popular place to see them is in Trai Mat in Ward 11, where they come in big sizes and colors such as white, pink, purple, and blue. Hydrangeas bloom all year round in Da Lat so can be enjoyed at any time.

Another special flower is a type of reed with a special pink color. Growing wild in late November and early December, these reed flowers turn the surrounding area into exotic pink hills, making them a new symbol of the city. The pink hills are also called snow hills by people out and about in the early morning, before the white dew melts. An annual festival of pink reed flowers has been held since 2017 at Dankia Lake and Golden Stream, to introduce the unique flower to tourists.

Into the spotlight

If you dream of going to France to visit renowned Provence with its beautiful lavender fields but haven’t yet had the chance, Da Lat offers similar scenes much closer to home. Successfully planted only recently in the central highlands’ city, enchanting purple fields of lavender quickly became an appealing new destination. There are two lavender fields, which bloom in June and July. One is in Cau Dat hamlet, Xuan Truong ward, where lavender covers a large area. The other is poetically located on a hill in the Tuyen Lam area in Ward 4, next to Tuyen Lam Lake and surrounded by pine forests and mountains. These purple silk ribbons of lavender take you to a world so soft and fanciful you won’t want to leave.

GOLDEN VALLEY

Into the spotlight

If they had to select a place that portrays a typical image of Da Lat and its charming nature, many people would say Golden Valley. Although Love Valley is much more popular because of its location near the city center, Golden Valley has been winning favor since it opened.

Some 15 km northwest of the city center in Ankroet Street, Lac Duong district, it impresses visitors from the time they enter, with pines hills lining both sides of the road and providing a nice shady stroll.

While Love Valley has its share of set-up scenery, everything is more natural in Golden Valley. Together with pine are many other types of green trees and flowers as well as small lakes and waterfalls, making each corner of the valley pretty in its own way. In spring, the valley is dyed a pink color by cherry blossoms, giving it an otherworldly appearance.

Whether walking over hills or sitting down on green carpets of grass, you can take in a poetic landscape by Dankia Lake and Golden Stream as you’re surrounded by imposing mountains. Swan boats give you and your nearest and dearest some private moments in Da Lat, which is also known as “The City of Love”.

CAU DAT TEA HILLS

Into the spotlight

Another charming landscape in Da Lat is Cau Dat Farm and its tea hills, located in Cau Dat hamlet, Xuan Truong ward, about 25 km from the city center.

The farm also has a history of nearly a century. Tea was planted here by Swiss-French doctor Alexandre Yersin, who came to live in Vietnam in the late 19th century and made great contributions to Vietnam in the field of medicine. The tea hills were later developed by the French but paused during wartime. After peace came in 1975, the area belonged to local authorities before being sold to a private group. It is now open for guests to visit.

Here they find themselves among a green carpet under a blue sky. As well as watching how tea is planted and taken care of and admiring old tea-making equipment from the early 20th century, visitors can also join in the work of picking tea leaves and learn about tea production. Cups of tea are also available at the farm, as are gift boxes of tea.

“SCRAP” PAGODA

Into the spotlight

Influenced by Buddhism, Vietnam has literally thousands of pagodas. Among those in Da Lat, Linh Phuoc Pagoda, about 8 km from the city center, is more special than others thanks to its architecture of millions of small pieces of broken terracotta, porcelain, and glass, which gives it its other name - “Scrap Pagoda”.

It took craftspeople and the pagoda’s monks about 20 years to finish the unusual design. They collect pieces from broken dishes, bottles, glasses, and other items and shape them into different sizes and divide them into different colors to make the surreal mosaic.

The intricate mosaic covers the walls, ceilings, pillars, rails, and just about everywhere else, like a combination of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and Park Güell from famed architect Antoni Gaudi, one of the symbols of Barcelona in Spain.

The pagoda is also impressive for its huge, 49-meter-long dragon sculpture made from 12,000 beer bottles and winding around the temple complex and gardens, the country’s highest bell tower, at 36 meters, and the highest indoor statue of Buddha, at 17 meters.

Into the spotlight

PET FARMS

Different from elsewhere in the country, Da Lat is the only place with pet farms - Black Rock Garden in Luong Dinh Cua Street, Ward 11, and Puppy Farm in Cam Ly Street, Ward 7.

Open just a few months, both quickly attracted a lot of pet lovers, especially those who love dogs. Visitors can pat and play with dozens of dogs in different breeds, such as huskies, corgis, golden retrievers, and poodles. The friendly dogs come to you, follow you around, or do anything to get your attention, making for a lot of fun and relaxation.

Those who can’t quite leave the cute animals can sleep at a homestay in a tent at Black Rock Garden.

Puppy Farm also has a garden of tomatoes and strawberries for people to pick and enjoy.

 

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