Photo by Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner/age fotostock
Vietnamese love the cool climes of this town 5,000 feet above sea level in the highlands of southern Vietnam. Da Lat was "discovered" as a site for a potential town in 1893 by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin; before long, it was established as a refuge where French Indochina's colonial administrators living in Saigon could cool off during their downtime. French villas—many still standing today—and summer palaces of Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, soon followed. Today many visitors still come to escape the tropical heat typical of most of the country, wander round the man-made lake in the heart of town, and enjoy the locally grown fruits and vegetables sold at the morning market—strawberries, peaches, avocados, artichokes, and more. The Hang Nga guesthouse here is a small hotel with an unusual surrealist design. Da Lat is also a great destination for adventure travel, with outfitters offering mountain-biking, kayaking, white-water-rafting, and canyoning excursions; Phat Tire Ventures is the best operation in town.
By Sanjay Surana, AFAR Contributor
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.