Perfect journey to Da Lat
Living in the tropical city like Ho Chi Minh, or after travelling around southeast region of Viet Nam, you will want to explore a contrary place – Da Lat. Da Lat is a city located in The Lam Dong Plateau 1500 meter high above the sea surface. Da Lat was reclaimed really late if compared to Ho Chi Minh. Therefore, it still have many natural attractions. Imagining living in Da Lat is waking up early, having a cup of coffee, opening the door with a pure and beautiful scene.
I visited Da Lat by coaches. It cost approximately 500.000 dong for a return ticket. There are flights from Ha Noi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh to Dat Lat. From the airport, you can take a bus, and it will drop you near Ho Xuan Huong Lake. To have an alone but natural – friendly trip, I hired a motorbike. Below are a few destinations and food I tried left great impressions on me.
On the first day, I paid a visit to famous places in the city and walked around traditional market at night. Ho Xuan Huong – the city symbol, is most beautiful at dawn or twilight. Lying on the bank or driving a boat with your friends around the lake makes you peaceful. Viet Nam was colonized by France, so there are European architecture works such as Da Lat Cathedral, Railway Station, the Pedagogical College of Da Lat and so on. Da Lat Cathedral is also called Cock Church or Nha Tho Con Ga in vietnamese because of the artificial chicken stuck on the top of the tower. At the Railway Station, there are a lot of people taking photos due to its three – pyramid roofs symbolizing the three peaks of Lang Biang Mount or Nha Rong (communal house of ethnic minorities) , then we can take the train from the station to Trai Mat or Linh Phuoc Pagoda – the only train route. On the train, I sat by the window, and the fresh winds blew while a few vegetable or fruit gardens far away. It is interesting that the train passes through pine forests as well. The foreigners may feel familiar with the Pedagogical College of Da Lat ranked one of the 1000 unique works of the world in the 20th century by the Union of International Architecture. This is maybe the most classic attraction. It is featured with the vaults, a long open – air corridor and a pointed tower. Because of the colonization in the past, buildings nowadays are also the combination of Vietnamese and French – style architecture such as Domaine de Marie Church. What I like is that you can easily find classic villas on the streets. There are flowers everywhere and some gardens are open for tourists too. The Da Lat Flower Garden at 2 Phu Dong Thien Vuong St. is such a place.
On the second day, you should spend all day travelling far from the city centre to where the forests and valleys are located such as the Valley of Love, Golden Valley, Lang Biang Mount, Prenn Waterfall, Datanla Waterfall and so on. Every valley, mountain or waterfall here is related to stories, especially love story. Dambri Waterfall is the highest one in Da Lat and it has its own ethnic love story too. Spending all way walking or running by motorbike in the valleys or forests does not bore you cause every step you take, the scenery is breathtaking. In the Valley of Love, you walk down the staircases, through the green pine forest and here comes Vong Canh Hill, from this the view is amazing where the green color of forest on both sides, the blue of sky above and lake beneath mix together. Far ahead there are many mountain peaks including Lang Biang’s and fogs floating around. If you raise your head and look up to the 57 meter waterfall – Dambri, while listening to its sound, how do you feel? Toward nature, both you and I feel small, a little isolated but nonchalant. In addition to viewing the sceneries, you can hold a picnic with companions, drive paddle boats around the lake, enjoy grilled food or hire a fabric swing bed then tie strings to pine trees and take a nap. If you want to know more about ethnic culture, take a journey to Cu Lan Village in the foot of Lang Biang Mountain. It is a small but nice ethnic minority village in the middle of highland forest.
After running everywhere, I really wanted to have a seat and stayed silent. I chose Tung coffeeshop which is renowned in Da Lat, and ordered a milk coffee, somewhere there were sad and realistic Trinh Cong Son songs. Owing to year – round cool weather, not only is Da Lat famous for flowers but fruits as well. I bought strawberries, mulberries, Japanese persimmons, and so on. You can harvest these fruits right at the garden too. At Da Lat Market and Hell Market, you will easily find hand – made warm clothes, special food like mulberry juice, artichoke tea, scarlet of rose jams and others. Visitting traditional markets, you will find them different from supermarkets. They may be less convenient, but they are also extremely lively attractions where the sellers call or maybe sing to draw the attention of the customers. Vietnamese locals go shopping every day. At meals, you can have nem nuong (grilled fermented pork roll) at Ba Hung 254 Phan Dinh Phung St. or Ba Nghia 4 Bui Thi Xuan St. banh uot long ga (Chicken coop rice rolls) near Da Lat Market, Quang noodle at O Xi Mi Quang A29 Mac Dinh Chi St and more.
Da Lat is a well – chosen place to travel both alone and with friends. It is the harmony of nature and European classic architecture. After leaving Da Lat, many people still miss beautiful sceneries at many romantic and majestic attractions. They miss the feeling of calm in their spirits.