Da Lat – a rhythmic land of flowers and romance

Thursday - 09/04/2015 09:45

Da Lat – a rhythmic land of flowers and romance

Some traveler ever said: “If you are in love, a week in Da Lat – a rhythmic land of flowers and romance- will make your love turn into a happy ending!”
Some traveler ever said: “If you are in love, a week in Da Lat – a rhythmic land of flowers and romance- will make your love turn into a happy ending!”
Introduction & Location
“Listening to the noon going down in the romantic town, a Da Lat-violet is filled with fog…” (written by Minh Ky, Da Cam)  is lyric of a famous song about Da Lat – one of the top prioritized destinations in Vietnam for its romantic and flowerful beauty. Located in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam (Lang Biang Highlands), Da Lat was originally the playground of the French , and today’s “valley of love”, surrounded by cool, fresh and silently c-harming atmosphere.
Da Lat is extremely famous for mild weather. Thanks to the advantage of height and enclosing pine jungle, the town is featured with temperate climate, with an average temperature of 18oC – 21°C, highest as 30oC and lowest as 5°C.
What is more, Da Lat has two distinct seasons, the rainy and the sunny ones. The former is f-rom May to October, and the former f-rom November to April. Tourists should be prepared for sudden rains in sunny season, sometimes rocky ones.  Never in Da Lat could we ever catch a storm, which make it favorable for tourists to take any daytime leisure walk.
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
This pure land of romance was discovered by the French during their invasion in southern Vietnam. Before 1893, Lang Biang highlands, an extremely cool and fresh aired area, was the accommodation of the Viet highlanders. Yet there came the day the French would like to settle a convalescent zone in a European weather-like land in 1899. Of course, they could not miss Lang Biang Highlands then. Ever since the significant choice, Da Lat was later on built with all required French-style houses, villas, treatment places, and temperate flowers & plants, etc. This has step by step formulated today’s romantic and glamorous Da Lat, a clear mountainous air zone for escaping the heat and humidity of the coast and Saigon, or the today’s Hochiminh City.
Natural beauty
It’s no easy at all for travellers to choose the initial visiting place in Da Lat for its widespread covering beauty. On a whole, Da Lat looks like a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps. As mentioned, most of its hotels and houses were built in French style. The town spreads across a series of pine-covered hills, with a small lake in the center, while surrounded by high peaks, creating a lovely scenery quite different f-rom the rest of Vietnam. Temperatures are pleasantly warm by day, and quite cool at night, down to perhaps 10oC.
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
Today, Dalat is undoubtedly a beautiful tourist town. The vast majority of visitors are both domestic and foreign tourists on short package tours, drawn by the scenery, vivid blue skies, fresh air, flower-filled parks, and local edible treatment. Dalat is a favorite destination for company weekend outings, family get-aways, and most of all, honeymoons. For overseas visitors, it offers a chance to cool down, view a bit of the French legacy, and enjoy the atmosphere. Also, Da Lat is surrounded by some of the best mountain biking, hiking and canyoning opportunities in Vietnam. Da Lat's high altitude of 1,500-2,000m and fertile landscape make it one among Vietnam's premium agricultural areas, producing a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers that do not grow in the lowlands. In markets as far north as Hanoi, vegetables and flower vendors will tout their "made in Da Lat" produce.
Top visiting places
Whoever has come to Da Lat could never forget Xuan Huong Lake (Hồ Xuân Hương), which is located in center of town. Xuan Huong lake is now one of the main draws of Da Lat, and also whe-re we can see honeymooners and locals strolling its banks. Side by side Xuan Huong Lake is Top-peg Hill (Đồi Cù), whe-re has grown up a vast golf ground. If you are fond of fresh flowers, Da lat Flower Park is your accurate choice. The park, around 7,000 sq.m2, is situated on top of the Top-peg Hill, northern bank of Xuan Huong lake, and full of species of beautiful colored flowers to be extremely well-fed by planters. Tourists are all interested in the Da Lat’s flower festival, bringing them to a flowerfully fresh heaven!
For couples, Valley of Love (Thung Lũng Tình Yêu) is the premium place to go. Its special name derived f-rom its romantic view of silence, grace and green. The other choice is Lake of Sorrow or Lake of Sighs (Hồ Than thở), whose name came f-rom a tale of two lovers, one of whom committed suicide after the other was called up to serve in the army. The romantic and beautiful Tuyen Lam Lake (Hồ Tuyền Lâm) (the lake whe-re rivers, springs and forests meet), Prenn Falls, or Pongour are also worth visiting for their beauty and fun.
On the other hand, Da Lat is popular for French-style architecture. Examples are King Bao Dai’s Palace, Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Cao Ky’s villas, Hang Nga villas, and so forth. All of those should really be visited since they demonstrate the deeply special beauty and somehow culture of the old French.
Tourist activities
  • A striking, not-quite-finished fantasy house designed by the daughter of an independence war hero. Worth a visit if you are interested in architecture, or like Dr. Seuss-style surroundings.
  • A set of flower gardens centered around a re-constructed traditional Vietnamese teakwood house.
  • A hill-top pagoda coupled with a brief cable car ride over the pine forest
  • A ride in a land rover up to the top of Langbiang mountain, with nice views of Dalat and the surrounding mountains and valleys.
DaLat rose
Da  Lat  rose is much favored not only in Da Lat itself, but also nationwide. Da Lat sells lots of its roses to the bigger cities, such as Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. You can find many Da Lat roses in Da Lat markets. The flower comes in all sorts of colors and shades, such as red, pink, velvet and yellow. The yellow roses, which bears the name of Josephine, wife of  the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, are much valued in Europe. They are also quite abundant in Da Lat. Da Lat brides love to decorate their weddings with the local white roses. Some other roses bear the names of  movie stars, such as Princess Grace of  Monacc (Actress Grace Kelly) because they have the colors of the dresses worn by these personalities. Some of Da Lat's roses can last f-rom seven to 15 days in vases.
The peach blossom
The peach blossom is a sentimental symbol of Da Lat. It reminds many natives of springtime in northern Viet Nam. Though slender, the peach blossom branch also exudes the solemnity and determination of the Vietnamese people. Flower connoisseurs often prefer peach blossoms that are bright red as rubies. Years ago, Da Lat used to have an entire forest of peach trees. Up until the 1970's, one could walk along Cam Ly Springs. It flowed slowly f-rom Xuan Huong Lake in the west to a cliff and d-ropped abruptly to make a majestic waterfall. 
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
Tourists could then see the brilliantly red shawl of peach blossoms up on the Da Cat Hill each spring. That forest now only remains in the memory of Da Lat elders and older tourists, as deforestation has nearly wiped it out completely. Fortunately, there are still quite a few peach trees grown near Xuan Huong Lake. They blossom during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (January-February).
Mimosa is popular in Da Lat not only because it appears in many places in town, but also because it has found itself into the hearts of locals and visitors through the lyrics of songwriter Tran Kiet Tuong: "Dear Darling Mimosa, whe-re do you come f-rom? Da Lat's mountains and hills wave majestically... Da Lat with immense sky and water..."
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
The mimosa, which originally came f-rom Australia, is three to six meters tall. It has bright yellow flowers and leaves that are green with a silvery luster. The tree blossoms two or three times each year and flourishes during the sunny seasons. Da Lat has two types of mimosa trees: long and short-leafed. Its scientific name is Acacia Podaly-riaefolia Cunn, Mimosaceae. According to folklore, Da Lat girls often like to place the mimosa between the pages of a book, then send it to their boyfriends. The flower retains its sweet scent, which is a reminder of her affection.
Jacaranda Acutifaoli
Also known as purple flamboyant or flame tree, is another special feature of Da Lat, because its flowers are purple instead of the c-haracteristic red color of its brother in northern Viet Nam. The tree's scientific name is Jacaranda
Acutifolia. belonging to the Bignoniaceae family. Since its leaves are very similar to those of the mimosa, the purple flame tree is also called J. Mimosaefolia. Moreover, as its leaves bear the shape of an egg, the tree is also called J. Ovalifolia. The purple flame trees in Oa Lat blossom toward the end of winter and through spring. In the past, the entire town had only four purple flame trees, including three in the town's flower park and one on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street leading to Da Lat Market (in front of Thuy Ta Restaurant).
The purple flame tree came f-rom Brazil. It is widely grown for ornamental purposes on roadsides and in parks in South America, Africa and Oceania. Vietnamese engineer Luong Van Sau was the first person to bring the purple flame tree to -Da Lat and grew it here. Mr. Luong Van Sau was also a member of the Societe Francaise des Roses. After him, other growers multiplied the purple flame tree in Da Lat.
Hydrangea is grown in  many places  in Da Lat, especially in private gardens, at offices and in parks. The flower has been associated with an old Roman story. According to legend, in southern Europe, a beautiful Roman princess had reached marital age. But she rejected all the proposals f-rom the most noble and wealthy men. One day, while she was making an excursion outside the town, she saw a general being cheered by a crowd. She threw the flower she was holding in her hand, and it landed on the general. 
That's how she se-lected her husband. The flower is shaped like a ball. Its four colors change with each cycle of growth. When it first appears, the flower is white. Then it changes into light green, then dark green and finally purple.
Orchid is another Da Lat attraction. Named "queen of the world of flowers," the orchid is a common sight whe-rever you go in Da Lat. Among the world's 100,000 species of orchids, Viet Nam already has many of which grow in Da Lat. 
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
Da Lat grows all four types of orchids found worldwide, including those on other plants and trees as parasites, those on high rocks and cliffs. Those in leaves and mud. Those on other kinds of vegetation.
Gladiolus is very popular among growers in Da Lat because it is easy to grow and yields high returns. As legend has it, a Roman general captured two  young prisoners and kept them in his house. His two daughters fell in love with   the   two   prisoners. When the  general  discovered this situation, he became   angry and made the two prisoners fight each  other  in a duel. However, the two young men  refused  to fight and fixed their swords into the ground. The general ordered them beheaded. Strangely enough, as soon as their heads touched the ground,   the   two swords turned into flowers the shape of a sword. In Latin, "gladiolus"  means  a  short sword.  
Da Lat's gladiolus has several colors ranging f-rom white, yellow, to purple. However, the most abundant is red and the most valued is the same red as  Bordeaux wine. Da Lat sells its gladioli throughout the entire country, especially during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (January-February). The Vietnamese believe it symbolizes promise and love.
Pansy is popular in Da Lat not only because it adapts well to the local climate, but it adds to the romanticism that locals hold dear to their hearts. The flower has been grown in Da Lat since the French colonial days. Young sweethearts give each other the flower to express their warm feelings, just as its French name "pensee" suggests. The pansies are grown widely, especially around villas which bear its name such as Pensee 1, Pensee 2 and Pensee 6.
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
Wild sunflowers
Wild sunflowers grow abundantly along Road No. 20, the passes of Bao Loc and Prenn and in valleys around the town of Da Lat. The flowers also grow plentifully in other provinces of the Central Highlands on the western side of the Truong Son Range, such as Kontum, Gia Lai and Daklak. 
Da Lat in Vietnam– a rhythmic land of flowers and romance
They are thus considered the typical wild flower of the Highlands of southern central Viet Nam. The wild sunflower tree is one to two meters tall. Its flower is bright yellow and has a diameter of 10 centimeters. The tree begins to flower toward the end of the rainy season and blossoms profusely in the dry season. One can say the dry season has begun in the Highlands when you see lots of wild sunflowers outside.
Do Quyen flower
Do Quyen flower is grown in gardens or pots. It doesn't shed its leaves. Its flower grows at the far end of the branch and has 3-cm long petals. Da Lat has four varieties of Do quyen: white, pink, red and orange. The most numerous are pink. Most of the do quyen varieties sold at the market are imported f-rom overseas. However, the red one is native to Lang Biang Mountains.
Nature has granted Da Lat a graceful beauty making it an ideal tourist destination, of which land scape exudes a sweet fragrance and shows off var colors all year round.

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