Da Lat city Vietnam: all information you need to know about Da Lat

Many people have heard and known about Da Lat. However, not everyone knows the details of Da Lat such as: where is Da Lat, what is Da Lat has, and where tourists should visit in Da Lat. In this article, we will introduce details about Da Lat city so that everyone can know.

Overview of Da Lat

Dalat or Da Lat is the capital city of Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Da Lat is the City of Flowers and honeymooners with lovely French villas, the fresh air, the beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous lakes sits in a lush and green valley of postcard beauty. 

Da Lat city from flycam

Da Lat city from flycam

Geographic location of Da Lat

Da Lat sits approx. 1500 m (4921 ft) above sea level on the Lang Biang Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands, and is surrounded by lovely mountains, according to a local, carry lyrical names like Elephant’s Head and Lady’s Body. So, you do not be surprised when someone called Da Lat as The City in the Forest.

The beautiful names of Da Lat

Dalat’s specific sights are pine forest (forming the name: “City of thousands of pine trees”) with twisting roads and tree marigold, cherry 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”, Spring is eternal and “unique season” in Da Lat.

It’s also called “Little Paris” (“Le Petit Paris” in French) due to its French architecture villas and its replica of the Eiffel Tower built by the Telephone Company that looks like it fell into a pool of red and white colour. And really, after driving through tea gardens, coffee and rubber plantations, one feels almost transplanted to Europe. Indeed, in the past when Dalat still had been under France, The French Officials want to set up this city as “Le Petit Paris” (A Little Paris), the ideal resort city, the meaningful education center for their life in Indochina, the place was far from their native land – remote France. So, Dalat was the capital of the Federation of Indochina during World War II.

Beside above names, Vietnamese also called Da Lat under many lovely names such as The City of Love, The City of Poetry, The Green City…

Dalat Vietnam - Dalat central lake

Dalat Vietnam – Dalat central lake

History & formation of Da Lat city

In the late nineteenth century, a Swiss man with French nationality was Alexandre Yersin, at the request of the French authorities at that time, explored the Central Highlands and reached the Lang Biang plateau to lead to the formation of the flower city today.

The time that Da Lat city was found

An important moment was at 3:30 pm on June 21, 1893, after a long expedition in the Southeast region; Dr. Yersin set foot on the Lang Biang Plateau to change a wasteland. He created a major turning point in the history of Dalat, contributed to turn the land of Lach and Chill people until then still has no name on the map into a famous city recorded in the encyclopedia of many countries like today.

The origin of the name: Dalat

The name of Dalat has been random since the time of arising. It is said that the “French founders” chose for this beautiful city a meaningful maxim like the European cities with Latin “DAT ALLIIS LAETITIUM ALLIIS TEMPERRIEM”, the first five letters combined and become the word “DALAT” means “giving this person the joy and giving the other the coolness”.

But according to many ethnographic researchers, the above hypothesis is not correct; Dalat’s name was originated from words Da Lach which is pronounced in the language of Lach people. This is one of the three tribes belonging to the K’ho system that share in the northern regions of Lam Dong province.

Particularly, Lach people live from the foot of Lang Biang Mountain to Dalat city, occupying around Xuan Huong Lake area where a small stream flows. In the language of K’ho, Da or Dak means water, river or stream; Lach (Lat) is the name of the tribe of the ethnic K’ho. So Da Lach is the stream of Lach people.

Over the past 100 years, Dalat has many different interpretations and meanings. But today, we return to the original meaning of Dalat: the stream of Lach people, the homeland of Lach people, and Lach group is a member of the great family of Vietnamese peoples.

Dalat Vietnam - Xuan Huong Lake

Dalat Vietnam – Xuan Huong Lake

Tourism and people in Da Lat

Visitors to Dalat can do both visiting and enjoying specialties including a variety of fruits: persimmon, plum, peach, and avocado; many unique ethnic dishes and souvenirs of Dalat region.

The land of natural richness

Da Lat has been calling as Vietnam’s “vegetable garden” due to its year-round cool weather. Da Lat supplies temperate agriculture products for all over Vietnam. Indeed, Dalat is renowned for its orchids, roses, vegetables, and fruits. There are nascent wine-making and flower-growing industries in the region of Asia (main flower consuming market is Singapore, Hongkong, Korea, Japan).

The land of beautiful flowers

The beauty of Dalat is also praised and attracted visitors by hundreds, thousands of unique flowers, orchids; varieties of flowers are produced separately on this land, and varieties of flowers were brought from many places such as: France, England, Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Italy… like roses, everlasting flowers, azaleas, scarlet sage flowers, camellia flower, carnation flowers, lily flower, cherry blossom, white narcissus….Every 2 years, The National Flower Festival hold in this city with many participants over the world, detail at ➤ Dalat Flower Festival

Hotel in Da Lat

The first hotel in Dalat was built in 1907, it is a wooden house named Ho Hotel (Hotel du Lac). Today, coming to Dalat, visitors will feel a very poetic, magnificent but discreetly architecture through a villa hidden in a leafy tree or brilliant because covered by a forest of flowers. There are now thousands of beautiful new hotels built to serve the needs of tourism city more and more. You can see all the hotels and resorts in Dalat at ➤ Dalat Accommodation

Dalat people

Dalat community is a very unique integration of the people from the North, Central and South regions. The province has more than 20 ethnic groups; the largest are Viet people, then M’Nong, Ma, K’Ho…. People in the areas of Dalat and Di Linh plant vegetables and flowers offer for Southern provinces.

Dalat has a famous cultural identity in the Central Highlands like the legend. The gentle people live by farming, gardening, growing coffee, tea, raising livestock….

On village festivals and the family’s happy day, visitors will see the local people dance, sing, play music with unique instruments that sound like howling wind, flowing waterfall on rocky rapids. Beautiful nature has created Dalat people with the lovely, gentle, elegant and hospitable style.

Dalat Vietnam - Dalat people

Dalat Vietnam – Dalat people

Three things not available in Da Lat

This is the only and unique point of Dalat that no city in Vietnam has.

No traffic light

No cyclo

No air conditioning

The best things of Da Lat

The unique maple leaf forest

In one square meter have many the posing styles for selfie

Having many most beautiful homestays

The best baked girdle cake

The giant pumpkin garden

The biggest city for flowers

Famous tourist attractions in Da Lat

Due to the natural advantages of the climate as well as the great creativity of the people, Dalat has famous places that cannot be compared in any place in Vietnam. If you want to see these beautiful places, you should book a room before coming to avoid all rooms run out on holidays.

Dalat Vietnam - Pongour Waterfall

Dalat Vietnam – Pongour Waterfall

Dalat is also famous for its lake, waterfalls and pine forests. The beautiful waterfalls in Dalat are Pongour waterfall, Elephant waterfall. And the gorgeous lakes in Dalat are Xuan Huong Lake, Tuyen Lam lake. These lakes are located right in the city, the name is poetic as the romantic lake scene, and each lake goes along with an ancient legend.

View all tourist attractions in Dalat at ➤ Dalat Tourist Attractions

The directions to Da Lat

Dalat has the domestic flights from: Ho Chi Minh city, Hanoi city, Da Nang city, Vinh city, Hue city, Hai Phong city. And international flights from: Bangkok city (Thailand), Vu Han (China).

In addition, the province is located on the national way 723: Nha Trang city (Khanh Hoa province) – Dalat city (Lam Dong province), the national way 27: Phan Rang Thap Cham city (Ninh Thuan province) – Lam Dong – DakLak (Buon Ma Thuot city), the national way 28: Binh Thuan – Lam Dong (Di Linh) – Dak Nong.

Dalat City is far 278 km from Bien Hoa city (Dong Nai province), 1,481 km from Hanoi capital, 293 km from Ho Chi Minh City, and 140 km from Nha Trang city (Khanh Hoa provine).

From Ho Chi Minh City, going by car following to national way 20 is about 300 km to Dalat. The road will take visitors up gradually, gradually higher and when touching Dalat at Prenn waterfall, in front of visitors is the forest with a lot of pine trees (types of two leaves and three leaves). Going into Dalat city, visitors will discover a “museum” of waterfalls, beautiful lakes, flower valleys and grass hills.

From Phan Rang city via the national way 27 after crossing the historical sites of the ancient Champa and the dry fields all year round, we stand on Ngoan Muc mountain pass with a spectacular natural picture in front of the eyes.

From Nha Trang city via the national road 723.

From Mui Ne or Phan Thiet via the national way 28.

For details of direction & transport please view at ➤ Dalat Transport Information

Da Lat is the ideal city of Vietnam

Dalat Vietnam - Dalat by night

Dalat Vietnam – Dalat by night

Da Lat still is the summer retreat of the rich and powerful. The last emperor, Bao Dai King shared the coolness of hot Vietnamese summers with concubines in his summer palace before he was permanently sent to exile to the French Riviera.

The majority of visitors are Vietnamese. It seems to be the preferred place to get married. Honeymooners spend their memorable day among the artificial carved nature around the man-made Paradise Lake (also called Tuyen Lam Lake), shooting photo album and paddling on somewhat kitschy swan boats on the picturesque lake.

As Da Lat was the most romantic place of Vietnam, great natural landscapes. Hence, almost singers of Vietnam and Overseas have highly preferred to shoot their music videos or movies in Da Lat. In addition of charming nature and architecture, Da Lat has the grand variety of cultural life of Ethnic Minority People. Many cultural festivals of Ethnic Minority People were hold at the Ethnic Minority villages in outskirt of Da Lat.

Introduction video of Da Lat City, Lam Dong, Vietnam

Video of Dalat travel information

Video of viewing Dalat city from the sky – by drone

Quote of a tourist used to visit Dalat Vietnam

You have only travelled a half of Vietnam Sceneries if you haven’t visited to Dalat !

Maybe you like to read the full experiences with useful travel tips in Dalat at ➤ Dalat Travel Guide.

For more information of Dalat city at wiki.

Let’s discover beautiful Dalat city in your holiday.

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2 Questions & Comments

  1. Dr. Frans B. Roos, Ph.D., 6 years ago Reply

    Presently living (retirement 20-yrs) in Thailand on golf course Intending to move to Dalat and like to know about similar housing on golf course in Dalat area. When working Vietnam in the seventies I spend time in Dalat.

  2. r.shivalinga, 8 years ago Reply


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