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Da Lat (also written as Dalat, Vietnamese: Đà Lạt; Vietnamese pronunciation: [ɗâː làːt] (listen)), is the capital of Lâm Đồng Province and the largest city of Central Highlands region in Vietnam. The city is located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level on the Langbian Plateau. Da Lat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.
Thành phố Đà Lạt
Da Lat Center Market
|• City (Class-1)||394.6 km2 (152.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,500 m (4,900 ft)|
|• City (Class-1)||425,000|
|• Density||1,077/km2 (2,790/sq mi)|
Da Lat's specific sights are pine woods and twisting roads full of marigold (Vietnamese: hoa dã quỳ) and mimosa blossom in the winter. The city's temperate weather stands in contrast to Vietnam's otherwise tropical climate that no other city in the country has. Mist covering the valleys almost year-round leads to its name "City of Eternal Spring".
Residents and tourists are said that Da Lat has all four seasons in one day: the morning is the spring, the noon is the summer, from the afternoon to the evening is the autumn and from the night to the sunrise is the winter.
With its year-round cool weather, Da Lat supplies huge amount temperate agriculture products for all over Vietnam, for example: cabbage, cauliflower, artichoke, tea, wine, persimmon and coffee. Its flower industry produces three most characteristic flowers: hydrangea (Vietnamese: cẩm tú cầu), Da Lat rose and golden everlasting (Vietnamese: hoa bất tử). The confectionery industry offers a wide range of mứt, a kind of fruit preserve that closely resembles varenie, made from strawberry, mulberry, sweet potato and rose.
Da Lat is known regionally for avocado ice-cream, for bánh tráng nướng (Vietnamese pizza) and for its large garment market, with broad selection of cool-weather clothes.
According to some sources, the name derives from the acronym of the Latin phrase 'Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem' ("It Gives Pleasure to Some, Freshness to Others"), which the French colonial government used in their official emblem of Da Lat. In reality, the name Đà Lạt derived from the language of the local ethnic group Lạt and its original meaning is "Stream of the Lạt", and the acronym above is in fact a backcronym.
During the 1890s, explorers in the area (including the noted bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin, protégé of the renowned French chemist Louis Pasteur), which was then part of the French colony of Cochinchina, asked the French governor-general, Paul Doumer, to create a resort center in the highlands. The governor agreed. The original intended site for the hill station was Dankia, but Étienne Tardif, a member of the road-building expedition of 1898–99, proposed the current site instead. In 1907, the first hotel was built. Urban planning was carried out by Ernest Hébrard.
Many Europeans used to travel up to Da Lat to escape the heat of the lower coastal areas .
The French endowed the city with villas and boulevards, and its Swiss charms remain today. Hébrard included the requisite health complex, golf course, parks, schools, and homes but no industry. The legacy of boarding schools where children from the whole of Indochina were taught by French priests, nuns, and expatriates still existed as late as 1969. In 1929, the Christian and Missionary Alliance established a school which later relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, due to the Vietnam War and has been located in Penang, Malaysia, since the 1970s. There were seminaries of Jesuits (such as Pius X Pontifical College) and other orders. The elite Vietnamese National Military Academy graduated its first class of future leaders in 1950. There was an aviation school at Cam Ly Airport.
During World War II, Da Lat was the capital of the Federation of Indochina, from 1939 to 1945.
In the mid-1950s, the Vietnamese Scout Association established their national training grounds at Da Lat.
The only major involvement Da Lat had during the Vietnam War was within the 1968 Tet Offensive. Fierce battles raged from January 31 to February 9, 1968. Most of the fighting took place between the South Vietnamese and American MP units stationed in Da Lat and the Việt Cộng (VC) forces. Defeats and victories alternated between the two during the sporadic-yet-intense battles. However, the South Vietnamese MPs were eventually able to regain control of Da Lat. Around 200 communists were killed in the attack.
Da Lat is divided into 12 wards numbered from 1 to 12, and 4 communes: Tà Nung, Xuân Trường, Xuân Thọ and Trạm Hành.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Da Lat's year-round temperate weather, standing in contrast to central & southern Vietnam's otherwise-tropical climate, has led it to be nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring”. The average temperature is 14 to 23 °C (57 to 73 °F). The highest temperature ever in Da Lat was 31.5 °C (88.7 °F), and the lowest was −0.6 °C (30.9 °F). Mist covers the adjoining valleys almost year-round. Its temperate climate also makes it ideal for agriculture. Indeed, Da Lat is renowned for its orchids, roses, vegetables, and fruits. There are nascent wine-making and flower-growing industries in the region.
There are two separate seasons in Da Lat. The rainy season lasts from May to October and the dry season starts from November to the ends in April of the next year. The average annual precipitation is 1,768 mm.
|Climate data for Da Lat (1964–1998)|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.0
|Average high °C (°F)||22.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||15.8
|Average low °C (°F)||11.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−0.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||11
|Average rainy days||2||2||5||11||18||20||23||22||23||19||10||5||160|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82||78||77||84||87||88||90||91||90||89||85||84||85|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||255||234||255||202||190||147||157||136||133||140||172||215||2,236|
|Source 1: Địa chí Đà Lạt (extremes 1918–1940, and 1964–1998)|
|Source 2: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology (sun)|
The architecture of Da Lat is dominated by the style of the French colonial period. Da Lat Railway Station, built in 1938, was designed in the Art Deco architectural style by French architects Moncet and Reveron, although it incorporates the high, pointed roofs characteristic of the Cao Nguyen communal buildings of Vietnam's Central Highlands. The three gables represent an art deco version of Normandy's Trouville-Deauville Station. The station's unique design—with its roofs, arching ceiling, and coloured glass windows—earned it recognition as a national historical monument in 2001. They designed the Lycée Yersin, which opened in 1927.The Dominion of Mary Church and Convent, home to Roman Catholic nuns of the Mission of Charity, were built in 1938 with a similar pointed-roof style.
Of particular note is the unconventional architecture of the Hằng Nga guesthouse, popularly known as the “Crazy House”. Described as a “fairy tale house”, its overall design resembles a giant banyan tree, incorporating sculptured design elements representing natural forms such as animals, mushrooms, spider webs and caves. Its architecture, consisting of complex, organic, non-rectilinear shapes, has been described as expressionist. Its creator, Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga (also known as Hằng Nga), who holds a PhD in architecture from Moscow State University, has acknowledged the inspiration of Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí in the building's design. Visitors have variously drawn parallels between the guesthouse and the works of artists such as Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney. Since its opening in 1990, the building has gained recognition for its unique architecture, having been highlighted in numerous guidebooks and listed as one of the world's ten most “bizarre” buildings in the Chinese People's Daily. While superficially amusing, the compound is let down by the construction debris and household refuse behind the facades, and the lack of attention to safety issues.
Da Lat is also well known for a series of three Mansions of the Vietnamese Last Emperor. The First Mansion was built in 1940 by the French millionaire Robert Clément Bourgery and was bought by Emperor Bao Dai in 1949. It was used as a summer mansion for President Ngo Dinh Diem and following presidents of the Republic of Vietnam until 1975. The Second Mansion was built in 1933 as the summer mansion for Governor of French Indochina Jean Decoux. Built in 1933–1938, the Third Mansion was the residence of Emperor Bao Dai and his family. The whole mansion itself attributes to the typical European style since both its front and backyard have flower gardens. The Third Mansion is currently open for tourists who wish to have a look back in time when Queen Nam Phuong resided during her lifetime.
- Dalat Flower Festival (Festival hoa Đà Lạt)
- Dalat Tea Culture Week (Tuần lễ văn hóa trà Đà Lạt)
- Cherry Blossom Festival (Lễ hội hoa anh đào)
- "Đồi cỏ hồng" Festival
- Rain Festival (Lễ hội mưa)
- Gong Festival (Lễ hội cồng chiêng)
Da Lat is one of the famous tourist city of Vietnam which was included in the list of Asia's overlooked places by the CNN in 2017.  Da Lat attracts both domestic tourists, more than 1,500,000 tourists and about 300,000 foreign tourists per year. It is also the most favourite honeymoon location.
Hoa Binh Area is the center downtown of Da Lat which attracted numerous visitors. Some popular sites located at Hoa Binh Area are Coi Xay Gio bakery, Lien Hoa bakery, Windmills coffeehouse and Tung coffeehouse. Coi Xay Gio is known as a perfect selfie spot thanks to its remarkable yellow wall.
Popular tourist places
- Xuan Huong Lake
- Lam Vien Square
- Hoa Binh Walking Town (Hoa Binh Area)
- The Pedagogical College of Da Lat
- Dalat Center Market
- Da Lat Railway Station
- The Palace of Bao Dai King
- Clay Tunnel of Da Lat
- Tuyen Lam Lake
- Smurf Village (Làng Xì Trum)
- Truc Lam Monastery
- Hang Nga guesthouse
- Linh Sơn Pagoda
- Dalat Flowers Garden
- Dalat Cathedral (Chicken Church)
- Domaine de Marie
- Valley of Love
- Dreamlike Hill (Mộng Mơ Hill)
- Langbiang Peak
- Prenn Waterfall
- Golden Stream Lake (Suối Vàng)
- The Maze Bar
- Vuon Yen Coffee
- Vinh Tien Tea & Wine Company
- Vu Thi Village
- Dalat Heaven Gate
- Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda
- Infinite Lake (Vô Cực Lake)
- Zoodoo Garden
- Flowers Garden and Coffee (F. Garden)
Friendship cities and provinces
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Minsk, Belarus
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
- Chengdu, Sichuan, China
- Dalian, Liaoning, China
- La Habana, Cuba
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Paris, France
- Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
- Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Jeju Province, South Korea
- Incheon, South Korea
- Vientiane, Laos
- Kazan, Russia
- Moscow, Russia
- Novosibirsk, Russia
- Los Angeles, California, United States
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- "Dalat | Vietnam Tourism". Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
- The city you shouldn't miss in Vietnam
- What can you see, do and eat in Dalat ?
- The only city in Vietnam without traffic lights
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- Ma, P.; Aggrey, K.; Tonzola, C.; Schnabel, C.; De Nicola, P.; Herzog, G.F.; Wasson, J.T.; Glass, B.P.; Brown, L.; Tera, F.; Middleton, R.; Klein, J. (2004). "Beryllium-10 in Australasian tektites: Constraints on the location of the source crater". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 68 (19): 3883–3896. Bibcode:2004GeCoA..68.3883M. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2004.03.026.[dead link]
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