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Rediscovering Da Lat

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:39 am




Rediscovering Da Lat


QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)


Surrounded by gentle hills and scenic areas, the highland city of Da Lat is still home to intriguing beauty in spite of the growing population, the rise in modern architecture and the number of tourists, said Nhat Ha. 


I was a touch disappointed when my car first drove into Da Lat. The city doesn’t look or feel like the old European styled-mountain retreat I remember discovering 10 years ago. There are more nondescript modern buildings, and the multi-storeys which once dominated the capital city of Lam Dong province have retreated into the distance. 


Da Lat is synonymous with fragrant pine-forested hills, misty-wet mornings and French colonial-period villas – but have these sides of Da Lat now been crowded out by modernism? 


Oddly, it didn’t even seem that chilly. I remembered wrapping myself up in the cardigan, scarf and hat on the cool mornings and evenings 10 years ago. Had the trend of urbanisation warmed up the city? Or was global warming to blame? 


I checked into Ngoc Lan Hotel overlooking the city centre and Xuan Huong lake. I then dumped my bags and strolled down to a familiar spot from my past – the Artist’s Café by Da Lat Market. 


Iced coffees – compulsory in most of southern Vietnam – are less common in this mountain town. The temperature may have warmed by everyone at the Artist’s Café is sitting over a hot cup of coffee. The thick scent hung in the air and filled me with nostalgia. I ordered one and sat back remembering how I wandered the streets of Dalat stopping at the small cafes with such wonderful names – Lang Van Café (the Writers Café), Phuong Tim Café (Flamboyant Purple Café) of Pho Xuan Café (Spring Street Café). 


 


Such cafés in Da Lat are simple and unpretentious. Locals and tourists share a long bench while savouring the coffee and the pleasant atmosphere around  Xuan Huong Lake. The coffee shops are often crowded but always cosy and peaceful. It’s still the best way to start your day in Da Lat. As I sipped my coffee, I watched the customers come and go from the flower stalls where piles of beautiful roses and daisies slowly vanish.

Sometimes described as the City of Love, Da Lat is a popular spot for honeymooners – here and there you will see newly weds posing for photos. But the city also attracts artists, photographers, writers and poets, who all came to the scenic and serene town in search of inspiration. Indeed many artists have decided to stay and take up permanent residence in the town. 


The hill-station is a retreat town, a place to kick back and relax far from the worries of the world and the heat of the coastal plains. The fairytale land was quite literally a breath of fresh air for the French tourists. 


After my coffee I decided to rent a motorbike – VND100,000 a day – and drive to Lam Dong Museum. As I drove down Tran Hung Dao street, I noticed a number of villas which had been renovated or restored and now looked in mint condition. The brand new Da Lat Cadasa Resort is a particularly stunning structure, surrounded by vast gardens, pine trees and flowers. The resort features 23 charming French styled villas. Each has a different style, but generally they all bear the architectural hallmarks of villas from Normandy in northern France. 


After that, I decided to escape the confines of the city and drive out to explore the surrounding hills and valleys. Exiting the city, I passed the stunning Evason Ana Mandara Villas Da Lat Resort & Spa on Le Lai street, another picturesque resort boasting 17 restored French colonial villas scattered around 35 acres of parkland, with 65 elegantly furnished guestrooms in total. 


My rambling journey continued past thatched houses, coffee plantations and flower farms. I decided to pop into a plantation to see where my cup of coffee came from. The farmer was friendly and informative – and not because he thought I was here to buy beans wholesale!  


The tree-house contains cavern-style sitting rooms, a concrete giraffe tea room, and towering fish heads with guest rooms where you can stay overnight. Down the helter-skelter hallways and up the winding stair-ways you can find various cosy nooks and crannies set up as small sitting rooms with desks, chairs, and coffee tables. It has to be one of the most off-the-wall places to lodge in Asia.  


Like something conjured up by the Brothers Grimm, the garden is a weird grotto of aviaries, concrete toadstools and steel spiders webs. It is apparently Da Lat’s top tourist attraction. I stand in awe as hordes of Vietnamese and foreign tourists scramble around.  


Back by Xuan Huong Lake, I finally sit down to lunch at Thanh Thuy Café. The Vietnamese menu had a decent salad with blanched beef and a tasty snake fish hot pot filled with loads of local vegetables. 


I sat watching the young couples in swan boats pedal across the lake and the tourists browsing through the flower gardens around the lake. It was a pleasant spot and I realised although Da Lat has grown and lost some of its innocence and aesthetic appeal, it still serves its an original purpose as a mountain retreat far from the heat and the noise of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. 


After I sated my appetite I pondered over what to do with my afternoon. Perhaps, I would sit again with another coffee! Nothing should be rushed in Da Lat, and life seeing to run apace with the slow drip-drip of the bitter black drop.

Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Da Lat holds seminar on literature’s role

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

A seminar on literature reflection of Vietnamese reality was held in the resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highland Province of Lam Dong on July 12.

Mr. To Huy Rua, Member of Political Bureau,  Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Head of Central Propaganda and Education Department speaks at the seminar. (Photo: Sggp)

The seminar was attended by Mr. To Huy Rua, Member of Political Bureau, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Head of Central Propaganda and Education Department, together with more than 200 researchers, scientists, press managers and literary teachers.


The State and Party encourages artists to maintain a strong attachment to the lives of real Vietnamese people and to look after the development of literature to ensure the continued production of valuable works, Mr. To Huy Rua said.


The government said it highly appreciated the role of literature has played in society, in terms of its contributions to the industrialization and modernization of the country, he added.


The seminars also received many reports made by researchers, such as “Realistic literature in the modern view” by Professor and PhD Tran Dinh Su; “Reflection, creativity and reality with the socialist and aesthetic ideal,” by Professor and PhD Mai Quoc Lien; “Today’s realistic literature and four generations of writers,” by Professor Phong Le; “Art literature and Press in life,” by journalist Phan Quang; “Literary morality,” by Porfessor Tran Thanh Dam and more.

Source: SGGP

New HCM City-Da Nang- Da Lat air route takes off

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

The nation’s flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, launched a new air route from Ho Chi Minh City to the central highland city of Da Lat and to the central coastal city of Da Nang on June 30.

Vietnam Airlines’ 8 th new route and its 35 th domestic one, will operate four flights a week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.


Duong Tri Thanh, Deputy General Director of Vietnam Airlines said that this new route, along with the Da Nang to Buon Ma Thuot and Da Nang to Pleiku services, will help socio-economic development in the central and central highland regions.


 

Source: SGGP

New air route between Da Nang and Da Lat cities

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Da Lat eyes becoming ‘high-quality’ tourism city

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Da Lat is already well-known as a resort town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and has seen robust investment in various fields as the country undergoes modernization.

Various kinds of roses are displayed in Dalat Flower festival 2010. (Photo:Sggp)

Now, the city is targeting to become a “high-quality” eco-tourism destination by offering a variety of new entertainment, recreation and healthcare services.

Local authorities will focus on enhancing community awareness of environmental and natural landscape protection and traditional architecture to help Da Lat become a high-quality tourism center, said Chairman of the Da Lat People’s Committee Doan Van Viet.

The city has achieved a yearly average economic growth rate of 13-14 percent with the tourism sector accounting for 72 percent of Da Lat’s annual revenue. Living standards of local residents are also constantly improving.


In addition to the major National road No.20, local authorities have built many other roads linking Da Lat with neighboring cities and provinces like Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Dak Lak and Dak Nong. There are also daily direct flights to the city from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The application of high technology in agriculture, especially in planting vegetables and flowers, has been increasing in Da Lat over the past several years. The area sells vast amounts of flora both domestically and abroad.

The provincial government hopes the city’s traditional flower villages will become a hub for growers to exchange products and information, and become an attractive destination for visitors.

Da Lat was recognized as a “National Third-Class City” of Lam Dong Province in 1976. It received the title of “National Second-Class City” in 1999 and “National First Class City” in 2009.

Source: SGGP

Da Lat farmers create potato-digging machine

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 7:36 am

A machine created by two farmers in Da Lat City is making the task of harvesting potatoes much easier.

A machine created by two farmers in Da Lat City is making the task of harvesting potatoes much easier. (Photo:SGGP)


Nguyen Van An and Le Van Cu made the machine themselves and say it increases farming productivity by replacing manual labor, usually carried out with a hoe.


The mechanism can harvest up to 3 hectares of potatoes a day and even shakes off the dirt before dropping them on the ground.


The machine costs around VND10 million (US$526).


Lam Dong Province has been implementing a project to develop a potato farm in Da Lat City from 2009 to 2015.


This year, the province expects to harvest around 23,400 tons of potatoes.

Source: SGGP

Health resort opens in Da Lat

In Vietnam Travel on December 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm









An exhibition of photos marked the opening of a resort in Da Lat December 24 (Photo: SGGP)


Cadasa Company opened a high-grade health resort in the upland city of Da Lat December 24.


For the purpose, it restored a complex of 13th-19th century villas at a cost of US$10 million.


The six-hectare resort is designed in northern French architecture style and has 65 rooms that cost $70 – 100 a day.


To mark the occasion, the company and Xua & Nay Magazine organized a photo exhibition titled “Hanoi – Da Lat in the past.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Da Lat to hold third international flower festival in 2010

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2009 at 11:17 am

The Da Lat Flower Festival 2010 will be held from January 1 and 4, the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province has announced.









 







A flower exhibition is held duirng the 2007 Da Lat Flower Festival  (Photo:KK)
The event, “Da Lat: The city of a thousand flowers,” will present to local and international visitors its various kinds of flowers, and cultural activities and sport competitions, such as the Da Lat flower market; an international flower exhibition introducing famous flowers from regions in the country and abroad; musical and fashion shows; an international trade-expo; seminars on flowers; a night wine festival; a tandem bike festive day; a flower arranging competition; a climbing competition – “Conquering Langbian;” and the Dalat Open Golf Tournament.

The amount of flowers to spruce up the festival will be increased by 50 percent over previous events.

The show also honors the value of Dalat flowers and Dalat flower growers, as well as boosting the local flower industry and act as a center for local and international flower lovers, planters, related businesses and researchers to exchange experiences and present their produce.

The local authorities have also taken measures to limit large increases in room prices during the festival.


Organized for the first time in 2005 and held every two years, the festival has been rescheduled from the original date, December 19 – 23, 2009, and will now be held in January, 2010.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Italian grapes successfully grown in Da Lat

In Vietnam Science on September 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

The Vinh Tien Artichoke and Wine Company successfully produced the first barrels of wine made from Italian grapes grown in ‘the city of flowers,’ Da Lat.








Intalian vines have yielded plenty of fruits in Da Lat.

 


The deputy director of the company, Le Viet Tien, said that the company last year imported 3,200 feet of Italian vines that have been used for wine production, including Sangiovece, Lambrusco, Cabernesto, Syrah, Melot and Nero.


 


After one year, the vines have yielded plenty of fruits in the city.


 


The company has widely planted the vines on 60 hectares in Lac Duong District, in the highland province of Lam Dong.


 


 


Source: SGGP

Da Lat closes slaughterhouses

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Da Lat resort city in Central Highlands Lam Dong province has withdrawn business licences from 57 slaughterhouses which are located among residential areas, for polluting the environment.

Since the beginning of this month, meat sold on the market must be slaughtered in the public slaughterhouse, which is equipped with a waste-water treatment system.-