The capital of Lam Dong province, Dalat is located in Vietnam's south-central highlands, just under 200 miles from Ho Chi Minh city. Pleasantly sized, it's as easy to get around as it is on the eye. Remnants of the French colonization remain; favoring the city's cooler climates, the French built their holiday chalets and villas here, giving Dalat a charming alpine feel that is only emphasized by the pine forests at its edges. Known as "Petit Paris", it's less frenetic than its namesake; the friendly and welcoming urban center has a calm, slow pace and soon gives way to the lakes and rolling green hills with which it is surrounded, a backdrop of misty mountains in the background. Visitors to Dalat - glad of the respite from the rest of the country's heat - will enjoy its pretty streets, quaint shops and excellent food, spanning the gamut from European to Asian. Activities and day trip options are many and varied, from a round of golf on a royal course, to an afternoon boating on the lake, or exploring the city's architectural wonders, there's something to suit all tastes.


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Crazy House

Hằng Nga guesthouse is more commonly known as Crazy House, owing to its fantastical design. Architect Dang Viet Nga was inspired by Gaudi in her design of this wacky building that resembles something from the imagination of Dr Seuss.


Dalat is home to a number of world-class golfing destinations and perhaps the grandest and most famous is Dalat Palace Golf Club, built in 1922 for the last emperor of Vietnam Bao Dai to practice his swing. The views are gorgeous and the cafe serves a range of delicious fare.


For a little local action or to pick up some bargains, happy shoppers join the clamor of the city market. Here the traders come to ply their wares including souvenirs and edible specialities from the surrounding areas; fruit conserves, avocados and artichokes are among the favorites.

Thien Vien Truc Lam Monastery

Visitors take the cable car to the peaceful peak, where the monastery overlooks the city and the surrounding countryside. Set in beautiful gardens full of wildlife both real and in topiary form, the monastery is the perfect place for a long walk or relaxing afternoon.

Xuan Huong Lake

A focal point of the city, the lake is a draw for visitors and locals alike. At just over three miles in diameter, it’s peaceful even at peak season and many of the best hotels and even the palace overlook it. The lake is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll or picnic, while boats are available for hire.

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