If you’ve never been to Da Lat, it’s time to put it on your list. The town is slowly becoming one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam. Da Lat is also called ‘Le Petit Paris’ because it has a mini-replica Eiffel Tower in the centre and because it’s been functioning as a holiday getaway since the French colonial times. Da Lat is famous for its beautiful waterfalls, pristine landscapes, countless nature sites, minority villages and the surrounding farmland. Whether you’re a nature fan or just want to see what it’s all about, there is no doubt that you’ll love it here. Here are some interesting facts about Da Lat that you may or may not know about.
The city is an education centre
One of the towns pride is that it’s an education centre where future architects and doctors study. The Dalat University has about 13,000 students and is one of the finest universities in Vietnam. You’ll surely meet some of the enthusiastic students when you’re visiting Da Lat.
There is a nuclear reactor here
In fact, it’s the only nuclear reactor in Indochina. Although the reactor has a small capacity (500kW), it works safely and at high economic efficiency. It was built in 1963, but ceased to operate from 1968 to 1975, before it resumed again, with the support from the former Soviet Union.
The crazy house
One of the must-sees in Da Lat, this Guest House is also known as the “Crazy House” thanks to its design by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga. Although the intent was to make it look like a fairy tale house, the design is a bit odd, but always interesting. If you want to stay in one of the guest rooms, you can choose between ten themed ones such as the tiger room, ant room, kangaroo room, to name a few.
You can sleep in a tube here
Speaking of interesting places, there’s a very remarkable hostel in Da Lat: The Circle Hostel. If you’ve ever thought of spending the night in a tube, you can fulfil your dreams here. It costs about 9 dollars per person to spend the night in this unique hostel. The ‘rooms’ are pipe-shaped and they’re all decorated with different bright colors. You also have a nice view from the hostel, looking down over the valley and hill. Visitors can also enjoy the garden terraces, pine forest and have a campfire with friends at the hostel.
The tallest pagoda bell tower can be found here
The Linh Phuoc Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Vietnam with a 37 metre bell tower, making it the tallest in the country. The bell weighs about 8,500 kilos. When you enter the main hall and you can see colorful paintings about Buddha. Linh Phuoc Pagoda was built from debris of porcelain, glass and pottery bowls and was finished in 1952. The pagoda has since then been featured in the Vietnam Record Book with a total of 11 records. It’s one of the most impressive sites in Da Lat.
Da Lat is home to some of Vietnam’s most impressive waterfalls
This is one of the main reasons why travelers visit Da Lat – to see the breathtaking waterfalls. Some only require an easy hike, while others require a more adventurous hike. Be prepared to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the peaceful and serene surroundings. Three of the most stunning waterfalls in Da Lat include: Pongour Waterfall, Elephant Waterfall and Tiger Waterfall.
If you’re feeling tempted to travel to Da Lat and want to see it with your own eyes, remember that you will have to acquire a Vietnam visa before you enter Vietnam. If you fail to do this, the immigration officers may deny you entry. But luckily, the visa process has never been as easy as it is now. Depending on where you’re from, you have three options to choose from: Visa on Arrival and E-Visa, the two online options that are by far the most popular ways to get a visa. You could also get a visa through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. This is a good option if you’re not planning to fly into Vietnam or you live close to one and don’t mind going there.