Da Lat - Blossoming Romance

With its green, rolling hills, misty lakes and fragrant pine forests, Dalat is Vietnam's most romantic destination. Set at an elevation of 1,475 metres, surrounded by forests, coffee plantations and gardens, Dalat, is often called the "City of Eternal Spring". The name is apt. While the surrounding lowlands bake in summer heat, Dalat's temperatures hover between a cool 15 and 24 degrees Celsius.

In 1897 a French doctor by the name of Alexandre Yersin spread the word of Dalat's charms to Saigon's European community. By 1912, the town was a favorite with homesick French colonialists, drawn by the area's Fresh Mountain air and pastoral landscapes.

The natural beauty also inspired Vietnam's last emperor, Bao Dai, to build a summer home in Dalat in 1933. Now open to the public, the art deco royal villa and its surrounding gardens pro- vide a lovely view of Dalat and the hills beyond. Golf enthusiasts will thank Bao Dai, who commissioned Vietnam's first golf course in Dalat. This original course has been redesigned and expanded to a plush 18-hole course, which consistently earns high ranks from international sporting magazines and draws golfersfrom all over Asia.

Like the golf course, many of Dalat's colonial-era villas and stone churches have survived the years. While some of the colonial mansions have been beautifully restored, others remain neglected, and the sight of these majestic villas, their roofs covered in moss and their tennis courts choked with weeds, lends the town a poignant air of faded elegance.

Dalat is the destination of choice for Vietnamese honeymooners. Smiling young couples drift across Xuan Huong Lake in paddleboats shaped like giant swans, while brides in flowing white dresses clamber aboard ponies and pose for photos. Romance is also in the air at the city's various flower gardens, including an amazing orchid garden, where visitors can see rare blue orchids. More utilitarian but equally colorful is the town's central market, overflowing with fresh- cut flowers and an incredible variety of fruits and vegetables. No matter when you visit, spring will be in the air.

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  Ha Long Bay - Descending Dragon  
  Ha Noi - One Thousand Years of Culture  
  Ho Chi Minh city - Bright Lights, Big City  
  Hue - A Royal Past, world heritage Site  
  Nha Trang - Paradise City  
  Phan Thiet - New paradise just found  
  Phu Quoc Island - Phu Quocs unspoilt island paradise  
  Sapa - Above the clouds  
  The Central Highlands - Mysterious lands with numerous tribes  
  The Me Kong Delta