Da Lat, Vietnam (Nov ’16)

We came to Da Lat for 3 days and it rained cats and dogs throughout the entire period we were there. The local said Da Lat rains 20 days in a month, and yes we experienced it now. However, the town was still amazing. It has been such a long time to blend in with nature once again.

Accommodation: La nha Homestay


PLACES TO VISIT

Cau Dat tea farm

We rented a bike from our host and Hoa rode 60km (back and forth) through the rain to Cau Dat farm. I made an appointment with my friend there and he was supposed to bring us around the farm. However the weather did not allow that.

Cau Dat farm has 260ha of tea plantation and a great team of individuals. I enjoyed engaging in the conversation with my friend, Tung (core-member of Cau Dat team) on how he plans to move the team forward with new ideas and business initiatives,

L’angfarm local products

L’angfarm does not own plantation but their products has been present for some years now. If you come to Da Lat, you must get some of these. I did buy a ton!

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Bao Dai summer palace

Ticket: 15k VND/ adult

The palace was built from 1933 to 1937 under the dynasty of King Bao Dai, the last King of Vietnam feudal court. The palace was designed in the art deco style and lied in the middle of a pine forest near the Pasteur Institute.

The palace is a two-storey structure with 25 rooms and amenities. The ground floor is working space for the King. It consists of conference room, guest room and reception room. Upstairs is the living space of the King and his family. The entire building is surrounded by a vast garden and of course, the pine tree forest.

King palace (Dinh I)

This palace used to be a villa of a French millionaire who was also an official – Robert Clément Bourgery. He had been the boss of electricity factory in Shanghai. The palace was built before 1940s in the middle of the pine tree forest.

In 1949, King Bao Dai bought it in August 1949 and renewed it. Since then, it has become a general headquarters and an office for his subordinate officers. Many important cabinet meetings of then Head of State Bao Dai happened in this meeting room at this palace during the period from 1949 to 1954.

From 1956 to 1963, the room of Bao Dai was used as a private room of Ngo Dinh Diem whenever he came to Da Lat. He renovated and rebuilt a secret tunnel with the entry door disguised as a bookcase. The exit door leads to a heliport.

Da Lat cathedral

Da Lat Cathedral (the locals call it Chicken Church). It was built by the French colonists during the first half of the 20th century. With a height of 47 meters, this French building is visible from almost any point in the city of Da Lat. We attended the Church service at 5pm.

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MUST-TRY FOOD IN DALAT

Banh trang nuong (Vietnamese pizza)

The store opens at about 3pm in the afternoon. Customers will fill the place and sit around her charcoal stove. This is best for the cold weather in Da Lat. The sore Auntie has been in business for 10 years all alone. She can speak a little English, Chinese, etc. to get order from foreign tourists and she is super friendly! A few choices to choose from: pate, beef jerky floss but the store Auntie decides what she wants to make for the customers.

Local dessert

This store owns by an Uncle with the help of his daughter.

Must have is Avocado ice-cream. The avocado smoothie is fresh and densed. Once the ice-cream is tasted with it, the taste is going to blow you away.

Pudding (Vietnamese calls it Flan) with coconut milk enhancing its sweetness and the right mixture will just melt in your mouth. 

Fruity platter with ice-cream – the best comination of freshness: watermelon, jack fruit, dragonfruit, papaya and coconut meat with a hint of durian.

Nem nuong (grilled fermented pork roll – wrap)

The best wrap is when its colours alone make you salivate. And the sweet peanut sauce is heavenly delicious.

Others

Soymilk, peanut milk, corn milk and what not, we had the fresh one in this small vendor in Tang Bat Ho street. By early evening time, people crowd around the store by sitting in the middle of this small alley.

We stopped by Dalat market or buy fresh strawberries there.We also had fresh-water crab soup in tomato broth. The fragrance from this store made Hoa want to try it right away!

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