Dalat is a hill resort founded so French colonials could escape of heat of Vietnam's lowlands. It's located in Vietnam's Central Highlands at an elevation of 4,840 ft/1,475 m and is about 150 mi/240 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Nowadays, its cool climate, lakes, waterfalls and forests make it a popular destination.

First stroll around the picturesque lake in the center of town and then visit the nearby flower gardens (home to more than 10,000 types of orchids). Take a break and relax in a cafe or stop by the lively Central Market, overflowing with colorful fruits, vegetables and cut flowers.

Visit the Valley of Love, the preferred honeymoon destination of hundreds of Vietnamese for its impressively tacky shops and romantic boat rides through heart-shaped tunnels. Take the cable car to Datamia Falls and visit the art-deco summer palace of Bao Dai, Vietnam's last emperor.

For more art-deco architecture, go to the railway station, built in 1938. The town also has a number of beautiful pagodas—the Lam Ty Nu and the Linh Son are probably the best.

Dalat was little affected by the war because of its location, so you will find many original yellow-washed French villas in town and a Catholic cathedral with stained-glass windows.

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