Da Lat, the capital of Lâm Đồng Province in southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands, is centred around a lake and golf course and surrounded by hills, pine forests, lakes and waterfalls. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its distinctive temperate climate, Đà Lạt was developed as a resort by the French in the early 1900s, and many reminders of its colonial heritage remain.
Landmarks include the spire of Đà Lạt Cathedral, a replica of the Eiffel Tower that doubles as a communications tower, and alpine-style Crémaillère Railway Station, offering short train rides. Other attractions are the 1930s summer palace of former emperor Bảo Đại, the colourful Đà Lạt Flower Gardens and several Buddhist pagodas and monasteries. Less traditional is the Hằng Nga Crazy House, a Gaudí-inspired guesthouse and gallery created by Vietnamese architect Đặng Việt Nga. In the nearby hills, numerous waterfalls such as Pongour make popular sightseeing stops.