Da Lat

Nestled at an elevation of around 1500m among the hills of the Lang Bian Plateau, the city of DA LAT is Vietnam’s premier hill station, an amalgam of mazy cobbled streets and picturesque churches, spliced unfortunately with dingy East European-style constructions and touristic kitsch.

In 1897, the Governor-General of Indochina ordered the founding of a convalescent hill station here, where Saigon’s hot-under-the-collar colons could recharge their batteries, enjoy the bracing alpine chill, and even partake in a day’s game-hunting.

By tacit agreement during the American War, both Hanoi and Saigon refrained from bombing the city and it remains much as it was half a century ago, a great place to chill out, literally and metaphorically.