Hill station in the Vietnamese Highlands, with an attractive market and lots of other surprises.
Dalat is an early 20th Century French creation, sort of a hill station and escape from the coastal heat. It is at an altitude of around 1500 m, giving it a very pleasant climate year-round. The mountain scenery here is not as spectacular as some of the more northern ranges, but that is compensated for by a pleasant town, built at several levels. The town centre is dominated by a large market area, very lively all day and night, and a set of narrow winding streets where many of the small hotels and restaurants are located. The selection of fruits and vegetables in the market is truly staggering, and so is the size of the artichokes.
Outside town there are the greenhouses where all this wealth is being cultivated, rows upon rows of plastic-covered structures. Lots of other things to do, mountain trekking, minority villages, waterfalls, although in truth the tourist sites, in town and outside, are not the most impressive you may have seen. Which does not diminish the attraction of Dalat, which remains a nice town for a stop-over, if only to try the local wine and the many different candied fruits, another local specialty.
And a few market photos, below, just because they are such pretty pictures. Black eggs, giant artichokes, and whole colourful lot more.