Dalat is located on a verdant plateau containing pine forests and lakes, located 300 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. At the elevation 1,500 meters, Dalat’s cool climate provides a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of the lowlands and it was for this reason that the French developed it in the early 1900’s as a summer retreat.
Dalat’s colonial influences can still be seen in its cathedral and some of the 2,000 villas that dot the town. The town has a relaxed atmosphere and is very popular with Vietnamese holiday makers, primarily honeymooners. In recent years, enormous amounts of money have been spent to restore the city to its former glory. Lakes have been dredged and cleaned, old buildings have been restored, and new hotels have been built. Foreign investors renovated an old French chateau, the Sofitel Palace Hotel, now managed by the Accor Group.