Monday, July 9, 2012

What is the Eiffel Tower doing in Dalat, Vietnam?

Dalat is nestled in the hills of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It is a great place to unwind in the cool mountain air. Vietnam is a very intense country from the chaotic traffic, to the stifling heat to the endless bickering with the locals to avoid being ripped off. Dalat is literally a breath of fresh air.

After three wonderful days at the beach in Mui Ne it was time to move on so I took a very crowded, bumpy and cramped bus (yes, your typical bus ride in Southeast Asia) to Dalat. Once we arrived into town I thought the bus driver took a wrong turn and ended up in my home state of California...Anaheim, California, in particular, the home of the “happiest place on earth,” Disneyland.

Dalat is not your average city in Vietnam. It has cooler temperatures, it’s clean and the attractions are borderline kitschy.

Dalat became a popular hill town with the French who wanted to escape the heat and humidity of the city. You can still see that influence today with the city’s small Eiffel tower, villas modeled after regional French architecture, and a train station which looks like it could be from any French village.

I rented a motorbike for the day and found this viewpoint compliments of a gentlemen I met earlier in the day while having my morning espresso. He saw my large Canon DSLR on the table and immediately told me of a wonderful viewpoint that I could photograph from.

Knowledgable, friendly and courteous locals...this place must be Disneyland.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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