Dalat, also Da Lat, in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam, was, during the colonial era, the playground of the French who built villas in the clear mountain air to escape the heat and humidity of the plains and coastal areas.
Dalat looks somewhat like a cross between Vietnam and rural France. Many of its hotels and houses are built in a European/French style. The city spreads across a series of pine-covered hills, with a small lake in the centre and surrounded by a man-made lake and higher peaks, making for some lovely scenery quite different from the rest of Vietnam.
Dalat is surrounded by some of the best mountain biking, hiking and canyoning opportunities in Vietnam, with hills of coffee and tea plantations, which evoke images of the colonial hill stations of the north of India.