The Dalat or Da Lat (spelled Đà Lạt in Vietnamese pronunciation) is the capital of Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. The town is located 1500 m (4,920 ft) above sea level on the Langbiang Plateau in the southern parts of the Central Highlands. According to a myth from the French colonial era, the name derives from the acronym of the Latin phrase ‘Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem’ (“Giving Pleasure to Some, Freshness to Others”), which the French colonial government used in their official emblem of Dalat. In reality, the name derives from the language of the local ethnic group Lạt and its original meaning is “Stream of the Lạt,” and the acronym above is in fact a backcronym. In Vietnam, Dalat is a popular tourist destination – highly appreciated for its temperate climate, beautiful sights such as waterfalls and lakes and its abundance of flowers and vegetables.
Dalat’s specific sights are pine wood (forming the name: “City of thousands of pine trees”) with twisting roads and tree marigold blossom in the winter. The city’s temperate weather stands in contrast to Vietnam’s otherwise tropical climate. Mist covering the valleys almost year-round leads to its name “City of eternal spring”.
Dalat is also known as an area for scientific research in the fields of biotechnology and nuclear physics.
With its year-round cool weather, Đà Lạt supplies temperate agriculture products for all over Vietnam, for example: cabbage and cauliflower. Its flower industry produces two typical flowers: hydrangea (Vietnamese: cẩm tú cầu) and golden everlasting (Vietnamese: hoa bất tử). The confectionery industry offers a wide range of mứt, a kind of fruit preserve made from strawberry, mulberry, sweet potato, and rose.
Dalat’s year-round temperate weather, standing in contrast to Vietnam’s otherwise tropical climate, has led it to be nicknamed the “City of eternal spring”.The average temperature is 18°C – 25°C. The highest temperature ever in Dalat was 27°C, and the lowest was 6.5°C. Mist covers the adjoining valleys almost year-round. Its temperate climate also makes it ideal for agriculture. Indeed, Dalat is renowned for its orchids, roses, vegetables, and fruits. There are nascent wine-making and flower-growing industries in the region.
There are two separate seasons in Dalat. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season is from November to April. The average annual precipitation is 1,750mm.
Dalat is home to the man-made, 5 km² Xuan Huong Lake. As of early 2010 the lake has been almost completely drained, due to some repair works on the locks and a bridge that control the flow of water into the lake and recent news have it that by Tet 2011 the lake will have its full body of water once again. It seems that the repair and modifications on the locks and the bridge have almost been completed.
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