During my visit to Da Lat last year, I quickly realised why Da Lat was often referred to as a small version of the Netherlands. The narrow streets there were always filled with blossoming and colorful flowers. As the locals were preparing for the Flower Festival, most of the streets were decorated with “umbrella inflorescences” made from umbrellas and a lot of bright lights. These Umbrella inflorescences would be hung next to each other at varying heights ranging from 7 to 9 meters.
In the day time, these umbrellas looked like flowers and at night; they glowed like splendid flower lanterns. Both sides of the street had small vendor booths with coffee, tea, wine and street drawings for tourists to enjoy. Everyday, people would enjoy a street parade with thousands of decorated flowers on various items. On a vehicle, dancers would wear floral dresses and throw petals to nearby passengers.
Leisurely walking down the street while enjoying all of the colors and smells that thousands of flowers shared with me was my daily activity while I was in Da Lat. But if you were looking for something more exciting, there were also dozens of exhibitions and trade shows full of flowers, food and drinks, all available for you to explore and enjoy. I chose to visit the Flowers Market and Food by Flowers festival. Food made from flowers in Da Lat was not only unique in taste but also was presented in magnificent ways. I didn’t know that there were so many edible flowers that tasted so great. I was amazed at how these skillful chefs were able to preserve the original scents and flavors of the flowers after cooking; every dish looked like a little masterpiece.
Da Lat was also a perfect place for couples on their honeymoon vacation. They could visit the flower villages in Ha Dong, Thai Phien or Van Thanh, each village would bring them an unique experience. Ha Dong flower villages still preserved the traditional method of gardening from seedlings with natural fertilizing and harvesting; while Thai Phien flower village looked like a small industrial zone with sparkling glass houses. During honeymoon vacation, they could also visit the House of Love, a special flower garden in the Love Valley as well as take a trip to the Immortal Flower Hill in Lament Lake or Gold Flower Hill in Golden Valley.
The temperature in Da Lat was always around 20 degrees Celsius and the weather was often foggy. The subtle scent of thousands of flowers created a beautiful atmosphere for honeymooners. Colorful paintings with hundreds of blossoms throughout the area created a romantic look that was indescribable.
The Da Lat flower festival closing ceremony was situated next to Xuan Huong Lake. There were thousands of visitors that participated in an exciting street dance with nearly 4000 liters of wine served while I was there. The Wine festival was a feast specially designed to say good-bye to visitors traveling to Da Lat for the flower festival in this mountainous region of Vietnam. It was an experience I would never forget.