Have you ever wondered what made Da Lat (Dalat) the most tourist attraction destination in the Central Highlands of Vietnam? You could find the answer to this question by taking a trip to places of interest in Da Lat on a sunny day, then enjoy the fresh air and participate in intriguing activities with your friends here. If you are expecting both to go sightseeing and to experience the local unique culture, Tuyen Lam Lake, one of the iconic places of Da Lat, is a wonderful suggestion for you.
I. History of Tuyen Lam Lake
With the pristine charm, almost all people mistake it for a natural lake. In fact, Tuyen Lam Lake is an artificial lake that was built in the 1930s and then discovered by a French farmer named Farraut. At that time, Tuyen Lam Lake was surrounded by the grandiose Elephant Mountain and in connection with the poetic Purple Stream.
During the resistance against the United States army, there was a secret base of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam army around Tuyen Lam Lake, called Quang Trung Area – named after a talented general in Vietnam feudal history.
In 1987, to ensure water for hundreds of hectares of rice in Duc Trong District nearby, a dam was constructed across Purple Stream. The lake was also renamed Tuyen Lam Lake as we call it nowadays. “Tuyen” means “stream”, “Lam” stands for “forest”, Tuyen Lam Lake is the place where water, forest and sky meet in harmony, creating a splendid ink painting of nature and life in the middle of an immerse mountainous area.
II. Highlights of Tuyen Lam Lake
Tuyen Lam Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Da Lat with an area of 350 hectares. The mother of nature is affectionate towards Tuyen Lam Lake with a majestic wild beauty that not all lakes have. Tuyen Lam Lake is surrounded by the tranquil lush green pine forest which all year round sends a gleam to the crystal-clear water. What makes Tuyen Lam Lake different from the other lakes in Da Lat is the oases around the lake, which look like verdant plates covered by pine trees and magnificent mist. Watching the green of the forest lushly blended with the blue of the lake, you would have a feeling of relaxation as if you get lost in a wonderland.
Admiring the beauty of Tuyen Lam Lake from a boat sailing on the water would give you a very amazing perception that you have never had before. The sky above is embellished with the floating spotless white clouds; around your boat are the small hills sleeping in the blanket made of vaporous clouds of fog and the vault still and restful water surface. The convergence of splendor factors for sure would take your breath away and make all your tiredness go with the wind!
III. What to Do at Tuyen Lam Lake?
1. Taking a Boat to Enjoy the Scenery around the Lake
This is the most suitable activity for a large group (from 06 to 15 people), especially when you want to explore the lake in the fastest and most convenient way. From the boat, you could contemplate the lake surface that is all-year-round veneer-clear flanked by the oases of wild pine trees. Sometimes, a mischievous fish causes concentric rings near your boat, then immediately disappears as the air around you. All the scenery there is combined together, painting a picture of quiet, peaceful, and poetic nature in the cool fresh air.
2. Camping Overnight to Admire Sunrise
If you travel in a group, camping in Tuyen Lam Lake is an experience not to be missed. In the cool weather of Da Lat at night, what can be more thrilling than setting a camp, lighting a campfire, enjoying grilled corn and potatoes, then chatting with your friends all night and waiting for the resplendent sunrise scene in the early morning? It would definitely be one of the most unforgettable moments reminding you about Tuyen Lam Lake.
3. Conquering Pinhatt Mount
Tuyen Lam Lake has not only lakes but also mountains, in which the peak of Pinhatt is attractive to visitors who love trekking and enjoy exploring. Pinhatt Peak is the highest peak in the southern mountain cluster in Da Lat, belonging to the Elephant Mountain next to Tuyen Lam Lake. However, because not many tourists have come here, it does not have the exact coordinates on Google Map. On one side this increases the difficulty when finding the mountain, on the other hand, creates an interesting challenge for those who love discovering new things.
4. Exploring Truc Lam Zen Monastery
Wanting to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere? You could visit Truc Lam Zen Monastery, one of the most long-standing Buddhist centers in Lam Dong. Along the road winding up the hill to the pagoda, the bell tower is clearly visible from afar. This is the place where you could find peace for your soul by going sightseeing in the serene sound of the temple bell and the aroma of incense, then enjoying the frugal vegetarian meal here.
5. Visiting Attractive Destination around the Lake
Around Tuyen Lam Lake, there are a variety of tourist attraction destinations for you to stop on the exploring journey such as Tuyen Lam Lake Viewpoint, Lavenderdalat Gardens, Dalat Infinity Lake, Sculpture Tunnel, Da Tien Campground and so on. Besides, Tuyen Lam Lake is a free fishing place with available fishing shelters for those who are interested in these activities.
6. Experiencing Local Customs
Da Lat in particular and Central Highlands, in general, has plenty of unique traditional features. In the tourist areas around Tuyen Lam Lake, you could gain more knowledge about the space of gong culture, take part in the festivals of local residents, try on the costume of ethnic minorities in Lam Dong Province.
IV. What to Eat near Tuyen Lam Lake?
Visiting a new landscape without trying the specialties is a pity. Tuyen Lam Lake has long been famous for grilled bush meat, the meat of wild boars, which is served in almost all the restaurants around the lake. The special feature of these grilled meat dishes is that the meat is grilled on the tiles so that it is cooked evenly but not scorched. At the restaurant with a view to Tuyen Lam Lake, in the cold air, enjoying the mouthwatering barbecue dishes and hotpot is a wonderful selection for you when coming to Tuyen Lam Lake.
Moreover, you could also go to Da Lat city center to visit the night market and have a try on other well-known dishes like hot soymilk, grilled girdle-pastry, relished fruits, grilled sweet potatoes, and so on. These dishes for sure would leave a long-lasting impression on people when exploring the cuisine of this city.
V. How to Get to Tuyen Lam Lake?
Tuyen Lam Lake is about 7 km from Da Lat city center. There are three ways for you to get there.
If you depart from the city center, reach Trieu Viet Vuong Street then follow the instruction on the way to Truc Lam Zen Monastery, turn right and go straight to Tuyen Lam Lake.
The second way is following Prenn pass about five kilometers, turning one kilometer to the left and you would see the instruction board for Truc Lam Zen Monastery which is nearby Tuyen Lam Lake.
The last but no less amazing way is taking Da Lat cable car to Truc Lam Monastery and having a walk to Tuyen Lam Lake.
By any means, you could admire the beautiful scenery of mountainous landscapes with the lush pine forest and colorful flowers along the roads. The best time to visit Tuyen Lam Lake is from November to March, the dry season in the Central Highlands. At the beginning of winter, around early December, you would have a chance to see brilliant yellow ridges of wild sunflowers, the typical flower of Da Lat. From January to February, the roadside cherry trees bloom and adorn the poetic beauty of the amorous city.
VI. Tips on Visiting Tuyen Lam Lake
Here are several tips that may be of some help to your journey:
- Follow the safety rules. In some part, the depth of Tuyen Lam Lake can be up to 30 meters, which is probably a potential risk. Therefore, for some activities such as boat-sailing, mountain-hiking and even fishing, you should follow the instructions of the management in Tuyen Lam Lake.
- Protect the environment. Do not throw rubbish, spontaneously cut down trees and flowers. You should be careful when setting a camp-fire in the forest, make sure that you put out the fire entirely before leaving.
- Apart from bush-meat, other dishes at the restaurants around the lake are quite expensive, so if you want to enjoy a budget-friendly meal, it is highly recommended to go back to Da Lat city center.
- Remember to wear long-sleeved clothes if you want to visit Truc Lam Zen Monastery or prepare a comfortable pair of shoes for climbing mountain.