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Why Dalat Railway Station is special ?
The highland city of Dalat is considered an oasis in the mountains. Being a city of Vietnam, however, Dalat has the breath of France, France's climate and be affected by French architecture. Dalat Railway Station is a typical French classical architecture in Dalat.
Dalat Railway Station – the oldest one in Indochina
Dalat Railway Station was designed in the Art Deco architectural style and built in 1932 by French architectures, and opened in 1938. Dalat Railway Station is the unique and beautiful construction of Dalat, a harmonious combination between Western architecture and Central Highland’s communal house architecture. It is also the oldest railway station in Vietnam, as well as in Indochina. In 2001, Dalat Railway Station was recognized as the National architectural relic by Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture and Information.
The station is shaped like the Langbiang Mountain, with a length of 66.5m, a width of 11.4m and a height of 11m. The three roofs, said to represent the three peaks of Dalat's iconic LangBiang Mountain, are also reminiscent of Normandy's Trouville-Deauville Station in a southern province of France. Under each roof is a multicolored glass window, and under the central roof is a large clock, which has recently been restored. Inside the station, the elevated roofs create a raised ceiling. At the front of the station is a Porte-cochère, or coach gate, supported by two rows of twelve columns each.
In the past, there were two daily trains from Dalat to Nha Trang and Dalat to Saigon with three compartments for passengers and one for goods. However, during the Vietnam wars, the railways and station became the target of bombing and they were seriously destroyed. After the fall of Saigon and the national unification in 1975, the railways were repaired and put back into use. Since 1991, Dalat railway station provided tourists with the 7km route from Dalat to Trai Mat station, where visitors can enjoy the fresh peaceful daily lifestyle of local people, find fresh vegetables and fruits in the local market, as well as visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda a unique Buddhist architecture and explore the Trai Mat town. Sitting on the train going on a slow speed, tourists can enjoy the full site of Dalat from different angles when the train is winding its way along hillside, as well as the purest atmosphere of the highland. Though the seat is not quite so comfortable, this train trip is really worth a try, thanks to the unique feeling of the past that it brings about.
What to explore at Dalat Railway Station?
Regarded as one of the finest piece of colonial engineering and architecture in Vietnam, the station was designed in Art Deco style which is perfectly in harmony with local characteristics and culture. Its three high pointed roofs resemble the three peaks of Lang Biang Mountain or as some people say, the communal house of ethnic minorities in Central Highland of Vietnam (called Nha Rong). Each roof contains multi-color glass window and the central roof has a huge clock which has been restored recently.
The other distinctive feature of Dalat railway station is the cog railways. The total length of the railway is 84km from Dalat to Thap Cham station with 16km of cog railway designed by Swedish engineers. Because of the mountainous geography, a system of cog railroad and locomotive is needed to provide the traction for uphill slopes and slow down the train when going downhill. The construction had to overcome many difficulties of the mountainous terrain so that it leaded to such a long period of time to complete which was 24 years.
- A great piece of history for train lovers
- Journey to the past
- Makes the trip to Trai Mat more special
- Explore the old train engine
- A touch of the past
Phường 10 tp. Đà Lạt Lâm Đồng Vietnam
Tips for you
To me the Dalat Railway Station is not the sort of attraction you'd visit for its own sake (unless your were a real train fan) but as part of a trip to Trai Mat it took the whole experience up a notch to start in such an interesting and distinctive building.. An old steam train is a feature beside the platform and being able to have a coffee or juice in the cafe in the old carriage is a nice touch. If you are taking the train to Trai Mat you have plenty of time before it leaves to take photos of people leaning out the carriage windows (as we did).
Da Lat Railway Station (Vietnamese: Ga Đà Lạt) is a railway station on the Da Lat–Thap Cham Railway line in Vietnam, serving the town of Da Lat in Lâm Đồng Province.