Dalat - A Classic Train

For a long time tourists to Da Lat often toured the mountainous city by walking, biking, carriage riding or driving an old Vespa. Now they can take another means of transport - the classic train that will surely bring a wonderful experience. It is a really good chance for any visitor to behold the charming plateau city on the old train running slowly along mountain slopes, through flower farms, hamlets and hills of pine trees.

To turn Dalat into a convalescent paradise in Indochina, in 1908 the French built an 84km long railway from Phan Rang City – Cham Tower (Ninh Thuan Province) to Da Lat at 1,500m above sea level. To help the train grip the rails they designed some tracks made of serrate that makes it one of the most unique mountain railways in the world.  

Da Lat Railway Station is considered the most beautiful one in Indochina. It was designed by two French architects, Moncet and Reveron and built from 1932 to 1938.

The ticket hall at Da Lat Railway Station.

The four-carriage train was restored to its originals state in the 1930s.

The classic style waiting room at Da Lat Railway Station.

Foreign tourists discover the beautiful plateau city on the classic train.

Taking photographs of the landscape in Da Lat from the old train.

Da Lat is famous for farms of flowers and vegetables.

In 1932 two French architects, Moncet and Reveron started designing the Da Lat Railway Station and it took six years, from 1932 to 1938, to build it. At that time, the station was considered the most beautiful one in Indochina. In terms of architecture, Da Lat Railway Station was designed like others in southern France. However, the roof of the station was skillfully designed with three curved peaks, symbolizing the grandiose Lang Biang Mountain in Da Lat. The interior space of the railway station - the waiting room, is illuminated by colorful glass windows and designed with an imposing and simple architectural style.  
In the mid 1960s, the railway was destroyed by war and abandoned. In 1991, seven kilometers of the track between Da Lat and Trai Mat were reconstructed and put into operation for tourism purposes by the Vietnam railway sector. The Sai Gon Railway Transport Company has invested and restored the old four-carriage train to its original state to serve tourists. In 2001, the Da Lat Railway Station was recognized as a national historical and cultural site. Margarite, a French tourist to Da Lat, said: “I have visited many Southeast Asian countries but I have never seen an old railway station with such beautiful architecture”.

On the train for only 7km, tourists will surely feel the difference between traveling by this train and a normal train. Looking through the train’s windows, they will see the charm and beauty of Da Lat with farms of varieties of flowers and luxurious villas located in the pipe forests. At present, the Transport Construction and Investment Consultancy Joint-Stock Company under the Ministry of Transport has devised a plan to reconstruct the entire railway. It is expected that in the near future tourists will discover Da Lat and the Central Highlands by this unique railway route.

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