Da Lat expansion may hurt its identity as a cool retreat

By Huu Nghi   March 23, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Da Lat expansion may hurt its identity as a cool retreat
Sunshine over a road long pine trees in Da Lat. Photo by Nguyen Ngoc Ga
Readers fear a plan to expand Da Lat will dilute its identity as a cool summer escape.

Da Lat is planning to encompass a total area of 335,000 hectares by 2045, from the current 39,400 hectares. The city is set to become the administrative center focusing on high-end resorts and architectural heritage preservation of a new region that will have several satellite towns.

"Will Da Lat maintain its identity as it expands? The expansion may cause overcrowding in Da Lat, where the number and size of roads are already small. A better plan would be to develop the nearby town of Bao Loc into an administrative and urban center, and leave Da Lat a tourism and ecological center."

"The expansion of Da Lat will only drive up real estate prices in the surrounding regions. It will not help with tourism development, as tourists will keep flocking to Da Lat center. Bao Loc has a well-planned development scheme but that has remained on paper for years and no investor has stepped in."

"Lam Dong Province should develop two cities for two separate purposes: Da Lat as a tourism and service center and Bao Loc as an administrative and economic center. Da Lat is no longer like it used to be with messy planning and too many greenhouses."
Nguyen Ba Hieu

"Expanding Da Lat for tourism development may cause more green space to be replaced by concrete. A plan to develop Da Lat into a tourism center was conducted more than 10 years ago, and no words are needed to describe the results. Everyone can see it for themselves. My family has stopped visiting Da Lat for a long time as there are many other places with high-end resorts. What makes Da Lat different is its cool climate, green pine forests and ancient villas, which are the remnants of French architecture."

"The core values of Da Lat are its cool and fresh climate, dreamy pine forests, peaceful people, and nostalgic ancient architecture. We should learn from other countries about developing sustainable tourism to preserve the environment of Da Lat. Further development can focus on ecological tourism experiences like camping."
Hai Phan Hong

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