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Da Lat has lost its identity, turning into concrete jungle

By Truc Linh   July 17, 2022 | 04:56 pm PT
“If you want to enjoy the fresh air, go to faraway districts like Don Duong or Bao Loc… Da Lat is too crowded now,” someone said on social media.

My friends have not said anything about going to Da Lat for the past few years. Partly because of Covid-19, but mostly because the town no longer has the charm it used to have.

If I ever visit Da Lat now I just want to stay in the suburbs. The hotels and houses and buildings downtown just suffocate me. But even in the suburbs, farms and cafes and homestays are slowly creeping in. Will the Da Lat I loved soon be gone?

In 2020 Da Lat’s population was 620,000-650,000 and the urbanization rate, 55-60 percent.

But by 2030 there might be 700,000-750,000 people living there, and the urbanization rate could reach 60-65 percent.

Da Lat is quickly becoming a concrete jungle as the photos below show.

A view of downtown Da Lat in 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

A view of downtown Da Lat in 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

A view of downtown Da Lat in 1968. Photo by Bill Robie

A view of downtown Da Lat in 1968. Photo by Bill Robie

The photos were taken in 2021 and 1968 at the same spot. Within half a century, buildings have mushroomed, and soon enough would become jungles.

To see all the green disappearing from Da Lat and so many structures erected without any planning or consideration for possible consequences sadden me.

I think this beautiful town is losing itself.

We should have done better.

 
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