Da Lat village harks back to French times

By Tam Linh    October 12, 2020 | 03:22 pm GMT+7

A bunch of old villas in a village in the Central Highlands town of Da Lat enables tourists to experience how French lived 100 years ago.

Built by the French residents in 1920 during the French colonial times, the mansions lie on a pine hill to the northwest of Da Lat, 2.5 kilometres from the town’s main market. It spreads over 17 hectares, which is now repurposed to become a resort area under the name of Ana Villas Dalat.

Built by the French in 1920 to accommodate the French community in the colonial time, the villas lie on a pine hill to the northwest of Da Lat, 2.5 kilometers from the main market.
It spreads over 17 hectares, and has been made into a resort, Ana Villas Dalat.

According to the initial construction plan, the village had 15 mansions under the order of Colonel Jean O’Neil of the French Corps, with all constructions finished in 1938. The 15 mansions were then resided by the colonel’s staff and friends, with two extra mansions built later on. Photo: Ana Villas Dalat.

The village initially had 15 mansions. Two more villas were built later.

Each mansion has a unique design with a purposefully large common area. All the furniture was French-styled, with many preserved as the original residence. Photo: Ana Villas Dalat.

Each has a unique design though all have a large common area. The furniture is French-style, with much of it arranged in the original style.

Each room in the mansions has a unique do-not-disturb sign resembling a human face. If the ‘eyes’ are covered, it means the occupants do not want to be disturbed.

Each room in the mansions has a unique do-not-disturb sign resembling a human face. If the ‘eyes’ are covered, it means the occupants do not want to be disturbed.

The ninth mansion has a large lobby, which is now utilized to become the resort’s restaurant, named Le Petit, which serves breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to visitors.

One of them has a large lobby, which has now become the resort’s restaurant, Le Petit.

Tourists can choose to stay at the resort, or only drive by to sightsee the mansions. For drive-by tourists, there are two courses available, one costing VND170,000 ($7.3) per person with complimentary Western afternoon tea, and one costing VND320,000 ($13.7) per person with Asian-style main courses, commonly during lunch hours.

Tourists can stay at the resort or visit to see the villas. For the latter, western-style afternoon tea with cakes and fruits is available at VND170,000 ($7) and Asian-style lunch at VND320,000 ($14).

Each mansion has three to seven guests’ bedrooms, which are all preserved near to the original state from the smallest details, from original floorings, fireplace to electric plugs.

A villa has three to seven guest bedrooms, all preserved in almost their original state from floors and fireplace to electric plugs.

Visitors can tour the place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and tour guides are available.

Visitors can tour the place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and tour guides are available.

Anyone interested in the tour should contact the resort in advance.With over 1,300 structures built by the French, Da Lat is dubbed the ‘French architectural Museum.’ The most renowned ones are the Con Ga Church, Da Lat Train Station and Pedagogical College of Dalat.

Anyone interested in the tour should contact the resort in advance.
With over 1,300 structures built by the French, Da Lat is dubbed the ‘French Architectural Museum.’ The most renowned ones include the Con Ga Church, Da Lat Train Station, Pedagogical College of Dalat, and villas.

Photos by Tam Linh and Ana Villas Dalat

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