French colonial-era power plant near Da Lat now a tourist attraction

By Quynh Tran   April 1, 2019 | 09:13 pm GMT+7

Ankroet was the first hydropower plant in Vietnam, and was built in the 1940s mainly from stone.

French colonial-era power plant near Da Lat now a tourist attraction

Ankroet hydropower plant is located deep within the Dan Kia - Suoi Vang (Golden Stream) area in a pine forest 15 km from the resort town of Da Lat. Its construction began in 1942 and it started generating electricity in 1946.

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The plant is still solid, with architecture in harmony with nature. The place looks like a resort and nothing like a typical power plant in Vietnam.

It initially had a capacity of only 600 kW and is linked with the Da Lat diesel power plant. It mainly supplies electricity to villas in its vicinity.

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The entrance is lush green with small bridges over Suoi Vang.

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The place was designed by the French using similar materials that are found in French colonial villas. The red tiled roof is steep like in a Central Highlands communal house.

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Most buildings in the complex were built of stone and mortar, with human labor being the mainstay of the construction.

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In 1960, to serve the construction of the Da Nhim hydropower plant, 52 km east of Ankroet, the Japanese builders of Da Nhim increased the capacity of Ankroet to 3,100 kW. Now its capacity is 4,400 kW.

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About 5 km from Ankroet stands a self-spillway dam system with a reservoir capacity of one million cubic meters. Blocking the stream created Suoi Vang (Golden Stream).

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Ankroet Dam is a self-spillway dam made of split rock 97 meters long and 10 meters high. It has gradually become a tourist attraction.

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The stone used to build the dam and power plant were found locally. Ankroet is the only hydroelectric plant in Vietnam with a split rock self-spillway dam.

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Suoi Vang is also an attractive eco-tourism destination in Da Lat. Except during the flood discharge period, the water in the stream section that leads to the power plant is quite shallow. Visitors can jump into the water and camp on the mountain.

 
 
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