Beautiful Vietnam » Guide
A miniature Dalat
  • | Saigontimes, | April 01, 2015 05:30 AM
Leaving his family in a bustling Saigon, Trinh Ba Dung went to Dalat to challenge himself in a new business: tourism. Along with several partners, Dung got an investment certificate to build a luxury resort named Dalatstars by Tuyen Lam Lake.


A visitor admires a giant bell at the site

However, for a must-see tourist destination like Dalat City, building a luxury resort is a very normal thing. But Dung wanted his project to be different and attractive to all visitors to this Central Highlands city.

An idea came all of a sudden when one of his close friends from Saigon visited him and his project. Noticing basalt soil, getting wet with rain, stuck hardly to the shoes, his friend said: “This soil could be used to make solid houses.”

Then a daring thought came to Dung’s mind: “Why don’t we build a project completely from basalt?”

A short time after that day, Dung started building a house all from basalt from the area in his resort in 2010. Covering an area of 150 square meters, the basalt project was successful beyond his expectations and surprised all people who used to call Dung “crazy man” when pouring money in such a project.

In that house’s area, Dung built a Vietnamese map with Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes to assert the country’s sovereignty over seas and islands in the East Sea.

“We hired good architects to design a basalt tunnel with sculptures which are also completely made of basalt, the typical soil of the Central Highlands,” said Dung.

After more than three years of making great effort and spending money, Dung and his partners had finished the unique sculpture project.

Once entering the outdoor tunnel, visitors can see how daring its creator is. He really has a strong love for old stuff of the past. The tunnel reflects iconic items of a wild and natural Dalat with primeval forests, streams and a group of elephants gathering around the canvas of K’ho people, the popular ethnic minority community there, at the entrance.

Next is the display of Doctor Alexandre Yersin, who discovered Dalat 115 years ago, and the changes of Dalat over time. Deeper in the tunnel are horse-drawn carriages, along with streets with antique and luxurious buildings. A modern Dalat in the early years of the 20th century was rebuilt in lively and impressive sculptures. Aside from villas in European style are antique cars, Vespa scooters, churches, pagodas, and pedestrian streets. All have come together to create a miniature Dalat right in the middle of the city.

Dung and his team have just finished the “modern” part of Dalat with Lien Khuong airport, Tuyen Lam lake and expressway. All of those projects have become unique under the skillful hands of architects.

Dalatstars is around 14 kilometers from the downtown of Dalat City. Ticket costs VND50,000 (US$2.32) for an adult and VND30,000 for a child.

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