Da Lat, a young city located on Tay Nguyen, has become a common place for Vietnamese people and international visitors.
Da Lat was formed in 1983 when Dr. Alexandre Yersin set foots on Lam Vien plateau and thanks to that, he had a very convincing idea when Paul Doumer, the governor general of French Indochina, looked for a high location to create a resort. Since then, Da Lat city was gradually formed and also had its ups and downs.
1.THE PERIOD BEFORE 1945
1.1 Before the 20th century
In the past, Da Lat and Lam Vien plateau were the location of Lach, Chil, Sre people, who belonged to Co Ho ethnic group.
On Ninh Thuan map, there are 3 words "Lam Son Phan" on Da Lat area and its neighborhood.
When Tan Khai district was found, Da Lat was in the total of Lam Vien with 17 villages and 268 citizens.
With the mission to study the upstream of Dong Nai river, Dr. Paul Néis and lieutenant Albert Stetans visited some Lach people's villages on Lam Vien plateau on 16-03-1881 and took many meteorological and anthropometric measurements of people in this area.
On 21-06-1893, in an exploring the mountainous area of Nam Trung Ky, where was in the middle of the East Sea and Me Cong river, in the riverhead of Dong Nai river and Xe Bang Can, Dr. Alexandre Yersin set foot on Lam Vien plateau.
In a visiting to some resorts on plateaus in India, governor general Paul Doumer started to look for resorts for white people in Indochina. In the letter sending to French Resident Superiors and envoys, he mentioned four necessary conditions for a resort, they were over 1200 meters high, profuse water, farming land and the ability to set up traffic ways. Thanks to the visiting to Lam Vien in 1893, Yersin proposed Lam Vien plateau as the report and that proposal was accepted by governor general Paul Doumer.
In 1897, Paul Doumer appointed a military mission, commanding by captain Thouard, studied the way from Nha Trang to Lam Vien. After 11 months, Thouard proved that they couldn’t go straight from Nha Trang to Lam Vien and drafted a way from Phan Rang to Da Lat, through Fimnom and also suggested a direct way from Sai Gon.
In 1898, when Thouard mission didn’t finished, other missions, commanding by Garnier, Odhéra and Bernard carried out a survey on the way from Phan Thiet - Djiring - Da Lat. Missigbrott, an entourage member of Thouard mission came back after the survey to set up a vegetable garden and raise cattle, it was a base for agricultural and weather stations afterwards.
On 1-11-1899, governor general of Indochina signed a decree to set up Dong Nai Thuong province with Djiring capital and two administrative stations, which were Tanh Linh and Lam Vien (located in Da Lat now). That is the first legal premise to form the administrative function of Da Lat.
1.2 From 1900 to 1915
After Paul Doumer signed the decree to set up Dong Nai Thuong province and the administration in Lam Vien, Champoudry was appointed to Da Lat as a " mayor". Before he came back his country (1902), he decided to set up Thap Cham - Da Lat railway (1901). The plan to set up a city on plateau was interrupted, constructions were almost discontinued because of the difficulties in investment and traffic.
Governor general Paul Beau (period 1902-1908) continued to appoint many missions to survey Lam Vien plateau such as military missions commanding by general Beylié (1903), general Pennequin (1904), captain Bizar (1905), health missions commanding by Dr. Grall (1904), Dr. Vassal (1905), ... In this period, there were many people took part in these surveys were died of malaria, therefore, the project was condemned and even it was suggested to cancel. French people also looked for the replacement in Da Nhim river valley and Djiring plateau. However, thanks to these survey groups, it was firmer to choose Da Lat.
On 5-1-1906, after consulting the survey groups and Dr. Tardif's suggestion, Indochinese defense council (included governor general Voyron, governor of central Vietnam and French Resident supervisor of South Vietnam) met in Da Lat. At the meeting, they chose Lam Vien plateau as the resort because it had enough necessary conditions, they also determined Da Lat location now replacing Dan Kia.
Nevertheless, the operations didn't work too much until the end of Klobukowski's term (1908 - 1910). Mayor Champoudry and his town council " have no considerable budget, no help" in this period. However, some constructions were built, Dan Kia weather station was shifted, an inn for travelers, the precursor of Ho hotel (Hôtel du Lac), located in Hang Khong hotel nowadays and Thap Cham - Xom Gon railway was finished in six months(1909).
The next term of governor general Albert Sarraut brought for Da Lat a lot of vital force. Japan's menace made French government extend governor general's power. He was allowed to rule the decrees promulgating by himself. He also developed Health, reorganized Education and finished road constructions to Da Lat before 1914.
They finished Phan Thiet - Djiring road in 1913 and Djiring - Da Latin road in 1914. Phan Rang - Krongpha railway was put to use; therefore, the business and travelling between Da Lat and delta were developed. In 1915, there were two ways to go from Sai Gon to Da Lat: Sai Gon - Ma Lam - Da Lat (354km), it took one day and a half ; Sai Gon - Phan Rang - Da Lat (414km), it took 2 days.
When the first World War started, there was a wave that first European people went to Da Lat because they had difficulties in coming back to their native countries in days off. They wanted to relax in Da Lat, an ideal weather area that reminded them of their hometown. At that time, roads were quite convenient but material facilities didn't meet visitors' needs.
1.3 From 1916 to 1945
This period had lots of historical fluctuations. The first and second World War made the political and social situations have many changes.
The second colonial exploitation in Indochina after World War I became active. If French investment from 1888 to 1918 was 492 million francs, there was an increase from 1924 to 1930. There were 170 million francs in 1924, 195 million francs in 1925, 625milion francs in 1926, 705milion francs in 1927, 735 million francs in 1928, 755milion francs in 1929 and 585milion francs in 1930. In 1917, Indochinese economic agency (Agence économique de l’Indochine) was established in Paris with the mission to advertise this area. The inflation in France made Indochinese currency and raw materials raise the price. This promoted French investment in six years above reached 3 billion francs. After the economic crisis from 1930, Vietnam economics developed more because of the increase in French investment.
Thanks to that investment, the number of foreigners settled in Vietnam increased. To illustrate, there were 30 thousand French in 1937, and 466 thousand overseas Chinese in 1943. Two wars made the foreigners' relax demand rise. At that time, Da Lat was popular. Especially, after some introduction and advertisement on French newspapers.
Rule policies of protected state switched to the direct-controlled regime . Hue court didn’t have any powers in diplomacy and army controls. They only keep a formalistic administration, it started when French civil servants were attached to Vietnam agencies as assistants. Step by step, they took powers from Vietnamese government officials and made them become their assistants.
Decree on 06-01-1916 of governor general Roume to establish Lam Vien province (included mountainous areas of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Lam Dong province) only extended the contact of European people and the neighbored provinces with Da Lat. The boundary of Lam Vien province was determined: Krong Kno river north, Krong Pha river east south, La Giai south ( a branch of Phan Ri river), Campuchia frontier west. However, Da Lat didn't have enough minimum living conditions to become a resort. Especially, legal reasons didn't really ensure for whom wanted to invest in construction there.
On 20-04-1916, Duy Tan king's regent council informed a decree to establish Da Lat township. The spirit of this decree was that all powers to Da Lat were given for governor general of Indochina . In other words, French people were allowed to own land (trade, transfer) in this area and were run directly by governor general of Indochina. This decree was deployed and completed in decrees on 30-5-1916, on 5-7-1918 and on 30-7-1926.
On 31-10-1920, governor general Maurice Long signed a decree to establish Lam Vien autonomy (the decree on 11-10-1920 of Hue court separating Lam Vien plateau from Lam Vien province was carried out ). The remaining land of Lang Bian province named Dong Nai Thuong with the township located in Djiring. Dong Nai Thuong envoy located in Da Lat when necessary bases were building in Djiring.
On the same day, another decree of Indochinese governor general set the autonomy on Lam Vien plateau to become Da Lat township and elevated Da Lat to the second class township with wide regulation.
Another decree on that same day about the establishment of Lam Vien resort center and Nam Trung Ky travel in Da Lat:
"The manager of Lam Vien resort center and Nam Trung Ky travel is the representative of Indochinese governor general in Da Lat and also hold the mayor of Da Lat.
The representative is responsible for organizing the autonomy on Lam Vien plateau and the neighborhood. Especially, he has to make this place become attractive resort and travel center. The manager has a mission to contribute the embellishment of landscapes and travel resources in Nam Trung Ky as well as seaside resorts that may be set up.
The representative control and check all constructions from the budget of Lam Vien autonomy. He has the authority as a local administrative official about the construction making by that budget, also the construction on Lam Vien plateau from the border between Nam Ky and Thap Cham.
He must consult about operation conditions, timetable and the price of overland, inland waterway and maritime transport services to Lang Bian. He can also suggest changes and improve the services if necessary.
He is allowed to use postal services and telecommunications in prescribed conditions for French Resident Supervisor writing in C and D table of decree on 17-04-1916 as well as the envoy, chief of the administrative station and policeman of Dong Nai Thuong, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan province, public works' technical committee and civil accommodation, railway workers of Sai Gon - Khanh Hoa - Da Lat railway, the employees and managers of under offices.
Envoys in Djiring, Phan Thiet and Nha Trang cooperate with the representative.
A chief engineer or an engineer, an architect or a chief inspector or a civil accommodation inspector, public works' general inspector appoints with the agreement of representative of Indochinese governor general in Da Lat, with the mission to study and follow all the problems that require special technical jurisdiction and the problems that the representative find it necessary".
A decree to reorganize Da Lat township was signed on 26-7-1926. These decrees improved Da Lat position. Therefore, Da Lat became an unit directly under governor general and more autonomic than other townships. That spirit also maintained in French domination period and until 1975.
Da Lat's population increased. There were 1,500 people in 1923 and 2,400 people in 1925.
In administrative aspect, Da Lat became an autonomous unit. In legal aspect, envoy - mayor of Da Lat has the authority to accept foreign investment. At that time, buying plots of land in Da Lat became active with French officials and businesses. Infrastructures were built such as Palace hotel (1916-1922), lake on Cam Ly river (1919), power stations (1918), post offices, banks, schools (1920). Besides, wooden buildings sharply rise.
In 1919, Labbé, a public works engineer, built a lake on Cam Ly stream.
Many quarters were established in the south, east - south and west of Ho Lon. Vietnamese people lived in Da Lac village in the north and east - north of Cam Ly stream.
On 16-08-1921, governor general René Robin established Tram Bo reserve which was 8,000 ha large. In 1921, Da Lat infirmary was only a thatched cottage. In 1922, the hospital was built.
In 1921, engineer Ernest Hébrard took the mission to set up a plan in Da Lat. In 8-1923, the project was finished with high expectation that making Da Lat become the capital city of Indochina Union. According to that project, there was a string of lakes from Cam Ly waterfall to Than Tho lake on Cam Ly stream. The biggest lake was in Infantry Academy area nowadays. Government office area was set along this axis. Many suggestions were not practical because Indochinese budget couldn't afford to carry out that project. In addition, the project's author was blamed because he didn’t pay enough attention to the natural sights of the area from the hill to Lam Vien mountain that had high aesthetic value. However, that project helped the township develop in the first steps with a consistent orientation.
At first, a township council included 4 people (2 French and 2 Vietnamese) were appointed to help city's mayor by French Resident Superior. Until 1930, Da Lat township had the form of a city and township council increased to 9 people ( 6 French, 2 Vietnamese and 1 Chinese).
This was the period that foreign investment to Vietnam was quite high. Da Lat had enough objective and subjective conditions to develop. The administration system of French people and infrastructures were built quite enough: road traffic systems from Sai Gon, Phan Thiet, Phan Rang were completed. Thap Cham - Da Lat railway was also finished in 1932.
In 1933, a new program was set up by architect Pineau with more practical point of view. He tried to reserve the beauty spots and prepared some empty land. People could live in the north. According to this project, the township circled by lake from west to east-south. Most decisive figures of this program were kept in program 1943.
Electronic system, water, hospital, market, ... were also built. Trade and transfer as well as building contractor became easy. Therefore, there were many large constructions in this period.
In 1927, a new power station was built.
In 1930, Courbet barracks was established.
In 1932, road directly connected Da Lat to Sai Gon through Blao mountain pass was cleared.
In 1935, Lycée Yersin road was opened for public use.
In 1936, Pasteur Institution was founded.
In 1937, the 21 road connected Dong Nai Thuong to Dac Lac was cleared. Governor general palace was began construction.
In 1938, Da Lat gas station was finished.
In 1939, army child school was set up in Da Lat university area nowadays.
Beautiful villas on Hoa Lay-on Street (Rue des Glaïeuls), Hoa Hong (Rue des Roses), Saint Benoit hostel, grew up. Building speed was quite fast. For example, the amount of villas in Da Lat was 327 in 1936, 378 in 1937, 398 in 1938 and 427 in 1939.
In 1937, a propaganda and marketing campaign for Da Lat was launched on French and Indochinese newspapers. L’Asie nouvelle illustrée newspaper reserved edition 56 to write about Da Lat. Da Lat was praise for travel, resort, sport and ideal hunt area, a high quality education center of France in Indochina (after Hanoi and Sai Gon).
Da Lat had more tourists, rooms in hotels had been booked since many months before. Travel company was established with 80 employees. Travel services and constructions were attracted many inhabitants to Da Lat.
Da Lat's population sharply rise with 11,500 people in 1939. They were road menders, plantation coolies, builders settled in Da Lat. Dan Kia agriculture station didn't supply enough food for the city. Therefore, Ha Dong vegetables hamlet was set up for that demand (1938). The scattered settlement in Tan Lac, Trai Ham, Nam Thien, Trai Mat hamlet, tea and cinchona plantation in Xuan Truong, Xuan Tho, ... created the increase in Da Lat's inhabitants. At that time, Da Lat and the surroundings produced vegetables, cinchona, tea and flowers. The French population elements were mainly civil and military officials, some teachers and students.
Vietnamese, Chinese people and highlanders, except some low-rank officials, lived on service jobs such as traders, builders, gardeners. Da Lat separated into two areas: French people lived in the south of Cam Ly stream, most Vietnamese people lived in the north of Cam Ly stream.
Cultural and educational basis also developed in this period. Some schools such as Lycée Yersin, Couvent des Oiseaux, army child (École des enfants de troupe) attracted many students throughout the country and from Indochinese countries.
It could be said that in these years, Da Lat switched to a develop period. The demand in building Indochina capital city sank. However, the demand in travel and resort rise. Travel services and the development of gardening with many temperate fruit and vegetables made population in Da Lat increase than the previous period. More and more new advantages of Da Lat were discovered. Da Lat was a suitable place for studying and learning. At that time, Da Lat deserved a city on plateau. This rate of development would have been maintained in many years later if World War II hadn't started in 1939. It made the increase in building rate of Da Lat.
In 1940, governor general Decoux started to perform the ideas of previous governor generals that made Da Lat become an administration center. In this year, architect Mondet somewhat turned back to Hébrard's point of view. He also fixed Hébrard's project to be more practical: enlarged Da Lat to the south-north and collected the functional areas in groups. Besides the areas for villas and civilian houses, the project also prepared some public centers around Da Lat lake such as:
- Administration center included offices belonged to Indochinese governor general and town hall included offices belonged to townships.
- Trade center.
- Entertainment and sport center (golf grounds, lakes, drill grounds, racecourses, clubs, floating pavilions, kindergartens, casinos,...).
This project was not approved though it had enough respects such as traffic roads, environment preservation, free areas and tree areas.
On 08-01-1941, Langbian province (Lam Vien) was established, mayor of Da Lat also hold governor of Langbian province, Dong Nai Thuong township located in Djiring.
In administrative respect, this city was managed with the spirit of decree on 30-7-1926 when Lam Vien autonomy became Da Lat township. This second-rank township was controlled by a French governor with the aid of the township clerk belonged to French mandarins. Nguyen reign appointed a chief of province and a district chief, who were Thuong people, stayed in Da Lat together. The township had a separated budget which were the right of owning land and collecting extraordinary taxes. This budget was assigned strictly. It was used to fix and maintain infrastructures of the township.
Munier wrote in Indochine magazine about Da Lat:
"No one can deny that Da Lat holds a special propitious location in Vien Dong. The weather, landscapes, developed potentiality make Da Lat become a preferential place that no places else can compare. Da Lat can become a big resort in Vien Dong ... Da Lat is the homeland of flowers, pine trees, vegetables ... Da Lat is suitable for intelligentsia activities. Da Lat has an ideal environ for hunting".
The war brought a wave that people went to Da Lat one more time. Goods from France had difficulties, French government in Indochina applied self-sufficient policy, Da Lat got more attentions.
Governor general Decoux entrusted architect Lagisquet create a design correct and enlarge Da Lat. When waiting the new project, some protection solutions such as repealing land transfer, controlling quarries, new regulations in dividing into plots ... were carried out strictly. This new project was issued by governor general on the decree on 27-04-1943. The township was separated into 21 areas, the specificity of each areas was fixed: 7 areas for accommodation with 5 ranks of villas, adjacent houses, apartment blocks. 2 areas for trade center, 1 area only for offices, hotels, schools, sports, farming, villages, hospitals and 4 areas were not built, not tectonic just only for travel and spaces.
The refurbishment project also prepared different such as aesthetic problems, dividing into plots and trading land of private individuals, building houses and exploiting that land, quarries, punishment of breaking this project.
After 30 years building, in 1945, Da Lat became a beautiful city of Vien Dong at that time. The activities of "summer capital" were really lively.
The develop speed was fasted: over 500 villas was built in 5 years, it was equal to the amount of villas in the previous 30 years: there were 550 villas in 1940, 810 villas in 1943 and the amount of villas reached 1,000 in 1945.
World War II started in 1939, the communication to foreign countries was interrupted, French people had to stay in Indochina longer, it made people to Da Lat on their vacation increase.
The investment that was not used in South Vietnam was give to Da Lat. They sold land and built villas everywhere.
In 10-1942, Ankroet hydroelectric plant was started to build.
In 2-1943, they started to build new Prenn street replaced the old one (Khe Sanh Street, Mimosa street nowadays).
Governor general Decoux took Da Lat to the "summer capity" of Indochina, officials worked here for 6 months every year. Besides building the town, the authority also attach special importance to economic and cultural life of Da Lat. In economy, traffic way systems to the lowland were repaired and extended.
Therefore, the circulation of goods such as building materials as well as agricultural and food goods) to Da Lat were fast. In Da Lat, French people extended the area to grow flowers. King inhabitants increased fast: 25,000 people (1944). Many residential areas were built. The north area of Cam Ly stream, Nha Lang steep (Nguyen Bieu Street), Cau Queo street (Phan Dinh Phung), An Nam street (Nguyen Van Troi ),...
The cultural life of Da Lat also developed rapidly thanks to the school system was quite plentiful, the sport facilities, the facilities of major religions were completed in 1942. The landscapes at the center of Da Lat were almost completed and maintained until now.
2. PERIOD 1945 – 1954
World War II went to the severity period, the Allied army, led by the Soviet Union opened the campaign against the Nazi camp. Since 1940, some party members began contacting with the "Tien Bo" group and established the commission and anti-imperialist Front Committee of Da Lat.
After Japanese coup d'etat against French (9-3-1945), Japan army went to Da Lat to prepare to deal with the Allies, Tran Trong Kim government closed to Japan was established in Nguyen Tien Lang. After that, Ung An Prince was appointed to mayor of Lam Vien province.
Coordinating with Khanh Hoa insurrection committee, in six days (23 - 28-8-1945), citizens took part in the insurrection to seize power in two provinces: Dong Nai Thuong and Lam Vien. People's Committee of Lam Vien Revolutionary List was founded by President Phan Duc Huy. It finished the control of French colonialism. After this great historical event, the movement of Vietnamese history was changed, French had no ability and ambitious to make the dream that Da Lat would become the capital of Indochina.
This is a transition period, the government machine that was run by French, gradually was run by Vietnamese. There were some important events in Vietnam situation. The French re-occupied Vietnam with the intention of regaining power in Indochina. Thierryd'Argenlieu, High Commissioner of France in Indochina, stubbornly opposed the independence of Vietnam, found the way to break the preliminary agreement on 6-3-1946, arbitrarily established Nam Ky autonomy. In May-1946, Da Lat saw the preparatory meeting for the Fontainebleau Conference (7-9-1946), the conference didn’t bring any desired results. Under the pressure from the French colony of Indochina, French government found the way to compromise with other parties in Vietnam and also used military to isolate and push Viet Minh government into the opposite side. Finally, in the night on 19-12-1946, President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of the Vietnam Democratic Republic Government read "The call for national resistance." Administrative committee was changed to the Resistance Administrative Committee.
In 1946, responding to the call for resistance of Lam Vien province's Resistance Committee, the majority of Da Lat citizens has evacuated to the suburban. Da Lat population was reduced dramatically. There were 5,200 people in 1946. Some years later, Da Lat citizens returned from evacuation. The population reached 18,513 people in 1947 and 25,041people in the end of 1952. In this period, French was winning in military, Viet Minh withdrew into the forests to create resistance bases.
The war was more and more detrimental for French colonialism, Indochinese government were looking for a political solution to Vietnam problem. Nationalism parties against communism meet in Huong Cang to decide to establish the National Front under the leadership of Bao Dai, the statement that was ready to cooperate with France if France recognized the independence of Vietnam.
To prepare for the return of Bao Dai, two sides conducted a series of activities. On 8-3-1949, an agreement was signed by French President Vincent Auriol and Bao Dai.
On 30-12-1949, France declared the independence of Vietnam in the French Union.
On 15-4-1950, Bao Dai signed the decree 6-QT/TD to establish the Territory Reigning included North and South plateau.
On 14-12-1950, Resistance Administration Committee Chairman of Nam Ky, Nguyen Duy Trinh signed a decree to merge two provinces Lam Vien and Dong Nai Thuong to become Lam Dong province.
On 22-2-1951, Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Pham Van Dong to merge two provinces of Lam Vien and Dong Nai Thuong to become Lam Dong province.
On 11-4-1951, Lien Khang airfield was merged into Da Lat .
On 30-10-1951, Da Phu, Phuoc Thanh, Trai Mat village were merged into Da Lat.
On 10-11-1951, Bao Dai signed decree 4-QT/TD to determine the boundary of Da Lat township: the north to Dan Kia , the east to Lap-be mountain, the south was defined by coordinates (117 grat 8804 east longitude , 13 grat 2304 north latitude ), the west - south to Cam Ly airport. The area was 67 km ², not including Lien Khang airport with 34 km ².
In this period, the administrative system still maintained status quo of the previous period. Town was managed by a mayor with the participation of the Town Council. The mayor had two assistant deputy mayor and a secretary of the Town Council. The council, which included 22 members, was distributed as the following: 10 Vietnamese official members were appointed and four alternates were elected by the people, six French official members and two alternates were appointed by French Resident Supervisor by the decree. A term of Township Council and Quarter Council were two years.
In the administrative organization, Da Lat had town hall offices and other departments: Health, Road Administration, Police, Animal Health, Tax and Security.
The lower level administrative units were 10 quarters with 30 hamlets:
Anh Sang, An Hoa, Đa Hoa, Ga
Nam Thiên, My Thanh, Đa Cat, Đa Trung, Đa Thuan, Đa Thanh
Cao Ba Quat, Nguyen Sieu, Đinh Cong Trang, Bach Đang, Cao Thang
Tay Ho, Đa Loi, Sao Nam
Đong Hoa, Tay Thuan, Trung An
Saint Jean, An Lac, Xuan An
Ha Đong, Nghe Tinh, Đa Thien
Da Lat was also the capital of Territory Reign, Southern Plateau, so there were many relevant provinces, countries and federal offices located here.
Inter-provincial agencies: Special Security office, Primary Inspector, County Railway, Tax departments, Department of Post - Telecommunication, Da Lat Broadcasting, Department of Information.
Agency for Northern Plateau and Southern Plateau: French Resident Superior, Secretary General, Inspectors of administration and politics, labor inspectors, administrative boards and local inspectors, irrigation and forestry inspectors, the South plateau public works area and departments of South plateaus: Finance, Agriculture, Animal Health, Taxes, Security and National Police, Social.
National agencies: National Head Office, Conciliation Court, National Administrative School, Bao Long High School, Forestry Research Center.
Federal agencies: Administrative Composite Court, Indochinese Geography Department, Yersin High School, Civil Hospital, Lien Khang Civil Aviation Department, Internal Affairs Office, Department of Wireless Technology, Department of Security, Pasteur Institute.
Military agencies: Da Lat was the headquarters of the Dong Nai Thuong area's Colonel, musketeer regiment was also stationed here, Catroux hospital received patients in the army to protect townships and special task division of national security agencies to ensure security for the city.
Though Da Lat was peaceful, it had no more constructions, except the school for mountainous students (École du montagnarde Lang Bian) in 3-1947, according to the divide and rule policy and the establishment of "Tay Nguyen autonomy " of D'Argenlieu. An air routes from Hanoi to Da Lat was completely built (1948). Dalat was still the place to rest and travel of French officials and native people.
In the period 1945 - 1954, school network spread with many diverse forms. First, the coalition commander school was established in 1950 and the National Administrative School was established on 1-1-1953. Until 1953 Da Lat had three public high schools (Lycée Yersin, Bao Long Lycée, Lycée vietnamien), 7 public primary schools ( South Da Lat, Da Lat Female, Da Nghia, Da Thanh, Xuan An, Tay Ho and Da Phuoc), five public elementary schools ( Da Loi, Trung Bac, Da Phu, Phuoc Thanh,Tay Ho and Lang Bian mountainous area school). About the private schools, Da Lat had four elementary schools (Notre Dame du Lang Bian, Adran, Ste Marie, Tue Quang) and five primary schools including one Chinese school. In addition, the army child school in Da Lat was founded earlier.
3. PERIOD 1954 – 1975
According to Genève Agreement (1954), Vietnam was temporarily divided into two zones, took latitude 17 as the boundary. Since 1954, Saigon government tried to establish an administrative system carrying its own nuances.
Decree number 21, abolished the territory Reign, was signed on 11-3-1955. According to the decree number 17 on 14-12-1955, the Government were replaced by Court The representative office, but Da Lat was still under the President according to the spirit of decree No. 4 ¬- QT / TD on 13-4-1953. This period had the fluctuations of population, because of the people who migrated to the North in 1954.
In 1956, the population of Da Lat was 58,958 people. They were 58,445 Vietnamese people, 1307 Overseas Chinese, 206 Overseas France. Da Lat city was put under the Urban head and the Urban assistant Council. Dalat urban remained the same 10 quarters, only added Union village (Lien Khuong airport area) and five new hamlets:
Quarter I was divided into two hamlets: Ga Giang hamlet and Chi Lang hamlet;
Quarter III added Kim Stone hamlet;
Quarter IV added Thai Version hamlet;
Quarter V added Tung Lam hamlet.
On 19-5-1958, Ngo Dinh Diem signed the decree 261 that VN cut the land of Da Lat to transferred toTuyen Duc province and appointed the mayor of Da Lat and concurrently hold province chief of Tuyen Duc Province. This position was specified as a combination of town hall and administrative buildings according to the orders 68VP/NV on 9-11-1960, was signed by concurrently mayor of Da Lat and Tuyen Duc province. Tuyen Duc province included Da Lat township and 3 districts: Lac Duong, Don Duong, Duc Trong. Xuan Tho, Thai Phien belonging to total Phuoc Tho at that time, Lac Duong and Xuan Truong district belonging to total Xuan Truong, Don Duong District. The administration system in Ngo Dinh Diem period still remained the spirit of the decree on 13-4-1953. Therefore, the population of Da Lat fell to 43,000 people.
When Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown, the war in Vietnam was more and more intense, officers replaced civilian mayors. The efforts to create a new project for Da Lat urban were unsuccessful.
About the administrative organization, Da Lat was divided into 10 quarters, a Union commune and a Thai Phien hamlet. Each quarter included many hamlets, each hamlet had direct manager to control the groups of families, each group had from 10 to 30 families that were put under the supervision of the family group's chief in all aspects of administration and public order.
In 1961, Da Lat town hall separated from Tuyen Duc administration building, but in 1964 it was merged into Da Lat - Tuyen Duc administration building. Until 1966 Da Lat had a administration head office separated from the province. Although at this time or another time, the province chiefs and mayors might be held by one person. Autonomous and independent regime of the town was still retained the old spirit in French colonial period. Role of the City Council still occupied an important position in the political life in DaLat.
Besides the local administration which was stationed in Da Lat, there were many inter-provincial and national administration offices.
Da Lat's economy still remained the orientation like before: developed economy on resorts - Travel and growing vegetables and flowers agriculture. Especially, since 1958, after Lam Vien - Da Lat Congress, Saigon government with the program to exploit Trung Phan plateau and they wanted to make Dalat to become an international travel center. It opened a new service orientation on education and science researches. A series of schools, science research and training offices were opened:
- Da Lat University Institute (1957).
- Son Cuoc center, Pope Institute, Atomic Research Center, Da Lat Local Statistics Office, Allied Troops military training school that was renamed the National Military Training School (1958).
- National Archives branch , Da Lat library (1958).
- Vietnam-US Society (1963).
- Political War University (1966).
- Command and Staff School - French Cultural Center (1967).
Besides the primary schools, Da Lat also had 24 high schools, professional education and job training, including famous schools: Lycée Yersin,Couvent des Oiseaux, Adran, ... Especially kinds of boarding school attracted students from all over the country to study.
The instructions for travelling were continued to built and repaired Da Lat market, roads around Xuan Huong Lake, central area were expanded and merged into Da Lat. Lien Khuong Airport (1961), a series of hotels such as Mong Dep, Ngoc Lan, Duy Tan, Anh Dao, ... were built during this period.
Tourist dots like Than Tho lake, Prenn waterfall, Valley of Love, ... were embellished and built further (Dan Kia lake, Da Thien 1, 2, 3) attracted tourists. A series of villas were built by the officials and Saigon generals in the focusing area on Nguyen Du, Quang Trung, Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Lu Gia, Tran Binh Trong Street.
Pagodas, monasteries and orders of Catholicism and Protestantism were built. It made the cultural activities of Da Lat more and more diversified and abundant. Until 1975, Da Lat had over 40 pagodas. Among them, the beautiful pagodas had many tourists visited a site such as Linh Son Pagoda, Linh Quang Pagoda, Linh Phong female bonze pagoda, Thien Vuong Co Sat (also called Tau Pagoda) ... Churches and monasteries of 29 Christian order, cultural and educational places that were established by the churches. They made the increase in solemn for Da Lat's landscapes.
4. After 1975
The spring of 1975 opened a new historical chapter of the nation, including Da Lat. On 3-4-1975, the revolutionary government and government of the people, owned the city. At this time, Da Lat City as well as other provinces in the south of the country were in military management regime. At the beginning, Da Lat was under Tuyen Duc province (4-4-1975) and then moved to zone VI (6-5-1975). On 5-6-1976, Da Lat was defined to be a city of Lam Dong province.
Post-war economic situation of the country faced many difficulties. Da Lat tourist city, in that general context, was more and more difficult.
4.1 Period from 1975 to 1985
About administrative organization, Da Lat city had these changes:
According to the decision on 20-9-1975 of the Politburo: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Saigon, Da Lat city were the cities under the general government.
On 20-12-1975, the Politburo issued decisions to adjust consolidation, Da Lat was under zone VI.
In 2-1976, Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam issued a decree to consolidate Da Lat City, Lam Dong province and Tuyen Duc province to Lam Dong province.
Da Lat included three quarters under Lam Dong province.
Until February in 1979, Da Lat city was added the new economic land - In Ta (Da Loan commune, Duc Trong province nowadays).
On 14-3-1979, Government Council issued the decision No. 116 - CP to share some districts of Lam Dong, Da Lat included 6 wards and 3 communes (Ta Nung was established, Xuan Truong and Xuan Tho commune) .
The security, political stability, social improvement were put on the top, there were fewer national and foreign tourists. Rarely, there were some tourist groups followed subsidy regime.
At that time, the goal of Da Lat city was focusing on stabilizing the rural residents, expanding the boundaries to Thai Phien environs (1975), Xuan Truong, Xuan Tho(1979); especially stabling the areas of ethnic minorities with the mergence Ta Nung ethnic minority commune into Da Lat. The agricultural areas were rebuilt, roads in these areas were refurbished and renewed. The power grid system was put into using in rural areas. Agricultural production was more and more expanded.
The lakes were dredged and built such as:
- Da Thien I dam (1977).
- Chien Thang lake (1981).
- Xuan Huong lake (1983-1984).
- Tuyen Lam lake (1984).
In this period, Da Lat farmers accessed to the application of tissue culture method in potato production. By 1978, the area of land reclamation increased to 40% and afforestation rise to 43%.
Livestock was encouraged: 3,746 cows, 7,500 pigs and Da Lat chicken factories with 30,000 chickens (1981).
Floriculture was still remained like before, some industries such as growing orchids to export was flourishing in this period because of market demand of Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. However, it was no sooner deposited because of the political upheaval, travel economy had many difficulties.
Trade Union travel form brought for tourism of Da Lat many prosperous features. Some landscapes were embellished such as Datanla waterfall area, Tuyen Lam lake, Valley of Love, Cam Ly waterfall, ... Some palaces and villas were put into using for tourism with joint-venture form.
Dong Thap motel, Hai Son hotel were started to build in the last years of this period.
Some cultural constructions were invested to build such as Martyrs Cemetery, Children's House in Lam Dong, Broadcasting - Television ... It made the increase in facilities of cultural activities in Da Lat City.
In addition to expanding the power grid to supply for the agriculture villages , another important achievement was to complete the building Vang Suoi water plant with the grant of Denmark in 1984 (capacity of 18.000m3 / day) that ensured for people in Da Lat and tourists with enough higher quality water to use.
The first years of new regime, government and people of Da Lat did a lot of work to solve these difficulties. However, many difficulties and worries hindered the immediate vision of Da Lat. The beauty of the city was degraded significantly. First of all, urban roads were damaged because the small investment was focused on the peripheral roads. The expansion of agricultural area made lakes be filled rapidly. Forest exploitation made the climate and landscapes become worse and worse. More importantly, Da Nhim and Tri An hydro plants lacked more water in the dry season.
4.2 The period after 1986
On 6-6-1986, Minister Council issued the decision No. 67-HDBT to adjust the administrative boundary: Da Lat was added six wards and 3 communes (like before).
Da Lat was identified as one of tourist centers - resorts of the whole country; tourism and service industry became the local economic motivation.
VIE/89/003 project of the International Tourism Organization (OMT-Organization Mondiale du Tourisme) also confirmed Da Lat as one of the nucleus of that organization.
In 1994, Prime Minister approved the master plan to build Da Lat city and identified Da Lat as a national and international tourist - resort center.
In 1996, Vietnam Research and Development Tourism Institute and people's committee of Lam Dong province completed the master plan for tourism development in Da Lat - Lam Dong in the period from 1996 to 2010.
On 24-7-1999, Da Lat was recognized to be a second rank town by the Prime Minister.
On 27-5-2002, Prime Minister approved General Amendment Plan for Da Lat city, Lam Dong province and the surroundings till 2020.
Based on the functions and characteristics were determined, the Provincial Party Committee and People's Committee of Lam Dong province, City Party Committee and People's Committee of Da Lat city issued some legal documents about tourism development in Da Lat.
On 20-11-2001, the fifth Committee Province Conference (Session VII) adopted the resolution 03-NQ/TU about tourism economic development in the period from 2001 to 2005 and orientation till 2010. The resolution stated "To strive till 2010, make Da Lat become one of the tourist and resort center of the country; make tourism -service industry become a dynamic economic industry of the province " and proposed four major tasks and solutions following:
a. To improve the quality of services and available tourism products, develop new tourism products.
b. To continued to build infrastructures, protect the landscape and ecological tourism environment.
c. To strengthen the management of State, strengthen and consolidate the apparatus of the organization and personnel on tourism services area.
d. To build mechanisms and policies to maximum the exploitation of resources in order to develop tourism.
In 1986, the population of Da Lat was 112,000 people and 197,013 people in 2007.
The work of population - families - children achieved positive results, the percentage of malnourished children under 5 years old declined over the years. In 2007 there was 11.5%, the natural increase in population each year decreased from 2% (1993) to 1.76% (2000) and to only 1.37% in 2007, but it increased mechanically.
In 1990s, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 13.3%, higher than the average level of the country and provinces. On the threshold of new millennium, GDP tended to increase, economy growth rate in 2007 was 17%. The total export turnover was 23million USD. It created jobs for 3,000 workers. Poor and hungry households declined, social life was enhanced. In 1990s, the poverty rate was from 5 to 8%, now there was only 3.2% of households in the area (defined by new regulations). In 2007, annual income per person of Da Lat city achieved 13.4 million/year.
Total government revenues in city increased annually, especially from 1996, revenues increased faster than economic growth rate thanks to various active measures and there was the entrusting mechanism of land using rights in recent years to strengthen investment in infrastructure development. During the developing process, Da Lat was always the unit that contributed the largest budget to the province, the annual average rate was over 45%. Total government revenues in the province increased steadily over the years, in 1994 it achieved 91 billion, it achieved 238 billion in 2002 and 325 billion in 2007.
The economic structure shifted towards increasing the proportion of tourism - service from 51.13% (1993) to 61.94% (2000) and reached 72.1% (2007), industry - construction from 23.45% down to 16.1% and agriculture - forest from 25.42% to 11.8%. The total social investment in 2007 reached 1,518 billion.
Until now, the infrastructure of Da Lat developed quite well. The whole power supply system network of the city was renovated with 30km medium wire by underground cable, high voltage and low voltage systems with insulated twisted shielded cable in the concentrated residential areas. At the beginning of 2003 wastewater treatment plant was started to build, Phan Dinh Phung stream, stream and Cam Ly stream were renovated.
A series of hotels and restaurants are built, refurbished. Many villas in the area of Tran Hung Dao, Nguyen Du and Le Lai, Road on April 3, ... be put into supply for tourism.
Automatic phone system with 2000 numbers was built, the power grid was expanded, water supply system with 25.000m3/day was improved in 2000. Golf courses, Palace hotel, Da Lat market, ...were upgraded.
The proportion of agricultural and forestry products decreased but the total cultivation and livestock products increased annually. Da Lat was still a center of vegetables and flowers, especially many kinds of temperate vegetables. Da Lat handicrafts in recent years got the attention. Bamboo handicrafts and fire pen touching depended on the markets so they rise or decreased unnormally. They were replaced by weaving industry that attracted many workers of the city (now it has 2,500 high skilled workers).
Da Lat Education opened new prospects and attracted more pupils and students from other provinces come to study. Public schools, private schools, professional schools and boarding schools for ethnic minorities ... made the school system in Da Lat more various. In the beginning of school year 2007 - 2008, there were over 530 students at all levels in the area. Students of universities and colleges were 20,000 students, not including short-term and night classes of Da Lat University, Da Lat Yersin Private University, Lam Dong Pedagogical College, Officials Training Center in the provinces and organizations.
That preserving landscapes, protecting the environment and combating signs of violation and order in the urban area, building cultural life in the offices or units and the residential areas gradually became the awareness of whole community.
In 1993, the festival celebrating 100 years of the formation and development of Da Lat was held in the Da Lat stadium.
Since then, many festivals were continued to be held: celebrating 110 years of Da Lat's formation and development (2003), celebrating 30 years of Da Lat 's liberation (2005), tea cultural festival (2006), Da Lat Flower festival (2005 and 2007).
With the festivals' jubilant atmosphere with the grand stages, the bustling fairs, many projects were built or renovated: Hoang Van Thu street, Tuyen Lam lake, Yersin park, Anh Sang park, flower gardens of the city, ...
During the festivals, they carried out the policies that State and people working together, many alleys, small bridges, halls, gardens, ... were also contributed in quarters, made the hamlets and communes in Da Lat city more spacious, clean and more civilized.