I went back to Dalat for the first time in many years and made my way to one of my favorite haunts, Vong Canh Hill, to look across Love Valley. When I saw how much it had changed I remembered my friend saying “In the old days, each corner of Dalat was a poem. But now…” It certainly wasn’t poetic anymore and I wished I could turn back the clock to see Dalat as it was, romantic, natural and quiet.
I do not know how beautiful Vallee D’amour was when it was given its name. But eight years ago when I came here for the first time, I realized why the French named it Love Valley. I stood on the hill peak, listened to the wind whispering, and looked down at Da Thien Lake reflecting the magnificent misty Lang Bian Mountain. The scene makes people need a lover beside them.
The romantic spot holds so many memories of love for so many people, that several girls have committed suicide there taking the leap after losing their relationship. In the stillness I imagined their tears falling in the lake.
On Wednesday the romance has gone – replaced by modern technology and human greed. Concrete fences, old military jeeps and a statue of Mickey Mouse holding a greeting board are recently added eyesores. What place does the karaoke room and playground for kids have there?
I just wanted to scream “Leave nature alone” but when I saw people playing around, I could see that nature and humans are friends. To be fair the managers have done a good job planting many kinds of flowers and ornamental trees.
But when I look into the lake, I see the reflection of Lang Bian with some Wall’s ice-cream booths and colorful pedal boats.
When I arrived back in Saigon, I was in a sad mood. However, if someone asks me to go again, maybe I will nod and say “Yes, why not.” By Kinh Luan in Dalat
Da Thien Lake in Love Valley in Dalat City
A gardener waters flowers at Love Valley – Photos: Kinh Luan