I used to visit Dalat when I was young. In those days, the city was a relatively unknown tourist destination my parents sometimes brought me to. Two years ago, I decided to get on my motorbike and make the trip from Nha Trang (where I now live) to Dalat. With a camera and a churning eagerness in my heart, I prepared myself for the 140 km journey, with 30 of those winding through dangerous mountain switchbacks. The reward, however, was sometimes misty, sometimes sun-filled green stretches of road.
Dalat mesmerizes with its fair weather and blooming flowers. The Madreado bloom during spring time. Wild sunflowers bloom in October. Orchid trees blossom on the sides of the streets in February, and countless other temperate flowers bloom year round.
The many villas where I’ve stayed or drank coffee in reflect French architecture. I remember the early mornings where it was just me and my camera in the mountains of Dalat, waiting for the first ray of sun to arrive, that moment when the sun kissed the horizon, over the stretch of far-off mountains, above the vast expanse of early morning mist that blanketed the city. I waited for the moment when the first few beams of sunlight touched the tops of a green sea of pine trees.
I will be back to this place, to these familiar streets, to this city whose beauty changes along with the seasons.
BIO: Given a Nikon film camera at the age of 14 by his father, Nha Trang-based photographer Quach Tung Duong has been in love with landscape and street photography ever since, with a special attraction to Dalat. Having worked for What’s On Nha Trang, Duong specializes in product photography and shooting interiors. Find him on Facebook at Baliwkail or via phone at 090 526 9521.
Translated by NPD Khanh