Our first train journey in Vietnam lasted for only the duration of 7 kilometres, starting from the atmospheric Dalat Railway Station to the town of Trai Mat. We had plenty of spare time to take in the unusual architecture of the station before we left for Linh Phuoc Pagoda and of course, there were photo opportunities!
Built in 1938, Dalat Railway Station was designed in the Art Deco architectural style by French architects incorporating the high, pointed roofs characteristic of the Cao Nguyen communal buildings of ethnic minorities from Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The three roofs are believed to represent the three peaks of Dalat’s iconic Lang Biang mountain, and are also reminiscent of Normandy’s Trouville-Deauville Station.
Largely unused since abandonment of the railway during the later years of the Vietnam War, it returned to a limited service in the 1990s with the reopening of a 7 km section of track leading to Trai Mat, operated as a tourist attraction.