Bao Dai’s Summer Palace

sights / Architecture

Lonely Planet review

A faded art-deco-influenced villa, this was one of three palaces Bao Dai kept in Dalat. The building's design is striking, though it's in serious need of restoration and the once-modern interior is distinctly scruffy, with tatty net curtains and chipped furniture.

Bao Dai’s imposing office, with its royal and military seals and flags is still impressive.

The white bust above the bookcase is of the man himself (he died in 1997); the flags, huge desk, spears and crossbows add to the sense of occasion.

Upstairs are the living quarters. The huge semicircular couch was used by the emperor and empress for family meetings, with their three daughters seated in the yellow chairs and their two sons in the pink chairs.

The palace is set in a pine grove, 2km southwest of the city centre. It's very much on the local tourist trail, so expect lots of tour groups.