Vietnam News

Tourism plan suspended at French palace in Da Lat

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A tourism project at the King Palace in Vietnam’s resort town of Da Lat has been halted following land use and investment violations.

In 2015, the authorities of Central Highlands’ Lam Dong Province granted Hoan Cau Da Lat JSC a hill of 18 hectares to operate a tourism project for 50 years.

The land is part of the site of the King Palace, built in the 1940s by French millionaire Robert Clément Bourgery. The palace was later bought by Vietnam’s last emperor Bao Dai to use as his main office.

As per a plan approved by the province, the palace would be restored and upgraded at a total cost of more than VND110 billion (US$4.69 million) in the first phase before it is opened for visitors, who would pay an entrance fee.

In the next phase, the company would build a luxury resort worth VND600 billion.

However, in mid-2020 government inspectors found out that Lam Dong violated the Land Law and the Investment Law when allowing Hoan Cau Da Lat JSC to use the hill for tourism services.

Lam Dong must suspend the project and if it wants to continue it needs to review the land lease price to the market price to avoid causing losses to the state budget, and organize a bidding process to find an investor.

Bao Dai abdicated in 1945, and Vietnam’s southern regime started using the palace in 1956 as a private residence for President Ngo Dinh Diem. The building continued to serve as a resort for heads of state until the Vietnam War ended in 1975.

It is now treated as a state asset.

By Truong Ha – – April 20, 2023

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