Vietnam’s hill resort of Dalat is a horticultural wonderland. The cool tropical microclimate endows its market with the best of both worlds: tropical fruits from the lower hillsides combined with more European fare from the cooler climes. Fresh strawberries sit alongside avocadoes, artichokes, beetroot and dragonfruit; with vendors keen to foist strawberry jam, cashews and the grim local grape wine upon me. Where local markets tend to be the feature that orient me in any town, Dalat’s apparent lack of clear equatorial seasonality is bewildering.
Originally located on the top of Dalat’s central hill, the market’s earlier wooden structure burnt down in the late 1930s. In the late 50s, it was moved downhill with the market now stretching between two concrete buildings in the bottom of a steep ravine; a walkway linking the top of the hill to the second level of the market.