THE LAKE OF DA NHIM DALAT
40 kilometers away from the city of Dalat (towards provinces of Phan Rang and Ninh Thuan) is the 9.7-square-kilometer hydropower lake of Da Nhim of some 1,000 to 1,500 meters above sea level. From a dozen miles away, tourists can contemplate the two enormous parallel pipelines of about 2 kilometers in length, leading water from the mountain peak down to the factory at the pass foot.
Da Nhim Hydropower Lake is considered a distinctive work of Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general. The work was designed by Japanese engineers, constructing in 1963 and 1964 as the compensation for bad consequences that Japanese army caused for Vietnam during World War II. The main dam of the lake is of 38 meters in height and approximately l,460 meters in length has created a reservoir with a capacity of 165 million cubic meters equipped with 4 electricity generators. The lake's water originates from rivers of Da Nhim and Kronglet. The water flows along two 5-kilometer concrete tunnels across the mountain to the mountain peak and then pours into the two round steel tubes with a diameter of 2 meters (reducing to 1 meter at lower height) to operate the 4 turbines, each with a capacity of 40MW. The disproportion in the height of the beginning and end of the pipes is some 800 meters, which creates a great pressure inside the pipes up to 80 at ("atmosphere", unit of pressure); meanwhile, the pressure inside a moving car wheel is merely around 2.5 at.
Nearby is another famous tourist attraction in Vietnam: Spectacular Pass (Ngoan Muc Pass). The extreme zigzag pass at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level has continuous turns, even turns of nearly closed circles. Looking down from the halfway of the pass, tourists will surprisingly recognize the has-just-passed winding path is absolutely like a giant snake hugging the mountain. Tourists can also contemplate the panoramic view of Da Nhim Hydroelectric Plant and every car climbing across the pass. All vehicles have to go through two giant hydraulic pipes of Da Nhim Plant.
The roadside scenery is very poetic, indeed. Myriads of purple rose myrtles and golden guava flowers are blooming amongst the poetic lush trees and plants. Some plots of the forest got "sunburned" and right on the foot century-old trees are a carpet of dried leaves sometimes flying gently in the breeze, which create a perfect picture of natural beauty.