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Da Lat’s must-see college of education stops receiving tourists

Friday, April 12, 2019, 15:00 GMT+7
Da Lat’s must-see college of education stops receiving tourists
Three students walk at the campus of the Pedagogical College of Da Lat, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Photo: M.V / Tuoi Tre

The Pedagogical College of Da Lat, a must-see for tourists visiting the beautiful capital city of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, will close its doors to visitors starting today, April 12, the school’s management board announced on Thursday.

Built in the heart of Da Lat using a combination of Western and Oriental architecture styles, the Pedagogical College of Da Lat has become a popular tourist attraction due to its quaint and charming ambiance.

However, those who have yet to visit the iconic school of Da Lat may never have the chance to do so, as the school’s management team has declared that visitors will no longer be permitted on campus due to security reasons and to protect the school’s landscape.

Aside from prohibiting tourists from entering the school, the college will continue to operate as usual. 

A school staffer revealed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the decision was made in response to concerns that pressure from the massive number of visitors to the school was putting a serious strain on its facilities, sanitation, and security force.

A hole in the ceiling of a classroom at the Pedagogical College of Da Lat, Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Photo: M.V / Tuoi Tre

A hole in the ceiling of a classroom at the Pedagogical College of Da Lat, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Photo: M.V / Tuoi Tre

“The college welcomes over 70,000 visitors every year, constituting a significant portion of our operational costs, even though it is designed to function as a small-size educational institution,” the staff told Tuoi Tre.

A huge chunk of the school’s operational expenses goes toward cleaning trash left behind by tourists, the staffer said.

The news comes as a serious disappointment to Da Lat lovers.

“It’s a pity that the school will stop welcoming visitors,” said Tran Tuan Tien, a Ho Chi Minh City resident currently visiting Da Lat.

“But it would be a greater pity if tourism caused damage to the school’s architecture,” Tien added.

Some have even suggested that the Pedagogical College of Da Lat begin collecting entrance fees from visitors to offset the cost of maintaining the architecture and landscape.

Moss on the ceiling of a classroom at the Pedagogical College of Da Lat, Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Photo: M.V / Tuoi Tre

Moss on the ceiling of a classroom at the Pedagogical College of Da Lat, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Photo: M.V / Tuoi Tre

The Pedagogical College of Da Lat was built between 1926 and 1935, and is the only construction work in Vietnam recognized by the Union of International Architects (UIA) as one of the world’s 1,000 most unique buildings constructed in the 20th century, according to local news outlet VietNamNet.

It was acknowledged as a National Architecture Relic on December 28, 2001.

The building began to deteriorate in 1975 due to improper use. 

Randomly repairs made without permission from state agencies that oversee heritage management led it to decline further.

A number of its classrooms have been converted into accommodations for teachers and officers from other localities visiting Da Lat for working trips.

Several school staffers even live inside the school and have turned classrooms into ‘apartments’ in which they live and raise children.

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