Situated at the top of a high hill covered with pine forests ,about 6 km from the center of Da Lat
city to the East, Than Tho Lake (The Lake of Sighs
) is a natural lake and enlarged by a French - built dam, a famous destination in Da Lat.
Under French colonialism, the lake was named “Lad des Soupirs”. After 1976, the lake’s name was changed into “Suong Mai” (the Mist Lake), but most tourists are still more familiar with the name “Lake of Sighs”.
This name is closely attached to the story about the passionate love of a young couple the old days. Legend has it that, Mai Nuong and Hoang Tung met here in 1788 while he was hunting and she picking mushrooms. They fell in love and sought their parents' permission to mrry. But at that time Vietnam was threatened by a Chinese invasion and Hoang Tung, heeding Emperor Quang Trung's call-to-arms, joined the army without waiting to tell Mai Nuong. Unaware that he had gone to war and afraid that his absence meant that he was no longer in love with her, Mai Nuong sent words to Hoang Tung to meet her at the lakeside. When he did not turn up she was overcome with sorrow and, to prove her love to him, threw herself into the conveniently located lake and drowned. Thereafter, the lake has been known as the Lake of Sighs.
The lake-scape looks very poetic with the vast and tranquil water surface being compared to a human being in meditation.Standing on the edge of the lake visitors can see a small earth path running towards the forests. The only sound that can be heard comes from the pine forests where the path disappears. The continuous sound from the forests make ones think of repeated sighs from an invisible human being.
With its poetic beauty, the Lake of Sighs is worth for a visit!