A cafe in Central Highlands resort town Da Lat features over 300 types of Echeveria, an inspiration for many photo enthusiasts.
About 15 minutes drive from the center of Da Lat in Lam Dong Province, the 400-square-meter Vuon Sen cafe on Cao Ba Quat Street in Ward 7 is an ideal destination for Echeveria enthusiasts and those who just simply love to take nice photos.
Phan Cong Bang, the coffee shop owner, said the cafe has about 300 types of Echeveria, all planted by him. Bang is an experienced gardening enthusiast who has spent 20 years collecting the species.
This plant has succulent leaves and the shape of a lotus, preferring to grow in rocky and arid soil.
It is estimated there are about 60 families of Echeveria with nearly 400 species in the world. Most varieties grown in Da Lat originate from countries with cold climates like South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
Visiting the garden offers a lesson on various plant species. The above picture shows a cluster of phantom Echeveria rarely found elsewhere.
The cafe owner also displays a variety of Echeveria grown in the Da Lat over a long period.
“I want to make this garden even more beautiful and hope it would become an Echeveria museum for visitors and ornamental plant enthusiasts,” Bang said.
Echeveria are not only planted in pots but also in carts like this to match the owner’s artistic aesthetic.
“There are 150 types of Echeveria on this cart, which looks stunning from above,” Bang said.
As an Echeveria lover, Ngo Khanh Linh from Nha Trang immediately visited the cafe when traveling to Da Lat. “I know there are many Echeveria gardens in Da Lat, but this place provides the best photo backdrops,” Linh said.
The shop’s highlight is its Echeveria wall covering approximately 20 square meters.
Guests can take pictures for free inside the cafe and contact the owner to buy Echeveria priced from VND15,000 ($0.65) to several million dong (VND1 million = $43) per plant. However, for conservation purposes, not all plants here are sold, and are closely guarded by staff.
The cafe has two floors for guests to enjoy their drinks while viewing the garden. Drinks including coffee, tea, smoothies, and fruit juice ranging from VND22,000 to VND45,000 a pop. Opening time runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.