Buon Me Thuot

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Buon Ma Thuot or Ban Mê Thuột, is the capital city of Dak Lak Province, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Its population is approximately 300,000. The city is the largest in Vietnam's Central Highlands region and is famous as the regional "capital of coffee".
It is also a useful base for treks to nearby Yok Don National Park.
Buon Ma Thuot is served by Buon Ma Thuot Airport.

Don Village
Nestled in a crook of the Serepok River, just across the water from the Yok Don National Park, the 'Ede' village of Ban Don is on display for visitors. We found it to be a bit of a Potemkin's village, set up to please tourists and distract them from real minority villages in the area where they might get a peek at the ongoing tensions between the local tribes and Vietnamese government.

It's a pleasant enough spot -- there's a traditional longhouse full of souvenirs to buy, and the tribespeople that work there spend the day putting on musical shows using traditional instruments for group after group of tourists.


This is the place to head for elephant rides, which include fording across the Serepok River, which is pretty cool.  The elephants can hold two to three people, depending on their girth (the passengers, not the elephants). Stilt house homestays are also available for US$5 per night in basic but attractive little huts that come with squat toilets and mattresses on the floor with mosquito nets. You can also arrange to cross over to Yok Don from here for a trek through the park.
Lak Lake
Lak Lake is located in Lien Son town (Lac Thien town), belonging to Lak District, Dak Lak Province. Lak Lake is about 56km to the South from Buon Ma Thuot city. It is the largest nature freshwater lake of Dak Lak and ranks behind Ba Be Lake (Bac Kan) of Vietnam.

It is said that the mysterious land of Lak attracts a huge number of local and foreign tourists. In Dak Lak, local people considered Lak Lake as the symbol of Dak Lak’s unique culture, which is reflected through the sound of lithophones (Vietnamese called “Dan Da” - percussion instrument made of stone, a traditional musical instrument in the Central Highland of Vietnam).


The ancient stories about the myth of Lak have been passed down from generations to generations of the Central Highland’s people. The story about Lak amazes lots of tourists who have been there. If some of you do not believe in the story you’ve ever heard, please come to Lake and ask whomever you met there. They will clearly sketch out to you the story about the fierce battles between the dragon and the eel in time immemorial. Listening to these old myth stories, sitting on boat over Lak Lake or riding elephants for sightseeing, enjoying traditional dance performance with lithophones and tasting the local specialties would be fascinated to everyone visiting this lake. Travelers are said to be lucky if they had chance to listen to “Dan Da”. The sound of this stone musical instrument has inspired many travelers to explore the mysterious land.

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