Buon Ma Thuot is the capital of Dak Lak Province. It is the largest city in Vietnam's Central Highlands region and is also known as the capital of coffee in Vietnam, a country that is second only to Brazil in coffee exports. Apart from the coffee, the province is also famous for rubber. Buon Ma Thuot is considered as the elephant country: you can have the opportunity to ride the back of an elephant in Don Village or at the Lak Lake.

The province is home to 44 ethnic groups, including some who have migrated to the North. Among indigenous hill tribes, the Ede, Jarai, M’nong and Lao groups dominate.

Yok Don National Park
Yok Don National Park consists of the largest deciduous forest of Vietnam. It is home to and abundant wildlife including the black-shanked douc, a primate in danger of extinction. Many paths offer beautiful excursions with the possibility of camping.

Ban Don Village
This Ede village is settled down in a crook of the Serepok River, just across the water from Yok Don National Park. This village is known for the domestication of wild elephants. It is also a pleasant and scenic spot, displaying traditional longhouses typical of the Central Highlands. Most notably, it is possible to take a joyful elephant ride to explore the lush forests in the surrounding areas, including fording the Serepok River.

Dray Sap, Dray Nur & Gia Long Waterfalls
Dray Sap fall is certainly the most impressive waterfall in the Central Highlands. In reality, there is a system of three waterfalls; the other two being those of Dray Nur and Gia Long. The water of the three cascades emerges from two rivers: the Krong No, which means "husband" in local M'nong dialect, and Krong Ana, meaning "wife". There are often legends associated with remarkable landscapes in Vietnam and those falls are no exception: it is said to be an illustration of the tragic love story of a young Ede couple. These magnificent waterfalls offer a wonderful opportunity to walk on foot along the banks of the river.

Lak Lake and the M’nong village of Jun
Lak Lake is the largest natural lake in the Central Highlands. It is surrounded by a bucolic rural scenery, which impressed Emperor Bao Dai sufficiently enough to build yet another palace there, overlooking the lake (this palace doesn’t exist anymore). The landscape along the road going from Buon Ma Thuot to Lak Lake is very picturesque. On the south bank of the lake near Lien Son town, lies Jun village, a traditional M’nong settlement filled with rattan and wooden stilt houses. There, villagers organize elephant rides.

Cultural Space of the Gong in Tay Nguyen
Since November 25th 2005, the space of Gong culture has been recognized as Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO. It’s the second spiritual heritage recognized as such in Vietnam, after the music of Hue’s Royal Court. These gongs are mainly used during rituals, offerings, funerals or weddings, celebrations of the New Year, agricultural rituals and celebrations of victories. The space of Gong culture in Tay Nguyen gongs consists of: gongs, musical pieces presented with gongs, gong artists, festivals using the gongs, places where gong festivals are organized.

This intangible heritage is an original feature of the Central Highlands and is priceless to Vietnamese. The timeless melodies and charming dances of the artists in the highlands will definitely impress you in an unforgettable way.

  • Cong Chieng performance (Tay Nguyen gongs)
  • Ride the back of an elephant