Like other provinces in the central highlands of Vietnam, Dak Nong is known as the beautifully wild destination, having nice lake, waterfalls, picturesque landscape and diverse culture of several ethnic groups. Dak Nong borders with Binh Phuoc, Dak Lak, Lam Dong province and Cambodia to west. This province is not on the list of the top places to visit in a Vietnam tour package, but if you look for a Vietnam discovery tour, Dak Nong might be included on the way from Da Nang to Da Lat.
How to get there
By road: Dak Nong is about 250km from Ho Chi Minh city and local buses are availble. If you travel on your own, find your way to the Mien Dong bus station to buy the ticket.
Best time to visit Dak Nong
The rainy season is from May to October and this is the best time to see nice waterfalls, but dry season from November to April is best to travel and to see festivals, wild flowers,etc.
Things to do in Dak Nong
Lakes: Dak Nong has three beautiful lakes which are Ea Sno lake, West lake and Truc lake and surrounded by green mountains and villages of E De ethnic.
Waterfalls: There are some nice waterfalls in Dak Nong, but still little known to tourists like Đắk Buk, Đray sap, Gia Long, Trinh Nữ, Đắk G’lun, Diệu Thanh waterfall. If you travel to Dak Nong, take your time to visit one of these falls.
Nam Nung ecotourism: This site has natural, cultural and historical values blessed with cool climate, beautiful pine forest and amazing 7 storey waterfall. In the near future, Nam Nung ecotourism zone will be invested more to become the key attraction in Dak Nong.
Tà Đùng natural reserve: Considered as the masterpiece of the highlands, Ta Dung is an untouched rainforest, offering wild and mysterious beauty. A great destination in Dak Nong to trek through the wood and see a lot of animals and insects, steep and rocky slopes, deep abysses and tangled bushes.
Chư Bluk cave: Found in 2014, Chư Bluk is the longest volcanic cave in Southeast Asia, promising a ideal place for discovery tour.
Festivals: Traditional festivals are essential part of spiritual life of ethnic groups living in Dak Nong. Elephant race festival and Gong Chieng festival are great to see.
Accommodation in Dak Nong
For an adventure and discovery tour to Dak Nong, Vietnam Charm Travel suggests that you stay overnight in a homestay or treehouse. However, if you want comfort, Gia Nghia Lodge and Police hotel are our recommendations.
Ea Kao Lake Ecotourism Area: only 12km from city center, an artificial freshwater lake is named after Ea Kao stream referring that the lake will never be dried. This place is perfect for camping or outdoor picnic in large group.
Don village: 50km away from Buon Ma Thuot on the west, Don village is located within Yokdon National Park. This land has a tradition of hunting and taming wild elephants. On the way to the village you will pass Đăk K’Rông river and Serepok Hydroelectric Lake. This village is home to E De, M’Nong, Gia Rai, Lao, Thai… minorities. Because of its location near to the Yokdon forest, Don villagers have developed their elephant hunting and taming tradition for a long time. There is also available an elephant riding service priced 300,000VND per 30 minute per 3 persons. You will have chance to experience Serepok river crossing on elephants. The longest suspension bridge and long house are also in this village.
Lak Lake: the famous lake even made it into the name of its province. This site is 50km far from Buon Ma Thuot. Only behind Ba Be lake, Lak lake is the second largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam. Of course, there is a legend related to the lake. According to M’Nong people, a very long time ago, the God of Fire had prevailed over the God of Water in a war which caused a heavy damage to M’Nong villages. Meanwhile, a boy who was born as a result of the love between the God of Fire and a young woman started his journey to find a water source to help people in order to atone for his father’s fault. After many days finding nothing, the boy stopped and rested near a narrow stone crack. He noticed an eel being stuck in the crack. After received his help, the eel wanted to repay his kindness, so it leaded him to a huge freshwater lake. M’Nong villagers moved to and lived near the lake which is no other than Lak Lake. This lake is 5km2 wide, linked with a fountain stream of Chu Yang Sin mountain which is not far away from Lak lake. The landscape of this region is majestic and beautiful, a great place to take pictures.
Đrây Sáp and Đrây Nur waterfalls: in the outstanding collection of waterfalls of Daklak, Dray Sap and Dray Nur are most famous and praised for their endless beauties. Located 30km on the south, two falls lie on two different provinces. Both falls are of Serepok river system but on different braches. When the river reaches to this region, it separates into 2 braches and in other part, the two braches join into one. Dray Sap fall is “husband fall” and Dray Nur is “wife fall”. There are a lot of legends related to these two falls. The most famous one is the mountainous version of “Romeo and Juliet”. Once upon a time, there was a young couple from two different villages loved each others so dearly. But these two villages had a conflict that was unable to be solved. The villagers of both villages found out their relationship and tried to prevent them being together. After quite a time of fighting for love, the young couple decided to jump into a deep river leaving everything behind. The god seeing the tragic ending of two lovers, raged at two villages, raised a fierce storm and split the river into 2 branches at the same time separated two villages till the end of time. After that, the villagers named these two falls as husband and wife falls to remember the young couple who never got to be together. You should visit the two falls in wet season to enjoy the fierce water flows although in this time the access roads are quite arduous.
Thuy Tien waterfall whose beauty is compared to a fairy hidden in the woods is in Krong Nang district. The falls has 3 levels in a wild and remote complex. Or Virgin waterfall has also beautiful scenery that worth your visit.
Khot Cake: some people think that the cake’s name came from the sound “khot khot” of the cake when oil starts boiling. Other opinion supports the idea that this name came from a Mandarin word “khot” in meaning of hardship or hard work because in the past, the local people were so poor that they didn’t have meat to eat so that came up with this cake which is made out of only flour. The main ingredient to make this dish is rice flour, being kept in water overnight then minced and made into round shapes. The cakes are fried with oil until they get brown and served with sauce.
Grilled chicken of Don Village: the chickens must be young hill chickens. The whole chicken will be marinated with chilly salt, citronella juice, and honey. Use 2 bamboo sticks to clamp the chicken then grill on coal fire. Serve the dish with chilly salt or citronella salt.
Lang fish: this tasteful fish can be found in Serepok river. Many dishes can be made with Lang fish.
Grilled beef: the meat is sliced thin and marinated with spices, basked under sunlight for one day. When you want to eat, you just need to grill it on fire. Local people often eat beef with golden ant salt.
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VIETNAM CHARM TRAV EL
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