Area:13,139.2 sq. km.
Population: 1,737.6 thousand habitants (2006)
Capital: Buon Ma Thuot City.
Districts: Ea H'leo, Ea Sup, Krong Nang, Krong Buk, Buon Don, Cu M'gar, Ea Kar, M' Drac, Krong Pac, Krong Ana , Krong Bong, Lak, Cu Kuin.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), E De, M'Nong, Nung, Tay.


Geography (Click here to see location)
Dak Lak Province is in Central Highland in 400m - 800m high above sea. It has border with Gia Lai in the north and east-north, Lam Dong Province in the south, Cambodia and Dak Nong Province in the west, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces in the east. Dak Lak has a large natural area. 35% the province's area is 1,000m - 1,200m high mountain area while the Buon Ma Thuot Highland occupies 53.5%. The rich, flat red soil is a great advantage to develop long day - industrial trees like coffee, rubber, tea, and pepper..., to raise cattle and to grow forest. Alluvia soil is rice paddy and natural grass field. Dak Lak's forest has abundant wood reserve and various rare animal species as elephant, lion, tiger, beer... There are many beautiful rivers, high waterfalls and lakes.

The Dak Lak's climate is temperate with the annual average temperature is 24oC. There is a difference of only 5oC between the hottest month and the coldest one. The dry season lasts from November to April next year. It is quite cold, windy, and dry. The rainy season lasts from May to October with high rainy amount.

There are beautiful and famous waterfalls such as: Thuy Tien, Trinh Nu, Krong Kmar, Bay Nhanh, among many big lakes such as Lak, Dak Mil. Coming to there, tourists are able to get in the primitive forests of the Chu Yang Sin, Yok Don National parks, visit Buon Don that is a well-known local of hunting and taming wild elephants, or make tour to Dak Lak's historical vestiges like Bao Dai Palace, Yang Prong Tower, Buon Ma Thuot Prison, Dak Tua Cave.



Ethnic Groups
There is not only imposing cultural heritage of native ethnic groups such as E De, M'Nong with remarkable epics such as Dam San, Dam Bri, Xinh Nha, genie lunar New Year pole, but also valuable tangible cultural heritage: dan da (stone musical instrument), gongs, T'rung, Klong Put... Dak Lak has 44 ethnic groups living together. Although the ethnic groups do not form separate inhabiting territories, they are concentrated in certain regions with individual identity and tradition, created unique folk culture of particular characteristics of Central Highlands. Traditional culture of Dak Lak is very plentiful and really attractive, especially historians, culturists, phonetics. Besides, traditional professions such as sculpting statues in tombs, knitting brocade, and original cultural rituals such as celebrating harvest festival, elephant race, and gong festival.

Road: Dak Lak is 183km from Nha Trang (by National Highway No. 26), 180km from Pleiku (by National Highway No. 14), 352km from Ho Chi Minh City (by National Highway No. 14), 200km from Dalat (by National Highway No. 27), and 1,390km from Hanoi.
Air: Buon Ma Thuot Airport is 10km from the city centre. There are daily flights from Danang and Ho Chi Minh City.







Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary

Location: Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary is located in Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary for Vietnamese patriots was widened and built more concretely from 1900 to 1930 on the base of a prison.






Nowadays in this exciting Buon Ma Thuot City, many young people are probably surprised when they are told that over 50 years ago the city was thinly populated, surrounded by great wild jungle and considered as unwholesome jungle, malarial water, few people in plains wanted to set their steps on this place. At that time, there was a penitentiary (special jail for political prisoners) where had many cruel measures applied by French colonialist. If visitors want to learn about the area, the people here, they cannot help visiting this historic vestige classified by the Government. At this penitentiary, they are told stories about glorious revolutionary tradition of former communists.
Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary is not only a crime evidence of French colonialism
but also a significant training school of many persistent revolutionists of Vietnam such as: Ho Tung Mau, Phan Dang Luu, Nguyen Chi Thanh, To Huu, Hong Chuong, Bui San, Tran Van Quang, Ngo Duc De and a lot of talent revolutionists all the country. Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary played a great important role in the August Revolution in Dak Lak. The communists who were put into this penitentiary became men of sowing revolutionary seeds on the highland.
Presently, coming to Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary, visitors will witness such cruel evidences of French colonialist. Thereby, visitors will think of the penitentiary under the former cruel and hard regime as a hell of French colonialist. When the time passes by, those evidences still impress deeply in everybody's mind. During visitors' visitation, they will surely grieve, thrill because of observing many bilboes as well as more admire manly revolutionists who were no afraid of sacrifice, resolvedly defeated their enemy and contributed to disenthralling of nation.





Buon Ma Thuot six-road junction

Location: In Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: The poetic “Ban Me six-road junction" has undergone lots of change. It has witnessed the ups and downs of the history of the Central Highlands, including Buon Ma Thuot.





In the early years of the 20th century, Buon Ma Thuot people chose a flat place to settle. The six-road junction constitutes a convergence point of many intermingled roads connecting the residential areas of the Kinh with the villages of the E De and the road to the midland region. These red-soil roads used to be muddy in the rainy season and dusty in the dry season. They are now asphalted. In the 1940s of the 20th century, this had a three-lamp post. This was also the very place that 100 local inhabitants of Lac Giao Village were killed by the French colonialists during their second attack on Buon Ma Thuot in November 1945. The sacrifice of militant Tran The left moved feelings among the local people here. At the junction, there used to be the factory of Buocgeri, the house of former public works director, the coach station, the busy streets lined with shops, drugstores, and groceries of the Vietnamese and Chinese people.
Time is a great healer. Shortly after 1975, Buon Ma Thuot six-road junction has taken a new face of a young city with monuments, hotels, cultural centers, and general service buildings, Dak Lak Tourist Company, as well as the Televise-Radio Station. Buon Ma Thuot people, including those who are natives and immigrants, have contributed to this new face.
After 1975, the six-road junction looked devastated with streets destroyed by bombs. Today, this junction has got a new appearance. One can get to No Trang Long Street, or walk along Phan Chu Trinh Street and Nguyen Tat Thanh Avenue the electric lights and colours of these streets suddenly remind us of the past.





Dak Lak Ethnology Museum

Location: Dak Lak Ethnology Museum is situated at 182 Nguyen Du Street, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: This two-storey building displays pictures and historical, cultural artifacts of the people’s life in Dak Lak.





First floor: Displaying pictures and artifacts about natural conditions of Dak Lak Province and the culture of E De and M'Nong ethnic groups; as well as models of stilt house, traditional costumes, production tools, statues at tomb houses, and collections of wine jars, bamboo backpacks, and gourds.
Second floor: Displaying pictures and artifacts about the resistance wars against the French colonialists and the US imperialists of the Dak Lak people. In addition, it also has pictures of economical production after the liberation day, including agricultural and industrial production, rubber and coffee planting, latex processing, hydroelectric work, health care service and tourism.







Dak Tuar Cave

Location: Dak Tuar Cave nestles by the Dak Tuar Waterfall, 6km from Cu Pui Commune, Krong Bong District, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: This cave is spacious enough to house up to hundreds of army divisions.





During the American war, Dak Tuar Cave used to be the headquarters of Dak Lak Party Committee and units of regular military troops. Despite American bombing and holding many raid, the headquarters remained to lead the resistance war. In May 1965, at Dak Tuar Cave, the Dak Lak Party Committee led ethnic minorities in H9 area to fight against the US and its lackey soldiers, liberating a large area on the eastern part of the province, present-day Krong Bong District. From this revolutionary base, the Dak Lak Party Committee led the local people and troops to liberate Buon Ma Thuot on March 10th, 1975, paving the way for the unification of the country.
In 1991, the Ministry of Culture and Information issued Decision recognizing Dak Tuar Cave is a historical site of Dak Lak Province. Dak Lak Culture and Information Department had a project to preserve and restore the cave, the Province Party Committee Hall, the dwelling place of Mr. Huynh Van Can, secretary of Dak Lak Party Committee at that time. According to the survey, this cave is spacious enough to house up to hundreds of army divisions.
At present, VND 500million have been invested in 6km of road from Dak Tuar Village to the memorial site, facilitating the pilgrimage to the former base. During festive days, the youth of Dak Lak ethnic minorities regularly visit this place, a historical site which carries education meaning for the next generations.






Khai Doan Pagoda

Location: 89A Phan Boi Chau Street, Thong Nhat Ward, Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: Khai Doan is a pagoda of the Viet people living in Dak Lak Province.





Khai Doan Pagoda was built between 1951 and 1953, in a large open area in Buon Ma Thuot. The pagoda’s architecture is in tam character style, with a three-entrance gate at the front. In the middle there is a central chamber, and at the back there is a house for worshipping ancestors. The three-entrance gate consists of two floors with three arched doors, 7m high and 10.5m wide. The sanctum of Quan Am was constructed separately from the pagoda’s main structure, and has six sides featuring cloud and dragon decorated pillars. The central chamber is comprised of two sections; the front is built in the long-house style of the Western Highlands, with the pillars and rafters of the Viet. The back of the chamber was constructed in a modern style.







Lac Giao Monument

Location: About 1km from Buon Ma Thuot six-road junction, Dak Lak Province. 

Characteristics: The monument shows the local people’s gratitude to revolutionaries who sacrificed for national independence and who live forever in the people’s hearts.





Lac Giao Monument has left deep impression on the local people’s soul and mind. The monument nestles under shady foliage, to its four corners stand four frangipani trees, expressing the people’s respect for the deceased.
The monument reads "The fighting spirit lasts forever", "Remembering the revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives in Buon Ma Thuot Penitentiary for national liberation", "Set up on November 18, 1945".
How moved it is when knowing that Buon Ma Thuot people had tried their best to protect this monument during the revolution. The enemy crazily destroyed the monument but the local people still protected it during those difficult years. The monument now becomes historical evidence in this highland city.








Yang Prong Cham Tower

Location: Yang Prong Cham Tower is in Ea Roc Commune, Ea Sup District, about 100km from Buon Ma Thuot City.
Characteristics: The tower is 9m high, its square base measures 5m each side. Each face of the tower has three masqueraded doors. There is only one door opened to the east. The roof is made of brick heaped upwards the top.





Lying by the Ea H'leo River, the tower is an architectural structure of reddish baked bricks, with its top as a flower's bud. The local E De, M'Nong, Gia Rai natives call tower Yang Prong, means "Great God". Legend has it that at this jungle, a pregnant woman was going to be in labour and her husband went to invite the midwife. When the midwife started her task, she suddenly heard the sound of a flute-kite, which made her forget her duty. When looking back, she found the woman and her baby dead. Grieved at the death of his wife, the husband got angry and beheaded the midwife. The three people were fossilized. The natives called the woman and the baby Yang Prong, the midwife Yang Moi. It is said that the root at the tower's door was what the woman held when giving birth to her baby.
Documents proved that the tower was built by King Sinhavarman III (aka King Che Man, husband of Princess Huyen Tran) in the 13th century. The tower is dedicated to Mukhalinga (symbols of fecundity), in a wish for people's happiness, multiplied -human race, and prosperity.
Yang Prong Cham Tower bears cultural features of Cham people. The tower evidences the history of the wet-rice civilization on the highland. The Cham Tower in Dak Lak is special. Few people know about its presence here. On August 3rd, 1991 the Ministry of Culture and Information issued a decision recognizing Yang Prong Cham Tower as an ancient architectural site under the management of the government. This tower is a tourist attraction in the Central Highlands.






Bay Nhanh Waterfall

Location: Located in N'Drech Village in Ea Huar Commune, Buon Don District, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: Bay Nhanh Waterfall is a magnificent landscape, and an ecological tourist site in Dak Lak.





Running here, the Serepok River meets a big stone and is divided into seven small streams, forming six islets, hence its name Bay Nhanh (Seven-branch) Waterfall. From a distance, Bay Nhanh Waterfall resembles a huge hand with seven fingers opening among rapids. At the source of the waterfall, which is 500m wide, water flows gently and quietly all year around.
Ban Don Ecology Tourist Limited Company has just invested in building houses with thatch roofs at the nice beach here. This is also an ideal place for piragua racing as the water surface here is calm and transparent. Every afternoon, looking at the other side visitors will see herds of peacocks dancing. It is really pleasant to the eyes.
The widest of the waterfall is about 2km. The first branch is covered by a row of old fig trees. The second, third, and fourth branches form a big cascade. It is an excellent place for visitors to take a bath or photographs. The fifth branch has a cobble beach like the one in Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa Province). The sixth branch consists of six nice, wide, flat sandbanks and an area of 2ha for growing industrial and fruit crops. At the seventh branch, visitors come to the primitive forest, which are abundant with many precious woods and animals under the management of YokDon National Park.
Coming to Bay Nhanh Waterfall, visitors will see rows of old fig trees. The Ban Don Ecology Tourist Limited Company has built a 200m long bamboo bridge snaking through the roots of old fig trees for tourists relaxing and drinking can alcohol under the canopy of fig trees, surrounded by the murmur of the stream.
The Ban Don Ecology Tourist Limited Company has just invested VND 1 billion in building one long house, one rong house of the Xe Dang people, three long houses of the E De people, one curved-roof house of the M'Nong people, one house on stilts of the Ba Na people, and some other facilities in service of tourists.
Coming to Bay Nhanh Waterfall, visitors not only enjoy the natural landscape of this ecological site but also visit YokDon National Park to listen to stories about elephant hunting and taming, or go boating, and ride elephant for sightseeing tours in the forests and across the Serepok River, or stay overnight in a house on stilts and enjoy gong performance of the M'Nong people. Coming here visitors also have a chance to taste such specialties as bamboo-tube rice, banana leaf-wrapped rice, roasted chicken with pomelo leaves, mixture of yellow-ant with green cabbage dish, hemibagrus with giang leaves soup. Visitors can also buy souvenirs such as brocade bag, wooden handicraft, and backpacks of ethnic minorities.





Chu Yang Sin National Park

Location: It lies on the border of Lak and Krong Bong districts, 60km southeast of Buon Ma Thuot City.
Characteristics: Chu Yang Sin National Park hides many interesting things. Its unique and diverse natural resources attract both tourists and researchers.





Chu Yang Sin Mountain range consists of many mountain peaks, of which the 2,422m Chu Yang Sin peak is the highest one in Dak Lak. The Chu Yang Sin National Park covers 59,667ha, with tropical climate of High Mountain. The topography has many slopes, facilitating varieties of forests with diversified flora and fauna, of which 44 species are rare and precious animals listed on Vietnam's Red Book such as big halcyons, great hornbills, and white headed hornbills.
If you are an adventurer or a researcher, come to Chu Yang Sin National Park to explore and discover the secrets of this land.






Krong Kmar Waterfall (Van Mieu)

Location: Far from centre of Krong Bong District (Dak Lak Province) to the direction of the Chu Yang Sin Range about 3km.
Characteristics: Originate from the highest top of Chu Yang Sin Range which is considered the roof of the Highlands, the Krong Kmar River cascades to the foot of the mountain, forming the Krong Kmar Waterfall.





Its pristine and poetic beauty forever leaves profound imprints on the mind of tourists. Upstream, atop the Chu Yang Sin range, water falls down and forms various terraces. The Krong Kmar Waterfall produces white spume, creates a series of roaring sound that echo through the forest. Next to the waterfall are large and smooth rocks for tourists to go sightseeing or have a small party.
From here, those who like to explore the mountain landscape may walk upstream to reach the top of the water source,
the starting point of Krong Kmar Waterfall. Visitors will be surprised to see a large deep lake surrounded by the pine forest, which is abundant with the melodic music of trees and the whispering of birds all year round. This place is very calm while the waterfall produces great noises all day round. It is ideal for those who enjoy the calm and poetic delight of nature.
Coming to Krong Kmar Waterfall, visitors enjoy the magnificent landscape that nature has endowed to this land. Visitors can take a bath in the cool and clear falling water. Visitors will feel at ease after a hard working day when relaxing and walking by the waterfall. Fascinating extras include riding elephants, conquering Cu Yang Sin Mount, or enjoying the unforgettable taste of can alcohol.
Recently, Krong Kmar has become a familiar address to everybody. On the occasion of festivals or at the weekends, this place usually receives a lot of guests, within or surrounding Dak Lak Province.





Lak - the mysterious land

Location: Lak belongs to Lak District, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: The mysterious land of Lak not only attracts tourists but also is considered as the symbol of Dak Lak's unique culture, which expresses in the sound of lithophones - a product of the traditional culture of the Central Highlands.





Ethnologist Condominas discovered the first ancient lithophones in Vietnam on February 5th, 1949 in Nduk Lieng Koran Lak Village. Ethnologist and musicologist Andre Saheffnet announced this instrument in Paris on June 21st, 1950. At present this set of lithophones is preserved in Louvre Museum (France).
The myth of Lak not only appears before tourists' eyes but also is expressed by ancient stories passed down from generation to generation. If tourists do not believe, come to Lak and ask whoever there. They can tell tourists about the fierce battles between the dragon and the eel in time immemorial.
Coming to Lak Lake, tourists can learn of these old stories. They can also go boating on Lak Lake, or ride elephants to have sightseeing tours. Fascinating extras include enjoying traditional dance performance and the local specialties. If tourists get a chance to listen to the lithophones, they feel more interested in exploring this mysterious land.
Lak constitutes the Hometown of Dinh Puoc Pa, lovely Kong Tua dance, Khan Tunes, Tam Pot songs, ancient stories, and legends. Lak has won kudos for its apricot forests and traditional villages. Lak Lake has inspired many couple, artists, poets and musicians. Uphill one finds the Residence of Bao Dai, the last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Next to Lak Lake are Jun Village, and the Dak Phoi Revolutionary Base. Here, the traditional culture of the E De and M'Nong is still preserved, which attract tourists near and far.





Phuong Hoang Pass

Location: Phuong Hoang Pass lies in the National Highway No. 26, which connects Khanh Hoa Province with Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: The Mountains resembled the wings of a phoenix, hence its name Phuong Hoang (phoenix) Pass. The pass creates a natural majestic landscape.





From Ninh Hoa T-junction, go along National Highway No. 26, visitors will leave behind the skinned-brown heat of the delta to feel the cool air of the highland, the land of thick and interminable forests with the flavor of Buon Ma Thuot coffee.
In the war, military strategists named this pass "the steel door - Phoenix". This is the most winding pass of 10km on National Highway No.26 (former Highway No.21). The 3rd brigade of Saigon paratroops occupied several tops, and two sides of the road, forming multi-stage field fulcrum.
The artillery fire was without let-up between the 10th Division of Liberation Army and the 3rd brigade of paratroops started on the morning of March 29th, 1975 shaking violently the border of Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak. Until April 1st, 1975, our Liberation Army occupied all of Phuong Hoang Pass, the 3rd brigade of paratroops were annihilated.
Phuong Hoang Pass is a beautiful natural landscape and the place where the Vietnamese businessmen went on their trading routes in the past. Yersin went through this pass before discovering Da Lat. On the way to Dak Lak, visitors will enjoy the spring purls, the casual rains of the highland, houses on stilts and winding routes. Phuong Hoang Pass makes visitors blend with natural environment. It is a major tourist attraction in Central Highlands.






Thuy Tien Waterfall

Location: Far from 7km northeast of Tam Giang Commune in Krong Nang District, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: Thuy Tien Waterfall is a poetic beautiful waterfall. It has many stones of various shapes and sizes, which are heaped up so that they look pleasant to the eyes.





Coming to this place, visitors can immerse themselves in nature; listen to the sound of spring in a wide majestic forest. Atop the waterfall, water falls down onto rocky terraces, creating much white spume, which make the waterfall looks like a lively picture, fanciful scenery of mountain landscape of the Central Highlands.
The waterfall consists of three layers. The first one has a low slope with steps; the spring is narrow, flowing gently through foliages of green leaves like flower trellis. Trees' roots fall down look like swinging hammocks. The second layer has rocky tiers. Here, the water creates various small and shallow lakes, where tourists can take a bath. From a far, the water looks like white flowers blossom under the sunshine of the Central Highlands.
At the third layer, water falls vertically to the ground, creating a deep lake, from which water flows gently, snaking its way through the tranquil jungles.
Together with other waterfalls such as Dray Sap, Trinh Nu, or Krong Kmar, Thuy Tien Waterfall is one of the places of interest for tourists. Thuy Tien Waterfall is a fairy hidden in the green jungle of Tay Nguyen, inviting tourists near and far come to enjoy its poetic beauty.





YokDon National Park

Location: YokDon National Park is located in Buon Don District, Dak Lak Province.
Characteristics: YokDon National Park is proud of its bio-diversity, which attract both tourists and scientists.





Whenever going to Dak Lak, tourists usually stop at Buon Don, a famous tourist attraction. As the largest national park in Vietnam, it covers 115,000ha, not including 10,000ha of its belt zone. Its jungles bear the characteristics of tropical forests in Southeast Asia. According to primary survey, YokDon boasts 464 species of flora, most of which are Michelia (ngoc lan). In dry seasons, it is still cool, just like the climate in Da Lat, and orchids are still in full bloom.
The most attractive thing for tourists to see in this park is its diverse kinds of forest. Among them include broad-leaf forests, which are evergreen and humid on low mountain topography; sparse woods, and semi-deciduous forest, to name a few. Broad-leaf tropical forests (khop forest) have many
precious woods such as: cam lai (Dalbergia Bariensis), trac (Delbergia Cochinchinensis), giang huong (Pterocarpus SPP), ca chit (Shorea Obtusa), and so on. Its biodiversity makes "the pearl of YokDon" become a precious forest.
Nowhere in Vietnam preserves so many species of precious birds and animals as in YokDon National Park. This natural park is Home to 62 animal species, 196 bird species, 46 reptile species, 15 fresh water fish species and thousands of insect species. Of the 56 precious animal species of Indochina, YokDon National Park preserves 38, of which 17 are listed in the World Red Book. This park is the only place in Vietnam where great numbers of precious animals are still preserved: elephants, wild bulls, gayals, sambar deer, peacocks, water varans, and so on.
Visiting YokDon National Park, tourists can ride on elephant's back to make a sightseeing tour in the forest, or to wade across Serepok River. They can enjoy traditional specialties or drink can alcohol together with the locals while listening to village patriarch's stories about legends of this land. Coming to YokDon National Park, visitors will have a chance to discover fascinating things, which surely leave unforgettable impressions on their mind.