Buon Me Thuot is the provincial capital of Dak Lak and the largest town in the western highlands. It is home to a number of ethnic minorities including the Rhade and Jarai groups making a great base for trekking to explore the ethnic culture besides its natural surroundings and impressive waterfalls.
What to expect
Despite its quiet appearance, Buon Ma Thuot is very quickly developing. However, most of this development is from internal investment rather than the tourism industry. There are very few tourist sites, but the people are friendly, the coffee is great, and a stop here is well worth it to get off the beaten track and see Vietnamese city life that does not revolve around tourism. It is also an excellent base of operations to visit Yok Don National Park, Ban Don Village, and Lak Lake.
Lac Lake, 56 km southwest of Buon Ma Thuot, offers fantastic views. You can cross the lake to nearby villages either in a dugout canoe or on elephants. Homestay with the M'Nong people by Lak Lake is also an experience.
Yok Don National Park, an attractive destination where you can do trekking to minority villages, elephant riding through the forests, staying overnight in Ban Don Village and enjoying traditional activities like gong performance and drinking Jar wine.
Famous waterfalls include Dray Sap, Draylon, Drayling and Dray Nur Waterfalls, in which Dray Sap Waterfall, approximately 27km from Buon Ma Thuot, is the worthiest one to stop over
The best time to visit Buon Ma Thuot is during the dry season between November and April.
There are daily flights from Danang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Buon Ma Thuot Airport is 10km from the city.
There is a bus service to Buon Ma Thuot from Danang and Ho Chi Minh City (departs from Mien Dong Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh City). Buon Ma Thuot Bus Station is 3km east of the center. Several buses travel daily to Pleiku and Danang (buses will stop in Pleiku), Qui Nhon (11 hours), Nha Trang (6 hours), and Ho Chi Minh City (18 hours).
Buon Ma Thuot is 194km from Nha Trang, 197km from Pleiku, 223km from Qui Nhon, 350km from Ho Chi Minh City, 196km from Dalat.