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A prospering modern town, Buon Ma Thuot (pronounced ‘boon me tote’; also spelled as Ban Me Thuot) has outgrown its rustic origins-the Ede name translates as “Thuot’s father’s village – but alas, without acquiring any new charms. Inundated by traffic from three highways and powdered by orange-brown dust, its only saving grace is coffee. The region grows some of the best coffee in Vietnam, plenty of which is sold and drunk in town.

Most travelers stop in Buon Ma Thuot enrooted to the attractions around it: Yok Don National Park, a couple of striking waterfalls and heaps of minority villages. The province is home to 44 ethnic groups, including some who have migrated here from the north. Among indigenous Montagnards, the dominant groups are the Ede, Jarai, M’nong and Lao. However the government’s policy all of the Montagnards now speak Vietnamese fluently.

Before War II, this was a centre for big-game hunting, attracting Emperor Bao Dai, but the animals have all but disappeared. Towards the end of the American War, Buon Me Thuot was a strategic but poorly defended South Vietnamese base. It fell to North in a one-day surprise attack in March 1975, pushing the South into a retreat from which it never recovered.

The rainy season around Buon Ma Thout lasts from May to October, though downpours are usually short. Because of its lower elevation, Buon Ma Thuot is warmer and more humid the Dalat; it is also very windy.

What to do ?
The region's main crop is coffee, thus, finding a guide for a visit at the coffee plantations would be interesting. Or you can make tours to historical vestiges like Bao Dai Palace, Yang Prong Tower, Buon Ma Thuot Prison, museums, Dak Tua Cave and Victory Monument. Yet the natural surroundings and ethnic groups in the area would be very impressive.

Lac Lake, 56 km southwest of Buon Ma Thuot, offers fantastic views. Visitors can cross the lake to nearby villages either in a dugout canoe or on elephants. Homestay with the M'Nong people is also a highlight of trips.

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.

In addition, Buon Ma Thuot is a promising point for trekking to ethnic villages, in which Tua Village and Ya Liao Village are two of few villages that tourists are allowed to visit.

When to go ?
The best time to visit Buon Ma Thuot is during the dry season between November and May.

Travel Tips
Most of Buon Me Thuot's attractions lie well away from the town and are accessible by motorbike, car or minivan.
Visits at minority villages are a MUST but it is always required a local guide and permits to these spots. Please do not offer money directly to minority people - instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens. And remember to ask for permission before taking photographs in minority areas.
Hotels Restaurants Places to visit

1. Swiss Belhotel Dakruco Hotel

Add:30 Nguyen Chi Thanh St.

Tel: +84-4-8364212

1. Thanh Cong Restaurant

Add: 51 Ly Thuong Kiet street

Tel: 0500 3858243

Yok Don National Park

Ban Don Elephant - Training Village

Dak Lak Museum

2. Thang Loi Hotel

Add: 01- Phan Chu Trinh Street

Tel:(84-500) 857615

2. Quan Ngon Restaurant

Add: 31 Ba Trieu street

Lak Lake

Tur Village

Bur Village

3. Ban Me Hotel

Add: 09 Nguyen Chi Thanh

Tel: (84-500) 951001

3. Thanh Hung Restaurant

Add: Nguyen Dinh Chieu street


4. Dam San Hotel

Add:212 Nguyen Cong Tru St

Tel: (+84 500) 851234

4 Cafe Hoa Da Quy

Add: 175 NGuyen Cong Tru Str

Tel: (84-500) 385 1304


Add: 37 Phan Boi Chau Str

Tel:(84-500) 385 3930

5. Son Hoa Hotel

Add:45 Phan Boi Chau

Tel: (84-500) 814550

5. Da Ly

Add: 188 Nguyen Cong Tru

Tel: (84-500) 381 2243

Dong A Bank

Add:9 Phan Chu Trinh

Tel: (84-500) 385 8654

6. Cao Nguyen Hotel

Add: 65 Phan Chu Trinh road

Tel: (84-500) 855957

7. Bach Ma Hotel

Add:7-9-11 Nguyen Duc Canh Str

Tel: +84 500 81 5656

8. White Horse Hotel

Add:09-11 Nguyen Duc Canh St

Tel: (84-500)815656 - 81575

9. Lak Resort

Add: Dak Lak

Tel: (84-500) 814550


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