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Lak Lake: An enchanting gem hidden in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

08/10/2023 5.911

Nestled in Dak Lak, Vietnam, Lak Lake is a tranquil oasis reflecting the azure sky amidst rolling hills. Here, you can immerse in the Mnong people's vibrant traditions, enjoy panoramic views on elephant rides, and savor local delicacies.

Lak Lake

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Dak Lak, Lak Lake, locally known as “Ho Lak”, stands as a testament to Vietnam's natural beauty and cultural heritage. This enchanting attraction offers more than just a tourist spot. It is a haven of tranquility, a cradle of biodiversity, and a reservoir of culture.

1. Where is Lak Lake? Is it worth visiting?

Lak Lake is nestled in the heart of Dak Lak, Vietnam. Stretching over 500 hectares, this vast waterbody captivates travelers with its tranquility and awe-inspiring surroundings. The name "Lak" in the Mnong ethnic language translates to "water". Indeed, Lak Lake embodies the essence of its name, offering a serene retreat amidst nature's bounty.

Located 56 kilometers south of Buon Ma Thuot City, Lak Lake is a hidden paradise waiting to be explored. Cradled by the majestic Cu Yang Sin mountain range on its western side and the Krong Ana River flowing from its southwestern edge, the lake exudes a timeless charm.

Lak Lake

Lak Lake holds a significant place not only as a tourist attraction but also as a vital source of livelihood for the local Mnong community. Surrounded by verdant hills and fertile fields, the lake serves as a thriving hub of aquatic life, sustaining the region's inhabitants for generations. Its biodiversity, comprising 548 plant species, 132 bird species, 61 mammal species, and 43 reptile and amphibian species, showcases the ecological wealth of the area.

2. Legend of Lak Lake Vietnam

According to the legend of the Mnong people, Lak Lake's origins are woven into a poignant tale of sacrifice and redemption. In ancient times, a fierce battle between the God of Fire and the God of Water ravaged the Mnong village, leaving it parched and desolate. From this turmoil emerged a young man, born of the union between a Mnong girl and the God of Fire. Driven by the desire to atone for his parent’s mistakes, the young man embarked on a perilous journey to find a source of water for his people.

Lak Lake

After days of traversing treacherous terrains and confronting wild beasts, he stumbled upon a small trapped eel struggling for survival. In a twist of fate, this eel led him to a vast serene lake - the very embodiment of his people's salvation. This lake, surrounded by the Mnong village, became Lak Lake, a symbol of hope, life, and redemption.

3. Highlights of Lak Lake

3.1. Unique ethnic culture

The indigenous Mnong people residing around Lak Lake have safeguarded their rich cultural heritage for centuries. Here, visitors can witness traditional practices such as “cong chieng” (gong) performances, folk music, and the art of crafting traditional items like woven fabrics. Moreover, the presence of elephants, a revered symbol of the Central Highlands, adds to the cultural tapestry of the area.

Lak Lake

3.2. Elephant riding

Elephant riding is one of the top things to do in Lak Lake Vietnam. With over ten gentle giants ready to serve tourists, this activity offers a unique perspective of the surrounding villages, rice fields, and the lake itself. Visitors can choose from various service packages, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes, to immerse themselves in the enchanting beauty of the region.

Lak Lake

3.3. Bao Dai Palace

Perched atop a hill 422 meters above sea level, Bao Dai Palace offers a glimpse into Vietnam's royal history. Built in 1951 during King Bao Dai's reign as the head of the country, this palace served as a retreat for the royal family during their hunting expeditions in the Central Highlands. Although the palace fell into neglect for several decades, recent renovations have restored its former glory, making it a prime attraction for history enthusiasts.

Lak Lake

3.4. Scenic camping sites

For those seeking an immersive experience with nature, Lak Tented Camp provides a luxurious retreat. Set on a hill overlooking Lak Lake, this camp offers elegantly designed accommodations, including tents and bungalows for people wanting to try Lak Lake camping. Each abode accommodates two guests, ensuring a cozy stay amidst the wilderness. Surrounded by lush herb gardens and vegetable patches, the camp provides an ideal setting for camping enthusiasts. As night falls, Lak Lake's tranquil waters reflect the starlit sky, turning the landscape into a magical canvas.

Lak Lake

3.5. Local specialties

A visit to Lak Lake is incomplete without savoring the local delicacies. Here, you can indulge in the traditional culinary offerings of the Mnong people, including dishes like bitter melon salad with anchovies, bamboo-tube rice, and various freshwater delicacies such as fish, eel, and snails. Don’t forget to engage in a delightful boat ride on Lak Lake and relish these authentic flavors amidst the serene ambiance of the water.

Lak Lake

4. Tips for a perfect excursion to Lak Lake Vietnam

4.1. How to get to Lak Lake Vietnam?

From downtown Buon Ma Thuot City, travelers can easily reach Lak Lake by driving southward along National Road 27. Apps like Google Maps will guide you to this enchanting lake. Alternatively, you can take bus number 12 from Buon Ma Thuot to Lak District Post Office. Then, a short motorbike taxi ride of approximately 1.5 kilometers will lead you to Lak Lake.

4.2. When is the best time to visit Lak Lake Vietnam?

Lak Lake experiences two distinct seasons: the rainy season (May - October) and the dry season (November - April). The ideal time to visit Lak Lake is from September to December, when the lake brims with water. During May, the lake is adorned with blooming white lotus flowers, offering a breathtaking sight. In early September, also the harvest season, you can see rice fields along the road from Buon Ma Thuot City to Lak Lake.

Lak Lake

4.3. Extra notes

As Lak Lake is a natural attraction, there is no entrance fee. Visitors are urged to ensure their safety and preserve the environment here. Avoid littering to maintain the pristine beauty of the surroundings. For adventurous souls, camping by the lake is a fantastic option. Gather your essentials and venture out with a group of friends to make the experience more enjoyable and safe.

In addition to the wonders of Lak Lake, there are many other things to do in Dak Lak such as visiting Buon Ma Thuot Victory Monument, Dray Nur Waterfall, Trung Nguyen Coffee Village, Trinh Nu Waterfall, Gia Long Waterfall, etc. 

After exploring Dak Lak, you can continue on your Vietnam travel by paying a visit to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. These are all top destinations of the country with excellent cuisine, friendly people, and stunning landscapes.

For those seeking a luxurious getaway in these destinations, Vinpearl’s resorts and hotels promise an unforgettable stay. Vinpearl boasts world-class amenities such as swimming pools, private beaches, and restaurants, ensuring that every moment of your trip is filled with relaxation and enjoyment.

Lak Lake


Lak Lake

Additionally, make sure to explore the enchanting system of entertainment complexes of VinWonders. Brace yourself for an exhilarating adventure as you navigate thrilling rides, encounter fascinating water parks, and witness spectacular live shows at VinWonders.

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long for a memorable stay in Vietnam!

Lak Lake is more than just a tourist attraction, it brings an immersive experience that allows travelers to connect with nature, explore culture, and create lasting memories. As you wander along its tranquil shores, you will get to immerse yourself in the legends of the Mnong people and savor the flavors of the local cuisine. The timeless allure of Lak Lake, with its panoramic vistas and vibrant traditions, paints a captivating picture of Vietnam's Central Highlands.

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