Yok Don National Park

Not many beasties

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 3 stars



Yok Don National Park covers 115,545 hectares, and boasts being the largest, protected, dry deciduous forest in Vietnam, hosting an abundance of wildlife, including the endangered black-shanked duoc langur, according to the official literature. It has numerous trails that make for good day trips and overnight camping trips, but it's only recommended to visit between October and December. As for the abundant wildlife, word is that most treks don't come across any of it, though the treks themselves are good enough to compensate.

A guide is required to explore the park, which is close to what are considered to be sensitive areas near the Cambodian border, so most people arrange a tour out of Buon Ma Thuot that includes transport and a guide. This can be rather pricey, and you do have the option of showing up at the park on your own and trying to hire one of the guides based there -- if one is available. A guide should cost 300,000 VND for one day, including a boat ride across the Serepok River to the park, with food and water not included.

To get to Yok Don on your own, take a city bus that leaves from a bus stop on Ly Thuong Kiet St just south of Cafe 50A. It costs 10,000 VND. It's a short walk from the main road where the bus drops you to the park entrance. If you have your own transport, from the town centre, head east on Phan Boi Chau St which turns into Route 1. There are a couple of forks, but it should be obvious where the main road is -- if you're unsure, ask the locals for 'Ban Don,' which is the district you're heading to -- they all know where it is. The park is 40km from Buon Ma Thuot. There's a big, old sign marking an alternate entrance to the park 6km south of the main entrance -- just ignore that. You'll then pass the entrance to Ban Don, and then the real park entrance is about 4km further north. Admission to the park is 3,000 VND. Tours through an agency in Buon Ma Thuot start at US$60 for two people, including transport and guide, but not entrance fees, food, water nor accommodation. If you plan to camp in the park, you'll have to bring your own tent -- the park's tents are all falling apart and they don't rent them out anymore.

More details
40km from Buon Ma Thuot
How to get there: To get to Yok Don on your own, city buses leave from a bus stop on Ly Thuong Kiet St just south of Cafe 50A and cost 10,000 VND. It's a short walk from the main road where the bus drops you to the park entrance. If you have your own transport, from the town centre, head east on Phan Boi Chau St which turns into Route 1. There are a couple of forks, but it should be obvious where the main road is -- if you're unsure, ask the locals for 'Buon Don,' which is the district you're heading to -- they all know where it is. The park is 40km from Buon Ma Thuot. There's a big, old sign marking an alternate entrance to the park 6km south of the main entrance -- just ignore that. You'll then pass the entrance to Ban Don, and then the real park entrance is about 4km further north. Admission to the park is 3,000 VND.

Tours through an agency in Buon Ma Thuot start at US$60 for two people, including transport and guide, but not entrance fees, food, water nor accommodation. If you plan to camp in the park, you'll have to bring your own tent -- the park's tents are all falling apart and they don't rent them out anymore.
Last updated: 16th August, 2007

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