Lak Lake (Ho Lak) and M'nong Village

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What we say: 3 stars

Lak Lake is about 50km to the southeast of Buon Ma Thuot, and is firmly established on the itineraries of most of the group tour operations in the area. It's a large, scenic lake and there are enough activities going on around it to keep you busy for a day or two if want to do everything. Activities are based out of the tourist village on the southern side of the lake. The village has three-star accommodation, with a swimming pool and a very good floating restaurant where we had a fine affordable meal. There are also a couple of traditional longhouses you can spend the night at, along with some guesthouse style rooms near the main reception building.

Activities include riding in a dugout canoe -- US$10 for 2 people, they supply the rower. Gong shows with rice-wine drinking and a roast pig are available for US$60 for groups of up to 30. Elephant rides are US$30 per hour, per elephant, two passengers maximum. Trekking in the surrounding mountains is available for US$20 per person per day, and bike rentals include a map you can follow -- along the route is a rocky cliff at the base of which there's good swimming. It costs 25,000 VND for 1/2 day, 40,000 for a full day, or 10,000 per hour. A M'nong village 1.6km further down the main road from the lake can also be visited, but it's not much of a stand out as far as ethnic villages in the area go.

More details
50km southeast of Buon Ma Thuot
How to get there: If you have your own transport, you can reach Lak Lake by heading north from the roundabout on Nguyen Tat Thanh St in Buon Ma Thuot. About two kms up the road is Nguyen Van Cu St -- take a right. About 2.5 km down the road there's a turnoff for Route 27 which leads 47km down to Lak Lake. Some of the road is still fairly rough, but the views are quite scenic. When you get to the lake, circle around to the far side to find the facilities and accommodation. It's cheap and easy, though time-consuming, to get here by local bus as well. Buses leave from Phan Dinh Giot St, which is south of the traffic circle, just south of Buon Ma Thuot's post office. Buses leave from the south side of the street near the intersection with Le Hong Phong: 10,000 VND, makes a lot of stops, takes about two hours. From Lak Lake you can flag down any northbound bus heading up route 27. You can arrange tours of the lake from Buon Ma Thuot or contact Lak Lake Tourist directly. Lak Lake Tourist: T: (050) 586 184, 550 F: (050) 586 343.

Lak Lake Tourist: T: (050) 586 184, 550 F: (050) 586 343. http://www.daklaktourist.com.vn.
Last updated: 16th August, 2007

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