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Buon Ma Thuot

Getting there and away


The main bus terminal is 3km east of Buon Ma Thuot on Nguyen Tat Thanh, just past the waterpark on the left. A motortaxi should cost 10,000 VND, a taxi runs about 60,000. The truly frugal can catch a city bus by hailing it down outside the terminal, or catch one heading north from the roundabout: 2,500 VND.

Three companies operate out of the terminal. The best is Mailinh Express, which has a new fleet of hunter green Mercedez Benz Sprinters. They perform so well on the region's twisty mountain roads they can knock 30% off the normal travel times for most destinations. At the moment, they don't serve many destinations, but they do offer free water, moist towlettes, and buses take a half-hour break at meal times. And they cost the same or less than some of the ordinary buses.

Da Lat: Departs at 07:00, 09:00, 14:00, 16:00, costs 65,000 VND and takes 4.5 hours.
Da Nang: Departs at 16:00, 17:00, 17:30, and costs 135,000.
Nha Trang: Departs at 09:00, 09:45, 15:00, 15:45, and costs 60,000.

Mailinh Express T: (050) 877 078, Hotline: (0905) 822 266

If you're headed to Saigon we strongly recommend skipping the terminal altogether and going through Rang Dong Bus Service. Their terminal is located on Le Duan, just south of the post office, but the beautiful part is, you don't have to go there -- they offer free hotel pick-up. They run 16-seat vans and 45-seat buses, both are air-con and they don't carry more passengers than there are seats. Departures to Saigon at: 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:30, 21:00, 22:00, takes 7 to 8 hours. 16-seat vans cost 120,000 VND, the 45-seat buses are 100,000 VND.

Rang Dong Bus Service Le Duan St (just south of the post office), Buon Ma Thuot. T: (050) 818 222, 956 956, Hotline: (0915)111 111

For all other destinations, there are two options. As you enter the area with the ticket booths, there's a window at the centre, just to the right of Mailinh Express. This is the Dak Lak Bus Company, and they service everywhere you could possibly want to go. These buses are preferable to the ticket booth on the right, which houses the Thuan Thao Bus Company, which has a reputation for over-filling and overbooking buses.

Some sample times and fares:

Dak Lak Bus Company Buon Ma Thuot Bus Terminal. T: (050) 876 833.

Da Nang: 9 departures between 05:30 and 13:30. 1st Class: 217,000 VND, 2nd Class: 150,000 VND, 3rd Class: 125,000 VND.
Hanoi: Departs at: 07:00, 09:00, 10:30. 1st Class: 414,000 VND, 2nd Class: 267,000 VND.
Hue: 7 departures between 05:00 and 16:00. 1st Class: 249,000 VND, 2nd Class: 146,000 VND.
Kon Tum: Departs at: 07:00, 08:00. 1st Class: 80,000 VND, 2nd Class 55,000.
Nha Trang: 13 departures between 06:00 and 16:00. 1st Class: 84,000 VND, 2nd Class: 56,000 VND.
Pleiku: 11 departures between 05:30 and 15:30. 1st Class: 64,000 VND, 2nd Class: 43,000 VND.
Quang Ngai: Departs at: 06:00, 06:30. 1st Class: 175,000 VND, 2nd Class: 101,000 VND.
Saigon: 22 departures between 05:00 and 21:00. 1st Class: 120,000 VND, 2nd Class: 108,000 VND, 3rd Class: 94,000 VND.
Vinh: Departs: 06:30. 1st Class: 328,000 VND, 2nd Class: 211,000 VND.

Service is also available to Hai Phong, 287,000 VND, Ninh Binh, 248,000 VND, and Quang Tri, 153,000 VND. Some long distance buses do not depart every day so check ahead at the station.

Thuan Thao Bus Company Buon Ma Thuot Bus Terminal. T: (0913) 419 580

Da Nang: Departs at: 06:00, 08:30, 14:00. Costs: 155,000 VND.
Hai Phong: Departs at: 6:30,. Costs: 318,000 VND.
Hanoi: Departs at: 07,00, 10:30. Costs: 296,000 VND.
Hue: Departs at: 06:00, 15:00, 16:00. Costs: 178,000 VND.
Kon Tum: Departs at: 06:30. Costs: 91,000 VND.
Nha Trang 5 departures between 06:00 and 13:45. Costs: 60,000 VND.
Pleiku: Departs at: 06:30, 08:30, 10:30, 14:30. Costs: 46,000 VND.
Quang Ngai: Departs at: 06:30. Costs: 125,000 VND.
Saigon: 5 departures between 06:00 and 13:30. Costs: 86,000 VND.

    Getting Around

    Motortaxis and metered taxis are widely available throughout the town centre, but don't overlook the city buses that course up and down all the major avenues that start at the roundabout. The bus stop is across from the Victory Monument just south of Hung Vuong St, and if you can catch the right bus, you'll be able to get where you're going for less than 3,000 VND.

    Motorbike rentals are available around town for about 100,000 VND -- we rented some bikes from Dam San Tourist and had no complaints.

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