Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Yok Don National Park

Posted by halu on 13/10/2006 at 02:44

Is this place a really bad tourist trap? We're kind of intrigued by the opportunity to ride elephants, but don't want it to suck up all our money or be a tacky tourist nightmare.

I know I'm asking a million questions these days, but I really really appreciate the help.


#1 halu has been a member since 21/8/2006. Posts: 31

Posted by DakLak on 22/10/2006 at 07:55

Buon Me Thuot, capital of DakLak Province, is my home-from-home town (and where my corporate employer is located).

You will hardly find a 'tacky tourist nightmare' up here.

Elephant rides are very cheap (ask to be lifted up on to the elephants back by its trunk - the strongest grip but the softest touch and I weigh almost 200 pounds) - you can pick up tour info from DakLak Tourism - their office is in the parking lot of the white hotel on the east side of the traffic circle with the big (Army) tank on top.

We are 2 hours from Nha Trang (bus or xe~om) and 6 hours from HCMC / SaiGon.

You will enjoy yourself - as long as your are not wanting a Niagara Falls / Nha Trang tourist 'experience'.

People hereabouts are simple folk.

One word of caution: when you visit a village to get your bumpy elephant ride BE CAREFUL if you drink 'wine' from a shared jug through separate straws - the chances are you will get a touch of salmonella - which will keep you in the washroom the following night / day!

Every so often one of these 4-legged beauties decides to snack in our back garden, there is little you can do to dissuade them, but they are generally very tame.

Why not head north through Plei Ku and Kon Tum then take a bus up the real Ho Ch Minh Trail (just had a road built on it) to Da Nang?

#2 DakLak has been a member since 28/8/2006. Posts: 57

Posted by halu on 22/10/2006 at 08:14


That actually sounds perfect and exactly what we are looking for.

I am more excited to go there now than I was when I posted this question!

And thanks for the tip about the wine. Very valuable advice, indeed.

Thanks so much!!!

#3 halu has been a member since 21/8/2006. Posts: 31

Posted by Georgie on 28/10/2006 at 18:29

Posted from within Vietnam.

If you are still interested in info on Yok Don we were there a few days ago. We went with Highland Travel and they were excellent. We checked out Daklak tourist and the other travel agent but both were not very helpful and Daklak charged more for elephants. Highland Travel helped us arrange a three-hour trek on the jungle side rather than in the village which was great (though a little uncomfy on the bum!) and the guide, Vu, knew the jungle like the back of his hand. It is $20 an hour for the first hour on the elephant and $15 p/h after that. We also went to the village. Didn't see another tourist all day. Buon Ma Thout is not a great place though - it is very noisy at night so ensure you get a room at the back of the hotel. We had to move hotels due to noise but the hotel inwhich highland Travel in was good enough.

#4 Georgie has been a member since 9/10/2006. Posts: 14

Posted by halu on 28/10/2006 at 22:16

Ah, good advice! Thank you!

#5 halu has been a member since 21/8/2006. Posts: 31

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