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What to explore in Vietnam’s coffee paradise

Friday, July 01, 2022, 11:35 GMT+7
What to explore in Vietnam’s coffee paradise
Buon Ma Thuot City is nestled in Vietnam’s Central Highlands in Vietnam. It features scenic landscapes that are sure to capture the hearts of visitors. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam’s coffee haven, is known for its communal houses, ethnic minority traditions, and the vast coffee plantations surrounding the Central Highlands bean mecca.

The area surrounding Buon Ma Thuot City is home to a rich cultural identity owed to the over 40 ethnic minorities that call the region home.

For those with an appetite for adventure and eco-friendly travel, Buon Ma Thuot is absolutely a bucket-list destination capable of capturing hearts thanks to its mysterious forests, coffee plantations, magnificent waterfalls, and unspoiled natural attractions.

Thanks to its natural beauty, Buon Ma Thuot in recent years has become a top destination for young travelers. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Thanks to its natural beauty, Buon Ma Thuot has become a top destination for young travelers in recent years. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Tran Hoai Nam a 33-year-old teacher from Buon Ma Thuot, believes that visitors to the region should expect to immerse themselves in a traditional gong performance, drink plenty of ruou can, a local wine traditionally drunk through bamboo straws from a communal jar, and stay with locals in a stilt house.  

Buon Ma Thuot offers a typical Central Highlands climate, with two distinct seasons – rainy and dry.  

Tourists should plan to visit the city during the dry season, from December to April, when there is little rain and temperatures are mild.

The dry season is also a time for ethnic minority festivals in the Central Highlands, making it ideal to truly experience the local culture.

In December, wild sunflowers are in full bloom in the city, while coffee plants blossom between February and March.

Meanwhile, during the rainy season from May to November, heavy rains can be a major obstacle to traveling on the dirt roads that snake through areas leading to many of the most sought-after tourist destinations there.

Located about 12 kilometers southeast of the city center, Ea Kao Lake is the largest freshwater reservoir in Buon Ma Thuot. Despite being a manmade reservoir, the lake boasts spectacular scenery and cool, fresh air. The lake is surrounded by immense mountains, green grass, various species of flora and fauna, and tiny hamlets. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Located about 12 kilometers southeast of the city center, Ea Kao Lake is the largest freshwater reservoir in Buon Ma Thuot. Despite being a manmade reservoir, the lake boasts spectacular scenery and cool, fresh air. The lake is surrounded by immense mountains, green grass, various species of flora and fauna, and tiny hamlets. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Visitors to Buon Ma Thuot can travel to the city by road or air. The airport is just 10 kilometers from the city center.

To reach the city by road, travelers from Ho Chi Minh City can take an eight-hour coach ride.

Once in the city, the best way to get around is by booking tours with shuttle services included, or by renting motorbikes.

Popular tourist attractions in Buon Ma Thuot include Mother Elephant Rock, Don Village, Don Villlge’s Dipterocarp Forest, Ea Kao Lake, Dray Sap - Dray Nur - Gia Long Waterfalls, Sac Tu Khai Doan Pagoda, and many more.

Don Village is sits about 42 kilometers from Buon Ma Thuot. The area has a dipterocarp forest. In Vietnam, this kind of forest is typically only found in the Central Highlands. Visitors to the forest can camp, sightsee, and immerse themselves in breathtaking natural scenery. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Don Village is about 42 kilometers from Buon Ma Thuot. The area has a dipterocarp forest. In Vietnam, this kind of forest is typically only found in the Central Highlands. Visitors to the forest can camp, sightsee, and immerse themselves in breathtaking natural scenery. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Legend has it that the three waterfalls are associated with the tragic yet beautiful love of a couple. The waterfalls are surrounded by a forest filled with ancient trees. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Legend has it that the three waterfalls are associated with the tragic yet beautiful love of a couple. The waterfalls are surrounded by a forest filled with ancient trees. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The Dray Sap, Dray Nur, and Gia Long waterfalls sit along the Serepok River. The falls, about 25 kilometers away from Buon Ma Thuot City, are a popular tourist hot spot in the Central Highlands. The waterfalls feature crystal-clear, cool water surrounded by massive mountains and forests. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The Dray Sap, Dray Nur, and Gia Long waterfalls sit along the Serepok River. The falls, about 25 kilometers away from Buon Ma Thuot City, are a popular tourist hot spot in the Central Highlands. The waterfalls feature crystal-clear, cool water encircled by massive mountains and forests. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Located approximately two kilometers north of Buon Ma Thuot, AKo Dhong Village is the last remaining site where the unique appearance and features of the E De (an ethnic minority group in the Central Highlands) people can be found. In recent years, the local government has made strong investments to develop the village’s tourism. Visitors to AKo Dhong can experience the unique traditional culture of the E De people. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Located approximately two kilometers north of Buon Ma Thuot, AKo Dhong Village is the last remaining site where the unique appearance and features of the E De people can be found. In recent years, the local government has made strong investments to develop the village’s tourism. Visitors to AKo Dhong can experience the unique traditional culture of the E De. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Yang-tao Elephant Rock sits about 40 kilometers from Buon Ma Thuot City. The site features both Mother Elephant Rock and Father Elephant Rock, which stand about five kilometers apart. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Yang-tao Elephant Rock sits about 40 kilometers from Buon Ma Thuot City. The site features both Mother Elephant Rock and Father Elephant Rock, which stand about five kilometers apart. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Measuring 200 meters long and over 30 meters high, Mother Elephant Rock is the largest monolith in Vietnam. It is also an Instagrammable spot for young travelers to the Central Highlands. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Measuring 200 meters long and over 30 meters high, Mother Elephant Rock is the largest monolith in Vietnam. It is also an Instagrammable spot for young travelers to the Central Highlands. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Visitors to the Central Highlands should not miss the chance to visit vast coffee and cocoa plantations, and learn how to care for, harvest, and process farm produce. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Visitors to the Central Highlands should not miss the chance to visit vast coffee and cocoa plantations, and learn how to care for, harvest, and process farm produce. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The World Coffee Museum, also known as Trung Nguyen Coffee Village, is a relatively new tourist attraction in Buon Ma Thuot. Visitors to the museum can gain insights into a wide selection of coffee, as well as the history of the world coffee industry. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The World Coffee Museum, also known as Trung Nguyen Coffee Village, is a relatively new tourist attraction in Buon Ma Thuot. Visitors to the museum can gain insights into a wide selection of coffee beans, as well as the history of the global coffee industry. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The World Coffee Museum attracts tourists with unique architecture that harmoniously combines the longhouse architecture of the Central Highlands people and modern architecture. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

The World Coffee Museum attracts tourists with unique architecture that harmoniously combines the longhouse architecture of the Central Highlands people and modern architecture. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Sac Tu Khai Doan Pagoda is the largest ancient pagoda in Buon Ma Thuot. It features a rich history and unique architecture. It was the last pagoda in Vietnam to be bestowed by royal decree. The pagoda is painted golden brown. Its architecture is inspired by both Tay Nguyen stilt houses and Hue ruong (beam) houses. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Sac Tu Khai Doan Pagoda is the largest ancient pagoda in Buon Ma Thuot. It features a rich history and unique architecture. It is the last pagoda in Vietnam to be bestowed by a royal decree. The pagoda is painted golden brown. Its architecture is inspired by both Tay Nguyen stilt houses and 'Hue ruong' (beam) houses. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Visitors can also go to stunning tourist attractions and enjoy local specialties in the upland, such as grilled chicken served with lam rice, local pork, and edible wild vegetables. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

Visitors can also go to stunning tourist attractions and enjoy local specialties in the upland, such as grilled chicken served with 'lam' rice, local pork, and edible wild vegetables. Photo: Tran Hoai Nam / Tuoi Tre

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Minh Duy - Kim Kim / Tuoi Tre News

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