This is one of the most captivating destinations in the Central Highlands! Buon Me Thuot, the coffee capital of Vietnam, never ceases to seduce travelers with its wild and rural landscapes dotted with spectacular waterfalls and populated by many ethnic minorities with fiercely preserved customs and habits. A destination that mixes cultural and natural discoveries under a pleasant weather.
Capital of Dak Lak province and the largest city in the Central Highlands, Buon Me Thuot is also the coffee capital of Vietnam. Travellers know Vietnam for its rice fields but few know that the country is the world's leading producer of robusta coffee. An industry that represents more than 3% of the national GDP, provides a living for more than three million people and is almost exclusively concentrated in the Buon Me Thuot region. Although coffee production in Vietnam dates back to French colonization, it was the Vietnamese farmers who made coffee the star of the Vietnamese soil. During your stay in Buon Me Thuot, it is unthinkable not to visit a plantation in order to discover the whole process of harvesting, transformation and preparation techniques of Vietnamese black gold. Some farms have specialized in the production of "civet coffee", a rare, very expensive coffee, harvested from the excrement of an Asian civet.
The spectacular waterfalls
What a pleasure it is to wander around the Buon Me Thuot region to uncover the many waterfalls hidden in the jungle. The area is home to four superb waterfalls: Dray Nur, Gia Long, Trinh Nu and Dray Sap. The latter, 100 meters long and 30 meters high, is the most grandiose in the region. Beneath its impressive curtain of water that crashes into deafening rumblings is a large secret cave that houses stalactites and stalagmites forming a geological universe of great beauty. All these waterfalls are a real oasis of freshness and tranquillity where you can relax in symbiosis with nature.
Buon Me Thuot, home to various ethnic minorities
The Buon Me Thuot region has no less than 47 ethnic groups. A colourful population mainly composed of Êdê, M'nong, Bahnar, Jarai and Sedang. Ethnic groups with fiercely conserved customs and habits, testify to their numerous traditional ceremonies that punctuate their daily life. By visiting some of their villages, you will be amazed by the architecture of their houses such as the long house of the Edê or the impressive communal house of the Bahnar and its spectacular green roof in the shape of an upside down horseshoe.
Attend a traditional gong music show
The region of Buon Me Thuot is considered the cradle of the gong culture area, recognized as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2008. Therefore a trip to Buon Me Thuot cannot be complete without attending a traditional gong music show. The ethnic minorities of the Central Highlands consider the gong as a sacred object that connects people to the deities and is also a means of transmitting information between hamlets and villages.
Yok Don National Park
Yok Don National Park, the largest in the country, is home to more than 60 species of mammals, often endangered, such as elephants, tigers, leopards and bears, nearly 200 species of birds and 46 kinds of reptiles. The hike will allow you to observe and appreciate this incredible biodiversity.
Discovery of Buon Don District
Located about thirty kilometers from Buon Me Thuot, Buon Don district offers visitors some interesting sights:
- the botanical garden of Trobuh
- the 250-meter-long bamboo suspension bridge over the Serepok River, Vietnam's only river flowing westwards
- the Jang Lanh village of the M'Nong and its cemetery with impressive graves.
Also to be seen in Buon Me Thuot and its surroundings.
- the ethnographic museum of Buon Ma Thuot
- the bustling central market
- the Ako Dhong village of the Êdê ethnic group
- Lake Giao temple, Sac Tu Khai Doan pagoda, the bishopric of Dak Lak
Buon Me Thuot can be visited all year round. Beware of heavy rains between July and September.