Explore Vietnam Central Highland in six days

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Central Highland is a large mountainous region located on the West side of Central Vietnam. This area contains five different cities and provinces. Among the five provinces, Dalat is the most south-after destination where most of the best Vietnam tours are designed. And even it is said that Dalat is featured as a focal point. However, this usually leads to the negative fact that the other provinces are frequently overshadowed and most of the Outlander visitors have no clue what the others four are. Take a further and deeper look into the itinerary below to see what else you can be offered if intending to search for the finest Central Vietnam tours in six days.

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A Central Highland tribe

Day 1: Arrival in Gia Lai

On the first day, take a domestic flight arriving at Pleiku Airport (in Gia Lai Province) where you are picked up by a local tour guide. On the way to the accommodation, you will have a chance to witness the reputed T’Nung Lake and get to be told about a local abstruse fantasy behind a hidden natural lake in the middle of a giant mountain and admire the deep cool jade water before heading further to dinner and a free night wandering around Gia Lai City on your own.

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T’Nung Lake

Day 2: Pleiku – Yaly Hydroelectric Dam – Kon Tum

Morning: Wake up early in the morning for an authentic breakfast and start moving to Kon Tum for an observation of Yaly, one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Central Highland and stop over at a local restaurant for lunch.

Afternoon: Embark the other half of your day with a sightseeing tour visiting a wooden church, Konklo golden hanging bridge, Ba Na ethnic communal house along with a profound study towards their culture and customs at Konktu Village. Before moving back to your hotel, pay a short visit to the renowned Dakbla River and get a free night on your own.

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Yaly Hydroelectric Dam

Day 3: Pleiku – Buôn Ma Thuột

Morning: After breakfast, tour around several native communal houses in coincidence with Gia Lai tribal traditional culture at Playop Village featured a unique statue of the tribe’s charnel house and river wharf. Afterward, go to Minh Thành Buddhist Temple and Đồng Xanh Tourism Site to take part in various tribal civilizing folk games and have a savory lunch at noontime.

Afternoon: pack your bags and head straight to Buôn Ma Thuột for a free night, a highly well-known city in multiple best tours in Vietnam.

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Communal house

Day 4: Buôn Ma Thuột – Drynu Waterfall – Đôn Village

Morning: Welcome the very first sunlight of a new day by touring to Drynu Waterfall, one of the most magnificent in Central Highland with over 30 meters in height and nearly 100 meters in expansion. Later on, travel to Đôn Village for lunch at Sàn Si local diner, covered with a shady old Banyan tree while ditched with a legendary Serepok River.

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Drynu Waterfall

Afternoon: you can freely choose to ride on the back of a gigantic elephant touring around the Đôn Village or crossing Serepok River. Subsequently, visit an ancient house existing over 120 years of age and get to know a legend of Ama Kong, the King of elephant domesticators.

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Elephant riding

Day 5: Buôn Ma Thuột – Lak Lake – Dalat

Morning: take a quick breakfast and get started to head forward to Dalat City. Along the way, stop by a pristine Lak Lake which is known as the largest natural lake all over Vietnam and Bảo Đại Palace, where the last King of Vietnam spent his last years living in the country. Visit Lê and Jun tribal villages and take a deeper insight into M’Nong folks followed by a serene trip on the surface of Lak Lake inside a log canoe before moving on to Dalat in the afternoon for a free night stroll around the city.

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Dalat panorama

Day 6: Dalat

Spend the very last day of this Central tour in Vietnam exploring downtown Dalat only. The city is widely known as a good selection in many best tours in Vietnam highlighting perfect climate, smiley people and extremely authentic and tasty cuisine. XQ Embroidery Center, Cock Cathedral (or simply referred to as Con Gà Church), Elephant Waterfall, strawberry gardens and Dalat Central Flower Park are the main attractions you will have an opportunity to explore all.

Exploring Mang Den – “the second Da Lat” in the heart of Kon Tum

Mang Den is an ecological paradise in a town in Kon Plong District, Kon Tum Province, which is more than 1,200 m above the sea level. This area has a temperate climate so it is cool all year round, the temperature is not high, fluctuating between 16-22. More than 80% of the natural area in Mang Den is covered with primitive forests. In the eye of nature lovers, a trip to Mang Den is considered one of the best tours in Vietnam.

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Mang Den

Thanks to the temperate climate, flora and fauna are diverse here. Flowers bloom in all four seasons, creating an exceptionally beautiful scenery. With three lakes and seven mountains, this place is like an eco-paradise in Kon Tum. In this Central Highland Vietnam tour, you will be able to walk on the winding roads with the two sides of the green pine trees.

How to reach Mang Den?

There are several ways for you to get to Mang Den. You can easily pick yourself a suitable mean of transports that suits your budget and time like airplane, car, or train, and even motorbike. Then from the center of Kon Tum city, visitors can take a bus on Highway 24 to the Northeast. It is only around 56 km far. Or if you want to enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the way, you should rent and ride a motorbike to enjoy the nature in the best way.

When to visit Mang Den?

Because the weather is cool and mild all year round, anytime in a year would be suitable to travel to Mang Den. However, it is highly recommended that you go from April to May or from October to December. The period between April and May is the most exciting time for Vietnam tour for the family thanks to the cold weather, fresh air with a mild aroma of forest flowers, pine trees and pine resin while from October to December, you will have a chance to roam on the hillsides of the golden rice terraces.

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Pine rows in Mang Den

What to explore in Mang Den Kon Tum?

Stroll is the great pleasure of visitors when they arrive. Besides, in Mang Den, you can also visit the beautiful and pristine Dak Ke Lake – an ideal lake for tourists to visit to have the best tours in Vietnam. Because it is an original ecological area, Mang Den provides natural habitats for several species of flora and fauna. Mang Den has seven lakes and three special waterfalls such as Dak Ke, Pa Sy, Lo Ba, Toong Dam Lake, Toong Zori, Toong Po, etc. which are very suitable for eco-tourism associated with scientific research.

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Waterfall in Mang Den

In the early morning, when the pine is still sleepy and the weather is still a bit cold, you will get the chance to watch the sunrise. In the afternoon, tourists will be totally immersed in nature while watching the red sunset coming down behind the soaring mountains of Central Highlands. In addition to that, as noted by many Vietnam tour operators, travelers also can go to the villages to experience the local customs of the ethnic groups of Xe Dang, Mo Nam, Ka Dong, Hre here.

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Natural scenery in Mang Den

What to eat in Mang Den?

Coming to Mang Den, you will be able to enjoy the unique specialties of the forest here such as Mang Den stewed chickens, Mang Den roasted pigs, local alcohol, bamboo rice, Mang Den grilled chicken, etc.

Bamboo rice is a popular delicacy of the mountainous areas in the Central Highlands but each place and each region has its own flavors and its featured colors. Kon Plong bamboo rice deserves to be the must-try dish in any best tours in Vietnam because it is well cooked from sticky rice with pineapple leaves, so it is naturally fragrant, firm yet still sticky.

Mang Den stewed chicken has a particularly delicious taste and the chicken tastes better than in other regions due to the temperate climate here. Additionally, Mang Den roasted pig is naturally fed with only vegetables so the pork is extraordinarily delicious, fragrant, and nutritious. Before being roasted, the pigs are marinated with some quite special spices and ingredients.

Mang Den grilled chicken is one of the dishes recorded in the Vietnam Guinness because of its strange taste. Chicken is marinated with different kinds of leaves, roots and honey so when being grilled, it smells very fragrant and toothsome.

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Ruou can

“Ruou Can” (a local alcohol) is an indispensable drink in any meals of the ethnic people in Central Highlands. This typical culture feature of this region has gained a huge reputation domestically and internationally. The aroma of rice, together with fresh water in the stream, creates a passionate flavor that would fit your taste’s buds. Moreover, Mang Den also has some other specialties for you to enjoy such as wild vegetables, sour bamboo shoots, etc.

Ideal places for a biking tour in Dalat

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Dalat is famous for being one of the most romantic cities in Vietnam with a cool atmosphere all year round and a lot of romantic scenery. Besides, most of Dalat’s tourist attractions are within a 10km radius of the center, so traveling by bike does not take too much time. Today Vietnam countryside tour will introduce you the places in the center of Da Lat where you can bike with your love.

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The romantic Dalat city

I/ Where to rent a bicycle

Bicycle rental fee for 20.000d / 1 hour. And is available at many locations in the city.

Next to Nhat Nguyen coffee, address:

  • No. 2 – Tran Quoc Toan – Da Lat, near Anh Sang Park
  • No. 1 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, entrance to Da Lat Night Market
  • No.1 Bui Thi Xuan, next to the entertainment area of Da Lat

Places around Xuan Huong Lake, in the hotels in the area of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street.

II/ Ideal destinations

1/ Xuan Huong Lake – ideal place for Dalat tour

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Xuan Huong Lake in the morning

Xuan Huong Lake is a beautiful lake located in the center of Da Lat city. Around the lake, there are pine forests and lawns, flower gardens. This is a perfect place for biking or horse-drawn carriage when visiting Da Lat city. Xuan Huong Lake is an artificial lake with a circumference of about 5 km. The lake has a crescent shape that stretches for nearly 7 kilometers through many tourist sites of Da Lat city. The lake is the heart of Dalat city and one of the rare cities that there is a Lake located in the center, one of the famous tourist sites of Lam Dong province. The incredible scenery is suitable for people to bike, visit and a suitable place for couples in love dating.

2/ The valley of love

The most romantic scene in Dalat (Lam Dong) has long been one of the best tourist attractions, about 5km north of the city center. This tourist site is located deep in the hillsides with green pine forests all year round. At the bottom of the valley is Da Thien Lake, a dam built in 1972. The area of Love Valley is about 140 hectares, inherited cool climate, fresh, natural green landscape.

Playgrounds, flowers bonsai are decorated with the shape of meaning for love. This is one of the best places for Dalat countryside tour.

In the 1930s, the Indo-Chinese Varenne and the French couples usually came here and admire the scenery at the weekend in front of the poetic landscape. Thus, the French named this valley Vallée d’Amour.

3/ Da Lat Market or Hell Market

Dalat Market is a commercial center of Dalat city located on the main street of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street and is considered “the heart of Da Lat city”.

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The bathtub of flower in front of the market

Da Lat market has both elegant appearance and elegant art. Built in 1958-1960, Da Lat market has the most modern architecture of the time. Especially, this market is located at the foot of the hill, connecting with the hilltop – Hoa Binh area via a bridge on the second floor and Xuan Huong Lake by the way leading to the ground floor. In front of the market is a flower roundabout.

Near the roundabout, there is a stair leading to Le Dai Hanh Street and a slope connecting Hoa Binh with Xuan Huong Lake. All created for the Dalat market has a spectacular layout that only exists in the mountainous highland city.

Every evening you can take a walk on the pedestrian street and admire the market, the site is very interesting. You can also cycle around the market and then around Xuan Huong Lake, this is a very interesting and romantic feeling

4/ Bao Dai Palace, also known as Palace III

Located about 2km west of Dalat center, on a pine hill at an altitude of 1539m, it is the Bao Dai Palace. The villa is known as Palace III, the summer residence of Bao Dai, the feudal king, the last king of Vietnam.

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Bao Dai Palace

Palace of Dai Dalat includes Palace I, Palace II, Palace III. Between them, Palace III (the villa of King Bao Dai, the last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, was also the last emperor of the feudal dynasties of Vietnam) is a place to be visited most by visitors. Because this is the most intact place preserved in Bao Dai’s palaces in Da Lat.

The villa has 25 bedrooms, 2 floors. The ground floor is used for meetings, banquets. The room of King Bao Dai with military seals, emeralds of the Emperor, national letter, flags of countries with diplomatic relations, the bust of Bao Dai King and Khai Dinh King.

5/ Da Lat Cathedral (Con Ga Church) – top tourist attractions in Dalat

The Chicken Church is one of the most ancient architectures remains of the French colonial period. This is one of the largest churches in Dalat. The church is called the chicken Church because in the top of the bell tower there is a large chicken statue

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The interesting Chicken Church in Dalat

The church was built from 1931 and till 1942, the church was completed. The Church is 65m in length and 47m in height. If you have the opportunity to climb the bell tower, you can see some beautiful scenery in the city.

The upper part of the church is fitted with 70 stained glass panels of medieval European style. Every Christmas, the Church welcome many tourists of Dalat come to attend the ceremony and visit.

Travel With Vietnam Local Tour Operator

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In the trend of integration of Vietnam economy, tourism has become a popular socio-economic phenomenon and is a bridge of friendly cooperation as well as the ideal relaxation time. The business of exploiting the tourist market in Vietnam and especially the Central Highlands contributes to bringing visitors new experiences to discover the real life of people in Central Highlands.

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Experience the life of ethnic people in Tay Nguyen

Experiential travel is a type of travel for travelers who like to explore, experience, and learn the customs and habits of different cultures of every ethnic group in their destinations. During their trip, travelers instead of staying at the hotel, they stay at local people’ home. In the process of living here, visitors will understand more about the life of people in that land because they eat, stay and work with the host family with a cozy and friendly atmosphere. Instead of finding on the Internet, calling, and wasting time, tourists can come to Vietnam local tour operator. The travel company which is also known as the travel management company provides a package service such as most of the hotels, resorts, and carriers which are discounted for partners in the list price.

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Experience travel to go fishing in the garden

Tay Nguyen is the attractive destination which is no stranger to the domestic and international visitors. This land with the basaltic red is a mystery for those who want to explore the majestic beauty of the mountains, learn the culture of Gongs, witness the cafe garden, and ride the elephant in Do village. Because there has not developed much, the price and quality of services are stable, so visitors can choose Vietnam local tour guides. When traveling with Vietnam local tour operator, visitors will have the opportunity to experience the most authentic life, the culture of ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands.      

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Riding the elephant in Don village

December is an ideal time for visitors to the Central Highlands as at this time this place occurs at many festivals and the season of helianthus blooming yellow on the basaltic red soil.

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Watching Helianthus in Tay Nguyen

Tay Nguyen tourism attracts tourists not only the beautiful waterfalls, unique architectures but also the historic monuments and diverse eco-tourism such as the wooden church, Liliang waterfall, Chu Yang Sin national park.

Kon Tum wooden church was built by a French priest in 1913, located in the center of the city. The work was built by hand, combining between Roman style and Bana style. It is called the wooden church because the main material that makes the church is wood.

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The wooden church in Kon Tum

The unique feature of this building is that all the ceilings and walls of the church are built by soil mixed with straw. Even though a century has passed, it has remained strong and durable with time.

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The wild beauty of Liliang waterfall

Travelers can visit the majestic waterfalls in the Central Highlands. LiLiang waterfall is located in Di Linh District, Lam Dong Province. This waterfall is beautiful and wild like a beautiful woman lying with the long hair on the stacked stones. And there are many destinations that cannot be ignored in Vietnam tours.

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Chu Yang Sin national park

Moreover, going to the Central Highlands without drinking alcohol, it is considered not to go to the Central Highlands. However each ethnic group in the Central Highlands has a different drinking culture, visitors need to find out it, or the local guides will introduce it for visitors.

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Drinking tube wine in Tay Nguyen

For example, Xedang people have rules that before drinking wine, the owner put the chicken liver pieces into the ears of the bottle and then worship the Gods. But with H’re people, when everyone was sitting around the bottle of the wine, the landlord stood up, withdrew a piece of grass on the roof plug into the bottle. This symbolizes the drinking before invitation with the sky and ancestors. After landlord pours the water, if the water is filled the mouth of the bottle that is how to show respect to guests, guests must drink total invited alcohol, which is precious.

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Travelers experience drinking the tube wine

Before entering the house of the ethnic people, travelers should ask about the customs of the landlord, should not break the way up the house because of the customary taboos of the local people. Therefore, visits who want to have a perfect trip can find out the tours of Vietnam tour operator.

The New Rice Festival Of The Central Highlands

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Welcoming new rice is a long-standing custom of ethnic people living on the Truong Son range. It has the meaning of honoring the grain of Giang, giving the villagers and the custom of worshiping the Giang. The ethnic people also worship the other gods such as heavenly offerings, river gods, mountain gods, rain gods, gods of thunder, etc.

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The New Rice festival in the Central Highland

After the harvest season, most of the localities in the Central Highlands held a New Rice Celebration. The organization of each family did not coincide with each other in the village, in an orderly arrangement. How big the celebration it is depends on the ability of each family to harvest more or less and also the time that can last one or more days. This is also the opportunity for the host family to invite relatives, friends, neighbors nearby to play, eat, dance and singing. The families with many members are considered as the honor.

Therefore, in addition to worshiping the gods, rice soul, ancestors with the desire for health for the family, people also beat gongs, gongs, drums, singing and playing for many days and nights.

In Gia Lai province, the New Rice festival of the J’rai and Bahnar ethnic groups has long been preserved and promoted to these days. This is a unique point of Vietnam culture identity and also one of the great annual festivals of these two ethnic groups with the desire to bring a positive life to the community in the village.

The New Rice festival of the J’rai and Bahnar races take place over a long period of time, from November to the following year. This is the free time of the relatives after harvesting the victory season and also the time for the land to rest as the custom. Newly celebrated rice festival is held in each village, then new to each roof. Harvest of the J’ai and Bahnar tribes is one of the earliest festivals in ethnic festivals in the Central Highlands, associated with upland cultivation. Not only ritual offerings but also the reconciliation between people and people, between people with nature and scenery.

For the Ma people, this is the New Rice ceremony or the New Meal festival. The level of this ritual varies widely depending on the economic condition of each family. Animals sacrificed in the rituals of chickens, goats, pigs if the collective and the community. Their  New Rice festival is usually held at the end of the year. There are some places worshiping after the first harvest. There are also places organizing the festival when finishing all the harvest.  

For the Ede, when rice in the field has been brought back home and filled in the warehouse,  the owner started giving a hand to hold the New Rice ceremony. The ceremony was not organized in the whole village at once, each families taking the turn each other. Women cooking, Men preparing wine, pigs, chickens. Guests, relatives from the far away, are invited to attend. If you can join, it will be relatively fascinating in your Vietnam culture tour.

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The offering in the festival

Up to now, the authority of Kon Tum province has restored 19 special festivals of ethnic minority people in the province. All the festivals are based on the original, carried out by the village patriarch and local people. The festivals are restored such as the New Rice festival (Chong o hon hư) of the B’râu; Cha Kacha Festival (eating coal) of the Gie Trieng ethnic group; M’nê (Thanksgiving) of the Xo Dang ethnic group. After the restoration, these festivals have been maintained by local people and held annually in their community as their custom.

In the countryside of Vietnam, almost every ethnic group has a unique culture through the festival. Activities of festivals such as the museum of the cultural life of the nation have been handed down, inherited through the centuries. For community residents living on the plateau, the New Rice festival is the earliest festival of the people here. The life of people in the Central Highlands is associated with subsistence farming, so the New Rice festival is indispensable in their spiritual life.

 If you have a chance to make the experience in Vietnam culture tour, let give a try their traditional wine,   the dance of the ethnic people, and their challenging food which are things to do in Central Highland Vietnam.

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Drinking Traditional Wine of the Ethnic

Special Tourist Spots For Vietnam Honeymoon Tours In Tay Nguyen

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Tay Nguyen is a mountainous area in the Highland of Vietnam. It offers some of the best places for their Vietnam honeymoon tours.

The weather here is cool all year round; indigenous people are always friendly and hospitable. Moreover, tourists can immerse themselves into plenty of romantic spots. Here are some.

Mang Den Tourist Area

You will admit that in the Central Highlands there is a “the second Da Lat” with beautiful scenery, fresh and cool weather. This is the ideal destination for honeymoon in Vietnam.

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Mang Den in Dak Lak

Mang Den is an ecological tourist attraction, attracted by the majestic natural landscape of the natural lake, waterfalls in the middle of the green pine forest.

The combination of natural beauty, the unique culture of ethnic minorities living together here makes your trip extremely interesting. Moreover, the mystery of the legends, the story of this land also arouses the curiosity, the desire to explore more.

Here, you also enjoy the traditional dishes such as rice, chicken, roast chicken … drop your soul into the wild land of peace to unwind in your holiday.

Lak Lake – Buon Jun ( Dak Lak)

Lak Lake is one of the large natural freshwater lakes with the beautiful natural beauty of mountains and forests in Buon Jun, Lien Son town of Lak district. This place will make your Vietnam honeymoon tour more fascinating. Dak Lak province is home to the romantic Lak lake, the original beauty of the village of Tay Nguyen. This place has always kept its traditional identity that has been preserved through generations.

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Lak Lake

Dray Nur Waterfall ( Dak Lak)

Dray Nur Waterfall, the most majestic waterfall in Tay Nguyen, is a combination of the Krong Ana River and Krong No River. These two rivers merged together to form the legendary Serra River in the Central Highlands connecting the two banks of Dak Lak and Dak Nong. From the height of more than 30m, the cascading waterfall falls into the river deep, creating a magical nature.

Coming to Dray Nur waterfall, visitors will have a chance to try strong feelings when they go into the cave inside the waterfall or take a suspension bridge, and visit the life of the village, learn the traditional culture of ethnic identity in the Kuop village.

Yok Don National Park

Located in Buon Don district and Ea Sup district, Dak Lak province, 40 km northwest of Buon Me Thuot city (on the way to Buon Don tourist site). Yok Don National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Vietnam with a total area of ​​115,545ha.

Yok Don National Park has many kinds of precious trees such as maple, coffee, violet leaves, etc. Primitive forests occupy more than 90% of the total garden is an ideal habitat for species. plants and animals.

Yok Don National Park currently has 67 species of mammals, 196 species of birds, 46 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians and about 100 species of insects. Wildlife is not only abundant and diverse but also very specific to the fauna of Southeast Asia. Of the 56 species of rare animals in Indochina, Yok Don has 36 species and 17 species listed in the world red book such as elephant, forest buffalo, horns, star deer, chamois, pheasant, pheasant, flute.

The Garden of Flower in Da Lat

When you set foot on Da Lat, located on Langbian Plateau, visitors will be surprised at the natural scenery, cascades, rainy streams and especially flowers. Nowhere in our country are there more flowers like Da Lat: from rainforest flowers to the flowers of the West. It will be a perfect spot for your Vietnam honeymoon tour.

The Garden of Flower, located at the end of Xuan Huong Lake, next to romantic Cu Hill, 2km from the city center.

The flower garden is currently the largest and most complete collection of Dalat flowers with hundreds of different flowers. In addition to the traditional flowers that tourists know as Cam Ly, Rose, Mimosa; At the flower garden, there are dozens of new varieties of flowers that have been introduced to Dalat for over 10 years such as Daisies, Roses, Rhododendrons, etc.

The Valley of Love in Lam Dong

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The Valley of Love

 The Valley of Love, one of the most romantic sights, idea spot for tours for couples in Vietnam, about 6 km Northeast of the city center. At first, the French called this place Vallée d’Amour (Valley of Love) after it was renamed Peace Valley, and back in 1953, it is the Valley of Love.

Guides for the first-time visitors to Buon Me Thuot

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Considered to be the cultural center of Highlands Area, Buon Ma Thuot attracts visitors thanks to the immense coffee fields, majestic waterfalls or the beauty of the legendary Serepok.

1/ Best time to visit Buon Ma Thuot:

Buon Ma Thuot has two distinct rainy and sunny seasons. The dry season starts from November to April next year. The rainy season starts from May to October. Due to the relatively mild climate, the annual average temperature is 23 – 24 degrees Celsius, so you can come to Buon Ma Thuot at any time of the year. Especially in December (wildflowers and wild local festivals) or February – March (coffee flower season and attractive elephant race).

2/ How to travel to Buon Ma Thuot

Buon Ma Thuot is about 350 km from Ho Chi Minh City, about 1,400 km from Hanoi. You can choose to go by train or air:

  • From Ho Chi Minh City: if you go by bus, you will take about 7-8h, the ticket can be purchased at Mien Dong bus station for about 200,000 – 240,000 VND. You can choose a late flight (22 hours) to take advantage of the night sleep in the car.

Alternatively, you can choose between Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar, which cost between 1-1.5 million VND. It takes only a one-hour flight to Buon Ma Thuot.

  • From Hanoi: You can buy air tickets from Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar for around 2-3 million round trip. The flight from Hanoi to Buon Ma Thuot lasts about 1h40 minutes.

The airport is about 15 km from the city center, with many taxis so you do not have to worry about moving.

3/ Hotels in Buon Ma Thuot

Buon Ma Thuot does not lack hotels from popular to luxury. You can find many hotels on Ngo Quyen street, Nguyen Duc Canh, Nguyen Cong Tru, Nguyen Chi Thanh … If you go there in the festival, you need to book in advance to make sure a nice room or be forced price.

4/ Places to visit in Buon Ma Thuot

You do not have to worry about do not know things to do in Buon Me Thuot in your Vietnam off the beaten track tour.

  • Waterfall system: Gia Long, Dray Nur, Dray Sap

Waterfall system: Gia Long – Dray Nur – Dray Sap belongs to Serepôk river, Nam Ha commune, Krong K’No district, Dak Nong province. Dray Nur Waterfall is 25 km away from Buon Ma Thuot City, and 3 km from the Buon Kopp Hydropower Plant. It is a majestic waterfall that was given to Dak Lak. This is a place that you can not ignore when having a Vietnam off the beaten track tour.

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Dray Nur waterfall in the morning

Dray Nur means female falls. The cascade is also known as the Wife Falls, which is also called the upper Dray Nur. Dray Nur is located right next to the Dray Sap Waterfall (or Husband Falls) and just a short distance from the Dray Sap bridge over the Serepôk River. Both are beautiful and majestic waterfalls.

  • Buon Don

Buon Don is a village on the plateau in Krong Na commune, Buon Don district. In the past, Buon Don was referring to a large area, stretching along the Serepôk river-peaceful waters all year round, girls, boys, old people, young people drunk with folk dances during the ceremony, together with hunting and domesticating elephants.

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Have wonderful experiences with elephant trips

Arrive in Buon Don, especially while in Vietnam off the beaten track tour, you can explore the cultural life, customs, and activities of many ethnic groups, visit the architecture of the Khumjung tomb, elephant picnic on the Serepôk River, visit Yok Don National Park with the reserve of rare plants and animals. In addition, from Buon Don, visitors can take a canoe boat down the Serepôk stream to visit and excursions in the waterfall 7 branches. If visitors want to learn culture, customs, the leaders of Buon Don can organize a night festival, drinking wine with traditional folk cultural activities.

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Or discover the forests

  • Lak Lake

Thinking of Dak Lak, people often refer to the legend of Lak Lake – one of the large natural freshwater lakes, connected with the Krong Ana River, about 500ha, located at altitudes over 500m above sea level. This is a unique ecotourism destination attracting domestic and foreign tourists, with a natural beauty of romantic mountains and surrounding forests.

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Lak Lake in the sunset

In addition to beautiful natural scenery, fresh air and water adventures on elephants and wooden boats with excursions to discover the culture, special characteristics of the village of Mo Nong, has been and will bring many amazing experiences with Lak lake- an indispensable destination for tours in Dak Lak in particular and the Central Highlands region in general. 

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Having a wonderful time here

Da Lat Flower Festival 2017 – A fascinating festival in Vietnam

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People celebrate the beauty of flowers all over the word regardless races or nations. Thousands of flowers of all kind gather in one place with music and people dancing are the most wonderful things to please your eyes and soul.

In Vietnam, Da Lat is the paradise of the flower where the weather allows colorful flowers to bloom year round. Da Lat festival always draws the attention of tourists in and outside the country. Of all festival tours in Vietnam and Da Lat, flower festival is the most famous one.

Dalat City

Da Lat City (Source: Internet)

Started in 2005, the festival achieved a great success and impressed local people as well as international friends. Since then, the flower festival is organized once in every two years in December when Da Lat is at her finest. This year, the festival will last from December 23 until December 27, 2017, with the main theme: Da Lat Flowers – A miracle from the good earth.

This is the time when local people celebrate and embrace the beauty of nature and an excellent opportunity for foreign visitors to see one of the most gorgeous festivals in Vietnam.

Schedule

Here is detail schedule for activities in 2017 festival for those who might be interested:

Time: 5 days, from 23rd Dec to 27th Dec 2017

Location: Da Lat City, Bao Loc City and some area within Lam Dong Province.

Theme: Da Lat Flower – Miracle from the good earth.

Wild sunflower in Dalat

Wild Sunflower – you can find along the road around Da Lat (Source: Internet)

Main activities 

Name

Time and venue

Opening ceremony

20:00, Dec 23

Lam Vien square

Da Lat wine gala – Love for the Cold Land

20:00, Dec 24

Lam Vien square

Ao Dai Silk Fashion Week

December 23 to 25, 2017

Gala show: 20:00 Dec 24, Da Lat Palace Golf Course

Fashion and Art show:

Charming Vietnam

20:00 Dec 25

Lam Vien Square

Gala night: Da Lat – Miracle from the good Earth

19:00 Dec 26

Lam Vien Square

Closing ceremony

(concert performance to close the festival)

19:00 Dec 27

Lam Vien Square

Flower display

Dec 23 to 27

Around the city and tourist spot

International flower and bonsais exhibition

December 23, 2017 till January 2, 2018

Da Lat Flower Park

Trade fair and tourism exhibition

December 23, 2017 till January 2, 2018

Culture & Sports Center of Duc Trong district

Da Lat Vegetables and Flowers Fair;

Da Lat hi-tech agriculture exhibition.

December 23, 2017 till January 2, 2018

Da Lat Urban cultural Park (Golf Valley)

Da Lat, Lam Dong Tea- Coffee – Wine and Specialties street

December 23, 2017 till January 2, 2018

Ho Tung Mau Street, Da Lat City

Seminar on Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion in Lam Dong province

8:00 till 12:00, December 26

Provincial Party Hall

Silk and Tea Gala night

20:00, December 24

28/3 Square, Bao Loc City.

“Tea fragrance – Silk Beauty” Exhibition

December 23 to 27, 2017

Bao Loc Culture & Sports Center

Where to stay to attend the Da Lat flower festival

Most of exhibition and art performance will take place in Da Lat City, so hotels near the city center are your best bet.

You have a diverse accommodation option in Da Lat from budget hostel to high-end hotels. You can find one on booking.com or agoda.com that fit your budget.

Homestay is our recommendation!. Homestays in Da Lat have strange yet creative and eye-catching look. The room rate is quite affordable.

Homestays in Dalat

Homestay in Da Lat (Source: Internet)

Transportation to Da Lat

Airway: two airlines that provide the direct flight to Lien Khuong airport (30 km away from city center) is Vietnam airlines and Vietjet air.

Bus: below are the largest and most popular service providers with their contact

From Ho Chi Minh City: Thanh Buoi (0838.308.090 – 0633.540.540) and Phuong Trang (063.3585858). Cost: 220,000 VND/person

From Hanoi: Tai Thang (0903.571.901 – 0633.815.521). Cost: 7000,000 VND/person

Tips for Flower festival tours

Here are some tips from centralhighlandvietnam for your upcoming flower festival tours:

  • Book flight and hotel at least 2 months in advance: with many tourists
  • Travel to Vietnam around this time, either hotels or flights will be at its full capacity so make sure you have all your booking done earlier.
  • Bring a light jacket: Da Lat weather in December are filled with sunshine. There is no rain, but at night it gets colder. Take a light jacket with you not to miss any activities after the sun goes down.
  • During the time of Da Lat festival, it will get very crowded so take care of your belongings. You’d better bring a crossbody bag and wear it on your front.
  • Leave your passport and other important documents in a safe box at your hotel.

 

Vietnam travel reviews for solo travelers

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It was a breathtaking 7-day trip with a lot of fun, and unforgettable moments. I am glad to share my Vietnam travel review with those who still do not know where to go in Vietnam as solo travelers.

When I first told my best friends about my attempt to travel to the Central Highlands and South Central Coast in Vietnam alone, as a female traveler, they looked at me as if I have gone mad. Surely, to them, traveling alone is something abnormal; and once you are a young girl, you should only go with your mates.

I started my itinerary anyway. After a week traveling through this amazing country, I wrote to my friend, informed that I survived and told them how wonderful my trip was. Vietnam, my home country, has officially earned a special place in my heart.

Dalat

My first destination was Dalat, a so-called “La Petit Paris” in the middle of Vietnam. The weather was a bit like in Southern Germany during summer, cool and pleasant during the daytime and crisp at night. The cool weather, fertile soil, and kind people make Dalat an ideal place to settle.

Da Lat

A peaceful afternoon in Dalat (Source: Internet)

From the airport, take any airport bus. It costs 50.000 VND and takes around 40 minutes to arrive at the heart of Dalat.

Where to go in Dalat?

There are many places to explore in this lovely city. Dalat Market, for example, is a great place to get cheap and delicious food. From fried noodle, beef salad to fresh baguettes. I went to the market every morning during the time I was there just to catch the early market ambiance. Farmers busily deliver their vegetables and meat; local vendors arrange their goods and are almost always ready to welcome any curious tourists, like me. From 7 p.m, the night market is opened. The local people called it Cho Am Phu – Market in Hell because it operates until 2 or 3 in the morning hidden in the spooky mist.

Langbiang, considered the roof of Lam Vien highlands, is one of the must-see destinations. Located 12 kilometers away from Dalat, and over 2,000 meters above sea level, Langbiang has inspired adventure tourists, hikers and local people for its breathtaking view and cool climate at the top. 

Road to Langbiang Mountain

Road to Lang Biang (Source: Internet)

There are many wonderful cafes spreading all over Dalat. Situated in the golden area for coffee growing, Dalat offers the most renewed and invigorating coffee in Vietnam. My pick was An Cafe in Ba Thang Hai Street where I believe they serve the best coffee in town. However, don’t let my assumption stop you from exploring other nice cafes.

As a person who fancies vegetarian cuisine, I was actively looking for vegetarian restaurants during the time I was in Dalat. It turned out that those restaurants were not hard to find, even though they were not located in the city center. Some restaurants include Lotus Restaurant in Phan Dinh Phung Street and Thien Duyen Restaurant in Phan Boi Chau Street.

After three days in Dalat, I hopped on a local bus and went to Ninh Thuan.

Ninh Thuan

Ninh Thuan lies in the south-central coast of Vietnam. Ninh Thuan has everything, ranging from mountains (the highest of which is Chua Moutain in the north-east of the province), rivers, and of course many beautiful beaches. This province is a kind of place that once you visit; you do not want to leave.

Phan Rang Ninh Thuan

Phan Rang – Ninh Thuan (Source: Internet)

The reason I chose Ninh Thuan was that it was less crowded but as beautiful as any other coastal provinces in the country. Bien Binh Tien, a newly discovered beach, for instance, enchanted me with its jewel-blue water. Nothing was more blissful than an evening spending in Binh Tien watching the tufty white clouds drifting by. Another favorite place of mine was Vinh Hy Bay. In Vinh Hy, Rai Cave, known as the waterfall on the sea, where moss and water share a harmony life. Corals, hidden under the clear water, sparkle like massive sapphire. Nui Chua National Park is surely a must-visit place. To reach the top, you need to complete six smaller peaks including Chua chat, Chua chau, Chua em, Chua chong, and Chua vo. Chua in English means God. Therefore, if you want to confront the top God, you need to meet his family members on the way first.

Vinh Hy Bay 

The emerald water in Vinh Hy is what attracts tourists (Source: Internet)

Throughout four days in Ninh Thuan, I tried many dishes, but there were two that satisfied my appetite. The first dish was Com Ga or chicken rice. The chief reason why this seem-to-be-simple dish was such a flavor explosion to me is due to its sauce. Fish sauce with smashed garlic and chili goes perfectly with chicken and rice. The second one was Banh Xeo or Vietnamese traditional pancake. Ninh Thuan pancakes are cooked in clay mold in a big oven. The pancakes are served in a set of five with peanut, bean sprout, and dipping sauce.

I left Ninh Thuan at 3 to fly back to Hanoi. The next morning I still felt the smell of salt lingering in my hair.

 

 

Top tips when traveling Vietnam for first – time visitors

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With beautiful scenery, unique culture and friendly people, Vietnam is a wonderful country for many tourists to visit. Scroll through this article and keep in mind these useful top tips when travel Vietnam to make the best of your first Vietnam trip.

Be sure of Vietnam Visa policy

Vietnam visa

Vietnam visa (Source: Internet)

To travel to Vietnam, you are required to have a passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) and a tourist visa. Most tourists are required to have a visa before arrival. However, holders of normal passports issued by these below countries do not require visas for Vietnam:

90-day visit: Chile
30-day visit: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia.
21-day visit: Philippines
15-day visit: South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Finland, UK, Germany, Spain, Italia

14-day visit: Brunei, Myanmar

Citizens of other countries are required to get a visa before traveling to Vietnam. To get Vietnam visa, you can apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in your country.

Another Vietnam travel tip is to get a Vietnam visa on arrival by pre-registering and finishing the process of applying for a Vietnam Visa Online. You will have to pay a visa fee online, get a pre-approved letter. Make sure to bring a copy of this letter with you when you travel to Vietnam. You also have to prepare passport-sized photos, pay the stamping fee and show the pre-approved letter in the Immigration Office at the airport to get a Vietnam visa on arrival.

Choose the best time to travel Vietnam

As Vietnam stretches the length of over 1,000km and has huge regional diversity, it can be complicated to decide the ideal time to travel Vietnam if you plan to travel the whole country. Generally, the best time to travel Vietnam is spring (from February to April) and autumn (August to October). During these seasons, the rainfall is lighter and the temperatures often more moderate for tourists to enjoy sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Sapa

Sapa’s Rice terraced fields in harvest season in September (Source: Internet)

While Hanoi, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh City are year-round destinations to travel, destinations in the Northern Vietnam such as Sapa, Halong Bay are best to travel from March to June, September and October with warmer days, clear skies, and temperate conditions.

From February to August is the best time to travel the coastal Vietnam, which stretches from Hue to Nha Trang, whereas, other Southern destinations such as Mekong Delta are best from November to February.

Get the basics of Vietnamese language

The Vietnamese language may be difficult to foreigners as some of the Roman letters have different sounds as in English. One of the top tips when travel Vietnam is to learn basic Vietnamese words and phrases, such as counting, greetings (“xin chao”), thank you (“cam on”), etc. This might take you a bit of time, but definitely will help you to communicate in daily conversations, especially in some regions where English speakers can be very rare.

Download the currency converter application

Vietnam’s currency is Vietnamese dong (VND). US1$ is equivalent to about 23,000VND. When traveling to Vietnam, you should download a smartphone application that can quickly convert currency rate. This will make bargaining and financial planning much easier.

Plan things to do in Vietnam

Famous destinations in Vietnam

Famous tourist destinations in Vietnam (Source: Internet)

Many tourists who travel to Vietnam for the first-time don’t quite know what to expect. Vietnam is home to a wealth of attractions, which will satisfy all types of tourists. If you are interested in history and cultural, your visit to Vietnam would not be complete without exploring the historical ruins in Cu Chi, My Son, the famous prisons in Con Dao and visiting cultural heritage sites in the Ha Noi, Hue, Hoi An. If you are a nature enthusiast, your top things to do in Vietnam definitely are visiting Halong Bay, swimming in beautiful beaches along the coastal Vietnam, exploring the tropical forests and even, Sahara-like desert in Mui Ne. If you are an adventurous traveler seeking thrilling experiences, Northern Vietnam provinces or Quang Binh province with exciting trekking, hiking, and caving activities will be your places to be.

centralhighlandvietnam hopes that with these useful tips, you will enjoy your exciting trip to Vietnam !