The Best of the Highlands: Dalat to Kontum
Just three hours drive from Dalat is Lak Lake, a large natural lake formed by converging rivers and streams. The region is ideal for travellers wishing to spend some time learning about the various minority hill tribes that live in the region such as the Jarai, M’nong and Edeh people. Visitors can explore various nearby villages by foot, bike or dug-out canoe. There is also elephant riding available and a variety of interesting visits such as the former hunting lodge of the last Emperor Bao Dai.
An hour further on is Buon Ma Thuot, one of the largest cities in the central highlands and the centre for coffee exportation for the surrounding region.
Depending on how long you break your journey for in Lak Lake you may decide to stop in Boun Ma Thout for a night or some prefer to push on further to either Pleiku (4 hours) or Kontum (5 hours). Of the two Kontum is by far the more interesting and you are well advised to spend at least one night in the small town. There are a number of points of interests within the town itself but the real highlights are the surrounding Banhar minority tribe’s villages and countryside.
From Kontum you have a few choices, either drop down from the highlands towards the coast at Quy Nhon or continue further north before making your way to the South China Sea at Danang.
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