Lak Lake in Vietnam - A typical destination

Lak Lake is the second largest freshwater natural lake in Vietnam after the Babe Lake in North West Mountain of the country. Located in the province of Dak Lak, refueled by the river of Krong Ana, Lak Lake having 5km square is surrounded by the villages of the Mnong people living in very long houses, green mountains covered by lush forests. Its local peoples believed that the lake had no bottom. According also to local legend, the spiritual hero Mnong people, Mr. Lak Lieng, created this Lak Lake.

Lak Lake in Vietnam

Lak Lake with its local legend:

According to legend of the Mnong people, long time ago, the God of Fire had the victory over the Gods of Water after the ancestral battles. This victory has plunged the people's land in the drought. Meanwhile, there was a boy born from love of a girl of Mnong people with the God of Fire. To atone for the fault of his father, the young man went in search of water sources to save the villagers. After several days and nights spent in rugged mountains full of wild beasts, one time, exhausted, he rested. He saw an eel stuck in dry rocks that was about to die. He saved the animal. In return, the eel has taken the boy and Mnong population to settle around a lake that is currently Lak Lake.

Features of Lak Lake:

Lak Lake is located about at 500 meters above the sea. During the dry season, the lake has an area of ​​about 5 square km, or 8 - 10km square during the rainy season.

Taking the source from Chu Chang Sin Mountain or the roof of the High Plateau in central Vietnam and after crossing forests, water collects here to create the vast Lak Lake on the road between the two cities: Dalat and Buon Ma Thuot.

Looking from afar, Lak Lake is like a sparkling, blue and soft scarf as silk to reinforce the mountainous beauty of the plateau. During the rainy season, when the water rises, creating a huge, deep and blue space in which clouds are reflected. The lotus, water lilies bloom ... making the lake more splendid lake under the yellow sun.

Surrounded by the pristine forests of the plateau, Lak Lake is home of diverse fauna and flora. According to statistics, here, there are 548 species of plants, 132 species of birds, 61 of mammals, 43 of reptiles, amphibians, including a number of rare and endemic species. In addition, there are also countless aquatic species such as fish, crustaceans…which are a major economic resource for people living around Lak Lake.

Lak Lake in Vietnam

Tourism activities:

Lak Lake offers unexpected activities to visitors where they can not miss the pleasure to have an elephant ride. They are giants but can wade in the lake. Then, with the Zen spirit, you will enjoy a leisurely stroll through the villages of the Mnong ethnic group living in wooden houses but very long to explore the unique culture, activities of daily life ...

After the ride in the villages, you will make a canoe trip on the lake. Sitting on a boat, visitors can see the fish swimming in the lake, hear the water murmuring in each side. You will also hear the fish catch bait in fresh air, silence ... to relax totally, forget the concerns, the stress of everyday life...

During the trip in Lak Lake, you'll plunge yourself in the space of gongs culture ranked as the World Immaterial Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Around the fire, you will participate in an ethnic show presented by the villagers of Mnong ethnic group in traditional costume. The show is accompanied by gongs in the wild and pristine echo...

King Bao Dai, the last of the feudal regime in Vietnam, built a palace where he lived while being in the Lak Lake for hunting and for training military elephants. From his palace on a high hill, you'll see the green mountains that cover the far dreamy villages of ethnic peoples in the morning dew of Lak Lake…

You can spend the night in bungalows under the old trees of the tropical forest near the lake side. If comfort is not a problem for you, Guide du Vietnam also offers a night in homestay with Mnong people for a special experience.

Mnong people:

Lak Lake offers not only natural beauty to discover, the mysterious legend, but also the chance to explore the rich culture of the Mnong people on the Plateau of central Vietnam.

Lak Lake in Vietnam

Currently, the main inhabitants living around the Lak Lake belong to Mnong ethnic group. A walk in their villages which retain the characteristics of ethnic and traditional culture: Crafts, traditional festivals, many tools for daily life, gongs, jars, long houses ... that will make your trip in Vietnam close to local residents and more rewarding...

Mnong is an ethnic group living mainly in Vietnam, on the highlands of the center and in Cambodia where the Khmer call them: Phong, Phnong, Bunong, Budong, and Phanong...

The Mnong live mainly on dry, slash and burn cultures. Irrigated fields exist only near lakes, rivers ... The domestic animals are: Buffalo, dog, goat, pig, poultry and even elephants. The Mnong people the Don village of the Dak Lak province, in Lak Lake…have famous tradition to hunt elephants for domestication. The crafts of Mnong consist of weaving with cotton assumed by women while men take care of basketry with bamboo, rattan...

Each village of Mnong people around Lak Lake as Buon Jun, Mlieng ...has usually tens very long houses, up to 100 m where the village chief plays the major role. The people live according to the experience, knowledge and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Men and women like rice wine and rolling tobacco...

Compared to 54 peoples in Vietnam, the Mnong people are rare who follow the matriarchal system. After the wedding, the couple lives in the woman's parents. Children keep name of their mother. The role of women in the family dominates but the husband is not discriminatory. They respect each other in life. Elderly parents often live with their youngest daughter…

The marriage customs of Mnong people follow 3 steps: Ceremony of meeting of two families, engagement ceremony and wedding ceremony. During the funeral ceremony, they sing with gongs all day before burying the deceased. On the coffin, they put bamboos that can give the roots. So, when you are in their village, if you see the bamboo forests, this may be the tombs below...

The Mnong in general in Vietnam, Cambodia or in Lak Lake in particular, belong to the Indonesian family on the view of anthropology: Small, dark skin, thick lips, sparse beard, dark gray eyes…Many people have curly hair.

Lak Lake in Vietnam

The language of Mnong belongs to the Mon-Khmer family, a branch of the Austronesian language. In the vocabulary of Mnong, there are clearly the influences of Cham, Ede, Gia Rai peoples… belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family...

In the process of historical development of this people, because of places of residence scattered on isolated mountains, harsh exchanges between regions, the Mnong people are divided into several local groups. But all these groups keep the common name that is Mnong: Mnong Rlam living in Lak Lake but Mnong Bu Dang in Don village in the same Dak Lak province...

Mnong is the agricultural people. In traditional economic activities, methods of slush and burn occupy the most important position. The ordinary rice is the basic food. Sticky rice is negligible. In addition to rice, there are corn, potatoes, cassava ... which are additive food and in particular for livestock...

Hunting is also present in Mnong in Lak Lake for food, including hunting and methods of taming wild elephants for use as a highly efficient means of transport in the forest. Formerly, Mnong people also used elephants in tribal wars...

The livestock and poultry such as cattle, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks ... remains in family dimension that are primarily used for celebrations, ceremonies, sacrifices… that each family organizes several times by year according to the agriculture and life cycle ...

Previously, Mnong people in general or in particular in Lak Lake were polytheistic, they especially worshiped agricultural gods. Since the late 19th century and early 20th century, Catholicism and Protestantism began to develop in a part of Mnong.

The traditional costumes of the men are vest and loincloth that are currently used only in festivals, rituals ... The Mnong women wear a long dress until to the ankles. The dress has the dark color of indigo decorated with traditional, beautiful and red motifs…

Women wear a lot of jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets in neck, bracelets in ankles, bracelets in arms, earrings, bronze or silver rings ... The bracelets are almost indispensable that are often souvenir objects of the sacrifices, twinning. The bracelets symbolize also the divine promises with the Gods, the alliance between single ... in the traditional practices of Mnong people in Lak Lake.

Lak Lake in Vietnam

Means of transport to go to Lak Lake:

Lak Lake is located at about 50 km from the Ban Me Thuot City. During 1 hour and half drive, you will have the opportunity to visit the plantations of coffee, chest nut, pepper, rubber ... which are an important source of economy in the Highlands of Vietnam since the time of French colonial. Ban Me Thuot also has an airport which has daily flights from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (1 hour flight or 400 km of the road). From Nha Trang Beach, you can realize the 4h trip to Buon Me Thuot. Lak Lake is also accessible after 4-5 hours drive from the Dalat poetic city…

Lak Lake evokes the mysterious things to discover. Besides the natural beauty, adventures on elephant back, the pirogue… the exploration of the culture of the local population ... makes this lake one of the essential destinations on the Highlands of Vietnam...You can send us an email to: info@guideduvietnam.com for more free details on Lak Lake in Vietnam.