Lak Lake – the pride of Dak Lak
Lak Lake is touted as one of the must-visit sightseeing spots in the Central Highlands in general and in Dak Lak Province in particular where tourists can take a glimpse into the unique cultural life of local ethnic communities, savor appetizing specialties and experience the fantastic gong culture which has been recognized as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
About 50 kilometers from the heart of Buon Ma Thuot City and located between Dak Lak and Lam Dong Province’s city of Da Lat, Lak Lake boasts its own charming features, promising to arouse curiosity of holiday-goers and nature enthusiasts.
According to the M’Nong people, Lak means water. Legend has it that Lak Lake was born by Lak Lieng, a hero of the M’Nong ethnic people. The 650-hectare lake is in close proximity to the Krong Ana River, which flows from the 2,500-meter-high Chu Yang Sin Mountain, and is surrounded by this very river on one side and by mountain ranges on the three other sides.
Once arriving in the Lak Lake, travelers are able to experience the tranquil atmosphere of mysterious mountains in the Central Highlands. Lak Lake in the morning looks like a picturesque painting of lotuses in full bloom, with wooden boats on the lake and some elephants carrying tourists around the lake, and a harmonious combination of nature and life that wait to be discovered.
Especially, visitors will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the daily life of local ethnic people there. Jun, M’Lieng and Le villages around Lak Lake are home to the M’Nong ethnic groups who have tried to preserve and introduce their exotic cultural traits to tourists far and wide.
Visitors to these villages should not miss a chance to admire traditional long houses, enjoy unique art performances like fire dance and gong performance apart from riding on elephant back and going kayaking around the lake.
When Dak Lak Province and the Central Highlands come to mind, the cultural space of Gong in the Central Highlands acknowledged by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity is deemed as a great pride of the land. The space includes gongs, songs performed by gongs, gong players, gong festivals and venues where the festivals take place.
The M’Nong people in Jun, M’Lieng or Le villages will perform gong dances to entertain tourists at night. In addition, tourists will have a chance to taste ruou can (wine stored in a big jar and drunk by using a long pipe), a specialty of ethnic people in the Central Highlands.
Tourists are advised to try local specialties like sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes, wild vegetables, grilled pork, and grilled knifefish among others.