While mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam will introduce you to the misty ambiance, chilly air, and spectacular mountain scenery, the Central Highlands will bring you a different vibe with red soil and burning sunlight. Let’s take a look at our Buon Ma Thuot travel guide to have some ideas about this captivating city!
Things that This Buon Ma Thuot Travel Guide Covers
A Few Glimpses of Buon Ma Thuot
1. Buon Ma Thuot is the capital of Dak Lak Province. It is the largest and most densely-populated city of Vietnam Central Highlands.
2. The local economy focuses on planting industrial trees such as coffee, pepper, cashew, and rubber. The city is also known as the capital of coffee.
- The dry season starts from November to April next year, and the rainy season starts from May to October.
- With the relatively mild climate, the average annual temperature in Buon Ma Thuot is 23-24 degrees Celsius.
- Best time to visit Buon Ma Thuot: You can come here at any time of the year. However, the most ideal month is December (the season of yellow wildflowers and wild local festivals) or February (the coffee flower season and the attractive elephant racing festival).
Coffee flowers in bloom
Ways to Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot
Distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot: about 350 km
Transfer from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot by Plane
For those seeking a time-saving way to reach Buon Ma Thuot, flying is undoubtedly your best choice! The good news is that Buon Ma Thuot Airport is only 10 kilometers from the city center, so you won’t have to wait for extra hours to start your adventure in this town.
- Departure: Tan Son Nhat Airport
- Destination: Buon Ma Thuot Airport
- Duration: 1 hour
- Price: VND 800,000 – VND 1,500,000
Move from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot by Bus
As traveling by bus only costs you a fifth or a fourth of an airline ticket, this vehicle is a prevalent choice among locals and backpackers. However, the rough and winding roads may make you feel dizzy, so remember to stay healthy and sleep well before kicking off your journey.
- Duration: 8 – 10 hours
- Price: VND 200,000 – VND 300,000
You can book bus tickets here:
Go from Ho Chi Minh City to Buon Ma Thuot by Motorbike
A motorbike tour in Vietnam seems interesting, but this is true only when you are a skillful driver. As Buon Ma Thuot stands on a plateau, get ready to deal with challenging passes and several road bends.
- Addresses to rent motorbikes
- Duration: 3 – 4 days
- Price: VND 150,000 – VND 300,000/day
Must-try Dishes in Buon Ma Thuot
Bun Do (Red Soup with Vermicelli)
Due to its reddish soup, Bun Do is usually mistaken with Bun Rieu (Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup). Though these two share some common ingredients, Bun Do has a different type of vermicelli (larger and thicker than that used in Bun Rieu), and the red color of its soup is more noticeable.
Recommendation: Quan Thu
- Opening hours: 5 PM – 10 AM
- Address: Phan Dinh Giot – Le Hong Phong junction, Tan Tien Ward
- Price: VND 25,000
A bowl of Bun Do is like a colorful painting with green vegetables, brown crab sticks, and white quail eggs
Though you can easily spot Banh Uot stalls in almost all parts of Vietnam, its Buon Ma Thuot version has a unique taste that you will find nowhere else across the country.
When enjoying a standard set of Banh Uot, you will see all ingredients are put on a plate. In contrast, once you try Banh Uot in this “coffee city”, you will be offered a bunch of dishes, some containing spring onions, some having rice paper, some providing Vietnamese pork sausage.
Recommendation: Banh Uot Thit Nuong
- Opening hours: 2 PM – 8 PM
- Address: 45 Tran Nhat Duat Street, Tan Loi Ward
- Price: VND 20,000 – VND 30,000
A set of Banh Uot in Buon Ma Thuot
Bo Nhung Me (Tamarind Dipped Beef)
With a sweet and sour taste, this is also a signature dish of Buon Ma Thuot. Beef is first dipped in tamarind sauce and then served with bread, watercress, and salad. If you are a fan of wrap and roll dishes, get ready to put this on your checklist.
Recommendation: Ca Te Quan
- Opening hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
- Address: 140 Le Thanh Tong, Tan Loi Ward
- Price: VND 30,000 – VND 100,000
Love spring rolls? You may love Bo Nhung Me too!
Worth-visiting Places in Buon Ma Thuot
The city itself does not offer many attractions, but it is an intermediary that leads you to stunning spots. Our Buon Ma Thuot travel guide has some options for you to consider:
Airy and serene as it is, Lak Lake is an ideal place for you to let your hair down after a long journey from Ho Chi Minh. To make the most of your time here, don’t miss the chance to go sightseeing and boating. An interesting stop around Lak Lake is the villa ground of Bao Dai – the last emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Here, you can see the place that the Nguyen Dynasty trained their war elephants.
Another popular activity is elephant riding, which symbolizes the unique traveling routine of locals. However, in recent years, people are worried about the health and living condition of these elephants. This concern has caused lots of controversies over this activity.
Opening hours: 7 AM – 5 PM
Address: Lak, Dak Lak Province
- Emperor Bao Dai’s villa: VND 10,000
- Dugout canoeing: VND 150,000/2 person/30 minutes
Lak Lake is the second largest lake in Vietnam
Yok Don National Park
Being one of the largest special-use forests in Vietnam, Yok Don has two small mountains in the south of the Serepok River. Dipterocarp (resin tree) is the most prevalent type of plant here, and Yok Don is also the only national park in Vietnam that preserves it. Once coming here, you can enjoy exciting activities such as hiking and terrain biking in the primeval forests. For adventurous explorers, you can go to see wild animals at night.
Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 6 PM
Ticket price: VND 10,000 – VND 60,000
Com Lam served with grilled chicken is a must-try dish in Ban Don
The World Coffee Museum
Are you a coffee lover? Head straight to The World Coffee Museum! Inspired by the distinctive architecture of ethnic minorities, the museum can be described as a stylized version of the local communal house. What’s special about it is that the interior is designed in a polymorphic curve that looks like sound waves.
Opening hours: 8 AM – 7 PM
Ticket price: VND 75,000
The museum is run by Trung Nguyen Coffee, a Vietnamese coffee brand that has a strong reputation around the world
Dray Nur and Dray Sap Waterfalls
Once coming to these waterfalls, you may hear a romantic forbidden love story behind them. The folklore tells that a couple of lovebirds decided to find death together when their love faced objections from both families. Dray means waterfall, Nur means wife, Sap means husband; and one is just a stone’s throw away from another. As the waterfalls are embellished with luscious plants on and around them, you will feel like being introduced to a masterpiece of nature.
Opening hours: 8 AM – 7 PM
- Dray Nur Waterfall: VND 30,000
- Dray Sap Waterfall: VND 40,000
Coming to Dray Nur Waterfall, you can also enjoy a buffet, gong performance, and ruou can
The spectacular scenery of Dray Sap Waterfall
Accommodation in Buon Ma Thuot
Muong Thanh Luxury Buon Ma Thuot Hotel
Located in the administrative and economic center of the city, Muong Thanh Luxury is a hot spot for Buon Ma Thuot visitors. Though the price is way higher than other lodgements in town, its services and facilities are not to doubt.
As its name reveals, Muong Thanh Luxury offers top-notch services that can be compared to world-class hotels
Saigon – Buon Ma Thuot
As part of Vietnam’s prominent tourist corporation – Saigontourist Group, this hotel guarantees you clean rooms and stylish amenities. Since it is situated in the heart of Buon Ma Thuot, you can easily access conveniences like markets, shops, and restaurants.
This 17-floor building provides you with a panoramic view of Buon Ma Thuot
Dam San Hotel
Unlike the above accommodations, which brings you a modern and classy vibe, Dam San Hotel truly blends in with the local culture thanks to its wooden furniture and brocade details. Being a seasoned hotel in the area, Dam San is frequently used as a venue for events such as weddings, New Year’s, or company parties.
Dear sports lovers, Dam San has a tennis court and an outdoor swimming pool if you feel like not going out of the hotel
You can also look for your favorite hotel below:
Fantastic Souvenirs in Buon Ma Thuot
Coming to Buon Ma Thuot without buying coffee is an omission. It is not exaggerating to say that you can find a world of coffee here! Whether you opt for common types like Robusta and Arabica, or a less popular one like Liberica, you will be impressed by the distinctive taste that it offers. To add a little spice to your coffee experience, try weasel coffee, and you will understand why it has such a strong reputation all over the world.
Apart from coffee, avocado is always among the top souvenirs on any Buon Ma Thuot travel guide. The nutrition of avocado is out of the question, but its flavor is even more impressive. Trust us, when enjoying Buon Ma Thuot avocado, you will wonder why you haven’t tried this sooner.
Buon Ma Thuot Market is where you can purchase the nutritious avocados
Final Words about Buon Ma Thuot Travel Guide
If you are seeking an off the beaten path experience, this so-called capital of coffee must be an indispensable part of your tourist map. To make the most of your journey, don’t hesitate to grab this chance and discover the diversity of this red-soil area. Let’s start this amazing trip by learning about nearby provinces like Kon Tum or Gia Lai after reading our Buon Ma Thuot travel guide.
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