Vietnam's Central Highlands are a distinct contrast from the tropical south, with an
arid climate, rolling hills, and blue skies. The region sees few foreign visitors, and
many of them go to revisit old battlefields or see the indigenous tribes...
Cambodia is a beautiful country with the temples of Angkor and Angkorian-era architecture.
Central Highlands Travel Guide
Vietnam's Central Highlands are a distinct contrast from the tropical south, with an arid climate, rolling hills, and blue skies. The region sees few foreign visitors, and many of them go to revisit old battlefields or see the indigenous tribes.
Forests, waterfalls, lakes, and ethnic villages
Besides the pleasant city of Dalat , it is the scenery and the ethnic minorities living here that draw travelers to this region. Although most people around here, different to their counterparts in the north-west highlands, only don their traditional clothing for special occasions, the shape and structure of the housings is much more diversified and striking. From long houses to bamboo huts, stilt houses and large communal houses, every region and ethnic has its own distinct style.
Originally built by the French colonists, Da Lat still bears a passing resemblance to a French town, an impression that is diminishing as Vietnamese-style buildings proliferate. Western visitors come to seek a refuge from the heat and humidity of the Mekong and the coastal plain as equable climate usually remaining between 10 and 20 Degree Celcious throughout the year.
Dak Lak Province Buon Ma Thuot lies about 190 km inland from Nha Trang. It is warmer and more humid than Da Lat, with a rainy season from April to November.
Attractions include the excellent Gia Long, Dray Nur waterfalls and ancient forest - Emperor Bao Dai used to hunt there. Serene Lak Lake , offering travel in a dugout canoe across the lake to ride working elephants and meet their mahouts, Nam Ka forest and dozens of ethnic villages, some with homestay facilities, are other attractions.
Gia Lai Province
Visitors can see the striking Phu Cuong waterfall, visit Plei Bloum village (Jarai ethnic people) overlooking a broad, slow-moving river. The sunset across the valley from the veranda of an ethnic homestay is a joy! The sweeping thatched roofs of the traditional 'Rong' communal houses of the Ba Na people, and the strange wooden statues around the tombs if the Jarai village cemeteries are fascinating, as is the huge Bien Ho (Sea Lake), the flooded crater of an ancient volcano where the water level hardly varies at all.
Kon Tum Province About 45km north of Gia Lai.
Visitors can stroll through ethnic communities, meet the people and experience their daily life. Trekking and homestays are available. Further away to the northwest is Yok Don, Viet Nam's largest national park, quite taxing, but the forests are striking and there are many species of flora and fauna, some very rare. Homestays are possible.