Introducing Lak Lake
The largest natural body of water in the central highlands, Lak Lake (Ho Lak) covers 700 hectares in the rainy season, shrinking in the dry season to 400 hectares surrounded by rice paddies. While there are pockets of tourist development, it’s nowhere near as orchestrated as Ban Don Village near Yok Don National Park.
The scenery around the lake is a postcard portrait of rural life, which sufficiently impressed Emperor Bao Dai enough to build yet another of his palaces overlooking the lake. There are two minority villages around the lake that often receive visitors. On the south shores near the town of Lien Son lies Jun village, a fairly traditional M’nong settlement filled with rattan and wooden stilt houses. The villagers are surprisingly nonplussed about visitors, even though DakLak Tourist has a small set-up and runs elephant rides (US$30 per hour). The second village of M’lieng is on the southwestern shore and can be reached by elephant or boat; enquire at DakLak Tourist.