Shutterstock / SARAH NGUYEN

Buon Ma Thuot

Buon Ma Thuot can trace its origins back to a simple rural settlement: the Ede name translates as ‘Thuot’s father’s village’. But Buon Ma Thuot (pronounced ‘boon me tote’) has long outgrown its rustic origins and is now a thoroughly modern, affluent city.

That's largely down to its coffee: the surrounding region grows some of the best in Vietnam. Buon Ma Thuot plays host to a biennial Coffee Festival that sees gallons of the black nectar drunk amid much merry-making.

Most travelers stop here en route to the nearby attractions: Yok Don National Park, Vietnam's largest nature reserve, a few striking waterfalls and heaps of villages which are home to 44 ethnic groups, the dominant ones being the Ede, Jarai, M’nong and Lao. Buon Ma Thuot's worthwhile museum offers a fine introduction to the minorities.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Buon Ma Thuot.