Welcome to Buôn Ma Thuột City, Đắk Lắk.
Buon ma thuot is the Capital City of Dak Lak province in Central Vietnam. Dak Lak is best known as the best coffee growing region in Vietnam. I previously wrote a post about the Paradise Coffee shop which is one of the most beautiful coffee shops I've been to anywhere in the world. You can see that post here: https://beta.cent.co/+ld4q33
The lit arch you see is fairly common when you enter most medium to large cities in Vietnam. It is simply a welcome to travellers and a wish that you enjoy their city.
This is a cultural museum in Dak Lak that documents the local people's traditions and culture.
In Vietnam, there are 54 ethnic minorities. Kinh is the largest group with 80% of the population being Kinh, the other 53 represent a total of only 20% of the population so these museums serve an ever growing need to documents these diminishing groups.
Dak Lak is home to around 40 ethnic groups so there is quite a diversity in the region and this museum is culturally significant.
Although Buon ma thuot is the Capital, scenes like this are common on the outskirts of the city. Rural life is never far away outside of the major cities. Even then, there are still areas where you can find this type of scene.
I went to this small restaurant and asked the owner, who spoke a little English and was able to understand my Vietnamese to choose a local dish for me.
She chose ếch um cả chuối - frog with green banana. It was really delicious. I happen to really like frog - I was more concerned about the banana!
Dak Lak is also known for its elephants. Elephants are commonly used here for hauling logs, working farms etc. I was actually hoping to see some elephants in the wild, but I had to settle for this elephant park. I'm not a fan of wild animals in captivity, but as far as that goes, this is one of the better places I've seen.
This place is called Ban Don about an hour out if the city. To get to the area where the elephants are in a more natural state I would have had to travel a few hours and as the weather wasn't great (it rained most days I was there) I decided to do with Ban Don.
Although I would have liked to, I wouldn't go on the elephant ride out of principle.
I enjoyed my week in Buon ma thuot and surrounds and would like to go back there one day.