Ban Don: green island between high mountain and thick forest

Published:  01:45 Wednesday - February 27, 2013

Among immense mountains and forests in wind-swept Central Highland (Tay nguyen), there is a village considered as a small and beautiful island. That seems to be weird, but let’s go and discover interesting things here with your own eyes.

The destination that is familiar with people loving the sunshine, the wind and winter season every afternoon in the Central Highland is Buon Don (alternative name is Ban Don) in Buon Don district (Dak Lak district).

Ban Don is about 50 kilometers far from Buon Me Thuot city to the northeast, close to the border of Cambodia and Lao. Ban Don is “village of islands” in Vietnamese. The village was built in the middle of Se-re-pok river that is considered as the intersection of Vietnam, Lao and Cambodia.


This river is known as a stream of Mekong river and leads to 3 countries. Formerly, Laotian was attracted when coming here to do business and finally, they stayed here with native Ede people, and then built this village. Now, Ban Don has been the brand name of Central Highland tourism. In the end of rainy season and before the start of hot summer, wild sunflowers bloom all over the hillside in Vietnam tourism.

In the village of islands, water covers all 4 directions. In the riverhead, water of main river flows downstream, Se-re-pok River is full of bright and cheerful red water – the color of basalt soil. When flowing through the village, the river is divided into 7 large and small streams, impetuously going through cliffs, making the huge waterfall. People call it with the name of the waterfall Bay Nhanh in N’Drech village, Ea huar commune, Buon Don district.

In 7 branches, the widest branch is about 2 kilometers, the narrowest is about 20-30 centimeters. Each branch has different features, making tourists interested. The first branch is dense with banyan trees. The second, third and forth branch have many cliffs, making different levels of water. Therefore, one part of the river is called waterfall. The fifth branch has plenty of smooth pebbles like gravels in beaches of the central. The seventh branch flows through Yok Don national park in which there are many old forests with specific trees of Central Highland.

Ban Don has existed for many centuries, but it still keeps the primitive of forests and mountains. Coming here , visitors seem to enter hundred years land, touch the space of primitive thick forests and high mountain. All of domestic and foreign travelers like this cultural and primitive land.

Setting foot here, visitors can listen to the legend of “elephant king” and people who are very good at taming elephants in the world. Y Thu (also known as N’Thu Knul) is a person taming more than 300 elephants. One of them is a white elephant that was given king of Xiem country, so the king named it -Khun-ju-nop (it means king of elephant).

From that time, he has been a legend of Central Highland. His tomb has existed among the forest and mountain until now. People in Central Highland call it Tomb of elephant king. It is hard to tell all of the Tay Nguyen legend in Ban Don. The legends are immortal and will live forever with the forest and mountain and local people who respect the cultural and natural values with Vietnam travel guide.

Wandering among the forest and mountain of Ban Don, discovering the nature, learning local culture….visitors never feel dull. Visitors surprise with not only the legends and stories, but also the landscape in front of their eyes. Ban Don is a quiet and peaceful village, but the other side of the village is a mysterious forest, making tourists curious.

When visiting to Buon Don, tourists should not forget ride elephants to go through rivers, streams, immense old forests, or go by dug-out canoe made by century-old trees, and go through suspension bridge…

House on stilt is an original culture in Central Highland. Coming here, visitors can learn about culture, history and people of the forest and mountain of Central Highland. The night of gong with local people will be an interesting memory for visitors.

Se-re-pok river and Bay Nhanh waterfall are ideal destinations for travelers to discover and take photos to keep beautiful moments here.

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