I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit Boun Ma Thout a few months ago, February 2014. Boun Ma Thout is a city in Dak Lak province of Vietnam.
While I was there I also had the opportunity to get to know Dak Lak a little more. Dak Lak is known for their coffee beans, black peppers, avocados, and rubber trees but they are especially famous as the regional “capital of coffee”. I didn’t get a chance to photographed the avocados and rubber tree plants but I managed to get photos of the coffee beans and black peppers because my friend’s family is in the business.
I started the trip by flying in to Buon Ma Thout airport from Ho Chi Minh city. The plane ticket was 852,000 VND (around $42 USD) with Vietjet Air which is kinda high because it was during the Holidays, Lunar New Year. I’ve bought it 3 days early or it would have been more. Ticket goes up more each day. And it could be a lot cheaper if I was to fly in on a normal weekday. It was a very short flight. It was scheduled to be an hour and 15 minutes flight but it was more like 30-45 minutes.
Buon Ma Thout aiport is a lot smaller and less crowded than Ho Chi Minh airport so I got out of there a lot quicker. Plus, it was a domestic flight.
I’ve shipped my scooter/motorbike out there first by bus so when I get there I was able to get around. Which turned out to be a great idea. I was please because I did needed it to get around mingling with the locals.
One thing that I’ve noticed right away was the weather, Buon Ma Thout was a lot colder than Ho Chi Minh city at that time of the year. The locals there told me that it usually a lot cooler. Even in the summer, it’s cooler than Ho Chi Minh a little bit. If you do visit around winter time of the year, then make sure to have a coat or warm jacket with you. Especially at night, its get really cold riding your motorbike. It’s still bearable unlike Da Lat freezing cold.
The second thing I’ve noticed was the streets are pretty clean, wide, and less congested, not bad comparing to Ho Chi Minh city. Well, at least the main streets that I saw. And the third thing that I noticed was there’s not as much of tall buildings or as tall as Ho Chi Minh city. Maybe because they don’t need skyscrapers because they have plenty of open lands and the population a lot smaller, much smaller according to Wikipedia approximately 300,000 compared to 7.982 million (2014) in Ho Chi Minh City.
When I was in Dak Lak province of Vietnam, I didn’t stay in Buon Ma Thout. I was hanging out with my friend in the country side about 30 minutes scooter ride from Buon Ma Thout. I didn’t stay in the hotel, because it wasn’t available.
What was around were more like motels. They called it “nha nghi”. The one that I stay in was pretty clean. I usually don’t check in a place without checking out the rooms first. And you may want to do the same. Not all “nha nghi” are the same. Same goes with hotels. I’ve stayed there because it was more convenience to hang out with my friend.
This wasn’t a tourist type of trip but there was a little bit of time to squeezed in the schedule. I know I haven’t done much of the tourist stuff at all and missed out on so much more.That’s what the locals told me. And most likely I will go back a second time to finished what I’ve started and maybe even revisit places I’ve visited as well. For sure you will see an update to this post.
Below are some pictures of what I did in Dak Lak.