Located about 50km south of Buon Ma Thuot City and along National Highway 27, the 550ha Lak Lake is the largest body of fresh water in Dak Lak Province. Beautiful as a white silk strip and with picturesque natural scenery, the lake is surrounded by forest and attracts many visitors who come to explore and relax after a long journey through the sunny and windy Central Highlands.
The immense lake is thought to stage miniature representations of the four seasons each day. The clear blue skies and the Cu Yang Sin Mountain silently reflected on the blue mirror of calm water in the mornings are thought to represent the spring. The mid-day sun with its intense light and heat is thought to represent summer, the sinking sun in late afternoon with its flickering yellow light the fall and the night blanket of cold stars the winter.
M’nong (ethnic minority group) folklore says that once upon a time a serious drought plagued the region. A local hero named Y Lak sacrificed his life searching for water to save his people. He spent days and nights scanning the region for water until, exhausted, he found the lake and saved his village. The lake was named after him.
The legend represents the long history of M’nong settlement and development. The lake is considered a cultural-historical site for those who want to review the history of the Central Highlands as a whole and the large province of Dak Lak in particular.
The lake is a well-preserved environment for biodiversity with the 12,000m² surrounding forest containing hundreds of species of plants, animals, birds and reptiles.
King Bao Dai, the last ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, realized the stunning beauty of the area and had a villa built atop a 200m hill overlooking Lak Lake. Today the villa is a tourist hotel.
Jun, a typical M’nong village, is also a place for tourists to learn about the locals. The word Jun, which means inheritance, can be explained by the way the lake offers its specialties and water for irrigation.
M’lieng Village, a special community on an island in the middle of the lake, is funded to preserve its cultural characteristics as one of the first rice-cultivating minority groups in the region.
Tourists can explore the area by elephant or bike to see some of the daily life patterns of typical ethnic minority groups of the Central Highlands. Boat excursions, kayaking, canoe trips and swimming in Dak Phoi Stream are also favorite activities.
Evening tourist parties feature grilled meat, bamboo-tube rice, ruou can (wine drunk out of a jar through bamboo pipes), dancing around the fire and gongs.
The new Lak Resort with its 16 bungalows and 32 rooms and services is a good choice for accommodations.