Tripadvisor traveler choice Traveler choice

Buon Ma Thuot Guide - All you need to know

Buon Ma Thuot or sometimes Buon Me Thuot or Ban Me Thuot, is the capital city of Dak Lak Province, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The city is the largest in Vietnam's Central Highlands region, and is famous as the regional "capital of coffee".

The city locates right at the heart of the central highland of Vietnam, 1300 km from Ha Noi, 500 km from Da Nang, and 350 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Lying on a fairly flat highland, at an average height of 536m above the sea, Buon Ma Thuot has a vital role in Vietnam's national security and defense system. Buon Ma Thuot is the capital of Dak Lak Province and also the biggest city in Central Highlands (Tay Nguyen).

In 1904 Dak Lak Province was established by the French and Buon Ma Thuot was selected as the provincial administrative center.

The province is home to 44 ethnic groups, the dominant groups being the Ede, Jarai, M’nong and Lao. Each group has its own characteristics but they all have a matriarchal structure, with large families traditionally living within one longhouse. Their cultural identity is expressed through their language, architecture, funeral rites, gong music, pottery and dependence on nature. A visit to the Ethnographic Museum gives an essential primer to these tribes, and Lak Lake is a good place to see it first hand. Not only is the lake beautiful, a homestay in one of the Mnong villages that dot the shore provides a window into their world.

The Ede name translates as ‘Thuot’s father’s village’. Once a rustic backwater town and site of a decisive battle of the Vietnam War, Buon Ma Thuot has emerged from its war-torn roots and grown into the bustling, sprawling and relatively charmless capital city of Dak Lak province. It prospers from the spoils of the surrounding countryside, the fertile soil producing rubber, clay, minerals and coffee – lots and lots of coffee. Initially introduced by the French in 1915, coffee is now the province’s leading commodity and you can’t walk down the street without being tempted by a cup. In 2009, Dak Lak produced 380,373 tons of coffee, mostly robusta. The city even has a coffee festival that takes place every March.

Read more
Plan your tailor - made trip with a local expert
Book securely with money-back guarantee
Travel stress-free with local 24/7 support