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 Riding elephant in Buon Ma Thuot

Located in the central highlands, Buon Ma Thuot remains it’s attractions as one of the most colourful destinations in Vietnam. Famous throughout the world for its coffee, Buon Ma Thuot is the capital of Dak Lak province

Buon Ma Thuot is inhabited by some ethnich minority groups such as Ede, Bana, Mnong and is known as the only place in Vietnam where elephants still live in the forests

A lot of travelers go to Buon Ma Thuot to ride elephants, and they must visit Don village or Buon Don, long been known for its hunting and elephant trainers M'Nong. Long time ago, elephants were raised to help local people in daily life, they worked on the rice fields, collected woods from the jungle, went hunting, transport….When the village became known as a tourist destination the elephants are mostly used for tourism.

Travellers may be surprised to see elephants walking the streets with locals and tourists on their backs. The residents of the central highlands consider elephants as sacred animals. In this region, the villagers believe that elephants are the equals of men and that they must be respected. Kill elephants for food is strictly prohibited.

Buon Don region has about 300 domesticated elephants, including 45 dedicated to tourism. Each year, during the third lunar month, the Central Highlands host a festival famous for its elephant race.

The festival also offers other representations such as a football match elephant, elephants swimmers or tug of war between elephants. The festival attracts many spectators. It is therefore advisable to book a hotel room during this period.

A trip to Vietnam is the opportunity to discover an extraordinary nature. The ride an elephant is an excellent way. Tourists can hire a keeper for a elephant ride through the forests and rivers.

If you're feeling like a bit of adventurous, you can rent an elephant across the river Serepok. Then cross the bamboo bridge 100 meters long. Just remember to buy packs of sugar cane and bananas to feed the imposing mount.

The ride on elephant back is truly memorable. These friendly animals are a great way to see the countryside. But it sways a bit. Warning to those who suffer from seasickness!

It is quite possible to visit the region as an independent but there are also many travel agents and guides.

Investigations are currently being conducted throughout the country to assess the situation and organize their elephants protection.

How to get there
The village is 50 km from the capital of the region: Buon Ma Thuot.
By air: There are daily direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Danang to Buon Ma Thuot, travelers are recommended to take a flight.
By road: Buon Ma Thuot is 190 km from Nha Trang, Dalat 210 km, 197 km from Pleiku, 350 km from Ho Chi Minh City and 230 km from Quy Nhon.

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