Exploring the village of Islets in Dak Lak
About this experience
Buon Don (or Ban Don) village is located in Krong Na hamlet in Buon Don District, more than 40km away from Buon Ma Thuot city to the north-west. As a result of its unique geography (lying on the border between Vietnam and Laos and the border between Vietnam and Cambodia), this area of Buon Don has an abundant community of different ethnic groups including Lao, Khmer, Ede, M’nong, and J’rai as well as Kinh and several ethnic minority groups from the north. Among those ethnicities, M’nong and Lao are the most dominant.
In Ede and M’nong language, Buon means village, Ban also means the same in Laotian, and Don means islet. Together, Buon (Ban) Don means the village of islets. This name was once literally referred to Buon Don as a small island in the middle of Serepok river. During the alluvial consolidation, this place became a part of the mainland. The ancient Don Village is famous for the exceptional architecture of the grave houses, the legends about the village founder – the king of elephant hunters – Khunjunob, and the anecdotes which attract both tourists and researchers.
In this tour, you will be introduced to the distinctive cultures and customs of different ethnic minority groups in the village. You will walk in the nature and learn about the history of this piece of land as well as listen to the old legends about wild elephant hunting and domesticating which once brought glory to the name of Buon Don village.
* At VCBT-N we do not encourage animal hunting and domesticating, elephant included. However this practice was a part of glory part in Buon Don and we would always stay true to the past. We hope through your visit and your positive attitude towards proper care to elephants, local people are encouraged to pay attention to animal conservation.
- Visit the traditional longhouse of Ede people and learn about Ede’s customs and cultures
- Visit King Khunjunob’s grave house and get introduced to the elephant hunting and domesticating tools
- Enjoy and join the traditional dance of Buon Don villagers
- Row upstream to the headwaters of Serepok river and learn the origin of Ban Don’s name
- Meet with descendants of King of elephant hunters and interact with them in different activities (farming, cooking, etc.)
Your positive contribution
Sustaining local community financially and supporting wildlife protection
At VCBT-N we do not encourage animal hunting and domesticating, elephant included. However this practice was a part of glory part in Buon Don and we would always stay true to the past. We hope through your visit and your positive attitude towards proper care to elephants, local people are encouraged to pay attention to animal conservation. additionally, you visit opens up a new channel of income for local people and will help relieve their reliance on forest.
8 a.m. Pick-up at your hotel in Buon Ma Thuot city.
9 a.m. Arrive at Ban Don village. You’ll be warmly welcomed and introduced to the traditional longhouse of Ede people. Here you will learn about their culture, customs and traditions. After the longhouse, you will get to visit the memorial of King of elephant hunters and elephant’s cemetery and see with your own eyes numerous tools used in elephant hunting and domesticating.
10.30 a.m. Enjoy singing and dancing performance of Ban Don people. The Ede has a tradition of welcoming their dear guests to join to show their hospitality.
11.30 p.m. Start the exciting boat ride to the upstream of Serepok river (named Bay Nhanh – “seven streams”). Visit the Vua Voi (“Elephant King”) island and learn the origin of the island.
12.30 p.m. Lunch with local host
1.30 p.m. Take a short walk in the nature and visit small islets on the river.
3.00 p.m. Goodbye to warm-hearted Ban Don villagers. Car drop-off at your hotel. End of an exciting day.
✓ Pick-up and drop-off transportation
✓ Tour guide
✓ Entrance fee
✓ Cooking ingredient for demo class
✓ Food for elephant
✘ Personal expense (extra drinks and snacks)
✘ Extra activities (not included in the itinerary)
✘ Handicraft souvenirs from the village
✘ Facilitator in other languages available upon request
✘ Surcharge might apply during national holidays (i.e. Lunar New Year)
- Starting time: 8 a.m
- Meeting point: your hotel
- What to bring:
- Clothing: light and comfortable clothing for outdoor activities
- Sunscreen, hat, comfortable shoes
- We encourage our guests to bring reusable water bottle
What's the weather like?
- Dak Lak province has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season lasts from November to April next year. It is quite cold, windy, and dry. The rainy season lasts from May to October with high rainy amount.
- Dak Lak’s climate is temperate with the annual average temperature is 24°C. There is a difference of only 5°C between the hottest month and the coldest one.
Where to meet?