Don village, Dak Lak province

Source: Pano feed

(VOVworld) – Buon Don village, about 50 km from Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak province is famous for taming elephants. Here, the cultural traditions of central highlands’ ethnic groups are well preserved.


From Buon Ma Thuot city, you can go to Don village by motorcycle or bus. You will discover during your trip the picturesque landscapes of the Central Highlands with its multitudes of stilt houses and long houses scattered throughout the forest. Life in Don village is peaceful.

Don village, according to the locals, means “village on an island”. The village is in the middle of the Serepok river. The village has long been famous for taming elephants. But arriving in the village, visitors are still surprised to see elephants walking through streets with residents or tourists on their backs. H’Loan is a tour guide: “Local people love elephants. They respect them and regard them as family members. Previously, the elephants were fellow soldiers helping the villagers during the war. Today, the elephants help us to work in the fields, and carry goods or construction materials”.


The elephant garden is a popular destination for visitors to Don village. Here, elephant statues and a statue of the “Elephant Hunting King”- Khusanup- are displayed. Khusanup was born in 1827 and lived for 110 years. He is famous for taming 480 elephants of all kinds. Khusanup presented two white elephants to the King of Thailand and King Bao Dai of Vietnam. Khusanup passed on his hunting and taming skills to his descendant Ama Kong, who died in 2012. But his stilt house which has been preserved, exhibits documents and photographs depicting the hunting and taming of elephants.

Riding an elephant is a thrilling experience for tourists. At Buon Don, you can hire a mahout for a ride through the forests and rivers. The mahout is also a tour guide. Y Tinh is a mahout in Buon Don: “To domesticate an elephant, one must understand his character. He eats a lot. In the forest, he eats leaves, but at home, we must give him bananas, sugar cane and slightly salty water. Then he will never leave you. We love them. When they are sick, we let them rest and give them medication”.


Bamboo bridges are powerful symbols of Don village. All tourists want to cross the bridges at least once. Travelers can lunch on local specialties like as com lam (sticky rice cooked in a bamboo stalk) or grilled wild chicken.

After a 20-minute drive from the village, you arrive at Yok Don National Park which surrounds Dak Minh lake, where you can go out on a wooden boat to watch the sunset. At night, staying in stilt houses, tourists are invited to enjoy traditional dances with the villagers. With its unspoiled nature, scenic landscapes, and cultural peculiarities, Don village is definitely a place worth discovering!

To Tuan

Đăng ký: VietNam News