Dak Lak

Buon Ma Thuot is the capital city of the province of Dak Lak, a province of lakes and waterfalls, rich forests, and ethnic minorities. During French rule, Dak Lak was a region of plantations, and coffee is still the main export from Dak Lak today, but when the Vietnamese rebelled against their colonisers during the First Indochina War, the region's minority tribes led quite a few of the rebellions themselves. The tribes had the same response to the American forces who came in during the Vietnam War; fighting was heavy in the 1960s and 70s during the war, and the first North Vietnamese tank to enter Buon Ma Thuot remains in the centre of the city as a reminder of this era.

The most famous residents of Dak Lak Province, however, are its elephants. The people of the Central Highlands have been known as phenomenal elephant riders and trainers for centuries now, and most tourists who visit Dak Lak can't pass up the opportunity to go for a ride on the back of one of these elephants.

In 2009, the province began work on a 200 hectare elephant sanctuary to protect both wild and domestic elephants. Located in Yok Don National Park, the elephant sanctuary is designed to protect one of the region's most precious natural resources. Dak Lak only has less than 115 wild elephants remaining, and even the domesticated elephant population is starting to rapidly shrink due to impro

Land area:    13 062 km²
Capital city: Buon Ma Thuot
Population:  1,833 million
Administrative arrangement: 15 districts
Official website:      www.daklak.gov.vn


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