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48 hours in Dak Nong (Vietnam)

Southeast Asia's longest volcanic cave system and several stunning natural vistas make Dak Nong a recent tourist destination.

Dak Nong, whose capital is Gia Nghia City, is situated at the western entrance to the Central Highlands, about 250 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. The lifestyle is neither frantic nor boisterous but rather idyllic, with various cultural traits from roughly 40 different ethnic groups. The landscape of Ta Dung Lake, which has been compared to "Ha Long Bay of the Central Highlands" or the Truc Lam Dao Nguyen Zen Monastery, also draws tourists to this location.

Ms. Cam Huong, a travel enthusiast who also works for the Dak Nong province's Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and a group of Ho Chi Minh City visitors suggested we have 48 hours to explore Dak Nong.

Day 1

Various regional dishes are served for breakfast in Gia Nghia City, including eel porridge from Nghe, Quang Tam Ky noodles, and vermicelli with perch. Other meals include Hue beef noodle soup Dung Huyen, Pho Lam Huong, and noodle soup. 

These breakfast establishments feature parking and are situated on prominent streets, including Ton Duc Thang, Pham Van Dong, Chu Van An, and Hung Vuong, in the city's heart. Each dish costs between 30,000 and 50,000 Vietnamese dong.

After breakfast, depart to Krong No (about 90 km from Gia Nghia city) to explore caves C3 or C4 in the volcanic cave system of Dak Nong Geopark. This basalt cave system, created by a lava eruption, has reportedly established a record for its size, length, and uniqueness in Southeast Asia, according to Ms. Bach Van, who works at Dak Nong Geopark. This cave system was discovered by scientists in 2014.

In the cave, there is almost no phone signal. You can go for the day or camp overnight. Bach Van remarked, "However, it is not recommended for campers to stay because it is quite dangerous," and that to discover the stunning scenery with the stalactite system in C3 and C4 caverns and assure the safety of the visitors, you need to follow a guided tour. 

After spending about 2 hours exploring the cave, you can travel 4 km to the D'rap Sap tourist area for lunch before taking part in thrilling activities like rowing on the Serepok River, crossing the rapids, or simply relaxing and taking in the scenery of the mountains and forests. Finally, you can travel to the Nuoc Trong stream to participate in activities like water biking, canoeing, basket boating, swimming with buoys, or playing swing bridge before returning to the city.


Return to Gia Nghia, and visit the hero statue of N'Trang Long, the leader of the anti-French movement. The statue is nearly 20 m high and was built on Dak Nur Hill, about 2 km from the city center. The monument is made of blue stone; the main statue is 13 m high, and the relief is 5.5 m high and 27 m wide.

This is where many locals and tourists check in when coming to Dak Nong. The monument's campus is spacious and airy, but it is only suitable if you come after 5 pm due to the lack of shade.

Have dinner with typical dishes of Dak Nong such as grilled rice with grilled meat, bitter gourd cooked with dried fish, rattan sprouts and especially black H'Mong chicken, which is processed, steamed, steamed, or grilled. Some addresses in Gia Nghia City you can refer to are Ngo Gia Trang, Phuong Van Farm, Huong Lieu Restaurant, Dien Trang Hoa Mai, and Lodge Restaurant.

Overnight, in Gia Nghia, there is a Robin hotel with room rates ranging from 790,000 VND to 2.9 million VND per night; Ngoc Thuong hotel, prices from 300,000 VND to 500,000 VND a night and many other hotels located in Hung Vuong route. Suppose you want to save on accommodation costs. In that case, you can sleep in the community, enjoy the peaceful space at Farm and Homestay Ngo Gia, priced at about 150,000 VND or experience sleeping in tents and bungalows on farms in Gia Nghia city.

Day 2


To find clouds, get up early and climb a hill in the Hmong village of Dak Tan, in the Dak Nia commune, about 15 kilometers from Gia Nghia city. You will have to walk about 700m of trails to get there. As far as the eye can see, a peaceful village is covered by white clouds drifting over the hillsides.
According to local people, to hunt for clouds, you should be here between 6 am and 7:30 am, so you must time your departure from the city to be on time because the road could be better.

Before heading to Ta Dung Lake, dubbed the "Ha Long Bay of the Central Highlands," after cloud-spotting, you can drink coffee and have breakfast there with specialties including chicken porridge, pigeon porridge, rib noodle soup, and beef noodle soup.

Ta Dung Lake is stunning due to its crystal-clear blue water and constant waves that produce bands of bright and dark color. A big mountain range surrounds the lake. In the heart of Ta Dung Lake, there are more than 40 large and small islands with many unique shapes. This artificial lake was formed in 2012, and in 2015, tourism in the surrounding area began to develop, becoming an ideal destination in Dak Nong.

Also read: Ta Dung tourism – Discover the great beauty in Dak Nong 2021

At noon, you can visit Son Ma's Com Nieu restaurant, with various dishes from North to South, such as rice pot, seafood hot pot, shrimp, crab, fish, and snail.


Visit the Truc Lam Dao Nguyen Zen Monastery in the Nam Nung nature reserve, concealed by a pine forest. Dak Nong's Zen Monastery is a well-known spiritual tourist site. The main hall, the Sangha, the exhibition hall, the guest house, and various auxiliary works and details are all easily distinguishable when you enter the monastery.

The main hall, built mainly of wood, has 4 large pillars, each with a 60-70 cm diameter and a height of about 13 m, calculated from the floor. On the altar are bronze statues of Buddha. The Zen Monastery is a resting place if you wish to get back in touch with nature because of its serene environment.

After leaving the Zen Monastery, you head back into the city and up to the 6th floor of Nam A Bank, where a Doi Dep coffee shop offers beverages while providing a bird's-eye view over Gia Nghia City.


Rice is available at Tan Tan Restaurant, a homey dining establishment in the Central Highlands that welcomes visitors interested in trying regional cuisine. The menu is diverse from vegetarian, savory, hot pot, grilled, or soup.

You can also choose restaurants specializing in selling chicken rice, such as Hiep Hoan and Loc Phat, with three main types: boiled chicken rice, fried chicken with fish sauce and shredded chicken. In addition, you can also experience some snacks such as Be Map grilled spring rolls, spring rolls, and pancakes, with prices from a few tens of thousands.

Read more: Dak Glong travel experience is extremely HOT on the check-in map of Dak Nong

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