Lak Tented Camp’s concept
The location is perfect for a pleasant and peaceful stay far away from the bustling cities. Lak Tented Camp is a great option for recharging your batteries and connecting with nature while staying in a cozy and stylish tent.
This stay is ideal for both, those who only want to relax as your tent will have everything you need for a comfortable stay, and adventurers because you can participate in trekking or biking tours.
Cozy tent with a gorgeous view of the Lak Lake
We were positively surprised with our tent and loved the minimalist yet stylish look inside. The tent has a small ‘hall area’ before getting in the room with the toilet and shower on opposite sides. Then you have the tent entrance with two zippers to be extra sure that no bugs get in.
The room is big enough with a big comfortable bed from which you can enjoy the view outside. It was so relaxing and warm and felt so good to get tucked in when the night came, and it became a bit chilly out.
There’s also an open closet where you can put your stuff and hang your clothes, a table with a mirror and a chair (and fresh lovely smelling flowers), and another table with amenities such as a water bottle, coffee maker, tea, etc. Trust us, that’s all you need. 🙂
Terrace with a view
Our favorite part of the tent was the terrace with a stylish wooden sitting area where you can enjoy your coffee. The view is stunning, and just sitting there enjoying all the sounds of nature was amazing. It’s also a great place to read.
Also, keep in mind that there’s no wifi in the rooms, only near the reception area. Lak Tented Camp is meant to be a place where you come closer to nature, so they made sure you don’t have any distractions in your room. 🙂
What to do at Lak Tented Camp?
Lak Tented Camp offers many activities and tours, so there’s no way you’ll get bored. We didn’t have enough time to do everything we originally wanted to do as our schedule was packed! Here’s a list of things we did.
Gong show performance by Hmong of Dak Lak
We enjoyed a special Gong show performed by the local Hmong ethnic minority. They showed their traditional dances and sang traditional songs, which was captivating! Hmong speak a language that’s much different from Vietnamese, and we loved how it sounds. We had goosebumps the whole time as we just LOVED listening to it. We rewatch the videos now and then and sing to one song that impacted us.
The show begins with trying Hmong homemade rice wine. It’s made from fermented rice and a variety of herbs and left to ferment for six months. Sharing the wine with their guests is considered an honor, and that’s why we also got this unique opportunity to try it. First, all the women from the audience got invited to try (Arijana being the very first one :D), and then the men. The reason for that is because the Hmong here are a matriarchal society which means that women lead the household.
We got to drink from their big can through a long straw. Here’s an insider tip, the more you drink, the happier they are. 😀 Even though we don’t usually drink alcohol, this is the opportunity we couldn’t miss. We have to admit, the taste was excellent! But it is a bit strong, so be prepared for that.
At the end of the show, the women from the tribe invited us to dance and sing with them. Arijana really enjoyed that gesture and did pretty good with dancing! 🙂
The gong show might be our favorite experience at Lak Tented Camp!
Trekking to Bim Bip waterfall
The trek to Bim Bip waterfall was fun! We tried a new addition to the tour where the journey to the start of the track was in an awesome old Russian UAZ jeep. That is an experience in itself. We trekked through beautiful coffee plantations, little streams of water, and just beautiful nature in general. We could still smell the coffee flowers even though the season was just about finished. The smell is fantastic!
Trekking to Bim Bip waterfall is something we can highly recommend. The trek isn’t too hard, and after reaching the waterfall, you can swim in the nice waterfall pool. The water is so refreshing, and it feels so good on a hot summer day. Plus, they serve you a picnic lunch which makes the whole experience even better. There was a lot of food, and it was so good!
Big thanks to Lak Tented Camp’s guide, who taught us all about flora and fauna there. It was pretty educational.
TIP 1: Lak Tented Camp has you covered with food, water, and towels. The only thing you can’t forget to take is your bathing suit!
TIP 2: If you’re vegan or vegetarian, make sure to let them know that while booking, and also confirm it with the guide upon leaving for the tour. There was a bit of misunderstanding for our lunch, but the cook managed this unexpected situation very well, and despite that, we had a lot of vegan/vegetarian food.
Cycling around Lak Lake
Lak Tented Camp also offers cultural cycling tours around the nearby villages. We went one morning and had a fantastic time. This tour is excellent if you want to get a bit more insight into the local life around Lak Lake.
On the drive, we passed through many herds of cows with their shepherds. It’s interesting that they mostly have cows and much fewer buffaloes. The scenery is lovely, especially the part with the rice fields.
The tour would be even better if it weren’t for the strong wind, which made cycling pretty hard. Nevertheless, we managed to fight it and got in a pretty good exercise as well. 😀 The tour lasted for a few hours, and we got back to Lak Tented Camp with a boat. What a relief!
Here’s a list of the things you see/do while on the cycling tour.
Pottery without a pottery wheel
Something you don’t see elsewhere in practice is pottery without a pottery wheel. The lady of the house we visited has become an expert at it. Instead of the pottery wheel, she moves around the clay in a circle, shaping it into a masterpiece. She does this in no time, and every single one that she makes is unique. After finishing a piece, they leave it in the sun to dry out and then bake it over an open fire for sealing.
She learned this process at a young age from her mother and perfected it very fast. As every piece she makes is unique and will never be identical to any other, it is worth much more. And that’s why she, and other local women, continue this tradition.
Cacao farming by the Lak Lake in Dak Lak
We visited a local family that farms cacao. Vietnam got introduced to cacao in the 19th century, and since then, it has become an integral part of the culture and agricultural scheme. Dak Lak and Tien Giang, Mekong Delta, are now the two most extensive cacao-producing regions in Vietnam.
We got shown how they pick cacao on their farm and got the chance to try their fermented cacao drink. Spoiler alert: It’s delicious! You can also buy more of it from the family if you’d like.
Hmong longhouses in Dak Lak
The villages around Lak Lake are a great place to see traditional Hmong longhouses, and we even got invited inside one to check out how it looks. That was maybe our favorite part of the cultural cycling tour as we have never been inside of one of these. At least not the one that locals are still using. 🙂
Hmong of Dak Lak are a matriarchal society, and as such, women lead their households. Once they get married, the man moves into his wife’s home and not the other way around. There are also separate entrances to the longhouse for each gender. The woman’s access is symbolized with breasts carved in the wooden plank, and the men enter where there is some kind of a star symbol.
Kayaking at Lak Lake
Lak Tented Camp offers free kayaks to their guests, and you can use them whenever you want. We were looking forward to kayaking as this has become our favorite activity, but the weather wasn’t on our side. The whole time we were at Lak Tented Camp, the wind was blowing like crazy, and there were actual waves on the lake. So, unfortunately, we decided to skip it.
Sustainability at Lak Tented Camp
Being a sustainable business, Lak Tented Camp also grows their vegetables in their vegetable garden and their herbs in another garden close-by. And you know that without plenty of herbs, there is no Vietnamese food! Your glass water bottle also gets refilled for free every day to reduce plastic waste as much as possible.
The whole camp is built in a way that doesn’t harm the look and ecology of the area.
Restaurant and reception longhouse
Every meal we had was in the camp’s restaurant, which sits above the reception area in a traditional longhouse, typical to the area of Lak Lake and the Hmong people.
We had our meals inside because of powerful winds while we were there (we honestly feel bad weather keeps following us around Vietnam 😅). If the weather were a tiny bit nicer, we would eat outside, on the terrace right next to the lake. It has a fantastic view of the lake itself and looks stunning.
The reception is where you can chill out, play board games, table football or put in some work as this is the only place with Wifi.
Food at Lak Tented Camp
It’s no secret that we love Vietnamese food and Lak Tented Camp’s cuisine was no exception. They accommodated our vegetarian/vegan needs well and arranged delicious food.
Vegan or vegetarian?You HAVE to read this! You will be surprised.
Vegan and Vegetarian Guide to Vietnam.
How to get to Lak Tented Camp
You can fly into Buon Ma Thuot and either take the local bus, taxi or rent a motorbike and drive around 1 hour and 15 minutes to Lak Lake.
No matter what transport you choose, you have to somehow get to the pier of Lak Tented Camp (Bến Thuyền Lak Tented Camp). Once you’re at the dock, on the opposite side of the lake from Lak Tented Camp, you will have a boat pickup arranged for you. We suggest you let them know once you’re 30 minutes away.
If you come with a bike or drive a car there, you can park in their designated parking just up the road.
We came to the Lak Tented Camp by ourselves, with a motorbike. Our journey started in Nha Trang with a short one-night stop in Buon Ma Thuot.
You can get your tickets at 12go.asia.
Things to do around
Mother elephant rock is the largest monolith in Vietnam. There is also a smaller one a bit closer to the lake, called father elephant rock. They got these names because their shape resembles a lying elephant. It’s an excellent spot to hike up before sunrise or sunset.
Buon Ma Thuot City
Buon Ma Thuot is the capital city of the Dak Lak province, and it’s where you will find countless fabulous coffee shops, lovely parks, and the all-new World Coffee Museum.
Yok Don National Park
Yok Don National park is easily reachable from Buon Ma Thuot City in just 30 minutes. It offers many exciting activities like elephant watching experience, cycling, trekking, camping, and boat rides on the Srepok River.
Dray Nur and Dray Sap waterfalls
There are many cool waterfalls in Dak Lak, and the most amazing ones are the Dray Nur and Dray Sap, about 40 minutes drive south from Buon Ma Thuot, exactly on the border with Dak Nong province.
Read more in our blog Discovering Dak Lak Province – Top Things To Do.
IMPORTANT: Lak Lake is also the place that still offers elephant rides. Please do your research about this topic and what these elephants have to endure to do the rides. The elephants are in horrible condition, and we encourage you not to engage in any of the elephant activities there. The only place in Vietnam that offers an ethical elephant experience is Yok Don National Park.
Would you stay in Lak Tented Camp? 🙂