Ta Dung Lake is located in the central highlands, on the border of Dak Lak and Lam Dong (Dalat). If you look at the photos you will understand why this lake is also called the Halong Bay of the central highlands. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Vietnam.
Ta Dung Nature Reserve
Ta Dung is a gigantic reservoir in the Ta Dung Nature Reserve with a total area over 22,000 ha. This reservoir is an important water source for the Dong Nai river system and the various hydroelectric power plants. These hydroelectric power plants blocked the river and created on this way a huge artificial lake in the hills and mountains of central highlands. The peaks of the former hills and mountains are now islands in the lake, making it look like Halong Bay in the middle of the country. The spectacular views nowadays attract more and more travelers.
Highlights of Ta Dung Lake
The main road QL28 is running for a large part around Ta Dung Lake, so there are plenty of places where you can stop on the way to take photos. However, there is one area where you have the best view, this viewpoint can be found and Tadung Topview Homestay (Google Maps location) in the Dak G’long district. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of Ta Dung. In addition, there is also the option to eat here and you can also stay there. If you don’t stay here you can still visit and have a coffee, enjoy the view for 50,000 VND per person.
Keep in mind that this homestay has become a real tourist attraction, with dozens of quirky objects for people to take pictures with. You either love it or you hate it. Despite that, you can still see the view normally. There are also a number of homestays and restaurants with similar views along the same road.
2. Boat trip
Another activity you can do is to rent a boat and go to the islands located in the lake. Boat rental ranges from VND 100,000 per person and you will be taken around the lake, stop on a small island, have lunch and you can swim. Keep in mind that you will need to negotiate about the full schedule and time in advance with the boat owner.
3. Lieng Nung waterfall
About 35 kilometers from the lake you will find the Lieng Nung waterfall, surrounded by forest. This impressive waterfall is definitely worth a visit. The water thunders down from a great height. There is a small natural pool down the waterfall where you can take a refreshing dip.
4. Scenic road
Ta Dung Lake is of course the absolute highlight, but the scenic road that runs along the lake is also stunning. The road passes through and over some of the highest mountains in the central highlands. Unfortunately, most forests here have been replaced by endless coffee plantations, but this still gives an impressive view.
How to get there?
Ta Dung is located about 280 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, about 160 km from Buon Me Thuot city and 150 km from Dalat. Gia Nghia is the biggest town that is close to Ta Dung Lake (40 km) and the easiest to travel to. There are buses that go straight from Dalat to this town and on the way you pass Ta Dung, where they can drop you off. All the buses that drive between Buon Me Thuot and Ho Chi Minh City also drive via Gia Nghia town. They don’t pass Ta Dung Lake, but from here you can take a taxi or get on another bus heading for Dalat. Alternatively you can also directly rent a motorbike from here and drive to the lake, on the way you pass Lieng Nung waterfall and some stunning scenery.
Ta Dung Lake tour with Local Vietnam!
Don’t want to arrange all your transfers yourself and driving around on motorbikes through the mountains of the Central Highlands? Check our unique custom made tour: Saigon – Dalat with Cat Tien NP & Ta Dung Lake. In this tour you will also visit Cat Tien National Park.
Accommodation at Ta Dung Lake
The area around Ta Dung Lake currently does not have many homestay and hotel services to choose from. Many young Vietnamese travelers from Ho Chi Minh City choose to camp by the lake. The Tadung Topview Homestay, the accommodation with the great view, has rooms from 700,000 VND and you can also get camping tents (per 2 people) for 300,000 VND. When evening comes, in the cold of the mountains, you can also have a barbecue. The homestay also has a pool overlooking the lake.
Keep in mind that it is not a real homestay experience, the property has become a tourist attraction, without any local feeling.
Another possibility is to stay in Quang Khe, Dak Glong- Dak Nong at Homestay Bien Rung. Here you can rent a scooter and drive to the lake and explore the area.
Best time to visit
In general, you can travel to Lake Ta Dung all year round. However, the best time to travel is seen from September to December. During this period there is a lot of rain, so the lake is at the highest level and the trees on the islands in the lake are beautifully green.
Tips for visiting Ta Dung Lake
Unfortunately, you have few options. If you came here by bus, you can rent a motorbike / scooter to drive around yourself. The roads are of excellent quality and not very busy; only weekends can be busier with domestic tourists. If you want to explore the area with a car, it is better to take it directly from Dalat or Ho Chi Minh City.
Where to go next
Ta Dung Lake, Lieng Nung waterfall and the scenic road can be easily visited within a day. From here you have 3 options to continue your trip.