Riding elephant in Buon Don, Vietnam


Travel to Buon Don Village are memorable for an experience of a lifetime – riding on the back on an elephant.

Buon Don village is the only place in the country where it is legal to ride these great beasts in the beautiful Central Highlands. If tourists with Vietnam travel guide  fancy braving it from Saigon you take National Road No. 14 for 500km to Binh Phuoc and Daklak Province. Located about 50 kilometers northwest of Buon Ma Thuot City, is Buon Don which is home to the M’Nong, Ede, Lao and Thai ethnic minority groups and for the last two centuries has been the center of elephant hunting and taming in Vietnam.

Buon Don is the name for the three villages of Yang Lanh, Buon Don and Buon Tri in Krong Ana Commune, Buon Don District in Daklak. The elephant riding festival is annually held at the old airport area in the immense forest and it attracts thousands of tourists from over the country and beyond. The festival is amazing due to its number of fun performances such as elephants playing football and wading down the river.

Walking along the stilt houses under the shade of giant trees, tourists in Vietnam tours will be amazed to see elephants tramping on the street with locals or tourists on their back. Sitting on the elephants’ back and ambling with careful steps, tourists will feel life in the slow lane and more peaceful. You can ride elephants through the forests and rivers to explore splendid and wild scenery after getting some valuable advice from mahouts who take care of these amazing animals.

If you have time and feel adventurous, you can hire an elephant to cross the Serepok River. Then walk across the 100m-long Buon Don Bamboo Bridge under the shade of banyan trees. It is veiled by vines and roots but the swinging bridge is not for the feint-hearted.

To have more fun, tourists in Vietnam tours should buy some sugarcane or some other fruits to lure the elephants.