Ta Dung Vietnam - A Pearl of The Highlands
Ta Dung Nature Reserve
Known as "Inland Ha Long Bay", Ta Dung is a giant reservoir within Ta Dung Nature Reserve that has the total area of 22,103 ha. It is located in Dac Nong Province, over 250km away from Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City). This reservoir is the supreme water source for Dong Nai River system, on which sits several hydro power plants.
As the highest mountain ranges in Dac Nong and the geographical - biological interface between Southern Central Highlands and Southeastern Region of Vietnam, Ta Dung hosts diverse plora and fauna systems with its fascinating myths told by Ma Ethnical Community. This is definitely an ideal place for a short-day getaway from such a crowded city as Sai Gon or elsewhere nearby. Well, let's plan up and go!
Plan an escape
- Ta Dung is in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, whose topography features hills and mountains. Then you'd better off traveling by car or good motorcycle, but for convenient access toward the lake, a motorbike trip is more preferable.
- Besides the moped, what you need is a good tent with a heat resistant pad or mat because it's really cold at night by the lake. Wrap up some essentials such as flash torches or candels, mosquito repellents, blankets, personal hygiene stuff, etc. And, of course, remember to stock food and drinking water (or whatever you want to drink, like some beer for a small party) as well because there aren't many open markets around for your shopping.
How would you like to get there?
- There are a few ways to reach Ta Dung, including through Da Te, Lam Dong Prov. or Gia Nghia, Dac Nong Prov. You can make a one-way tour starting from Di Linh and ending at Da Te. Your job is to get to one of these places from Sai Gon by Highway 14 or Highway 20.
- Please don't trust 100% on Google Map. It would show you a route through Nam Cat Tien Forest, named DT601. Hell! That's such a dusty broken path piercing the jungle. Though the road through Nam Cat Tien is somewhat beautiful with leafy shady trees, the later part of the route is severely wrecked off, which is way too rough and time-consuming for traveling.
- If you pass such a ruined path, the road through the Army Base D in Vinh Cuu District of Dong Nai Province really pays off at last.
- It takes 6 - 7 hours to get there by motorcycle. Don't worry since the roads are good enough to travel, but what matters is traffic police here and there to check your speed or law compliance. Then drive/ride safe and get there sound.
Things to wrap up
Stuff to prepare
Rent at SG: $8 -10/2-3 days
A kettle or small pot, paper/plastic bowls and cups, knife(ves), lighter/gas burner
Forks, spoons or chopsticks
Sandwiches, sausages, veggies, eggs, noodle, etc
Bottled water (1-liter bottles), beer or soft drinks for party (if any)
Sweaters, pants (it's cold at night), flip-flops (by the lake, you know)
Stuff for photography
Yes, it's a must!
Tripod or lens
- Ta Dung is such a huge lake with several islets/islands inside, you can easily find a place to camp. Remember to be near the lake, which is nice for sightseeing and photo shooting.
- The mountains at night is stark dark, so making a small fire by the lake is what you need to do. Collecting things to fire is quite easy, but don't forget to bring a lighter with you.
- If lucky enough, you can buy fresh fish like carp or shrimp caught by fishermen living in some floating houses on the lake.
- I don't suggest swimming in the lake if you aren't sure enough about how to prevent yourselves from drowning. Anyway, it may be an interesting thing to try there.
- Take time to watch Sunrise and Sunset there, because up to that altitude the sun is really gorgeous at dawn and dusk.
As you stay by the lake surrounded by lush green mountains, it's such a wonderful backdrop for photography. Especially in the morning, a thin veil of mist hovers above the water and the sun is rising behind mountain ranges. The sky is blushing up as the morning breaks. And when the sun strikes the first light ever, the lake surfaces in brilliant reflection. Catch the moment!
That happens almost every day, but the night sky varies during a year. From Oct. to May, it's the dry season there, so the sky is really austonishing at night. It's like the whole galaxy hanging over your head with thousands of twinkle stars and the moon in varous shapes in and out during a month. The lake itself serves as a wondrous mirror that captures the whole starry night and grants you a very chance to get close to the paradise.
In daylight, you should ride around the lake to find ideal places for photography. There are some bridges over the lake here and there, where you must stop and pose. Upon wriggling around mountain passes, you'll then find many fantastic backdrops with mountains on the left and abysses on the right. It looks dangerous, but the views absolutely pays off.
Before getting on the road, you must take a boat tour around the lake. Ask a fisherman for a tour, which may cost roughly $20/tour, I suppose. The emerald water is tearing under your boat while the breeze is blowing all along the sail. The mountains are silhouetted against the sky over the mirror-like surface.
Elsewhere to visit?
From Ta Dung, make your way back to Sai Gon going past Da Te. Come on, this route is really amazing! You must finish over 20km of mountain passes that accompany with abysses next to you. The thing is such danger rewards breath-taking scenery downwards.
- On the way back, Dong Nai 3 Hydropower Plant is on your left. Such a colossal structure looks stunning from afar.
- When you get to Da Te, it's nice to visit Da Te Lake. This body of water stays peacefully still. You can take a boat tour around or camp right at the pump-house.
So would you like to make a trip to Ta Dung, huh?
The photos used in the articles are both of the author and his friend. For further information, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your attention. Remember to check up further articles of mine if you're interested in this travel topic.
For other articles, please check out:
Tay Ninh Province at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Thu Duc Town at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thu-Duc-Saigon-A-joyful-suburb
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun