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Ta Dung Vietnam - A Pearl of The Highlands

Updated on April 18, 2017

Ta Dung Nature Reserve

Isn't it awesome?
Isn't it awesome? | Source

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.

Amazing scenery
Amazing scenery | Source

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!

Pack up and ride!
Pack up and ride! | Source
My friends made a ride in March, 2017
My friends made a ride in March, 2017 | Source

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?

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My best friend ever!
My best friend ever! | Source
2 popular routes to get there
2 popular routes to get there | Source
At remote places in Dong Nai Province, you have to pay some money if you want to cross any bridges.
At remote places in Dong Nai Province, you have to pay some money if you want to cross any bridges. | Source
The path is, err, frustratingly broken!
The path is, err, frustratingly broken! | Source
  • 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
Details
Other stuff
Tent
Rent at SG: $8 -10/2-3 days
Blankets, pillows
Kitchenwares
A kettle or small pot, paper/plastic bowls and cups, knife(ves), lighter/gas burner
Forks, spoons or chopsticks
Food
Sandwiches, sausages, veggies, eggs, noodle, etc
Snack
Drinks
Bottled water (1-liter bottles), beer or soft drinks for party (if any)
 
Clothes
Sweaters, pants (it's cold at night), flip-flops (by the lake, you know)
Stuff for photography
Camera
Yes, it's a must!
Tripod or lens
Foodstuff and drinks for a night party
Foodstuff and drinks for a night party | Source
Me and my company after stocking everything for a night
Me and my company after stocking everything for a night | Source

Camping

  • 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.

Camping

As you reach Ta Dung, find a place to camp by the lake because it provides the best view and atmosphere.
As you reach Ta Dung, find a place to camp by the lake because it provides the best view and atmosphere.
After erecting a tent, go collect stuff to build a fire at night, there are lots of tree branches or sticks around.
After erecting a tent, go collect stuff to build a fire at night, there are lots of tree branches or sticks around. | Source
And with a guitar in hand, let's get the party started!
And with a guitar in hand, let's get the party started!
Fishermen gather to exchange their catch at dawn and dusk, even at midnight.
Fishermen gather to exchange their catch at dawn and dusk, even at midnight. | Source
  • 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.

The morning breaks over the horizon.
The morning breaks over the horizon. | Source
By the fire sits a guy admiring the sunrise
By the fire sits a guy admiring the sunrise | Source
Young lads watch the sun rising
Young lads watch the sun rising | Source
Peace oozes out
Peace oozes out | Source

Photography

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!

The lake surface is covered by a clinging veil of morning mist
The lake surface is covered by a clinging veil of morning mist | Source
Fishermen are sailing on to get their first catch of a day
Fishermen are sailing on to get their first catch of a day | Source
A sleeping boat beaches by the lake to wait for another sail
A sleeping boat beaches by the lake to wait for another sail | Source
A fishing boat on its humble sail
A fishing boat on its humble sail | Source

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.

The emerald lake is surrounded by lush green mountains
The emerald lake is surrounded by lush green mountains | Source
A turn round the edge
A turn round the edge | Source
The lake emerges over bushy jungles
The lake emerges over bushy jungles | Source

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.

The sky is flawlessly beautiful
The sky is flawlessly beautiful | Source
Such a nice view point for photography, huh?
Such a nice view point for photography, huh? | Source
Me is posing against such a heavely backdrop
Me is posing against such a heavely backdrop | Source
There's a high sighseeing tower where you can stay and feast your eyes over the lake
There's a high sighseeing tower where you can stay and feast your eyes over the lake | Source
Dong Nai 3 Hydropower Plant
Dong Nai 3 Hydropower Plant | Source

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.

A nice place for sightseeing on the way back
A nice place for sightseeing on the way back | Source
The pumping station is located in the house stretching over the lake
The pumping station is located in the house stretching over the lake | Source
The sky prints its patchy clouds on the lake surface
The sky prints its patchy clouds on the lake surface | Source
Camping here is really great!
Camping here is really great! | Source
A paranoma view of the whole lake
A paranoma view of the whole lake | Source

So would you like to make a trip to Ta Dung, huh?

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Author's notes

The photos used in the articles are both of the author and his friend. For further information, please feel free to contact me at nhphuc2310@gmail.com.

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

Thanks, buddies!

Go far while we are young!
Go far while we are young!

Comments

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      Billericky 9 days ago

      Well written. Thanks for sharing. Haven't been to VN before but read lots of your writings about such a beautiful country, which is fun to visit. Yes, I will absolutely come to see how scenic the country is one day. Keep up gorgeous!

    • profile image

      HUNG 9 days ago

      It's interesting Phuc. Go ahead.

    • profile image

      James 9 days ago

      Well written. Nice photos. Your post's really interesting to read. Hope I will go there soon. Tks.

    • profile image

      Mai 8 days ago

      Great article and awesome photos, I admire you alot.

    • profile image

      Nguyen Vinh 8 days ago

      Great article!

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Billericky: thanks for your sweet words. Yes, come visit VN someday ^^

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Hung: Thank you, buddy.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @James: Tks a lot. I'm practising the language in writing rather than speaking. I love to share with others and learn how to write better ^^

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Mai: Oh tks for your kind words :) I'm just a newbie blogger, buddy ^^ anyway, I'll try my best to better coming articles. Follow me, bro.

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Vinh: Thank you, buddy ^^ come try your own ^^

    • profile image

      Ha Le 8 days ago

      Wow, let's plan up and go.

    • profile image

      Eden Ly 8 days ago

      very interesting and useful article! keep up the good job

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @eden: tks a lot, buddy ^^

    • profile image

      Hacunmiumiu 8 days ago

      Wow, lets pack up and ride.

    • Hale0389 profile image

      Hale0389 8 days ago

      Wow, what a useful link!. Let's pack up and ride.

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @hale/hacu: yes, wrap up and go!

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      Jeremy Tran 8 days ago

      I used to come there

      And i believe that you are shooting the breeze

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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 8 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Jem: well, I tell the truth, everything here is based on my experience. Which part is untrue, huh?

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      Hien 5 days ago

      I'm proud of you, Phuc. Though I haven't been to Ta Dung, I always want to hit the road oneday. Come back and go with me, my dear.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 5 days ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Hien: Tks for your sweet words ^^ yes, wait for my comeback, we'll hit the road then!

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