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Bien Ho Lake

"Known as Bien Ho (sea lake) to Viets, this lake has been known to local hill tribes for hundreds of years, they have a famous tale of a long forgotten earthquake which had wiped out a large number of their kind who had traditionally lived peacefully on the lake’s edge. The survivor’s tears had filled the lake for their dead family members & loved kin. War & encroachment have steadily driven many away over the millennia which has probably contributed to the lake but their presence still remains as their simple lifestyle has not changed much for hundreds of years."


Bien Ho Lake with watchtower

          Bien Ho Lake - is one of the beauties of the Cental Highlands. It's a freshwater lake to the north of Pleiku City of Gia Lai Province, which is 900 meters above sea level. Locals also call it T’Nung or Ea Nueng, which means a “sea on the mountain”. The name of Bien Ho originates from the immense surface of the lake that looks like a sea. It used to be a volcanic crater that erupted millions of years ago.

Like many other tourist attractions, there are several different stories and legends told about the lake’s origin by ethnic minorities.
Kinh people say the lake is so deep that it reaches out to the East Sea. Another fictitious tale says that someone dropped a pomelo down in Bien Ho and then found it drifting in the seaside area of Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province, around 166 kilometers away from Pleiku City.
Rumor has it that if casting logs of wood felled in a forest down in Bien Ho, people can fish them out of the Quy Nhon Wharf and then sell them.

The lake in the the oval-shaped crater of the volcano has an average depth of 18 meters

 

Some villages of Ba Na and Gia Rai ethnic minorities earn their living by fishing on Bien Ho. Its freshwater fish resources provide hundreds of tons of fish to Pleiku City every year.
The road to T’nung Lake is through a green canopy of pine trees. At the end of the slope is a beautiful house where tourists can get some fresh air, pose for photos and contemplate the charms of the lake. The lake looks like an emerald with its clear, green water. Both the lake itself and the surrounding area offers beautiful scenery.


Bien Ho Lake


The ideal time to contemplate the lake is in the morning when the lake is still completely covered by clouds rolling like strips of silk. Tourists have the chance to witness the first rays of sun in the morning and enjoy the forest sounds while colorful butterflies dance around the streams.
Visitors can take a hollowed-tree boat or a dugout canoe to explore hidden charms of the lake and discover the magnificence of exotic lifestyles in harmony with wild nature. There tourists will see the abundant and varied fauna and flora.
You can also visit villages of ethnic minorities living on the bank on the occasion of their festivals. Travelers will enjoy lively interesting dances and singing by the highlanders. Mountain girls in Gia Lai show their grace, innocence but are a little shy. However, they are quite friendly if tourists are kind and respectful.
Wild boar roasted over the coal stove is a typical specialty of ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. The wild boar is stuffed with citronella leaves, and mixed with different spices such as galingale, garlic and honey. Each boar is weighed at some five to fifteen kilograms and as it feasts on natural food like vegetables, it is lean meat with very little fat.
Besides, tourists will have chance to taste com lam (bamboo-tube rice), ruou can (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes), xoi la (sticky rice wrapped in leaves), ca lang (hemibagrus) and other flavors of the uplands.


Bien Ho Lake

 



ruou can (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes)



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