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Photographer's Note

This beautiful spot is awakening to tourism, offering authentic experiences of hill-tribe life, along with increasingly comfortable accommodation choices. Lak Lake (Ho Lak) covers 600 hectares in the rainy season, but shrinks to 400 hectares surrounded by rice paddies in the dry. It was once full of crocodiles, but these have long since found their fate as shoes, handbags and taxidermied monstrosities.

Located on the mountainous road between Dalat (154km southeast) and Buon Ma Thuot (50km north), the surrounding countryside is stunning. Emperor Bao Dai must have thought so, as he built yet another of his palaces overlooking the lake.

On the south shores, near the town of Lien Son, Jun Village reveals an enigmatic slice of traditional Mínong life. The rattan and wood houses are all built on stilts, which was a way of keeping the animals out. Pigs, cows and chickens wander around at will, and youíll see the odd elephant being ridden around. The villagers go about their daily lives quite uninterested in the tourists in their midst.

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