Dak Lak is a resort destination for Vietnamese and foreigners alike. It is incredibly beautiful and tranquil. Electricity first came to the nearby NaMong village in 2003.
Temple of My Son
My Son is an ancient Cham culture site near Hoi An dating from about 0 B.C. Older than Ankhor Wat, a more famous site in Cambodia, this place is located near the famed Ho Chi Minh Trail and was heavily damaged by U.S. bombing raids in the 1960's.
My memories of this place: After Toan dropped me off near Plieku, I got a lift with a French couple who were nice enough to let me ride in the van with their two young sons playing with their Gameboys for two days straight. That was real fun. The van was really brand new and driven by a young Vietnamese guy who refused to downshift down the long, steep grades leading out of the highlands. Instead, he rode the brake. For kilometers upon kilometers, he rode it. You could see him jab at the brake pedal, softly at first, then more incessantly, and the van would vibrate as the brake drums began to heat up and slowly warp. Eventually we had to pull over while acrid plumes of white smoke billowed out from all four wheel wells, and it was some time before we got going again. He continued to ride the brake, but we somehow made it. Poor van.