T'Nung Lake

Located 7 kilometers from the center of Pleiku city, Bien Ho (also known as T’Nung Lake) is a year-round sparkling blue lake that is often referred to as the gem of the Truong Son mountain range. Bien Ho is almost never dry and serves as a source of water for the city’s residents.

As part of the ecological tourist area of Lam Vien Bien Ho – Chu Dang Ya, Bien Ho is encompassed by a long strip of land that stretches into the middle of the lake, offering visitors a panoramic view with cool, green pine forests lining both sides of the path.

Prominently standing on the strip of land reaching into the lake is a 15-meter-tall white marble statue of Quan The Am Bodhisattva, becoming a spiritual destination for mountain dwellers. Photo: Kieu Duong.

A portion of the lake’s surface area on the western side belongs to Nghia Hung commune, Chu Pah district, and is separated by a spillway and a suspension bridge near the tourist area.

“Bien Ho, with its reflection of the sky and mountains on the water, gives me an extraordinary sense of tranquility. Sailing on a boat in the morning, breathing in the fresh air, and observing the work of the fishermen here is a very refreshing experience,” said photographer Phan Nguyen, who currently resides in Pleiku.

Bien Ho is suitable for year-round visits and offers many interesting experiences for tourists. As Gia Lai enters the dry season, the fertile basaltic soil strips along the lake are gradually revealed, attracting various rare bird species in search of food.

During the rainy season, the rising water creates large waves that crash against the shore, resembling those of the sea. On chilly days, fog blankets the lake, gently floating above the rows of pine trees. When the weather transitions from the rainy season to the dry season, vibrant clusters of yellow wild sunflowers bloom and showcase their beauty around the lake.

According to historical and geographical documents, T’Nung Lake was once an extinct volcano that ceased activity hundreds of millions of years ago. T’Nung, in the language of the Jrai ethnic group, means “sea on the mountain.” Additionally, due to the vastness of the water, the local residents named it Bien Ho, which means “lake-sea.”


Natural Beauty and Scenic Views:

T’Nung Lake boasts unparalleled natural beauty and scenic views that leave visitors in awe. The calm and crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a breathtaking mirror-like effect. The verdant hills and dense forests that encircle the lake add to the picturesque charm, making it a paradise for nature photographers and artists seeking inspiration.

Boat Rides and Exploring the Lake:

One of the best ways to experience T’Nung Lake is by taking a boat ride. Local boat operators offer leisurely rides across the lake, allowing visitors to soak in the tranquil ambiance while enjoying the stunning vistas. As you glide along the water, you can witness the changing colors of the sky and the reflections dancing on the lake’s surface, creating a mesmerizing experience.

Fishing and Aquatic Activities:

T’Nung Lake is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is abundant in various fish species, making it an excellent spot for recreational fishing. Visitors can rent fishing equipment and try their hand at catching fish while enjoying the peaceful surroundings. Additionally, the lake offers opportunities for kayaking and other water sports, providing an active and adventurous experience for visitors.

Lakeside Picnics and Relaxation:

The shores of T’Nung Lake provide idyllic spots for lakeside picnics and relaxation. Visitors can bring their own food or purchase local snacks from nearby stalls and enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the natural splendor. The peaceful ambiance, cool breeze, and stunning views make it an ideal place to unwind and connect with nature.

T’Nung Lake Island and Suspension Bridge:
Located within T’Nung Lake is a small island accessible via a charming suspension bridge. Crossing the bridge offers a unique experience and provides panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. The island itself is a serene escape, featuring lush greenery and a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a peaceful stroll or meditation.

Sunsets and Sunrise Views:

T’Nung Lake is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets and sunrise views. As the sun descends or rises above the horizon, the sky transforms into a vibrant tapestry of colors, casting its mesmerizing reflection onto the tranquil waters of the lake. Watching the sun’s golden rays paint the landscape in hues of orange and pink is an awe-inspiring sight and a memorable experience for visitors.

Birdwatching and Wildlife:

T’Nung Lake is home to a diverse range of bird species, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts. As you explore the lake’s surroundings, you may have the opportunity to spot various colorful and exotic birds, adding to the enchantment of the natural setting. Additionally, the lake and its surroundings are inhabited by various wildlife species, providing glimpses of nature’s wonders.

Nearby Attractions:

T’Nung Lake serves as a gateway to other nearby attractions in the Central Highlands. Visitors can explore the surrounding hills and valleys, visit ethnic minority villages, and discover cascading waterfalls, such as Phu Cuong Waterfall and Plei Phun Waterfall. These attractions offer further opportunities to immerse oneself in the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Cultural Significance:

T’Nung Lake holds cultural significance for the local ethnic communities, particularly the Jarai people. The lake is considered sacred and plays an essential role in their traditional beliefs and rituals. Visitors can learn about the cultural significance of the lake through interactions with the local communities and gain insights into the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

  1. Practical Information:

  • T’Nung Lake is located approximately 7 kilometers northeast of Pleiku city center, and it is easily accessible by road.
  • There is no entrance fee to visit T’Nung Lake, but there might be a small fee for boat rides.
  • It is advisable to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes when visiting the lake.
  • The best time to visit T’Nung Lake is during the dry season, from November to April when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal.

Conclusion:

T’Nung Lake in Pleiku is a hidden gem that showcases the natural beauty and tranquility of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. With its stunning views, opportunities for boating, fishing, and relaxation, and its cultural significance, T’Nung Lake offers a memorable experience for visitors. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape, a chance to connect with nature, or an exploration of the region’s cultural heritage, T’Nung Lake is a must-visit destination. Plan your trip, immerse yourself in the captivating surroundings, and discover the serenity and natural beauty of this jewel in Pleiku.

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the must-visit destinations in Vietnam include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Sapa, Mekong Delta, and Phu Quoc Island.

The number of days you should spend in Vietnam depends on the destinations you want to visit and the activities you plan to do. A minimum of 7-10 days is recommended to explore the major highlights of the country, but if you have more time, you can easily spend 2-3 weeks or even longer to fully experience all that Vietnam has to offer.

The best time to visit Vietnam is generally during the spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October) seasons when the weather is mild and pleasant. However, Vietnam is a diverse country with varying climates, so the best time to visit certain regions may differ. It's advisable to check the weather conditions for specific destinations before planning your trip.

Yes, most visitors to Vietnam require a visa. However, there are some exceptions for citizens of certain countries who can enjoy visa-free entry for a limited duration. It's recommended to check with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country or consult a travel agent to determine the visa requirements based on your nationality.

When visiting Vietnam, it's important to respect the local customs and cultural norms. Some general etiquettes to keep in mind include dressing modestly, especially when visiting temples or religious sites, removing your shoes before entering someone's home or certain establishments, greeting locals with a smile and a slight bow, and avoiding public displays of affection. It's also polite to ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, especially in rural areas.

Vietnam is generally a safe country for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it's important to exercise common sense and take necessary precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, be cautious of your surroundings, and use reputable transportation and accommodation services. It's also advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations.

Vietnam has a well-developed transportation system that includes domestic flights, trains, buses, taxis, and motorbike rentals. Domestic flights are the fastest way to travel between major cities, while trains and buses offer more affordable options for long-distance travel. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are popular for shorter journeys, and renting a motorbike is a common choice for exploring cities and rural areas.

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While cash is widely used, credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments in major cities. It's advisable to carry some cash for smaller transactions and in more remote areas where credit card acceptance may be limited.

Vietnam offers a wide range of unique experiences and activities. Some recommendations include cruising through the stunning limestone formations of Ha Long Bay, exploring the ancient town of Hoi An with its lantern-lit streets, trekking through the terraced rice fields of Sapa, taking a boat tour in the Mekong Delta to experience the floating markets, learning to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes in a cooking class, and participating in a homestay to experience the local way of life.

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