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Bien Ho Lake: Pleiku’s Gem

Bien Ho Lake in the South of Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province, Tay Nguyen area, is a growing tourist destination because of its name itself “lake as big as an ocean.” Also known as T’Nung Lake or “ocean on a mountain,” this spot is surely a must-visit for anyone looking for something spectacular.

Also called “Pleiku’s eyes” by a famous musician and “jade stone” by the locals, Bien Ho Lake is rich with both natural beauty and history. It is an oval-shaped freshwater lake that is one of the biggest in Tay Nguyen with over 230 hectares of area and 30 metres of depth. The water is crystal clear and the air is as fresh as it can be. Different kinds of rare flowers and even endangered birds and fish can be found in the area since Bien Ho itself is a reserve. Lovely stilt houses can be seen from the mountain peak indicative of the Tay Nguyen culture.

Another cultural emphasis of the area is the origin of the lake. According to local legend, the “duality” of seeing the reflection of Ham Rong Peak on the surface of Bien Ho Lake is a representation of fertility wherein the peak signifies the male erection while the lake symbolizes the womb of a woman. They are said to both represent Linga and Yoni. Bien Ho is also considered the yin and Ham Rong Peak the yang, the two of them believed to be embedded deep inside Mother Earth.

The origin of Bien Ho Lake goes that Pleiku used to be a bustling town. But in a span of one year, all of the buffalos and cows in the place died for apparently no reason. Scared that they might have done something to anger their Giang (God), the villagers killed a deer as a sacrifice. But after the offering ritual, the ground trembled so strongly that the entire village fell to the crack caused by the quake. A big flood followed swallowing everyone to death. The May Cay family were the only ones who survived the tragedy because they were away visiting their relatives during that time.

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Bien Ho Lake is shrouded in both beauty and mystery. For the adventure seekers who are looking for excitement and the lovers of nature who journey to different parts of the world in order to appreciate the untouched beauty of nature, Bien Ho Lake will not disappoint at all.


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