By Plane -- There are direct connections between Buon Ma Thuot and Ho Chi Minh City, and Buon Ma Thuot and Danang. The airport in Buon Ma Thuot is 10km (6 1/4 miles) from the town center. The office of Vietnam Airlines is at 67 Nguyen Tat Thanh St. (tel. 0500/395-4442 or 395-5055). Flight schedules vary, and you should book your flights to and from here in advance (possible from any Vietnam Airlines office countrywide).
By Car/Motorbike -- Probably the best way to arrange transport to Buon Ma Thuot is to hire your own vehicle. The town is a popular stop for the many adventurous travelers who saddle up on a motorbike with one of the highland area's Easy Riders, and there are also good options for private accommodations in a car or van -- at premium prices of about $60 per day -- from Nha Trang (try to split the cost with other travelers, or join a larger tour).
By Bus -- Local buses to or from Nha Trang leave at 7am and cost 50,000 VND for the 5-hour ride. Onward travel to Pleiku and Kontum, or south to Dalat, leaves in the early morning as well. The public bus station in Buon Ma Thuot is on Nguyen Tat Than Street (an artery that originates at the large tank and traffic circle at the city center). Between the station and hotels in town, expect to pay about 10,000 VND for a motorbike taxi.
By Car -- Contact Damsan Tourist (tel. 0500/385-0123) or Daklak Tourist (tel. 0500/385-2108) for rentals with drivers. Expect to pay about $50 per day. (For more information, see their listings in the section "Visitor Information & Tours," below.) Also ask at any hotel front desk about rentals or shared vehicles for day trips.
By Motorbike -- You'll pay about $10 per day for rental from your hotel. Best to go on a bike with driver and guide. Pay between $10 and $15, depending on where you plan to go. To Yok Don National Park, for example, pay about $10 for the 1-day round-trip. For Lak Lake, some 55km (34 miles) south, expect to pay $12, and for a combo trip including Dray Sap Waterfall, pay a total of $15. For a reliable and helpful driver, contact Mr. Tam Nguyen at tel. 0932/474-242 (23 Nguyen Cong Tru St.).
Visitor Information & Tours
The local government agency, Daklak Tourist, 53 Ly Thuong Kiet St. (tel. 0500/385-2108; fax 0500/385-2865; email@example.com), has an office just north of the Thang Loi (Victory) Hotel near the central monument. Housed in an old wooden house, the company's helpful staff can arrange good trips to just about anywhere in the province, with services comparable to those of Damsan, below. These guys are expensive (car rental is from about $50 per day, depending on where you go), but this office is convenient and a good place to pick up information. They sell a useful local map for 10,000 VND. It's open daily from 7:30 to 11am and 1:30 to 5pm.
Damsan Tours (212-214 Nguyen Cong Tru St.; tel. 0500/385-0123) is a very helpful little outfit, and a good place to just pick up information (or a map, at a cost of 10,000 VND) before hiring a motorbike guide yourself. Their prices match those of Daklak Tourist . It's open daily from 7 to 11am and 2 to 5pm.
Vietcombank has a branch at 6 Tran Hung Dao (tel. 0500/385-7899), and you'll find a 24-hour ATM at Vietcombank ATM, located just west of the Victory Monument in front of the Thang Loi (Victory) Hotel. The Agricultural and Rural Development Bank at 37 Phan Boi Chau (tel. 0500/385-2433) can cash traveler's checks, as can most hotel front desks.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.