The Central Highlands of Vietnam covers the central east of Vietnam, bordering both Laos and Cambodia. As the name already gives away it is a mountainous area (the mountains here are clearly not as high as in Northern Vietnam) offering great scenery, lots of waterfalls, some interesting treks and it is the home of the Vietnamese coffee. You might not realise it until you visit this area, but Vietnam is the second largest coffee export nation of the planet. So when travelling through this area you will see plenty of coffee plantations – and a lot of cafes where you can try the lovely coffee. This region has also the advantage that due to the altitude the weather here is cooler than in the south, north and coastal area. The best time to visit it between December and April. For the remaining time you can encounter some heavy rain. That time of year check the weather when visiting this area.
The main tourist hup of the region is Dalat, located more towards the southern part of the Highlands. It is a fascinating town and a popular holiday retreat. It is called the flower city for a reason.
Another popular place is Lak Lake north fo Dalat and east of Nha Trang. You find quite a few traditional long houses where you can stay at as part of homestays.
Further north are the cities of Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku, which I would not call beautiful cities, but they have some interesting places to offer inside the cities and their surroundings.
One of the gems o the central Highlands is Kon Tum. This little town has some very interesting architecture one offer, great surroundings and some great trekking, maybe the best the region has to offer. As it is not on the radar of most tourists it has a rather laid back atmosphere, and worth a visit.
For me the best way to explore the Central Highlands is not just visiting the individual places, but organise a motorbike trip. The famous Ho Chi Minh Trail goes through this area and it offers some stunning places you can see. It is one of the best motorbike trips Vietnam has to offer – maybe only the far north can beat it.
Too many people try to use only a few days, but with Dalat, Kon Tum and the great roads you can easily spend 1 or 2 weeks in that region without any regrets.