The Allure of “the Eyes of Pleiku”

Bien Ho (Sea Lake) is best known for the song “The eyes of Pleiku”. The lake is also known with a different name of T’nung, a large freshwater lake located about 7 km from Pleiku downtown in Gia Lai province toward Highway 14 . Sea Lake is full of  water all year round and water is always blue, and looks like a mirror on the towering plateau for the clouds to reflect. Around the lake, there is a lot of mysteries and legends that make  the Lake become more sparkling.

For many people, apart from the lyrics of the song “the eyes of Pleiku“, the curiosity about a large lake in the vast Highlands full of sun and wind is the thing inspiring them to come to Bien Ho.

Sea Lake 1

Bien Ho was named by Kinh people, in fact, its real name is To Nueng (T’Nung lake) which is a huge crater in the north of the city of Pleiku, Gia Lai Province.

Coming to Pleiku in the scorching hot and dry days, you will feel the Lake is really an invaluable gift for city residents and tourists visiting the mountain. Despite the harsh nature, drought weather, from past to present, the Lake has never been never empty. Located at an altitude of more than 1,000 m above sea level, it is the fact that the lake is full water all year round that many people consider the lake as a ruby in the vast Central Highlands.

Sea Lake 2

The name of “the eyes of Pleiku” is originated from then. Along with irrigation reservoir nearby, looking down from above, both the lakes look like  2 eyes of Pleiku, limpid but charming. The weather in Central Highlands is so hot and muggy, but when tourists come here, they will feel pleasant by the fresh and cool air.

Currently, the area of Sea Lake is estimated to be 240 hectares, is the largest natural lake in the region. The analysis results have showed that the water quality in this are has the best quality of all large water bodies in the Highlands as well as nationwide. Therefore, Sea Lake is a plentiful water resources, the reserves and quality are both guaranteed, has a strategic significance in the development of the city of Pleiku.

Sea Lake 3

 “Wearing” the shimmering dress in the sun, Sea Lake set a strong impression in the tourists with wild and charming beauty. Passing the road leading to the Lake with green pine along the sides, you will encounter colorful vivid picture with fragrant flowers, birds and fish.

If you stroll along the lake, you will see the carpet of yellow wild sunflowers blooming brilliantly. Walking along the grove of reeds close to the bank, you will discover many beautiful birds like sin sít, black coots, d’rao, kingfishers. At the end of the road, climbing the stone stairs, you will set foot in the house built on the high hill extending out to the lake.

Sea Lake 4

From here, the landscape of Lake Plateau in rolling hills will fit in your sight. This is also the ideal place to admire the mountain town of Pleiku and red basalt soil hills, the hills of tea, laden coffee hills. After moments of watching natural scenery, do not forget to hire a boat to roam around on the quiet lake to feel the very close distance between the blue sea and blue sky.

From Ho Chi Minh City, you can catch the bus going straightly to Pleiku in Mien Dong (Eastern) bus station for 200,000-300,000 VND/ ticket. You can also fly directly to Pleiku airport if you travel from Hanoi or Da Nang. Then, you should rent a motorbike at the hotel to go to the Lake. Some specialties of the mountain town of Pleiku may be dried noodles, fried noodles, fried fish flour, rice, grilled chicken, beef hotpot at Lo Bo steep and many other specialties of the mountain.