“Bien Ho” - The eye of Pleiku
I have traveled a lot and been absorbed by many attractive places. However, back to the hometown in Gia Lai province, I could not help being astonished at the beauty of Bien Ho or T’nung Lake (sea on mountain) and have to admit that it is the most beautiful lake having lured a large number of both domestic and international tourists by its crystal clear water and stunning scenery.
Bien Ho is regarded the eye of Pleiku. It is about seven kilometers from Pleiku city and 900 meters above sea level.
In the rainy season in the Central Highlands, the lake becomes larger as water level rises making small streams stretching down to mountain foot. Villagers from ethnic minority groups earn their living by fishing at Bien Ho.
The ideal time to contemplate the lake is in the morning when more than 200 hectares of the water surface of Bien Ho is filled with mist. The lake is like a pistil which is surrounded by beautiful colorful petals gently stretching to hills.
The extended sloping path to the lake peacefully goes through grass covers and canopy of pine trees. At the end of the path stands a pentagonal pavilion with a high curved roof. From the pavilion, visitors can contemplate the poetic beauty of the lake surrounded by superb mountains and enjoy cool fresh air blowing in the wind from the lake.
Bien Ho is more beautiful in autumn as wild sunflowers start blooming. Yellow flowers leaning against each other make the scenery more poetic. Because the flower blossoms at the end of the rainy season, they are regarded as seasonal forecaster.
On the other side of the lake live ethnic minority people who earn their living by planting some agricultural products, like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, corns, and bamboo shoots. On the lake bank covered with green grass, sunburned children tend cows while playing local games. The peaceful life of locals seems to be in harmony with wild nature.
Bien Ho was recognized as a national landscape by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1988. Until now the lake remains intact, attracting tourists with its primitive charm./.