My Vietnamese friends and I biked to LangBiang Mountain from Dalat, which is about 12km. This should have taken us about 45 minutes but we made so many stops along the way to view the waterfalls or lakes we passed that it took us a couple of hours to get there.
We parked our bikes at one of the shops at the bottom of the mountain and stood there contemplating doing the 3 hour hike up or the jeep ride. The 1,900m peak of Lang Biang mountain is reachable by a steep paved path, ideal for a hike,but you can ride up there in a jeep under 20 minutes which sounded so much easier.
I learnt that anything is possible in Vietnam and to never underestimate the creativity of entrepreneurs. At the bottom of LangBiang mountain you can pay for a ride or photo with a “zebra”. They have a white horse with painted black stripes and are on a mission to convince people it’s a zebra here in Vietnam!
In the end the three of us voted for the jeep ride to the top of the mountain. The ride up the mountain was very rocky, a bit smoky with the high fumes coming from the vehicle, but the scenery was worth it as we drove through the pine forest leading to the top of the mountain.
The view over the valley and other mountains from the top of the peak is breathtaking. From here we had a fabulous view down over Dalat and the surrounding forests, rivers and houses of tribal people down below. Looking down at the valley below I did regret a little not walking up and being able to enjoy the scenery from up close.
Legend says that the name Lang Biang was derived from the name a couple who were deeply in love with each other – the boy named K’lang and the girl named Ho Biang. They fell in love with each other after K’lang saved Biang’s life from a fierce heard of wolves. However, they weren’t allowed to get married due to the long-standing feud between their tribes.
Generally, there are two versions of this story. One said that at last, they got married and then moved onto a mountain to live. Unfortunately, when Biang caught a critically illness, K’lang had to come back to the tribe to ask for help, the people here shot him with a poisonous arrow. However, it was Ho Biang to be shot since she had shielded her husband. K’lang could not suffer such loss, he cried and his tear made up a big stream which is now called Dankia (the Golden Stream). The second version said that: the couple committed suicide together since they couldn’t get married.
In both versions, Ho Biang’s father was so repentant of his daughter’s dead that he unified the tribes into one called K’ho and allowed boys and girls in K’Ho group to get married to each other. Their graves then grew into the two giant mountains, and in order to memorize the couple with profound love, the mountain range was renamed into what we call it today: Lang Biang.