Lien Son is situated on the south-west side of Ho Lak, the largest body of water in central Vietnam depending on the season (it voluptuously swells when the rains fall). Upon dragging our weathered souls into town, we followed prominent signage to one of the only hotels in the area, the government-run Lak Lake Resort. We had read a few reviews on the place online, and weren't expecting much, so we were prepared for the rustic, austere rooms and aloof staff.
Feeling hollow and sweat-soaked after the drive, we retreated to our drab room for showers and a lay down. Upon examination, we thought it might be best to put up a mosquito net before getting too comfortable!
Seeing as though there wasn't much to do in town during the evening, we retired to the cavernous lakeside dining hall for an early dinner and a hard-earned marathon beer session.
Needless to say, we were delighted by the array of simple, fulfilling meals offered (although the Marxian spirit is still burning here and many items on the menu are consistently missing-in-action). We loaded up on inordinately large heaps of sauteed vegetables, noodles, fried rice, and succulent local catfish (Ca Loc) broiled in a sugary, rich caramel sauce. The joy continued when we received our bill each night - under $15 for multi-hour feasts.
The next day, after getting lost in the surrounding countryside for most of the afternoon, we returned to the resort and wandered through its labyrinthine garden: complete with spiky jack-fruit trees, exotic insects, geckos galore, an embarrassingly dilapidated swimming pool, and picturesque views of the tepid lake.
Apeing the local architecture of the M'Nong villagers, the resort had a number of traditional, thatched long-houses where budget travellers could opt for an insect-thick, communal existence.
Bad place for a honeymoon, superb place to crash for a few days after an intense motorbike journey.