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Guide about Kon Tum
Guide about Kon Tum
Area: 9,614.5 sq. km.
Population: 366,100 habitants (2004)
Capital: Kontum Town.
Districts: Dak Glei, Ngoc Hoi, Dak To, Kon Ray, Kon Plong, Dak Ha, Tu Mo Rong, Sa Thay.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Xo Dang, Ba Na, Gie Trieng, Ra Glai...
 

Geography
Kontum is o­n Central Highlands. It shares border with Laos, Cambodia o­n the west, Quang Nam Province o­n the north, Quang Ngai Province o­n the east and Gia Lai Province o­n the south.
On the north, there is highest granite mountain region in Southern Vietnam with Ngok Linh 2,598m and Ngoc Phan 2,251m. It is source of Tranh, Thu Bon, Tra Khuc, Ba rivers.
Forest covers 50% total of Kontum area with valuable wood, rare birds. Basalt soil is suitable to plan rubber, coffee, tea, sugar cane…. The province has 26,000ha grassland that gives good condition to raise cattle.
Climate: Kontum has feature climate of Central Highland. That is tropical monsoon o­ne. There are two seasons. The rain season lasts from May to October. The dry season lasts from November to April next year.
Annual average temperature is 23.4ºC. Annual average rainfall is 1,884mm.
 

Tourism
Coming to Kontum, visitors enjoy mountainous landscapes like Ngok Linh Mountain, Chu Mon Ray Primitive Forest, Dak Tre Tourist Site, and Dak To Hot Spring. Tourists are interesting in historical relics such as Kontum Former Prison, Dak Glei Prison, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Dak To – Tan Canh Battle Field.
Visitors would observe beautiful wooden stilt houses in Ba Na villages and Communal House (Nha Rong) that o­nly be found in villages o­n the north of the Central Highlands.

Ethnic groups
Ethnic minorities make up 51% population of Kontum. Most of them are Ba Na, Xo Dang, Gie Trieng, Gia Rai, B’Rau, and Ro Man… They work o­n fields in the mountains.
Kontum has colorful, diversified culture of ethnic groups. Their customs are unique with special traditional festivals like cong chieng (gongs), buffalo stabling, leaving- the- tomb, new rice festivals.

Transportation
Kontum is 246km from Buon Ma Thuot, 215km from Quy Nhon, 49km from Pleiku. National Highway No.14 runs from west of Quang Nam, vie Kontum Town, then to Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Ho Chi Minh City. National Highway No.24 connects Kontum to Quang Ngai.
 
Buon Ma Thuot
monument Buonmathuot - Vietnam
 
Like Kontum and Pleiku, the main attraction of Buon Ma Thuot is not in the town itself but in the surrounding area. There are numerous ethnic minority villages and also some spectacular waterfalls, all of which are within day trip distances.
Although on the Central Highlands, Buon Ma Thuot is at a lower altitude than Dalat at 451 m, so does not necessarily offer the same escape from the hot weather.
Ede Minority Hilltribe
The Ede tribe (or Rhode) make the trip to Buon ma Thuot worthwhile. The tribe is primarily matriarchal. The women own the property and after marriage the man must move in with the woman’s family whose house is extended to accommodate them. The houses of the Ede tribes are long (up to 30 m) and thin (4 m). Each time there is a wedding in the family, the houses is extended like carriages of a train. Each section can be closed off and has its own door and kitchen. The houses are also on stilts and under the house they store wood, food and even livestock.
 
hilltribe people party Vietnam
The Ede tribe have a different ceremony for their dead from the Bahnar at Pleiku. They bury the deceased just below the surface of the ground so that the spirit can fly to the heavens. Around the grave they keep wooden carvings of elephant tusks and on four pillars built around the grave they have four birds to protect the dead. The Ede tribe practice animistic beliefs.
 
Hill tribe museum
There is a very interesting Hill Tribe museum at No. 1 Doc Lap street. It shows some of the local equipment the Ede tribe use to hunt elephants. The museum also gives valuable information about the culture of the tribe.

Lak lake
Lak Lake is situated 50 km south of Buon Ma Thuot. To see the lake you must get a permit that costs USD 20 for a group of people. It is also possible to sleep in the Ede houses there. In this village, you can take an elephant ride for about three hours around the area.

 

 

 
Kontum
hilltribe people - Kontum - Vietnam
 
Kontum is a small town with the surrounding area littered with ethnic minority villages. This was also the site of some major battles during the conflict with the Americans, and even now, decaying weapons and shells abound. The large friendly indigenous population can be visited on a foot tour from Kontum and as a result of their limited exposure to tourism, they are still happy to see foreigners. The distance between Kontum and Pleiku is 46 km and on this road you will get a glimpse of the traditional minority houses built on stilts. There are also some waterfalls further out of the town that can be visited by motorbike.
The highland area was only completely opened up to tourism in mid 1994 and the police here can still be a bit touchy. If you are going to wander the surrounding areas, better to do it with a guide as they can then organize the police side of the excursion. Another danger of walking out of town is that there is still a large amount of left over ordnance from the war, so be careful. Who wants to get blown up on their holidays? 

Walking tours of the area
 
hilltribe village in Central Highland Vietnam
The best thing to do in Kontum is to go for a wander around the surrounding area. You can easily keep yourself busy for a day or two thoroughly seeing the region. There are still many traditional hill tribe villages in and around Kontum, and the best way to visit these is with a guide. Kontum is still a fairly small town and is not too popular on the tourist trail.

Seminary
One sight worth seeing in Kontum is the seminary. The seminary was built over 80 years ago and is still looked after by a small group of priests. The building is still in quite good condition and has a grove of cherry blossoms in the front yard.

Churches

On Nguyen Hue street, there is a large church which is over 120 years old and is now being renovated. This church has beautiful stained glass windows. Beside it is the Montaguards church, called a Rong House, which is over 100 years old. This is recognisable by an extremely steep thatched roof, and is set about 2 m above the ground. The Montaguard church is entered by the tribes people only once a year. Also in town is a French Cathedral that is worth a visit. It is white but is streaked with black as if it has survived a fire.

Se also


Pleiku
Elephant riding Pleiku Vietnam
 
Pleiku is a town with a large ethnic minority. Pleiku marks the junction of roads leading to Kontum, Buon Ma Thuot and Qui Nhon. This town was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam war as it was home to an American base. If you intend being here during the monsoon season, you should know that Pleiku boasts the highest rainfall in the Central Highlands. 

Jarai and Bahnar Tribes.
 
Jarai and Bahnar Tribes
The one thing worth seeing in Pleiku is the Jarai and Bahnar tribes that live close by. The Jarai guild houses on stilts with a small hut out the front to keep their rice. The Bahnar also build their houses off the ground on stilts and have large balconies to work on. They have a community building called a Rong House where the elders meet for ceremonies and festivals. Inside they keep gongs, wine, drums and all the precious ceremonial artefacts. Shaman also use this large building for spiritual rituals such as the ‘prayer for rain’. The Rong House can only be entered by men.
The tombs of the tribes are also very interesting. They set up little thatch wooden huts over the tomb upon which they put the possessions of the deceased. Around the tomb there are four wooden pillars. On top are wooden carvings of men or monkeys that are guards to protect the body of the dead. The ceremony is very expensive so if the family of the deceased cannot afford it, the funeral party is held up to three years later.
The entire village population spends three days at the burial sight where a water buffalo is ceremonially sacrificed and subsequently used to feed the village. The head of the water buffalo is cut off and hung on the tomb, and the four hooves are cut off and placed on the four corners of the grave.
Yaly waterfall in Vietnam
 
Yaly Waterfall

There is a waterfall that you can visit 15 km north of Peiku towards Kontum. You will come across a large junction in the road where you make a left turn and continue to the end of the road.

Former Battlegrounds
There are number of former battlegrounds which can be visited from Pleiku including Ham Rong Mount, Plei Me post and the former 1st Cavalry Division base at Hon Chong (in An Khe distr

 

Kontum

Kontum
Area: 9,614.5 sq. km.
Population: 366,100 habitants (2004)
Capital:  Kontum Town.
Districts: Dak Glei, Ngoc Hoi, Dak To, Kon Ray, Kon Plong, Dak Ha, Tu Mo Rong, Sa Thay.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Xo Dang, Ba Na, Gie Trieng, Ra Glai...

Geography
Kontum is on Central Highlands. It shares border with Laos, Cambodia on the west, Quang Nam Province on the north, Quang Ngai Province on the east and Gia Lai Province on the south.
 
On the north, there is highest granite mountain region in Southern Vietnam with Ngok Linh 2,598m and Ngoc Phan 2,251m. It is source of Tranh, Thu Bon, Tra Khuc, Ba rivers.
 
Forest covers 50% total of Kontum area with valuable wood, rare birds. Basalt soil is suitable to plan rubber, coffee, tea, sugar cane…. The province has 26,000ha grassland that gives good condition to raise cattle.

 

  
 
Climate: Kontum has feature climate of Central Highland. That is tropical monsoon one. There are two seasons. The rain season lasts from May to October. The dry season lasts from November to April next year.
Annual average temperature is 23.4ºC. Annual average rainfall is 1,884mm.
 
Tourism
Coming to Kontum, visitors enjoy mountainous landscapes like Ngok Linh Mountain, Chu Mon Ray Primitive Forest, Dak Tre Tourist Site, and Dak To Hot Spring. Tourists are interesting in historical relics such as Kontum Former Prison, Dak Glei Prison, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Dak To – Tan Canh Battle Field.
 
Visitors would observe beautiful wooden stilt houses in Ba Na villages and Communal House (Nha Rong) that only be found in villages on the north of the Central Highlands.
 
Ethnic groups
Ethnic minorities make up 51% population of Kontum. Most of them are Ba Na, Xo Dang, Gie Trieng, Gia Rai, B’Rau, and Ro Man… They work on fields in the mountains. 

 

  
 
Kontum has colorful, diversified culture of ethnic groups. Their customs are unique with special traditional festivals like cong chieng (gongs), buffalo stabling, leaving- the- tomb, new rice festivals.
 
Transportation
Kontum is 246km from Buon Ma Thuot, 215km from Quy Nhon, 49km from Pleiku. National Highway No.14 runs from west of Quang Nam, vie Kontum Town,  then to Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Ho Chi Minh City. National Highway No.24 connects Kontum to Quang Ngai.

 

Gia Lai

Gia Lai

Area: 15,494.9 sq. km.
Population: 1,095,900 habitants (2004)
Capital:Pleiku City.
Administrative divisions:
- Town:An Khe
- Districts: Ayun Pa, Chu Pah, Chu Prong, Chu Se, Duc Co, Ia Grai, Kbang, Krong Pa, Kong Chro, Mang Yang, Dak Doa, Ia Pa, Dak Po.
Ethnic groups:Viet (Kinh), Gia Rai, Ba Na, Tay...

Geography
Gia Lai is located in the Central Highlands. It shares the border with Kon Tum Province on the north, Dak Lak Province on the south, Cambodia on the west, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen provinces on the east.

Gia Lai is source of Ba and Se San rivers with Yaly hydroelectricity plant. It owns many springs, lakes, waterfalls, rives, and primary forest.


Climate:There are two seasons: the rainy season lasts from May to November and the dry season lasts from December to April. The annual average temperature varies between 21 and 25ºC. The west of Truong Son Ranges has annual average rainfall is 2,200 – 2,500mm. The east of Truong Son Ranges has annual average rainfall is 1,200 – 1,750mm.

Tourism
Coming to Gia Lai, visitors have a change to discover many impressive, poetic scenes. They are Kon Ka Kinh, Kon Cha Rang tropical forests, Xung Khoeng Waterfall, Phu Cuong Waterfall, Da Trang, Mo springs and Ayaun Ha Lake. Located on the top of an extinct volcano, Bien Ho (To Nung Lake) is called the “Pearl of Pleiku”. Its water is so clear that visitors can see fish swimming under blue water.

The province is also proud of funeral houses, La Phum, D’ko Tu traditional villages with special Rong house. Whenever going to this windy and sunny land, visitors are likely to see the unique architectural style of the statues in funeral houses, and to investigate the local customs and practice mysterious to them. Apart of that, tens of thousands of visitors are attracted to Dong Xanh Cutural Park in which many typical varieties of flowers and trees of Central Highlands are planted.

Gia Lai has historic sites such as King Quang Trung’s guerilla base, Nup hero’s homeland, Pleiku Prison, Pleime, Cheo Leo, and La Rang battlefields.


Ethnic groups

Many ethnic groups live together. Kinh make up 52% of population, Gia Rai (33.5%), Ba Na (13.7%), then Gie Trieng, Xo Dang, Co Ho, Nhang, Thai, Muong...

Gia Lai has long history and old ethnic culture, mainly Gia Lai and Ba Na ethnics. This uniquely character stamps of rong house, house on stills, tomb-house statue architectural styles, traditional festivals, customs and musical instruments. In attractive events like Po Thi (leaving-the-tomb) ceremony, buffalo stabbing festival, xoang dance…the ethnic groups show their customs with colorful, mystical pattern, perform many traditional dances and uniquely musical instruments (horn, gong lu, gongs…).


Transport
Pleiku is 186km from Quy Nhon, 197km from Buon Ma Thuot, and 550km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam Airlines has daily from Danang and Ho Chi Minh City to Pleiku Airport. Pleiku Airport is 25km from Pleiku City centre, 45km from Kon Tum.

 
 
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