Visit paradise of coffee by step off the beaten track into a land of deep spirituality - Vietnam’s Central Highlands. This area is wonderfully unaffected by mass tourism and if you spend a little time here, you’ll be rewarded by stunning ethnic diversity, warm hospitality in remote Montagnard villages, beautiful rural scenery and a journey through Vietnam’s war-torn past. Here you can see the diversity of Vietnam ethnic minorities such as of Gia Rai, Jo Long, Bahnar... by live with them and see traditional ways of life, drinking local rice wine and watching a tribal performance to help you more understand their ritualist ceremonies and traditional lifestyles that have remained unchanged over the years.
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Pleiku to Kon Tum (44km): 1.5 hours
Your tour guide and driver will welcome you upon your arrival to Pleiku Airport (Gia Lai Province), then transfer 44 km ahead to Kon Tum City for 50-minutes to check-in your hotel. Kon Tum city sits on the bank of the Dakbla River, a great base for forays into the surrounding countryside and villages. Those arriving from a larger city will be shocked at the city’s quiet streets and easy-going pace before strating the tour by visiting to Gia Rai Villages.
The Gia Rai hill tribe group believes in the existence of genies and hold rituals connected to this faith. The group is a matriarchal society, in which the women are free to choose who they marry. The husband lives with the wife’s family and inheritance is passed on to the daughters. Wedding rituals in Gia Rai culture include making your way through a row of 12 jars of homemade wine and sharing a shot of firewater with every guest, several times. Alcohol is an essential part of many minority cultures.
In the region it’s homemade in clay jars from ingredients such as rice or millet, and drunk through long straws. The ritual of drinking wine from the jar is highly symbolic and being offered a sip from a fresh jar is an enormous gesture of hospitality by the host — taking turns taking a sip is a sure way to cement a friendship. The same goes with the stronger rice whiskey.
Each village has a communal house called a rong, a central stilt house with a tall, steeply pitched thatched roof. No nails are used in the bamboo construction. At the end of the afternoon return to Kon Tum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight in Kon Tum.
Route can change subject to client interests.
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel before starting the tour by a 1-hour drive through 45km to Kon Ray to visit the Sodra people and Jo Long people in the villages of Kon Bil and Kon Du alternatively. These tribe hill groups now are still live in their ancestor traditional long stilt houses built out of bamboo and straw, secured with rattan. We meet and talk with these hill tribe villagers, witness the Jo Long practice their hand weaving on giant looms or the eerie wooden statues in the cemeteries.
After lunch and check-out hotel, drive 30-minutes to the Bhanar tribe hill of Kon Ko Tu Village to start a 4-km trekking along the riverbank of Dak Bla, where local villagers are hard at work tending buffaloes, preparing crops for harvest, and transporting their produce to the village market. Return by a pirogue to return Kon Ko Tu Village.
A special dinner is served by local tribe where you have chance to taste with the tip of the tongue by some local rice wines while enjoy a Gong show and Xoang dancing.
Overnight in a Homestay.
Kon Tum to Buon Ma Thuot (280km): 5 hours
Depart Kon Ko Tu Village and drive back 30-minutes to Kom Tum to explore Kon Tum Cathedral - the town’s old Wooden Church, built in 1913 by French priests, is now used as the seat of the diocese in Kon Tum Province. It is an interesting combination of Roman-style chapel with Ba Na's house on stilted architecture, the blend of European style and the culture of the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Leave the church to continue on to visit the Bahnar hill tribe groups of Pleitenghia and Kanhnogokotu, where animist beliefs are still a part of local daily life, in which the most prominent spirits are the kings of water, fire and wind, represented by shamans who are involved in rain-making ceremonies and other rituals.
Farewell Kon Tum to drive ahead to Buon Ma Thuot for 5-hour (230km), enjoy the scenery and panoramic views of countless coffee, rubber, and pepper plantations of the lowland along the road by a short break stop.
Buon Ma Thuot is grown into the bustling, sprawling and relatively charmless capital city of Dak Lak province. It prospers from the spoils of the surrounding countryside, the fertile soil producing rubber, clay, minerals and coffee – lots and lots of coffee. There are three indigenous people: the Ede, Mnong and Jarai. Each group has its own characteristics but they all have a matriarchal structure, with large families traditionally living within one longhouse. Their cultural identity is expressed through their language, architecture, funeral rites, gong music, pottery and dependence on nature.
Upon your arrival, check-in your hotel before visiting the city main market, located just a couple blocks west from victory monument and army tank. Here you can see a huge array of fresh food, if time permits. Do not forget try some special coffee as you are in the paradise of the world favorite drink.
Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot
Route can change subject to client interests.
Breakfast at the hotel before take a drive of 1.5 hour to Lak Lake (55km). Blend into the Jun ethnic minority village upon your arrival. The Jun tribe still follow their ancestral ways of fishing, weaving brocade, and water farming. Enjoy an elephant ride through Lak Lake.
On the way back to Buon Ma Thuot visit Dray Sap waterfall in the middle of hardwood rainforest (30 km from Buon Ma Thuot). Drive to Buon Ma Thuot airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City (depending on flight details).
- We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Vietnam.
- Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
- The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
- Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
- Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
- Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
- If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program.
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Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your need, e.g.accommodation, tour length...