TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN KONTUM, VIETNAM
TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN KONTUM, VIETNAM
Post: 11/04/2017 - Viewed: 2969
KonTum is the capital town of Kon Tum Province in Vietnam. It is located inland in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, near the borders with Laos and Cambodia.

TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN KONTUM, VIETNAM


The sleepy, friendly town of Kon Tum sits on the edge of the Dakbla River, and is one of the best bases in the central highlands – unlike busy Buon Ma Thuot and concrete-heavy Pleiku, this provincial capital makes a highly pleasant place to stay. It also has a few sights of its own, including some sterling colonial-era architecture – some of the most beautiful buildings in the country. However, most are here to use Kon Tum as a springboard for jaunts to outlying villages of the Bahnar and other minorities such as the Sedang, Gieh Trieng and Rongao. There are about 650 minority villages in the province, of which only a few have been visited by foreigners, so the scope for adventure here is broad.
 
Kon Tum’s riverside promenade along the Dakbla River is a fine place for a stroll – especially on fair-weather evenings, when it seems as if half the town stops by. It would also be the perfect place for a beer, but only the bars on the other side of the road seem to sell bottles – and even then, they’re usually warm and only for on-site drinking.

 

Climate:
Kontum has feature climate of Central Highland. That is tropical monsoon one. The temperature, with a range of 20–24oC, is lowest in January and the highest in April and May.  The difference between the lowest and highest is a mere 6–7oC. The rainy season is from April to October and the dry season is from November to March. 

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.

THINGS TO DO: 

Ethnic minority villages: 
Many of them can be found in the Central Highlands, where foreigner travel and access to minority villages has been tightly controlled ever since the early 2000s, when protests in the region over indigenous rights were suppressed through a government crackdown. For travellers, access to authentic experiences is a challenge since permission must be granted by local authorities to visit villages. But on the other hand, the region has been protected from the effects of mass tourism and doing a tour can be doubly rewarding in Kon Tum, which feels more accessible and relaxed when it comes to visiting ethnic villages compared to Pleiku and Buon Ma Thuot. This is no doubt due to the presence of a great operator, Highland Eco Tours, lead by Mr Huynh.
 
 
Trekking
We’ve outlined village visits and your options for day tours, but if you want to learn about Kon Tum’s eight ethnic minorities while getting off the beaten track and getting exercise, trekking is just the ticket.
If you’re short on time, a one-day trek isn’t the way to go. You are much better off doing the village tour by motorbike than spending time walking between villages that have road access to begin with. A trek is worthwhile if it is a multi-day one. Three days will allow you to go deep – physically and culturally – venturing higher up into the mountains, immersing yourself in the way of life and experiencing how the people are connected to the forest. As Mr Huynh of Highland Eco Tours poetically explains, the minorities have two worlds. The day time world has been taken over by modernity. It is the world of working and making money. But the night is still what they have and hold onto. It is the world of harmony, Mother Nature and the jungle. The night is when you will see the echoes of the past.
 
Kon Tum War Tour
It’s true, there’s nothing to see in Kon Tum per se. Most of the war sites here have been returned to nature – as much as something can return to nature after being carpeted with Agent Orange. Kon Tum province was the site of one of the bloodiest and most definitive battles of the Vietnam War. By spring 1972, the US Army had already begun their withdrawal from ground involvement in the war. The outcome was teetering on an edge; who won control over the Central Highlands would win the war.
 
Kon Tum motorbike loop
This 110 kilometre one-day motorbike loop from Kon Tum will take your through rolling country roads close to both the Cambodian and Lao borders, past stunning lake vistas and idyllic farmland before arriving in Dak To, home to several key Vietnam War sites where the damage caused by Agent Orange is still visible on the landscape. You’ll return to Kon Tum via Highway 14, part of the historic Ho Chi Minh Trail.
 
 
Cemetery and Rong house
We highly recommend you do a guided trip to learn about the ethnic minorities as it’s inexpensive, insightful and allows you to interact properly with the locals. The Rong Houses are easy to find on your own – there are many dotted outside of town, ask your hotel – but the cemeteries are harder to find, and while you are much freer to explore on your own in Kon Tum than Pleiku or Buon Ma Thuot, the experience is greatly enhanced by hiring a good guide and asking lots of questions.
 
 
Scenic drive Kon Tum to Quang Ngai or Hoi An
Imagine a quiet paved road that snakes through the Annamite Mountains. The road is flanked by deep layers of mysterious mist-shrouded jungle, and just when you think the tangle of greenery will swallow you whole, the world unexpectedly opens up to jaw-dropping grand sweeping views of sky and earth and glittering terraced rice fields below.



Start Planning Your Vietnam Trip Now!

:: How To Get A Vietnam Visa On Arrival In Vietnam - Check 
Visa to Vietnam if you need 
:: Find available places to stay in Vietnam on Agoda.com  or Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. 
:: Need inspiration? Check our Vietnam Itineraries for ideas of where to go and what to do.
:: Explore our Vietnam Travel Guide for more Vietnam must-see destinations.

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