Coi Tro – “The sleeping princess”

Thac Tro is located in village 1 (Kon Do – Kon Doi village), Dak Koi commune, Kon Ray district. According to the Xo Dang people, “coi” means waterfall, and “tro” is a personal name. The waterfall has a wild, majestic beauty and is almost unknown to many people. Some people compare Tro Waterfall to a “sleeping princess”, because it attracts anyone who has ever set foot here.

During a business trip to Dak Koi commune, I accidentally learned about Tro waterfall through a local resident and came up with the idea of ​​exploring this waterfall one day in the near future. However, after contacting the Commune People’s Committee three times, I had to sadly put the plan on hold. Because in recent days, due to frequent heavy rains, the river water level has increased so it is impossible to reach the waterfall.

Only recently, when the dry season came and the rain gradually decreased, was my wish fulfilled.

From Kon Tum city, it took me about an hour and a half to get to village 1, Dak Koi commune. Thanks to previous contact, A Noc and A Nien – commune officials were waiting for me there. After a few greetings, I followed A Noc and A Nien to explore Tro waterfall.

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The group prepares to wade across the Tea A Koi River to reach the waterfall. Photo: TT

Following a small dirt road, we headed to a river crossing, about 50 meters wide. Breaking a tree branch growing on the side of the road, A Noc groped step by step to the riverbank to measure the depth of the water. Struggling for about 15 minutes, when returning to A Noc, he explained: To get to Tro waterfall, you have to wade through the Tea A Koi river. On weekdays, the river water is not very deep, only about knee deep. However, due to the impact of the rain from a few days ago, the water is still rising.

After groping for a while, A Noc used a stick to point to the shallowest water to wade across the river. A Noc went first, we waded behind. “Reporter, be careful not to get your machinery or equipment wet!” – A Noc advised.

The water level was about as high as my waist, and the current was quite fast. However, relying on each other to follow each step, we finally made it to the other side safely.

On the way to Tro waterfall, the surrounding scenery also changes very diversely. Crossing undulating mounds of land with pampas grass taller than a person’s head, A Nien chatted: From here, just walk through 2 more slopes, about 2 km to Tro waterfall. Just keep moving, don’t stand still! Because this area has both yellow and white flies, being bitten by them is very uncomfortable!

After about 35 minutes of walking, wading through a few small streams, I could hear the roar of the waterfall falling. The sound kept echoing, spreading to the entire corner of the forest. This is probably also the reason for the formation of oral stories from ancient times of the Xo Dang people. The story goes that Tro Waterfall is very sacred, with Yang (god) watching over it. If anyone intends to cross the forest to get close to the waterfall, they will be punished. That person will hear noises like the voice of the waterfall, then after returning, they will get sick, sick…

Life is becoming more and more civilized and progressive, and people nowadays hardly believe in this story anymore. However, thanks to this oral story, over the years, Tro waterfall has hardly been affected by humans. The waterfall still retains its pristine, majestic and somewhat mysterious features that nature has bestowed upon it.

According to stories from Xo Dang people living around the foot of the waterfall, the water supply for Tro waterfall originates from deep forests, crossing the border area between Mang Canh commune (Kon Plong district) and Dak Koi commune. The waterfall has a total of 9 floors, each of which has its own unique and attractive scenery.

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The pristine and majestic beauty of Tro waterfall. Photo: TT

While walking and chatting to relieve our fatigue, we finally reached Tro waterfall. Seen from a close distance, the white water flowing down from above looks smooth and flexible like the hair of a “princess” taking a nap. Under the sunlight, the waterfall shines with multi-colored halos, sparkling like fanciful jewelry, looking truly eye-catching.

Around the base of the waterfall, the vegetation is also richer and more diverse than outside. Thanks to the abundant amount of water, the trees grow luxuriantly and lushly, there are even tree stumps that require 2-3 people to hug. This creates a perfect environment for birds to come back to feed and nest. The songs of many birds are like a harmony in the forest.

Moving on large rocks, we headed to the highest level of Tro waterfall. Each stream of cool steam blowing from the stream seemed to encourage each of us to be more excited to complete the journey. The higher you go, the more craggy and dangerous the rocks become, layered with moss over time. We also proactively reduce travel speed to ensure safety. There are places where we have to use both hands to hold on to trees and rocks to prevent slipping when moving.

Just like that, diligently going through each level of the waterfall, we reached our final destination which is the highest level of Tro waterfall (9th level). Even though our limbs were tired and everyone was drenched in sweat, each of us smiled in surprise, because we had just realized another surprising and interesting thing: Turns out, the small waterfall flowing next to us initially I originally thought it belonged to Tro waterfall, but it is actually another waterfall. These are two parallel waterfalls, from two different water sources, just flowing, as if merging into one.

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Come to the 7th floor of Tro waterfall. Photo: TT

Looking down from above, a majestic natural picture appeared right before our eyes. The green of the trees, the color of limestone, the white of the water… blend together, creating eye-catching light and dark colors that few other places have. Just like that, each of us remained silent, capturing this moment to keep for ourselves.

After exploring Tro waterfall to our hearts’ content, we returned as dusk was gradually falling. Different from when I arrived, now the feeling of the old road is no longer as far and difficult as before. It seems that what we have gained from this trip has covered up the fatigue on the difficult and bumpy road. Just like that, we chatted and soon arrived at the banks of the Tea A Koi river.

Coming to village 1, we saw a few houses with lights on. After a tight handshake goodbye, we went our separate ways. A Noc and A Nien headed towards Dak Koi Commune People’s Committee, while I continued to travel 60 km to return to Kon Tum city. Even though my whole body was soaked, I always shivered from the cold wind, but I quickly forgot this feeling. Because in my mind, a beautiful, nostalgic feeling always appears in my mind after the trip to the waterfall.