Kon Tum travel guide

Kon Tum is located at the “Indochina crossroads” with many famous attractions such as Mang Den, wooden church, the largest communal house in the Central Highlands, and Ngoc Linh mountain.

Kon Tum is located in the north of the Central Highlands region, bordering Quang Nam, Gia Lai and Quang Ngai, Sekong and Attapeu provinces of Laos and Ratanakiri province of Cambodia.

Kon Tum has a typical climate of the Central Highlands, with two distinct seasons: rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season usually starts from April to November, the dry season from December to March of the following year. Each season, Kon Tum attracts tourists with its own beauty. January is the season of rubber leaves changing, March and April begin the coffee flower season, November is the season of wild sunflowers and at the end of the year is cherry blossoms, which is also the season of many traditional festivals.

cafe 8822 1709634448Coffee flowers bloom in Dak Ha in late March and early April. Photo: People’s Committee of Dak Ha districtMove

Kon Tum does not have an airport. The nearest airport is Pleiku (Gia Lai), about 45 km from Kon Tum city. Travel time by car is about 1 hour.

From Pleiku airport, visitors can choose a bus to travel to Kon Tum, with a ticket price of 30,000 VND one way. Taxis range in price from 500,000 VND to 650,000 VND one way depending on the type of vehicle.

Sleeper buses run on the Ho Chi Minh City – Kon Tum route, about 550 km, prices range from 500,000 VND to 750,000 VND depending on the bus operator and vehicle type. If visitors choose a seat, the ticket price starts from 350,000 VND. Travel time is from 10 to 12 hours.

Accommodation

Kon Tum has many hotels with a relatively large number of rooms, but most are small hotels under 3 stars or homestays.

In Kon Tum city, visitors can choose Hoang Van Hotel, Tay Nguyen Hotel, Konklor Hotel, Window Hotel (1 and 2), and some other hotels available on the Agoda booking website. Double room prices range from 300,000 VND to about 500,000 VND.

In Mang Den town, there is only one large hotel, Golden Boutique Hotel. Double rooms cost from 1.5 million VND per night. In addition, Mang Den has many smaller hotels and homestays, with prices ranging from 300,000 VND to 700,000 VND per night.

Sightseeing

Wooden church

The Cathedral (also known as the wooden church) was built according to Roman architecture combined with the traditional stilt house style of the Ba Na people. The church was started in 1913 and completed in early 1918. The building is entirely made of acacia wood, the walls are made of soil mixed with straw, no reinforced concrete is used. Inside the church there are many small rows of columns linked by wooden arcs to form arches supporting the windows above. The cathedral has stained glass panels depicting biblical stories and stories that represent the spirit of the Central Highlands people.

>> See more: Wooden church over 100 years old in Kon Tum

Bishop’s Palace of Kon Tum

The bishop’s palace was built in 1935, a combination of traditional indigenous architecture and Western architecture. Except for the pillars under the floor which are built of reinforced cement, the rest of the building is made from precious, highly durable woods. In particular, there is a traditional house here that is considered a small museum of daily life items, agricultural tools, and cultural objects of ethnic groups living in the area. Kon Tum Bishop’s Palace is closed on Tuesdays, the remaining days of the week are open to visitors.

>> See more: Two long-standing wooden religious buildings

Indochina junction

The three-country border junction of Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia is also known as the Indochina Junction in Bo Y international border gate area, Ngoc Hoi district. 3 km from the Indochina junction is a triangular landmark, each side has the names and national emblems of three countries. The landmark is located on a 1,086 m high hill, about 15 km from Plei Kan town, Ngoc Hoi district and 75 km from Kon Tum city. This is one of the tourist attractions to check in when coming to Kon Tum.

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Bo Y international border gate

Bo Y international border gate is the central area in the border triangle of three countries Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia. This is also a tourist attraction for many tourists. Border gate opening time is from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). The border gate is divided into many areas with separate functions such as cultural villages, residential areas, and sightseeing places. Visitors can come here to check in and visit for free.

Bo Y 8719 1709634451Bo Y international border gate. Photo: Kon Tum Electronic Information Portal

Mang Den

Mang Den is a small town, with an area of ​​nearly 150 km2 on the plateau of Kon Plong district, about 60 km from Kon Tum city. Mang Den is known as “miniature Da Lat” with primeval forests, lakes, waterfalls, pine forests, fresh cool climate, and peaceful space. The most crowded time in Mang Den is from October to December every year, the weather is cold, dry, and cherry blossoms are in full bloom. If you come here in February, you will see mimosa flowers and banyan flowers, and in March or April there will be purple poinciana.

>> See more: Mang Den travel guide

MD1 6318 1709614349Road to Mang Den town, a favorite photo spot for tourists. Image: Mangdentrongtoi

Dak Bla River

Dak Bla River is not only a source of water and silt for people’s agricultural production but also a beautiful scene and tourist destination in Kon Tum city. The river is 137 km long, originating from the foot of Ngoc Linh mountain, flowing across the city. When it reaches Gia Lai territory, it merges with the Ia Grai river to form the famous Se San stream in the Central Highlands. This is an ideal place for visitors to watch the sunrise or sunset. Along both banks of the river there are flower gardens and entertainment areas for tourists. In addition, there is also a sightseeing boat service on the river.

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The two banks of Dak Bla River. Image: Kontum Online

Kon Klor suspension bridge

Kon Klor suspension bridge connects the two banks of Dak Bla river. From the bridge, visitors can see the surrounding villages, rice fields, corn fields, sugar cane fields and small creeks flowing under the bridge. Here is the Ba Na – Kon Klor ethnic village, where visitors can drink wine with the people, then cross the river over a suspension bridge to reach a rich alluvial land with banana gardens, coffee gardens and other trees. eat fruit. Kon K’tu village is also in this area, still retaining many traditional features of the Ba Na people, activities and pristine natural scenery.

Ngoc Linh Mountain

Located at an altitude of about 2,600m, Ngoc Linh mountain is poetic and majestic. The mountain contains many spiritual values ​​from generations of ethnic minorities here. Characterized by a tropical climate, fog surrounding the Ngoc Linh mountain range creates a magical space. In particular, there are many precious types of Ngoc Linh ginseng growing in this mountain range.

The largest communal house in the Central Highlands

nharong1 5136 1709634451Kon Klor communal house is the largest in the Central Highlands. Image: Kon Tum Electronic Information Portal

Kon Klor communal house is located on Tran Hung Dao street. To the right of the communal house is the Kon Klor suspension bridge and green sugarcane fields. Communal houses are built in the traditional style with materials of wood, bamboo, thatch, thatched roofs and ornate motifs and patterns. Artisans and villagers of Kon Klor have collaborated to preserve the unique features of the communal house. The Kon Klor communal house is considered a characteristic of the village’s soul, and is also the pride of the artisans and people of Ba Na.

Chu Mom Ray National Park

Chu Mom Ray National Park is located in Ngoc Hoi and Sa Thay districts, about 30 km from Kon Tum city. Among the national parks in Vietnam, Chu Mom Ray has high biodiversity. Besides, this place is also the living area of ​​the Ro Mam, K’Dong, Gia Rai, H’Lang and especially the Bo Rau ethnic groups, one of the smallest ethnic groups in Vietnam. Chu Mom Ray National Park is a favorite destination for tourists who love to explore, expedition and research groups. Traveling to the national park is quite convenient by personal car or bus from the city.

Cuisine

Leaf salad

This can be considered a specialty not to be missed when coming to Kon Tum. In the dry season, leaf salad only has about 30-40 types of forest leaves. When the rainy season comes, the leaf salad will have at least 70 types, and it is even estimated that if it is complete, there must be no less than 100 types of leaves. Leaf salad served with boiled meat, shrimp, and pork skin. The special dipping sauce of leaf salad is made from a mixture of fermented sticky rice, brewed with dried shrimp and pork belly, and has a rich, light yellow color.

goila1 3422 1709614349Eat authentic leaf salad in Kon Tum. Image: Linh Huong

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Grilled chicken – lam rice

This is a traditional local dish. Chickens are often raised naturally so the meat is firm. Before grilling, the chicken is stuffed with wild pepper leaves, onions, lemongrass, and chili, so it is very fragrant when cooked. The charcoal stove for grilling must be very hot, each batch takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Grilled chicken is best when eaten while still hot, the skin is crispy, golden brown, and the meat is fragrant. Grilled chicken is often served with sticky rice, peanut salt or sesame.

station nuong2 5959 1687510180 1797 1709634452Co Sinh grilled chicken.

Red vermicelli

Coming to the Central Highlands in general or Kon Tum in particular, visitors should try red vermicelli. The dish has a unique way of preparation that you can hardly find anywhere else in Vietnam. A bowl of red vermicelli usually includes the main ingredients of crab, meatballs and boiled quail eggs. The name red vermicelli comes from the color of the vermicelli. The vermicelli noodles are initially white, but after being cooked in a pot of broth, absorbing spices, cashew color, and shrimp brick color, they become red, bearing the mark of the basalt land. The dish is available in luxury restaurants or popular roadside stalls.

Pepper-piercing hot pot

355045169 765003698691796 5006 3081 1979 1709614349Pepper hot pot served with dried chicken and bamboo shoot salad. Image: Linh Huong

The name of the dish already sounds spicy, but thanks to that, it is very suitable for the climate of Mang Den. The hot pot broth is stewed from vegetables and fruits, with herbs such as goji berries and red apples. The broth is stewed for many hours to create a naturally sweet and clear taste. Xuyen Tieu hot pot is served in a similar form to Sichuan hot pot, divided into two compartments with two different flavors, one of which is spicy and one is plain. To best feel the delicious taste of the dish, diners should try the spicy hot pot.

Cement sticky rice

To make sticky rice with bamboo shoots, people will first soak sticky rice with turmeric powder for many hours. Thanks to that, when the sticky rice is cooked, it will have an eye-catching yellow color. Sticky rice is served with stir-fried bamboo shoots, boiled bamboo shoots, salt, sesame or braised meat.

Note

The road to Mang Den is quite steep and winding, so if you drive by yourself, you need to be careful.

Many places in Kon Tum have cold weather in the evening, so be sure to wear warm enough clothes.