Exploring Pleiku & Kon Tum City, Central Highland of Vietnam
Exploring Pleiku City
Pleiku is just a small market town with population less than 180,000 people. People can visit Pleiku by Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City or Danang city. There are also some daily buses from Ho Chi Minh City, Buon Ma Thuot and nearby coastal tourism towns as well.
Most of the international travelers are avoiding staying in Pleiku and going to Kon Tum instead because some says that the authorities are worried about the protest from local ethnic towards government. This was the case in 2004 when ethnic minorities did a protest against government restriction towards religion practice and the deletion of their ancestral lands. Visitors are required to obtain a permit and hiring a guide if they want to visit local Pleiku’s villages. Visitor can apply for their Visitor Permit at Gia Lai Tourist (gialaitourist.com) including tour guide services.
Budget Hotels in Pleiku
There are some budget hotels or guesthouses in the centre of Pleiku town. Huong Vuong Street and Tran Phu Street do have some comfortable places to stay with a just “OK English” from the reception staff. You can get price between VND200,000 to VND350,000 per night either for air-conditioned room or ceiling fan’s room. It will be the best if you can ask for cheapest room and go around for a better deal. It will be good if the hotel is nearby with food area and do not forget to enjoy your dinner at one stall named Dakbla, which is very popular here.
Exploring Kon Tum City
The next destination is Kon Tum, which is located 49 kilometers at the north side of Pleiku. The distance from Kon Tum to Ho Chi Minh City is approximately 12 hours journey by bus with amazing scenic views along the Highway 14. This small town is very peaceful and grows with population around 100,000 people. Some travelers say that Kon Tum people are among the warmest approach people in Vietnam.
It will be great if you can make a walking trip to explore this small town because the weather in here is very pleasant. Your town trip should start by visiting some of village of Bahmar’s people and continue with visiting ceremonial rong house, Catholic seminar room including a hill-tribe museum at the second floor.
Other than that, you may go to Vinh Son 1 and Vinh Son 2 orphanages houses, which is located at town centre. You may spend some times to get to know with local tribe kids and doing some charity work. You also can bring some goodies such as canned foods, toys or clothing. At least, you can donate some money to the orphanage.
Budget Hotels in Kon Tum
Main roads such as at Nguyen Hue and Phan Dinh Phung offers some budget rooms. You can get price between VND200,000 to VND350,000 per night either for air-conditioned room or ceiling fan’s room. It will be the best if you can ask for cheapest room and go around for a better deal. It will be good if the hotel is nearby with food area and do not forget to enjoy your dinner at one stall named Dakbla, which is very popular in Kon Tum.