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Vietnam is an unconventional tourist destination, mainly famous for its central highlands, possessing a vintage vibe, and quaint towns. While cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City enjoy the maximum number of tourists, some are still unexplored gems. The hidden gem of Vietnam, Kon Tum awaits with its natural scenic beauty, rich cultural history, heritage, authentic cuisine, traditional festivals, friendly locals, and unforgettable peaceful ambience. Forget the bustling streets and a busy hectic life and plan a trip to this quaint KonTum. This place offers a glimpse into the authentic Vietnamese way of life, led by the Ba Na People. Embark on a journey to the “Village by The Lake” a unique name given to Kon Tum by the locals. Spend some extraordinary days on the lap of nature with your loved ones.

Best Time To Visit Kon Tum For Tourists

Sunrise view from the paddy fields

Image Credit: Violetbonmua for Wikimedia Commons

Kon Tum weather generally has two extreme forms: dry and monsoon. January to April can be a good season to see the rubber leaves changing or the coffee flowers across the valleys. You can also plan your visit to Kon Tum around the Tet holiday, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or during the buffalo-stabbing festival. Also, these months have mild temperatures, making the trip soothing for all the tourists. From November to December, Kon Tum becomes ideal for outdoor activities, sightseeing, cherry blossoms, and many local festivals. During this season, the cultural heritage sites are open to all tourists.

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How To Reach

A picturesque view of the mountains in Kon Tum

Image Credit: BertholdD for Wikipedia
Kon Tum City is located around 500 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City. Various modes of transport are accessible for the tourists. Here are some of the modes you can choose from to reach here:
By Air
The nearest airport to Kon Tum is Pleiku Airport, where you can board any flight destined for Pleiku from major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Once you reach Pleiku, you can book a drive to the destination.
By Road
You can also reach Kon Tum by road. The National Highway 14 is the best route to the city. From Pleiku, you can choose the Ho Chi Minh Highway to reach the spot while enjoying the stunning vistas of the Central Highlands. You can take a bus, private car, or even a motorbike to travel via road.

Places To Visit In Kon Tum

Kon Tum has conserved its local heritage for years, and anyone will be mesmerised after visiting the tourist attractions it houses. Here are the 5 best places to visit to soak in the essence of the city.

1. Kon Tum Museum

Dummies of local ethnic groups

Image Credit: Lấy từ ảnh của Thái Trường Giang for Wikimedia Commons
Kon Tum Museum reflects on the local, cultural, history, and war that the city possessed and underwent. Spread over an area of 16,000 sq metres and next to the Dak Bla Lake, the museum houses more than 20,000 artefacts, various historical documents, and pictures representing Central Highlands’s rich culture, which the locals have retained for a long time. There is also a display of bamboo work, gong, tea, and costume collection here, with the walls portraying age-old pictures from the revolutionary days and beyond.
Address: 8XWX+PFW, Nguyễn Huệ, Phường Quyết Thắng, Kon Tum, Vietnam
Timings: 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM (Closed on Mondays)

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2. Rong House

The famous Rong House of Kon Tum

Image Credit: Daderot for Wikimedia Commons
Another attraction that can be considered a cultural centre of the Tum is the Rong House. The main highlight of this house is that it is made using all the natural elements like bamboo, wood, grass, etc. The house of Rong House is comparatively taller and is 18 metres in height and has a hammer-shaped roof. The house has elements of different ethnic groups living in the region, as displayed in the architecture. The locals consider this house their sacred place, and several religious ceremonies and festivals occur here. While you are there, the vibe and air around you will feel lighter, and you might feel an instant connection to the Supreme God.

Address: Room 509, 15T2 Building, 18 Tam Trinh Str., Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Timings: 24 Hours

3. Man Den

Mist covering the mountains of Man Den in Kon Tum

Image Credit: Weendang for Wikipedia
Ma Den translates to “Second Da Lat” and stretches along a highway. Mainly known for its waterfalls, streams, villas, and pine forests, it showcases how rich Vietnam is with their natural resources. Located roughly at a distance of 60 km from Koh Tum Province, it rests at an altitude of 1200 metres. You could see the entire area covered in mist, leading you to the way of heaven, especially if you are travelling in the morning hours. As it once served French colonists, the touch of those have left their imprints here. You could opt to stay here and enjoy nature at its best and local food here.

Address: 60 km from Koh Tum Province
Timings: 24 Hours

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4. Kon Tum Wooden Church

Kon Tum Wooden Church

Image Credit: Rdavout for Wikipedia
Kon Tum Wooden Church is considered another architectural marvel located in the heart of Kon Tum. With a history of almost a century, it is made by combining the Roman and local traditional architecture of the houses of the Ba Na people. Adapting the typical communal house architecture of the Tum, the church stands a metre higher than the ground. The church’s interior also imitates the peculiar style of using natural materials. You can also find a display area featuring the artefacts of the ethnic groups living or living in the region. With one of the distinctive architecture, intricate interior work, and rich ethnic culture, this church stands as one of the most distinctive ones in the entire country.

Address: 416 Nguyễn Huệ, Thống Nhất, Kon Tum, Vietnam
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

5. Ngoc Linh Mountain

Cascading waterfalls in the Ngoc Linh Mountain in Kon Tum

Image Credit: Paxson Woelber for Wikipedia
Kon Tum has “the roof of Southern Vietnam, ” the Ngoc Linh Mountain. You must visit the mountains to witness the artistic scenic beauty of Kon Tum and its fascinating adventurous activities. Ngoc Linh Mountain is 8,524 ft high, making it the highest mountain in Annamese Cordillera. This region of Kon Tum has a mostly cold climate, blue dreamy sky, floating clouds, and Greenland. Not just the natural wonders of the mountain but its rich history is also impressive. The evidence found by the archaeologists suggests that the Co Tu people were the first inhabitants of the mountains and lived there for centuries.
Address: 120 Km from Kon Tum
Timings: 24 Hours

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Things To Do In Kon Tum

Exploring places gives you an insight into the place, but indulging in adventurous and different activities tells how lively the place is. Here are the top things to do in Kon Tum.

1. Attending Traditional Music And Dance Of Kon Tum

 the Bahnar traditional music and dance are well-known

Image Credit: Ngoc Vu for Wikimedia Commons
In Kon Tum, the traditional Bahnar music and dance are well-known, and for years, the ethnic group of the region has been involved in practising them. People perform this art form on almost all special occasions, cultural events, and festivals, trying to keep it alive. As per them, this is not a mere dance form but a way to connect with other people and bind them. If you are interested in witnessing this art form, you can visit any nearby religious area, and chances are you will find them performing this.

2. Exploring Ethnic Markets

Discover the vibrant Kon Tum marketplaces

Image Credit: Daderot for Wikimedia Commons
Discover the vibrant Kon Tum marketplaces, where a wide range of handicrafts, fabrics, and traditional items made by local artisans are available for purchase. The markets also sell souvenirs that remind you of your time in the city, such as carved statues, pieces of jewellery, instruments, lamps, coffee, tea, and many other things.

Suggested Read: Son La

3. Trekking In Kon Tum Jungles

Trekking in jungles

Image Credit: Petrit Bejdoni for Wikimedia Commons
The Kon Tum city is covered with greenery and has an abundance of jungles, hills, lakes, and streams. These landscape features make the city a perfect destination for trekking. You can venture into the jungles surrounding Kon Tum. Local guides will lead you through verdant forests, waterfalls, and hidden caves. During the trekking, you can capture glimpses of exotic flora and fauna and local birds and animals.

4. Be A Part Of Traditional Festivals

Join in the grand celebrations of Kon Tum

Image Credit: Lưu Ly for Wikipedia
Join in the grand celebrations of Kon Tum, which are organised by the ethnic groups. Yes, the most wonderful thing is that even tourists can participate in traditional ceremonies and festivities with locals. These cultural events provide a rare chance to see ancient customs brought to life, from the colourful dance displays to the buffalo-stabbing ceremonies, the Kon Tum Brocade Color Festival, the Mang Den Cultural Festival, and many more.

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5. Try The Local Food

Kon Tum relatively has less variety of local food to indulge in

Image Credit: stuart_spivack for Wikipedia
Kon Tum has a relatively limited variety of local food to indulge in, but it is worth trying. Since it is dominated by different ethnic groups that have lived here for centuries, their food incorporates mainly local produce. Among the regional specialities are leaf salad, yellow salad, and roasted black bamboo. You can also purchase the city’s well-known snacks, including nuts, honey, and dry fruits.

Further Read: Things To Do In Mui Ne

Kon Tum offers a beautiful journey into the heart of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, where you will find vibrant ethnic cultures, forests, historic sites, untamed wilderness, the flavours of local cuisine and some amazing people. The welcoming vibe of this place attracts visitors; every moment you spend here, you will encounter beauty and adventure. This underrated beauty must be included in your next trip to Vietnam.

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Cover Image Credit: Phó Nháy for wikipedia

Frequently Asked Questions About Kon Tum

Can I visit Kon Tum without a visa?

It depends on your nationality as Vietnam allows short visits for a few countries without visas.

Can I speak in English in Kon Tum?

Yes, you can speak English in Kon Tum but expect less that every local will be able to understand. However, vendors and people in most tourist places understand English.

Can I get a local travel guide in Kon Tum?

Yes, you can certainly get a local travel guide in Kon Tum.

What is the best time to visit Kon Tum?

Months from November to April is the best time to visit Kon Tum. The weather is pleasant and you get to explore all places as well trying all the adventurous activities.

Are there any cultural festivals I can attend in Kon Tum?

Kon Tum comprises several ethnic groups and they celebrate several festivals like the New Rice Festival, Gong Cultural Festival, and Christmas Celebrations.

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