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THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS OF VIETNAM
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I. Geography & Climate

The Central Highlands is an assemblage of plateaus covering the south part of the Truong Son Range, the most imposing one in Vietnam. At the elevation from 500 to 1500 meters above sea-level and with the annual average temperature from 4­­0C to 80C lower than that in the plains, The Central Highlands makes itself good reputation for its mild climate. It is administratively divided into five provinces named Lam Dong, Daklak, Daknong, Gialai and Komtum. The Central Highlands covers a large area of 5.4 million hectares, bounded in the North by the forests and mountains of Quang Ngai and Quảng Nam province, in the South by the two mid-land province of Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai, facing the coastal provinces of Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan towards the East, and separating itself from Laos and Cambodia by the Truong Son Range. Located in the belt of the tropical monsoonal climate of the south of Asia, The Central Highlands has the two distinctive seasons: the rainy season from May to October, the dry from November to April next year.

II. Nature

The Central Highlands covered with basaltic propitious soil, with many National Park and Natural Preservations such as Nam Cat Tien, Bidoup Nui Ba, Yokdon, Chu Jang Sin, Kon Ka Kinh, Chu Mom Ray, Ngoc Linh and Nam Ka, The Central Highlands is home to thousands of rare and precious species of both plant and animal categorizing not less than 35,000 kinds of plants and over 600 classes of animals, among them 17 have been listed in the Red Book.

The courses of water beginning from high peaks, passing down and through steep cliffs and deep valleys have created a lot of impressive waterfalls and romatic lakes as the lakes of Lak, Buon Triet, Ho Xuan Huong, Tuyen Lam, Bien Ho, Ankroet and Dankia…ect, and the waterfalls of Dray Sap, Dray Nur, Gia Long, Dambri, Prenn, Datanla, Pongour, Phu Cuong…, all of which make the harmonious strokes of adornment among rolling hills, mountains and vast primitive forests.

The Central Highlands is also really a marvelous and mysterious land for those who are interested in ecology and adventure, who would like to soak into nature and explore the wonders of nature.

III. Ethnic minorities

The Central Highlands shelter about 5 million inhabitants originating from more than 47 groups including Kinh people and other ethnic groups named as: Ede, M’nong, Giarai, Bana, Xedang, Gie Trieng, Brau, Romam, K’ho’ Ma, Churu, Chinese, Thai, Tay, Nung, ect. Most of these ethnic groups are said to be the native of the region and they presently maintain some of their own distinctive and traditional cultures that governed the peninsula for thousands of years in the prehistoric time. The picturesque panorama of the highlands is also embellished with diversified and astonishing architectural works from the “Rong” houses of the minority peoples, the pagodas and temples in Oriental designs to thousands of villas, churches, palaces reflecting the unique features of the late 19th-century European architecture.

The Central Highlands is surely ideal for those who are interested in ethnology. You will certainly have chance to study the traditional cultural characteristics of different ethnic minority groups – their lifestyles, customs, religions or faiths, dressing, ways of farming, etc.

IV. Travel activities

Traveling in The Central Highlands, you don’t miss opportunities to ride an elephant here and there and row a pirogue on a tranquil lake for sightseeing; trek and camp in primitive forest or climb up a mountain to admire the scenic panorama of the area from a certain peak; real experience by staying at a local family in a minority village with their traditional festivals, music and dance shows around the fire.

Wherever you come, the beauty of the nature and the hospitality of the locals always welcome and offer you unforgettable memories.

V. Accommodations

Come to The Central Highlands, you can stay in comfortable hotels and resorts in Dalat with the best quality. But you don’t have many choices for your accommodations in the other cities and provinces. Except Dalat, you just stay in standard hotels and some better quality ones. But you will have many chances to spend the night in a long house on stilts or a Rong house in an ethnic minority village.

VI. Getting there & Away

The region has three main airports - Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku. You can reach them all from HCMC or Danang with daily departure. From Hanoi you can only fly directly to the three airports on a few flights per week and for the other one you’ll need to fly through Danang. There are no trains servicing this region.

By road you can access Dalat via Highway 20 from HCMC. Highway 14 is the main north-south route, passing through Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku and Kontum. Pleiku is connected to the coast by Highway 19, which hits Highway 1A near Quy Nhon. Similarly, Buon Ma Thuot can be reached from Ninh Hoa, just north of Nha Trang, by Highway 26. There are frequent buses on all of these routes, but only Dalat is served by open-tour buses to Sai Gon, Nha Trang and Mui Ne.

VII. Map

 


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