Other Tribal Villages

Loads to see and experience

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 4 stars

With so many villages in the immediate area, you can 'roll your own' tour based on what interests you, and with some advanced planning, there are many more things to do and see than we were able to cover on our visit. Options include an afternoon trip to Khon'ngor Village, 7km outside town, to watch 'the cows come home' by swimming across the Dakbla River. Not very exciting, but to spice things up, ask your guide about the traditional 'love huts' used by married couples to get away from it all -- it's sometimes possible to even book one for a night.

We also took a trip to Kon Tum Ko Pang Village, where the Bahnar people still weave traditional baskets and, on our visit, we were serenaded by an 89-year old man on a rather extraordinary contraption, called a kleng klong, which is exactly the kind of xylophone Dr. Suess was always trying to draw.

An evening option, if you can jump onto a tour group that is already being treated to a performance, is to head to Kon Tum Ka Tu, west of the suspension bridge, (or, any of several other villages) where the locals don traditional dress, play traditional percussion instruments, and dance around the fire -- you'll be invited to join in, but the dance steps are not that tricky. The ritual is accompanied by drinking rice wine through long bamboo straws from large jugs filled with rice husks to sweeten the brew. Attending a performance will usually entail an additional contribution to the 'village fund.' After the dance, the party moves into the rong house, where you'll be plied to snacks and potent rice whisky. By the end of the evening, you'll be glad your guide is there to drive you back to your hotel. If he's still sober. Otherwise, home-stays are available.

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