In early December, 2017, the VCBT-N team arrived in Kon Tum to learn about some of the travel communities that the new group was introduced to. Eight hours on the night bus could be an enjoyable experience (though not too comfortable) for the foreign volunteers in the group. We arrived in Kon Tum while the city was still sleeping.
In Kon Tum City, the first stop was Kon Tum Tourist Village, 10 km from the center of the city. To reach Kon K’Tu, you will have to cross the Kon Klor suspension bridge connecting the two banks of the beautiful Dak Bla river. After the Kon Klor suspension bridge, the road curves around the soil, slopes and the Dak Bla River, and after each turn the wheel opens a scene that we couldn’t help but to admire.
The local VCBT- N team of Mr. Manh- tour operator of Highlands Eco Tour guided us to visit the village when we came to Kon K’Tu village. Mr. Manh told us: “For most tourists who come to Kon Tum, in addition to the famous tourist attractions such as Wooden Church, Bishopric, Kon Tum prison, Kon Klor suspension bridge … Ba Na ancient culture village in Kon Tum (Kon K’Tu village) is also the first choice of visiting, especially for foreign tourists. Besides cultural factors, the tribal people here are very hospitable.
Coming to Kon K’Tu village, visitors will have an immersive experience consists of walking around the village, exploring the culture, trekking, boating, watching the Ba Na Gong performance, and taking care of vegetable farm; On the bases of accommodation, the choices are the traditional homestay service (Homestay) in the village or visitors can also stay in the Rong house. Working together with Kon K’Tu villagers and neighboring villages for many years, Highlands Eco Tour has done a great job in making the effort in bringing the Kon K’Tu closer to visitors. You can find out more about the tour and activities at Kon K’Tu here.
Leaving Kon K’Tu village we continued our journey to Kon Plong district and stayed at Mang Den. Mang Den is located at altitudes over 1,200m above sea level, covered with many forests, cool temperatures throughout the year, the highest being only 220C. Therefore, tourists can visit Mang Den at any time to find inner peace, which í well known as the second Dalat in the Central Highlands.
The next point on the second day was Kon Bring village. Situated about 3km from the center of Kon Plong, Kon Bring cultural tourism village is very peaceful. The village consists of more than 95% of the Mo Mon ethnic group, living mainly by wet rice cultivation and upland farming. At the present, the village also preserves some architectural features of the Mo Nam such as the Rong house, stilt house…. Kon Bring people also preserve some cultural identity in the community activities household, such as wine making, knitting tools for production, family activities such as: ferry, ring, basket …; processing and using the products produced in nature or produced by the people. Cultural activities such as gongs, sinus dance and some traditional festivals are still maintained. The tourism information center Mang Den is also actively connected with travel companies to promote the image of Kon Bring in particular and Mang Den in general to more visitors. For the VCBT-N group, we not only saw the potential of tourism but also wished to help people grow in agriculture by expanding access to markets.
There are still much to do in front, but with the launch of the project, linking and promoting community-based tourism in Kon Tum province in particular and community tourism in general can give hope to a potential will be aroused, towards the near future.