The Legendary Province of Gia Lai in the North of the Central Highlands is still left largely untouched, combining riverine terrains with hilly slopes, waterfalls, rapids and primordial forests that prove so great for outdoor enthusiasts who crave for revenge travelling post-pandemic.
A land of volcanoes
Gia Lai has roughly 30 relics of inactive volcanoes. Their vestiges over hundreds of millions of years contribute to captivating natural gems ranked top among best scenes of Việt Nam and the world, including the Sea Lake, Chư Đăng Ya Volcano, Hàm Rồng Mountain or Ốp Hamlet Valley…
The Sea Lake is just 7km from Pleiku City and a natural freshwater lake rising 800m from the sea level. This vast lake was formed out of three interconnected and inactive volcanic craters. Vestiges of larva and erupting coal ashes in prehistoric times contributed to the fecund basalt soil and extremely rich biodiversity all over meandering trails of hilly dunes, mist drenched lush green pine forests mirrored on the lake.
Chư Đăng Ya is another Paleolithic Volcano that towers over vast fields in Chư Pawh District, over 30km Northeast of Pleiku. From a bird’s eye, the crater strongly resembles a huge tunnel surrounded by a concave being coffee farms and fields of maize, sweet potatoes, pumpkins… that adorn the lovely and picturesque surroundings. In particular, by the end of the year as Mexican sunflowers do abound from across the mountains up to dirt trails, making the volcano a huge swath of gleaming gold.
Chư Đăng Ya Volcano is one of the most interesting destinations of Gia Lai
The heartland of towering waterfalls
The finest waterfalls toss up silver bubbles against the dark green backdrop of fleeting and grave old primordial forests. Some of these are Phú Cường Waterfall, Dream Waterfall, Nine Layered Waterfall, Three Layered Waterfall, Xung Khoeng Waterfall and a dozen of other waterfalls as part of the national parks of Kon Chư Răng and Kon Ka Kinh.
Phú Cường Waterfall is one of the finest ones of Gia Lai in Dun Commune, Chư Sê District. The waterfall glosses over vestiges of a volcanic crater, creating giant torrents falling up from the height of 45m. The spot is a must-visit for any journey to Gia Lai. Another wild, but equally imposing waterfall is the Dream Waterfall as a tributary of Pô Kô River that hosts the reservoir of Sê San 3A Hydroelectric Plant. It’s a unique waterfall spilling over from up high onto layers of rocks below, creating colossal water stairs that further accentuate its distinct charm.
Kon Ka Kinh plays an important role in the protection of the upstream of the Ba River and the Đăk Pnê River
Unique pine forests and pink reed hills
Đăk Đoa (Gia Lai) boasts vast hills of pink reeds spanning up to hundreds of hectares that loom humbly in shady pine forests. The hills are collectively known as “Glar Valley of Pink Reeds” in Glar Commune, Đăk Đoa District, less than 20km from Pleiku City. In early wintertime under the leafy glade of pines, weeds come into radiant bloom of pink, draping hills in whole. These pink reed hills have recently emerged to be great camping and check-in sites on weekends.
Đăk Đoa (Gia Lai)
Quynh Hoa, Nham Hien
(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition IV-2021)