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Is Kon Tum Fun? Here's the 14 Best Things to Do

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Kon Tum is a small city located in the lush, green mountains of Central Vietnam. Despite its small size, Kon Tum is a unique and exciting place to visit. The city is home to several ethnic minority groups, each with its own distinct culture and traditions.

As a result, Kon Tum has a fascinating history and a rich cultural heritage. In addition, the city is surrounded by beautiful scenery, with rice terraces, waterfalls, and forests all within easy reach. So whether you're interested in history and culture or simply enjoying the great outdoors, Kon Tum is definitely worth a visit.

Top 14 Attractions & Things To Do in Kon Tum

The town of Kon Tum is relatively small, but there are still plenty of things to see and do. Here are our top 14 recommendations:

1. Visit the Kon Tum Cathedral

Kon Tum St. Mary's Cathedral, Vietnam

Kon Tum Cathedral is a beautiful and unique architectural masterpiece you can find nowhere else. The wood church is designed in the style of Roman architecture, and it's harmoniously combined with the typical stilt house style of the Bahnar people. This combination gives the church religious and cultural nuances of the Central Highlands people. The church includes parts such as the synagogue, the house displaying ethnic and religious products, the communal house, and the guest house.

Catholic Shrine beside Kon Tum Cathedral

In addition, the wooden church complex has a carpentry establishment, a brocade weaving place, a sewing facility, and an orphanage. Although it's more than 100 years old, Kon Tum Cathedral is still strong. You can visit the church any time, but it's most beautiful when the pea flowers bloom. White flowers bloom along the two sides of the church's entrance, making it look highly poetic. Kon Tum Cathedral is a sacred symbol and the pride of all Kon Tum people.


2. Bishop's house of Kon Tum

Bishop's House of Kon Tum view from the front locatd in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Bishop's House of Kon Tum is a beautiful French colonial-era mansion located on the same street as the Kon Tum Cathedral. The house is a work of art, mainly built of wood and flanked by giant trees. It is a great place to explore the architecture and culture of the Central Highlands in Vietnam. Visitors can also learn about different ethnic groups in Kon Tum through the museum inside the house, which displays musical instruments and tools.

Catholic Shrine at Bishop's House of Kon Tum, Vietnam

The Diocese of Kon Tum was established in 2015 with Aloysius Gonzaga Nguyễn Hùng Vị as its bishop. The diocese serves more than 16% of Catholics in Vietnam and provides spiritual guidance to people in this region. Visiting Bishop's House of Kon Tum is a fantastic experience for travelers who want to explore the culture and history of this region. It is worth visiting for its unique architecture, cultural significance, and spiritual guidance the diocese provides.

3. Learn About the Local Ethnic Minority Groups

Bahnar girls doing a traditional dance at a festival in a Bahnar village (also known as Ba Na people), Kon Tum, Vietnam

Kon Tum is home to several different ethnic minority groups, each with its own unique culture and traditions. If you're interested in learning about the local people, you can visit several places. The Bahnar people are the largest ethnic group in Kon Tum. They have their own language, customs, and beliefs. The Bahnar people are known for their stilt communal houses, built on tall wooden poles.

Communal Rong House in Kon Tum Bahnar Village, Vietnam

These houses are very sturdy and can withstand even the strongest storms. These are large buildings where the whole community can gather for festivals and other important events. Kon Tum is also home to 28 minority groups including Jarai, Rong, and Xo Dang people. These minorities have their own unique cultures and traditions, which you can learn about by visiting Kon Tum and meeting local people. Additionally, the Kon Tum Museum has excellent displays that highlight the ethnic groups' traditions and culture in the area.

4. Visit the Kon Tum Museum

Kon Tum Museum, Vietnam

The Kon Tum Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Kon Tum people and the Central Highlands region. Visitors can see artifacts, documents, and pictures that tell the story of the area's heroic past. The museum is also a great place to learn about the customs, culture, and craft villages of the ethnic community. From jewelry and Stone Age cooking tools to ancient ceramic relics, there is much to see and learn at the Kon Tum Museum.

Bahnar Jars at the Kon Tum Museum traditionally used for celebrations with a rice wine locals have produced here for 100's of years.
Bahnar Weavers making traditional clothing
Communal Rong House Pictures at the Kon Tum Museum, Vietnam
American Army Truck from the Vietnam War

Visitors can also see a whole floor dedicated to the American war in Vietnam. These stories are sure to inspire and touch listeners. In addition, the natural area of the museum provides an excellent opportunity to see the diverse and majestic beauty of the flora and fauna of the Central Highlands region. You won't miss visiting the Kon Tum Museum when you're in the area!

5. Explore the Pa Sy Waterfall (Mang Den)

Pa Sy Waterfall in Meng Den, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam

This stunning waterfall is located in the center of an eco-cultural tourist area in Kon Tum village. The water runs down from the top with such force that it creates a white, misty spray that covers the entire area. In addition to the natural beauty, you'll also see countless wooden statues of people engaged in everyday activities like weaving, carrying water, blowing rice, and going to the fields. These statues are incredibly realistic and make you feel like you're seeing these activities with your own eyes. If you have the opportunity to visit Kon tum, be sure to add this waterfall to your list of must-see sights. You can explore the area and breathe fresh, clean air while enjoying the peaceful tranquility of nature.

6. Walk the Kon Klor Suspension Bridge

People walking on the Kon Klor Suspension Bridge in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Kon Klor Suspension Bridge is a bridge in Kon Klor village, Kon Tum town, Kon Tum province, Vietnam. This bridge connects the two banks of the Dak Bla river and offers beautiful views of the village and its rice fields, cornfields, and green sugarcane fields. You can also see the river flowing below the bridge.

View of the Dak Bla River from Kon Klor Suspension Bridge in Kon Tum, Vietnam

The bridge is quite wide, so you can walk or drive a bike across it without fear of collision. When the city lights up in the evening, the Kon Klor Suspension Bridge is a beautiful sight. For many people, this bridge is associated with their childhood memories. Even though it is quite simple, the Kon Klor Suspension Bridge is a special place for many people.

7. Visit the Kon Klor Communal House

Kon Klor Communal House near Kon Klor Suspension Bridge in Kon Tum, Vietnam

The Kon Klor communal house is an exciting and unique attraction in the village of Kon Klor. Located right in front of Bac Can road, it's a great place to stop and take photos, thanks to its beautiful surroundings. The house itself is built in the traditional style, with a soaring roof and intricate carvings. In addition to being a tourist attraction, the communal house is also used for essential village events such as weddings and buffalo stabbing festivals.

Weavers making traditional Bahnar clothes near the Kon Klor Communal House in Kon Tum, Vietnam

There is a fascinating gift shop on the property and a cafe/bar across the street where you can buy rice paintings. The gift shop sometimes has people weaving Bahnar traditional clothes so be sure to walk in and see. Additionally, the rice paintings are a sight to behold. It's a painstaking process to create these paintings with grains of rice!

Rice Painting of the Kon Tum Cathedral

8. Stroll Along the Dak Bla River

Dak Bla River view from Kon Klor Suspension Bridge in Kon Tum, Vietnam

This river is a must-see if you're ever in Kon Tum. It's 139km long and flows east-west, running through the city. The Dak Bla River is the only river in the 5 Central Highlands provinces with a reverse direction. This makes it a very special place. People come here to relax and take in the peaceful scenery.

Dak Bla River second view from Kon Klor Suspension Bridge in Kon Tum, Vietnam

In the spring, there is a canoe race between local people. This is a very festive and fun event to watch. The river is also very beautiful in the evening, with bright lights shining from the cafes along its banks. You won't be disappointed if you take the time to visit this river. You'll probably fall in love with it.

Dak Bla River view from farm in Kon Tum, Vietnam
Dak Bla River second view from farm in Kon Tum, Vietnam

9. Explore Bac Ai Pagoda

Bac Ai Buddhist Temple in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Bac Ai Pagoda is a stunning temple located on a hill in Kon Tum. The pagoda was built in 1932 with bamboo and sesame seeds and features an earthen wall and scale tile roof. The temple is home to shrines to worship the mountain gods and emperors, as well as towers and tombstones.

Bac Ai Pagoda in Kon Tum, Vietnam

However, due to recent restoration efforts, few artifacts remain, such as the statue of the Holy Mother of God, the statue of Quan Yin, and the Buu Seal. Despite this, Bac Ai Pagoda is still one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Kon Tum.

10. Trek Through the Bamboo Forest of Chu Mom Ray National Park

The bamboo forest of Chu Mom Ray National Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Kon Tum. With its vast array of rare and precious plant and animal life, this national park is truly a sight to behold. The park's highlight is its massive grassland, which spans over 9,000 hectares – making it the most extensive grassland in Vietnam. This grassland is home to various animals, including eagles and antelopes. Visitors can explore the park on foot and get lost in its ancient beauty. In addition to the bamboo forest, Chu Mom Ray National Park also features a large carnivorous animal population, including tigers, leopards, and gibbons. With so much to see and do, Chu Mom Ray National Park will surely provide an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

11. Sample the Local Cuisine

Local Bahnar food found in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Kon Tum is home to a wide variety of unique and delicious dishes. One of the most popular dishes is Banh Chung, a sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Another popular dish is thit kho tau, a braised pork often served with rice. Kon Tum is also famous for its coffee grown in nearby coffee plantations. Be sure to try a cup of this delicious coffee when you're in town!

12. Climbing Mountains Around Kon Tum

Kon Tum Mountains

Climbing the mountains surrounding Kon Tum is an incredible experience. The views from the top are breathtaking, and the journey to get there is just as memorable. For those with little experience hiking, it's best to enlist the help of some locals. They can take you on motorbikes up the mountain, so you don't have to worry about navigating your way up. Experienced hikers can make it in a day if they have enough supplies and knowledge of the terrain.

Kon Tum view from Mountain

The locals know these mountains like the back of their hand, so that they can guide you through safely and quickly. Plus, they can provide insight into local culture that you wouldn't get otherwise. It's a great way to learn about Kon Tum while exploring its natural beauty.

No matter how you choose to climb these mountains, it's sure to be an unforgettable experience. From stunning views from the top to learning more about local culture, it's an adventure of a lifetime.

13. Chùa Huệ Chiếu Buddhist Temple

Chùa Huệ Chiếu Buddhist Temple

Chùa Huệ Chiếu is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Kon Tum, Vietnam. It was built in 2014 and covers an area of 2 hectares. The temple serves as a place for Buddhists to practice their faith and also provides a place for cultural activities. Visitors can explore the pagoda, participate in religious ceremonies, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the temple grounds.

The main attraction at Chùa Huệ Chiếu is the pagoda itself. It is an impressive structure with intricate details and vibrant colors that make it stand out from other temples in the area. Visitors will find statues of Buddha and other deities and offerings made by devotees. There are also several shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses.

Chùa Huệ Chiếu Buddhist Temple Architecture

In addition to its spiritual significance, Chùa Huệ Chiếu also offers visitors a chance to learn more about Vietnamese culture and history. The temple grounds feature various artifacts from different eras, including ancient pottery pieces and sculptures from the pre-Vietnam era. Visitors can also explore traditional Vietnamese architecture, such as stilt houses and wooden structures used during the country's feudal period.

14. Vincom Plaza Mall

Front entrance of Vincom Plaza Mall

Vincom Plaza Mall in Kon Tum, Vietnam, is a great place to visit for travelers looking for a unique shopping experience. This modern mall is located in the city's heart and offers various stores and restaurants. From brands like Fahasa and Bandicoot to local favorites like Mesa Bakery & Coffee, there's something for everyone. The mall also features various entertainment options, such as movie theaters and game centers.

Tịnh Xá Ngọc Thọ

In addition to the mall itself, there are plenty of other attractions nearby. Behind the mall is a neat market with exciting items for sale. Here you can find everything from traditional Vietnamese crafts to souvenirs and snacks. There's also a beautiful Buddhist temple called Tịnh Xá Ngọc Thọ located nearby that's worth checking out too.

Top 3 Day Trip Ideas from Kon Tum

The Kon Tum region is teeming with natural beauty and fascinating historical sites. Here are four great ideas for day trips from Kon Tum:

1. Dak Glei Village

Dak Glei is a small village in the Kon Tum province of Vietnam. The village is home to the M'nong, an ethnic minority group known for its unique culture and traditions. The M'nong are known for their music, often played on traditional instruments such as the gongs and drums. They are also skilled in archery and buffalo fighting. Visitors to Dak Glei can learn about the M'nong culture and traditions through the village's many museums and cultural centers. In addition, several beautiful temples and pagodas are located in Dak Glei, making it a great place to visit for those interested in history and religion.

2. Ngoc Linh Mountain

Ngoc Linh Mountain is a beautiful mountain in the Kon Tum province of Vietnam. The mountain is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as several waterfalls and springs. Ngoc Linh Mountain is also home to the endangered Ngoc Linh ginseng, a rare and valuable plant in traditional Chinese medicine. Visitors to Ngoc Linh Mountain can hike to the summit for stunning views of the surrounding landscape. In addition, several treks and tours are available for those interested in exploring the mountain's many features.

3. Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve

Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is a beautiful nature reserve in the Gia Lai Province of Vietnam. The nature reserve is home to many flora and fauna and is a popular spot for bird watching. Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is also great for hiking and camping. You can even stay in one of the reserve's many bungalows for a truly unique experience.

Top 4 Places To Stay in Kon Tum

Now that you know all the best things to do in Kon Tum, it's time to start planning your trip! Here are three great places to stay in Kon Tum:

1. Khách sạn Hào Hoa

Hao Hoa Hotel in Kon Tum, Vietnam
Tall view of Hao Hoa Hotel in Kon Tum, Vietnam

At the Khách sạn Hào Hoa, you can enjoy a countryside weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotel has a snack bar where you can enjoy a bite and a parking lot for those who drive. If you're traveling with friends or family, the family room is perfect for you, and there is also a terrace where you can relax. The reception is open 24/7, and you can pay cash for your accommodation and services. The staff at the hotel speak Vietnamese and English, so you can always get the help you need.

2. Hồng My hotel

Hong My Hotel in Kon Tum, Vietnam
Hong My Hotel sign in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Hong My Hotel is a great place to stay while in Kon Tum. It's located just 400 meters from Bishop's House of Kontum and offers various services and amenities, including a restaurant, free WiFi, and free private parking. You'll also find a 24-hour front desk and a gift shop at the property. The rooms at Hong My Hotel are all air-conditioned and have a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Several rooms also feature a seating area, perfect for relaxing after a busy day. Each room also has a private bathroom with a bath or shower, a bidet, bathrobes, and slippers.

3. Hotel Window 2

Hotel Window 2 view from the front entrace, Kon Tum, Vietnam
Coi pond at Window Hotel 2 in Kon Tum, Vietnam

Window 2 is a unique and peaceful hotel located in the city center. It has a large car park and 24 comfortable rooms, making it the perfect choice for tourists and delegations. The property offers free WiFi and a wealth of other services, ensuring guests have a comfortable stay. Whether in Kon Tum for business or pleasure, Window 2 is the perfect place to relax and unwind. This budget-friendly hotel also offers easy access to the city's many attractions.

4. Kon Klor Hotel

Kon Klor Hotel
Kon Klor Hotel Signage

Kon Klor Hotel in Kon Tum, Vietnam, is a great place to stay for travelers. It is located in the city's heart and offers easy access to many attractions and activities. The hotel features spacious bungalows with modern amenities, including air conditioning and mini-bars. It also has free WiFi access and room service.
The hotel is close to the Kon Klor Suspension Bridge, a popular tourist attraction in the area. Guests can stroll across the bridge or enjoy nearby restaurants and shops. Other nearby attractions include the Cathedral of Kon Tum and Kon Klor Communal House.

In Conclusion

Jackfruit Tree in Kon Tum, Vietnam
Buffalo in Kon Tum, Vietnam
Farmer working in the fields of Kon Tum on a hot sunny day.
Local Bahnar food (hot pot) in Kon Tum

As you can see, Kon Tum is a beautiful and diverse province in Vietnam with something to offer everyone. Kon Tum has everything from stunning mountains and nature reserves to cultural villages and temples. It's the perfect destination for those who love the outdoors, history, and culture. Plus, it's off the beaten path, so you'll be able to enjoy a truly unique and authentic experience. We hope you have an amazing trip and wish you all the best on your next adventure!

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