Bahnar Villages

Kon Tum Province, Vietnam

An ethnic minority living in the Central Highlands provinces, the Bahnar are as renowned for their musical prowess, achieved with bamboo instruments that include the fiddle and xylophone, as their soaring, thatched-roof rongs (meetinghouses used for community activities), some of which climb as high as 50 feet. The quiet town of Kon Tum, located a couple of hours from the point where the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam connect—and the border-crossing station into Laos at Bo Y—is a good base from which to explore the numerous Bahnar villages nearby. For the less adventurous, there are a few villages within Kon Tum itself. The nearest airport to Kon Tum is in Pleiku, about 25 miles away.

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