Pleiku

Pleiku is the capital of the Gia Lai Province and is linked by road to Buon Me Thuot (197km), Quy Nhon (166km) and Kontum (49km). Inhabited mainly by the Bahnar and Jarai ethnic groups, Pleiku today is usually served as a pass to the quieter town of Kontum.

Pleiku is the capital of the Gia Lai Province and is linked by road to Buon Me Thuot (197km), Quy Nhon (166km) and Kontum (49km). Inhabited mainly by the Bahnar and Jarai ethnic groups, Pleiku today is usually served as a pass to the quieter town of Kontum.

Pleiku

Pleiku

Pleiku

Pleiku

The tourism authority and the local hospitality industry have been trying hard to sell Pleiku to travellers as a destination, even quoting a popular song that sings that city’s praises: “You are so beautiful Pleiku, breaking my heart into pieces…” One look at the chaotic, nondescript town will make such poetry seem like wishful thinking, but the city is centred around a deep ravine where an artificial lake has been created, and from that spot it’s possible to imagine that the city was in fact pretty, before it was flattened by war, then blanketed with modern buildings.

Leaving the city to the east and west, signs of the modern world quickly vanish, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a somewhat more picturesque countryside.

Mountainous and in the wet season very, very wet, Gia Lai province sits in the centre of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The provincial capital, Pleiku, sits at the junction of Routes 19 and 14, making it the crossroads for any exploration of the Highlands. Pleiku town marks the junction of Routes 19 and 14 leading to Kontum to the north, Buon Ma Thuot to the south and Qui Nhon on the Vietnamese coast. Most travellers who find themselves here tend to be on the way to somewhere else as the town itself is fairly charmless and while the surrounds are just as mountainous as the provinces to the north and south the infrastructure to explore them is both undeveloped and expensive.

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