The best base for exploring the region, Kon Tum is a sleepy, relatively undiscovered gem on the banks of the Dakbla River, surrounded by interesting ethnic minority villages. The Bahnar and Jarai, two of the largest hill-tribe groups in the area, possess a fascinating culture with traditions that stretch back for centuries. You can join them in drinking the ruou can (rice wine) for which this region is famous. Of particular cultural interest are the wood carvings made by the Bahnar tribe (who have villages within walking distance of Kon Tum) to adorn the graves of their departed. The strong animistic beliefs of the Jarai tribe are expressed through traditional musical instruments, such as the wind flute and gongs with which they produce ethereal and entrancing hymns.
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