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Ethnic culture in Voi mountain

Situated in Hiep Thanh Commune, Duc Trong District, Lam Dong Province, approximately 15 kilometers from the center of Dalat City, Voi Mountain tourist site is managed by Phuong Nam Ecotourism Joint Stock Company. Nui Voi was one an important military strategic point in the past but today it plays a new role as a retreat for tourists together local residents.

A tourist can drink wine while ethnic men play panpipes in a stilt house in Voi Mountain.

From HCMC on National Road No 20 on the way to Prenn Pass, Voi Mountain can be seen standing imposingly in the west, on the left of Tuyen Lam Lake, and further up the road on the right is the 1,699 meters high Da Tien (Fairy Rock) tourist site, set against splendid scenery.

Nguyen Thanh Phuc, director of Phuong Nam Ecotourism Company picks us up as scheduled and takes us to Voi Mountain in the drizzling afternoon rain. With the pine trees lined along the mountain walls on one side and an abyss filled with pine trees, wild sunflowers, mimosas and po-lang flowers on the other, we were totally immersed in the mystery of the local vegetation. “The road was built entirely by hand by the local ethnic peoples, the M’nong, K’ho, Chil and Ma, with hoes, axes, crowbars and large knifes,” said Phuc, adding that he initially rented 380 hectares of forest from local government to develop Voi Mountain tourist area and called on the ethnic group to construct villages, conserve the forest and supply tourism services.

Phuc showed us stilt houses along the abyss with smoke emerging from kitchens, glowing in the sunset and warming a deserted and silent mountain sides. In a valley engulfed in endless mountains of pine trees and mist with a temperature oscillating between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius, Voi Mountain has been developed as a closed eco-tourist site with 10 well-equipped stilt houses to serve tourists, four in the mountain sides and 2 in trees, along with community play grounds.

Foreign tourists travel to Vietnam can feel the soul of the mountain in the tranquility and whispers of the breeze in the pine trees, as they sit around a camp fire enjoying fresh grilled corn, potato and ruou can (wine drunk out of a jar through bamboo pipes) while listening to old stories told by the village patriarch and tunes of panpipes performed by other artisans.

In the cool weather of dawn, guests can stroll along valleys to see the wildlife and learn more about the life and customs of ethnic people, and as the sun rises high and the smog disappears the sweet melodies of the wild birds fill the air as the girls of K’ho, Chil or Lat peoples in their in brocade dresses with papoose on their back, make their way to the farms.

Phuong Nam Ecotourism Company of Vietnam tourism is offering a tour running from 8 a.m to 6 p.m to Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Tien tourist site and the price of Voi Mountain is VND100,000 per person.


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