A River. A Valley by vietnamtourisms

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									A River. A Valley




Located just two kilometers from Buon Ma Thuot City, the capital of Dak Lak Province, Ako
Dhong village has become a getaway for travelers looking to connect with the true spirit of
Central Highlanders.


In the Ede ethnic minority language, Ako means riverhead and Dhong means valley. The close –
knit local community is also known as Buon Co Thon. Most tours to the Central Highlands now
include the village of Ako Dhong in their itinerary. Visitors can marvel at the 53 traditional stilt
– houses maintained in the village and perhaps enjoy it’s carefully – made wine white taking in
the boisterous and joyful sounds of gongs during festivals or at night time, as a fire extends the
day.


Local people have made every effort to maintain the elements that define Ede culture. Residents
wanting to build a new house must follow the guidelines of village patriarch, Ame Rin. No one is
permitted to build a new house facing the main road. They must behind the traditional stilt –
houses, with their signature roofs supported by columns with ever extending from one to one –
and a half meters at the front and back.


The village has some modern house but the vast majority is traditional Ede longhouse, with tiled
roofs and separated neatly tree – covered fences. Village patriarch Ama Rin may be old not too
play the gong or the Dinhnam (a traditional musical instrument) or tell visitors stories about the
Ede people. He established the village in 1958. Visitors to his house can sit in a chair called
Kpan, a long wooden panel one element that still shines after all these years. The Kpan is just
one element the defines the culture of Ede longhouses. For anthropologists, the carved image of
a woman’s breast on the upper part of the community’s emphasis on matriarchy.


With an increased number of tourists, life in Ako Dhong is becoming busier. Most households
rely on growing rice and coffee, and besides their work in the fields are also busy making yeast
wines or weaving traditional fabrics.


Ako Dhong yeast wine must go through an intricate process of being fermented in a larger
earthenware jug for a long period of time. The wine is normally shared among family members
and relatives, or sold to visitors. In the past, local people considered these jugs to be among their
most valuable passions, but these days they are sold widely. Some “legendary” jugs, though, are
still in existence, rumored to have been made with gold or from earthenware mixed with certain
chemicals to jugs. Taking pride of place next to his collection of gongs believed to have been
made 100years ago.


Visitors to Ako Dhong won’t find elephants to ride or dug-out canoes to cross the Lak River. But
the village intrigues everyone with the residents’ passion for playing their gongs and drinking
their wine. This is one of the few remaining places where youngsters still live in harmony with
their elders, and the spirit of the Central Highlands can be found within easy reach of a city.


This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel
For original article, please visit:
http://vacationstovietnam.com/lastest-travel-news/a-river-a-valley.html
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