Pleiku’s winter chill and stunning beauty


We came to Pleiku City in Gia Lai Province in the middle of January when the central highlands was totally blanketed in mist in early morning, pleasantly cool at noon and cold at night. I have to be honest and say that Gia Lai Province is endowed with many pristine lakes and rivers, vast swathes of overgrown jungles, and isolated ethnic minority villages worth a visit but Pleiku City has no many places to go, except the beautiful T’Nung Lake.

The lake is the flooded crater of a volcano from millions of years before which now serves as the city’s reservoir.

T’nung Lake, also known as Ia Nueng, is located in Bien Ho Commune in the north of Gia Lai Province, about 7 kilometers from the heart of Pleiku City. The lake, surrounded by pine forests and mountains, is 230 hectares wide, expanding up to 400 hectares in the rainy season, and about 30 meters deep. In the early morning when the sun is still low in the sky the sun beams reflect like a silver band on the lake.

On a previous trip, we came to T’Nung in summer so this time was a totally new experience with different feelings for the climate, scenery as well as people. Still lined with a green canopy of pine trees, the path was more romantic under the chill and the wind. And in that setting, we had more inspiration to focus on exploring scenery as just a few tourists were visiting that afternoon.

Our eyes were totally mesmerized by the blue water, the stillness of its surface and charm of pine leaves shaking tenderly in the wind. We pondered the peace of this place, without any worries, noises or chaos of urban life.

To satisfy curiosity and excitement when strolling around to admire the charms of the lake is not enough, so we took a boat trip to explore hidden charms of the lake, to see the shadows on the pure and sparkling surface of the lake and to delve into the forest to discover magnificence of exotic lifestyles in harmony with the wild. There, tourists will see the abundant and varied fauna and flora and meandering around the lake, tourists can add to their fun with some fishing, and watching the turtles.

T’nung Lake or Bien Ho (Sea Lake) was recognized as a national landscape by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1988. The lake remains unchanged, with a primitive charm that appeals to tourists.

At night, we rushed for Ho Chi Minh Square in the downtown of the city. The setting changed with a more animated ambiance as many young people went there to quad skate, to take many photos of Ho Chi Minh Statue under the colorful led lamps. The place is also a venue for families to gather, couples to date and many teenagers congregating to eat snacks and gossip.

We were also keen to admire many musical instruments displayed there and sculptured walls telling the nation’s history.

The square was built at the end of last year, highlighting the Ho Chi Minh Statue made of bronze and is about 11 meters tall and weighs 20 tons. Behind the statue is a large bas-relief made of precious stone from Thanh Hoa Province. Another striking thing is the garden of many beautiful ornamental trees and stone installation works behind the bas-relief. By My Tran in HCMC

Visitors admire the beauty of T’Nung Lake Phos:Photo9s – Photos: My Tran

The path leading to T’Nung Lake is romantic in the shade of pine tree lines and winter chill

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