Update: 15:50 | 02/01/2020
At an altitude of 1,200 m, Mang Den, a lesser-known town in Kon Tum Province is dubbed the ‘second Da Lat' for its blooming cherry trees.
In late December and early January, more than 200 cherry trees in Mang Den town of Kon Plong District start to blossom, heralding the approach of spring. Around 60 kilometers from downtown Kon Tum, it lacks the noisy tourism engulfing many popular towns like Sa Pa in the northern mountains, Ha Long in the north and Hoi An in the central region.
Besides its central square, cherry trees are planted across Dak Ke Lake and along the way leading to Ngoc Le Mountain. Cherry blossoms have five petals, resembling apricot blossoms, unlike Japanese and Korean equivalents.
Local residents say cherry trees bloom for only about two weeks before they start dropping their petals. Many consider resort town Da Lat in Lam Dong Province, known for its consistent cool climate, as an ideal place to enjoy cherry blossom season. But Da Lat is in the midst of a tourism boom, making Mang Den a great alternative.
Kon Tum is home to the Ba Na ethnic minority whose women are well known as brocade weavers while men are typically craftsmen or musicians.
Visitors to Mang Den can experience Khanh Lam Pagoda, Pa Sy Waterfall, Wooden Statue Garden or Kon Bring community village as well as distinctive Ba Na specialties like grilled chicken, bamboo-tube rice, or grilled pork.
Dak Ke Lake offers the ideal backdrop to the unique local aesthetic.