The Reverberating Sound of Gongs in the Vietnam Central Highlands
The Central Highlands of Vietnam is an under visited region. Apart from the main town of Dalat, a popular local holiday destination, this area of Vietnam receives relatively few visitors. Khiri Travel Vietnam aims to change this situation by offering a range of interactive itineraries to lure more tourists to this fascinating area.
The cultural highlight of a visit to the Central Highlands is to hear the clashing and rhythmic sounds of metal gongs reverberating around the hillsides. Recognized by UNESCO in 2005 as “a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity,” the gongs are sacred and ceremonial instruments to the nearly 17 minority ethnic groups scattered throughout the provinces of the Central Highlands.
The culture of the gong plays a central role in the lives of these hill tribe people. Every family possesses at least one gong, which indicates the family’s wealth and prestige, and ensures their protection. Their belief system is a mix of ancestral worship, shamanism and animism although many have now converted to Christianity. Their traditional beliefs, however, are still closely linked to daily life and the cycle of the seasons. They believe the gongs have the power to communicate between man and the deities of the supernatural world.
Gongs are played at village ceremonies such as ritual sacrifices, the blessing of the rice, mourning rites and harvest celebrations. For every particular ceremony there are different arrangements and rhythms. The groups playing the gongs vary in size, as do the hand-held instruments themselves.
In its new itineraries, Khiri Travel Vietnam can arrange a mesmerizing gong performance for visitors to enjoy. Our itineraries are about adventure and immersion in tribal culture. Meeting the people of the Central Highlands is a central theme of our tours. They genuinely welcome visitors and want their authentic traditions to be valued and preserved. The immense beauty of their communal rong house is the symbol of the Central Highlands and the welcome hall for every village.
Of course we will also take guests to lush tropical forests and plantations of coffee, pepper and rubber, the livelihood of many people in this area. With the exception of Dalat there are no luxury hotels in the Central Highlands. It is a destination for those who really want to experience “off the beaten track.” Travel with Khiri to Vietnam’s Central Highlands and guests will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience of natural beauty, genuine friendliness as well as authentic and captivating cultural traditions.
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