Rong Houses in the Central Highlands, Vietnam
The Rong House is the symbol of Kontum and Gia Lai provinces in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
It is the communal house of villages of the Bahnar, Jarai and other ethnic minorities. It is the place where village ceremonies and festivals take place. It also serves as a court of justice and as a meeting place where important decisions are being made.
This house is really the heart of the village and is visible from far away. The Rong Houses are exotically beautiful. Their structures are also very unique with a curved roof that stands up to 30 meters high.
The Bahnar rong houses are made of wood, bamboo, resting on wooden pillars. The Rong houses of the Jarai often have roofs of corrugated iron and pillars of concrete. In Bahnar villages unmarried teenage boys spend the night in the Rong House. Here they learn Bahnar history, the skills of hunting and other “manly” matters.
I visited several Rong houses in Kontum town and surroundings. There are approximately 200 of them in these areas. I highly recommend this rare and off-the-beaten track trip to travelers who like to really immerse themselves in authentic cultural experience. The Rong houses, together with the world heritage Gong culture of the local hill tribes reside here, is one of a unique insight experience into Vietnamese Central Highland’s mystical world.