Pleiku Travel Guide

Discover Pleiku, a hidden gem in Central Highlands Vietnam, with this comprehensive travel guide featuring hiking routes, local culture, food scene, and more.

Introduction to Pleiku

Pleiku is a hidden gem tucked away in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, often overlooked by tourists in favor of more popular destinations like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Nestled between lush green mountains and verdant rice paddies, Pleiku’s pleasant climate and stunning natural scenery make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The region is home to a rich indigenous culture, with vibrant ethnic cultures, traditional music and dance, and delicious local cuisine. Visiting Pleiku offers a rare opportunity to experience the authentic Vietnamese way of life, away from the hustle and bustle of the country’s major cities.

Whether you’re looking for cultural immersion, hiking and biking routes, or simply an escape from the city, Pleiku offers something for everyone. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Pleiku.

List of Places to Visit in Pleiku

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum - Learn about the history of the Ho Chi Minh trail, a crucial supply route during the Vietnam War.
  • Camp Holloway Monument - A memorial to the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
  • Kon Tum Museum - Explore the local history of the nearby Kon Tum province, with exhibits on the indigenous Bahnar and Gie-Trieng ethnic groups.
  • Dak To Museum - A small museum that offers a glimpse into the lives of soldiers during the Vietnam War.
  • War Memorial of Pleiku - A tribute to the brave men who lost their lives in the Vietnamese War.

Natural Attractions of Pleiku: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • T’Nung Lake - A serene lake surrounded by picturesque mountains, perfect for fishing and boating.
  • Ngok Linh Mountain - A challenging hiking route that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Phu Cuong Waterfall - A picturesque waterfall that cascades down a rocky cliff.
  • Bom Bo Village - Experience the authentic way of life in a traditional Vietnamese village, surrounded by verdant rice paddies and rolling hills.
  • Dak Doa Hot Springs - Take a dip in these thermal hot springs, known for their therapeutic properties.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Pleiku

  • Ngok Linh Mountain Trail - A challenging route that takes you to the summit of Ngok Linh Mountain, 1940m above sea level.
  • Mang Den Ecotourism Route - Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Mang Den area, with stunning waterfalls, lush forests, and traditional Vietnamese villages.
  • Phu Cuong Waterfall Trek - A 4-hour hike through stunning jungle scenery that ends at the picturesque Phu Cuong Waterfall.
  • Pleiku Bicycle Route - A gentle cycling route that takes you through lush green rice paddies and quaint traditional villages.

Best Things to Do in Pleiku: Activities and Tours

  • Explore the Traditional Villages - Get a glimpse into the daily lives of local people in the quaint villages of Bom Bo or Kon Tum.
  • Try Local Cuisine - Indulge in the delicious local specialties like banh mi, banh cuon, and noodle soup.
  • Take a Boat Trip on T’nung Lake - Relax and soak up the stunning natural scenery aboard a traditional Vietnamese boat.
  • Visit the Local Markets - Browse the bustling stalls selling everything from souvenirs to fresh produce.
  • Join a Trekking Tour - Go on an adventure to explore the stunning natural beauty of Pleiku with a guided trekking tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Pleiku

Day Plan
Day 1 Arrive in Pleiku and check into accommodation. Explore the city and its surrounding areas.
Day 2 Take a boat trip on T’nung Lake and visit local markets.
Day 3 Visit the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum, Camp Holloway Monument, and War Memorial of Pleiku.
Day 4 Go on a guided trekking tour to Ngok Linh Mountain or Mang Den Ecotourism Route.
Day 5 Visit the Kon Tum Museum and explore the traditional villages of Bom Bo or Kon Tum.
Day 6 Take a dip in the Dak Doa Hot Springs and enjoy one last day of exploring the beautiful countryside.
Day 7 Depart from Pleiku.

Food and Drink Scene of Pleiku

Must-Try Dishes

  • Banh mi - A traditional Vietnamese baguette filled with various types of meats, vegetables, and sauces.
  • Banh cuon - A delicate steamed rice flour roll filled with pork, mushrooms, and onions.
  • Pho - A classic Vietnamese noodle soup served with beef or chicken, fresh herbs, and bean sprouts.
  • Bun bo Hue - A spicy beef noodle soup originating from the Central Highlands region.

Local Beverages

  • Cà phê sữa đá - A strong Vietnamese iced coffee mixed with condensed milk.
  • Tra da - A refreshing iced tea that is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Rượu cần - A traditional rice wine popular in the countryside of Vietnam.

Where to Stay in Pleiku: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Sao Mai Hotel - A budget-friendly option with clean and comfortable rooms.
  • Royal Hotel and Healthcare Resort Quy Nhon - A luxury resort with stunning mountain views and a spa.
  • Pleiku Hotel - A mid-range hotel located in the city center with an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • Green Bamboo Hotel - A charming guesthouse with a peaceful garden setting.

What to Buy in Pleiku: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Ethnic Textiles - Colorful textiles created by the local indigenous culture, including intricately woven bags and tablecloths.
  • Coffee and Tea - Vietnam is known for producing some of the best coffee and tea in the world, with Pleiku being no exception.
  • Lacquerware - Beautifully crafted lacquerware products, including bowls, plates, and jewelry boxes.

Local Culture and Customs of Pleiku

The indigenous ethnic groups of the Central Highlands have their own unique customs and traditions that are still practiced today, including music, dance, and traditional dress. Visitors are encouraged to respect local culture and customs by dressing modestly and politely engaging with local people.

Best Time to Visit Pleiku

The best time to visit Pleiku is from November to February when the weather is cooler and drier. The area can get quite hot and humid during the summer months (May-September), so it’s best to avoid visiting during this time if possible.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pleiku


  • Respect local customs and traditions.
  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and other cultural sites.
  • Sample the delicious local cuisine.


  • Disrespect local culture or customs.
  • Take photographs of people without their permission.
  • Ignore warnings or advice from locals or tour guides.

Safety and Health

Safety in Pleiku

Pleiku is a relatively safe destination for travelers, with low levels of crime. However, it’s always best to take standard precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe, such as avoiding carrying large sums of money or valuable items, and being aware of your surroundings at all times.

Health in Pleiku

Pleiku is a malaria zone, so visitors should take precautions such as wearing long sleeves and pants, and using mosquito repellent. It’s also recommended to seek medical advice before traveling to make sure you are up to date on any necessary vaccinations.

Getting to Pleiku: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Pleiku

  • Pleiku Airport - The closest airport to Pleiku, with flights from major cities in Vietnam.

Bus Stations Near Pleiku

  • Pleiku Bus Station - Located in the city center, with regular bus services to major cities in Vietnam.

Other Options

  • Private Car - Private cars can be hired from major cities in Vietnam for a more comfortable and convenient journey.

How to Get Around in Pleiku

The best way to get around Pleiku is by motorbike or bicycle, which can be rented from local shops for a reasonable price. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available for those who prefer not to drive themselves.

Where to Go Next from Pleiku: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Da Lat - A charming mountain town located a few hours south of Pleiku, known for its stunning natural beauty and French colonial architecture.
  • Quy Nhon - A coastal town famous for its delicious seafood and natural scenery.
  • Kontum - A nearby town that is home to many indigenous ethnic groups and their unique customs and traditions.


Pleiku is a hidden gem in Vietnam that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and indigenous culture, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Pleiku has something for everyone. With this comprehensive guide, you can plan your perfect trip to explore the beauty and charm of this Vietnamese gem.