Chu Dang Ya, an extinct volcano in Gia Lai Province, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Central Highlands, especially in April and May.

Saigon Riders travel blog - Chu Dang Ya Volcano wildly beautiful between seasons 1
Clouds and mist around Chu Dang Ya Volcano as the dry season gives way to the rainy season. The photo is part of a series called “Chu Dang Ya Volcano between seasons” by photographer Nguyen Ngoc Hoa (Hoa Carol), who lives and works in Pleiku Town.
Chu Dang Ya is the name of a volcano that used to be active millions of years ago. In the J’rai ethnic minority language, Chu Dang Ya means “wild ginger root.” It is in Ploi lagri Village in Gia Lai’s Chu Pah District.
From above, the volcano looks like a giant funnel and its crater has the red tint of basalt soil created by lava since ancient times. This volcano, situated 30 km northeast of Pleiku’s center and 20 km from the Bien Ho (Sea Lake), is a popular tourist destination.
If wild sunflowers bloom brightly across the hillsides in November, in late April and early May the mountain has a wild and charming beauty as the seasons change. Hoa says: “I took this series of photos in the last days of April. After the first rains of the season came, the mountain scenery seemed to be full of life, and in the early morning the clouds make this place looks like paradise.”
At the end of the dry season, the J’rai people living in La Gri Village start growing canna plants. Chu Dang Ya is one of the very few places in the country where the soil is suitable for growing them.
The soil must be tilled done before the rain comes for the canna plants to grow well during the rainy season. The flowers will start blooming in July and last until October.
Farmers hurry to the fields to plant the saplings. They will grow canna, corn, pumpkin, and sweet potato. Canna is only grown every other year.
A truck brings canna saplings for planting
Some 30,000 – 40,000 canna saplings are planted per hectare
The canna is grown mainly for its roots, which are processed into starch to make vermicelli. When the canna is in full bloom, the wild sunflowers begin to emerge on Chu Dang Ya again.
Hoa said in Gia Lai visitors should spend a few days to explore the Hang Thong Road – Bien Ho Tea Garden – Chu Dang Ya Volcano route, considered the most beautiful there.
On an off-road tour with Saigon Riders

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This article is originally posted at vnexpress