Exploring Hang En Waterfall — A silver strip of silk amid the jungle of Kon Chu Rang
The strong Hang En Waterfall (also known as K50 Waterfall) sparkles like a silver strip of silk in Gia Lai Province, Vietnam. Hang En Waterfall, recently found by a group of backpackers, promises to be a must-see stop for daring visitors this summer, with its majestic, lyrical, and subtle beauty.
We traveled more than 80 kilometers from Pleiku, the provincial capital of Gia Lai Province, to An Khe Town, and then another 30 kilometers to Kbang District. Going a further 60km over the pass with green, thick, interminable mountains and forests on both sides of the road, we finally set foot in Kon Chu Rang Natural Reserve, located at Plantation 4 in Gia Lai Province.
Difficult trekking route could not prevent our exploration
Our party was led by two foresters after we checked in with the reserve. We had to ride a motorcycle 12 kilometers down a difficult-to-access stretch of road with very steep and treacherous hills. We were afraid that even a light rain would cause us to tumble from our motorcycles. Despite the fact that we had only just begun our adventure, we could already sense its risks and difficulties.
After more than an hour, we arrived at Trai Bo. That is a big field where the natives construct sentry boxes. We abandoned our motorcycles and proceeded to tackle the waterfall with our zeal for neglected nature. This is where we will start our hike into the Kon Chu Rang Natural Reserve, fording springs and walking through the forests.
It was March at the time, the most beautiful month of the year, with plenty of sunshine and little rain. Despite the fact that the spring was not very wet this year, we used tree branches as walking sticks for safety. We waded fiercely across the creek for more than two hours. Some places were swampy up to our thighs, while others were flooded up to our hips, and slippery stones led us to trip and tumble. Despite our exhaustion, we refused to back down from obstacles since the beautiful waterfall awaited us ahead.
When the enormous waterfall loomed in front of us, we couldn’t help but smile. We paused for a while to admire the K50 Waterfall, which glistened like a silver strip of silk in the midst of the forest and mountains. The surrounding region around the waterfall was equally gorgeous, lyrical, and delicate. It appeared like all of nature’s quintessence had united at one location to create a paradise in this planet. The K50 Waterfall, in my opinion, is more beautiful than a masterpiece since it is a flawless natural artwork, a precious gift Mother Nature bestows on this neglected huge forest of Gia Lai Province.
A watercolor painting amid the jungle
Our group decided to pitch tents at the foot of the waterfall. We were very lucky to be accompanied by experienced and enthusiastic foresters, who were at home in such terrain.
Following that, several of us went in search of fuel in order to start a fire and cook rice in bamboo tubes. The others caught fish and snails and gathered veggies. We eventually enjoyed a simple yet delicious meal that few people get to experience in their lives. Nothing was more intriguing than hearing the thunderous sound of the waterfall in the darkness and by the flickering candle. This joy helped us recover from the weariness of a long and difficult journey.
We resumed our trek to the top of the waterfall the next morning. We felt strong enough to face the challenges ahead after a good night’s sleep. Despite the fact that the trail was just 500 meters long, we struggled to ascend the 60-degree slopes. Furthermore, the route was slick and damp. Trekkers were also at risk from terrestrial leeches. This was a perfect habitat for this species due to the dense plant cover.
The beginning of a new day appeared to energize us to tackle the cliffs. As the sound of the waterfall became closer and closer, our excitement grew. We eventually broke out laughing when we saw this natural masterpiece. The waterfall thunderously falls from a height of 50 meters, like long hair adorned with slabs of green moss-covered rocks. It was difficult for us to express our awe and appreciation in the face of nature’s perfect arrangement.
Standing on the top of the waterfall, we enjoyed the breathtaking and neglected natural sight of mountains and forests to our heart’s content and let our souls sink into the dance of nature and cool, fresh air. That was a wonderful and unforgettable moment in our life!
When we returned to Trai Bo, we decided to continue our journey into the forest. We walked up and down steep slopes, stopping sometimes to rest. We realized how little we were in the midst of the forest of tall trees. We appeared to be explorers in a thrilling film. The sense of adventure helped us forget about the perspiration pouring down our backs and our exhausted legs.
Please create a plan to conquer the K50 Waterfall this summer if you are a nature lover who is not afraid to face the hardships of hiking. Don’t forget to do some exercise to boost your health and pack the essentials for your trip. Gia Lai’s “Paradise” is always a problem for travelers. Backpackers should feel compelled to work together to preserve the area’s natural beauty.
The Kon Chu Rang Natural Reserve has 8 waterfalls, but the most beautiful and magnificent one is the K50 Waterfall (or Hang En Waterfall). The second one is the K40 Waterfall, or Ba Tang Waterfall. It is also one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Central Highlands.
From Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Hanoi, you fly with Vietnam Airlines to arrive at Pleiku, the chef city of Gia Lai Province. From the center of Pleiku, traveling 80 km along the National Highway 19 in the direction of Quy Nhon City, you will reach An Khe Town. Going to the T-junction to Kbang, turn left and travel 30 km and you will reach Kbang Commune. Continue to go further 60km and you will come to the Kon Chu Rang Reserve (under the management of Plantation 4, Gia Lai Province). The K50 waterfall is within the reserve.
- You should call in advance to register and ask about the weather. Contact: Mr Hung 0978 035 772
- Prepare tents, sleeping bags, food and drink for 2 days, and terrestrial leech repellent because there are many leeches in the forest.
- Take shoes for climbing mountains and crossing streams, light coats, and items for a forest trip.
Places for sight seeing
The K50 Waterfall is quite far from the city center of Pleiku, so, in addition to the expedition to the waterfall, you should visit other places in the environs of Pleiku
T’nung Lake (also known as Sea Lake): It is around 10 kilometers from Pleiku City along National Highway 14 to Kon Tum. The drive to the lake is scenic, with pine trees on both sides stretching as far as the eye can see. Towards the bottom of the slope is a magnificent home in the midst of the lake where travelers may get some fresh air, pose for photographs, and admire the gorgeous flowers, especially at the end of September when Pleiku’s wild sunflowers are in bloom.
Chu Dang Ya: It translates to “wild ginger” in the J’rai language. It is a dormant volcano with a funnel-shaped crater that has been dormant for millions of years. The Chu Dang Ya Volcano is hidden among mountains that appear to go on forever. Despite the fact that Chu Dang Ya is an extinct volcano, it is alive and interesting. Standing on top of the mountain, you will experience the tranquillity of pure natural vistas unique to the Central Highlands, as well as contemplate the green plain at the mountain’s foot.
The road lined with old pine trees is a famous check-in in Pleiku. Two rows of old pine trees create a poetic beauty for this mountainous city. The road is more than 5 km from Sea Lake in the direction of Chu Dang Ya Volcano.
Charnel houses in the Central Highlands: on the way from Pleiku to Yaly Hydroelectric Plant, you will pass the villages of the Bana ethnic people. Charnel houses remain in this place. Sometimes you can see old craftsmen carving statues for the charnel houses.
Where to eat
Following is the list of specialties and restaurants in Pleiku and An Khe you should try.
- Chicken at Do Trac Street, Pleiku
- Đỉnh Coffee & Lifestyle at 375A Quang Trung, An Khe. You’ll wallow in a warm and comfortable space with very good food and drink. Please enjoy a tasty cup of pure coffee in a comfortable seat.
- Cafe Thu Hà will give you a chance to enjoy the special flavor of Gia Lai coffee.
- Phở Hồng at 22-24 Nguyen Van Troi, Pleiku: The restaurant is famous for dry phở, a must-try dish in Gia Lai. Local people call the restaurant “phở hai tô”, implying that phở is so delicious that you must eat 2 bowls to satisfy your craving. It costs VND25,000 – 35,000/bowl.
- Cơm gà (Chicken rice) Mỹ Tâm 2 at 6 Quang Trung, Pleiku.
- Phở bò viên (noodle with beef balls) Tàu Lý at 36 Tran Phu, Pleiku: This restaurant is very famous in Pleiku, so you don’t have to worry about its quality. It is not big but always full of customers. It costs VND30,000/bowl.
- Bún (Noodle) Hường at Kiot 16, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Stadium. It costs VND 40,000/bowl.
– Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Hotel: 01 Phu Đong, Pleiku
– Green Bamboo – Tre Xanh Plaza Hotel: 18, Le Lai, Pleiku
– Se San Hotel: 89 Hung Vương, Pleiku
– Pleiku Hotel: 124 Le Loi, Pleiku
– Khanh Linh Hotel
– An Khe Hotel: 572 Quang Trung, Tay Sơn Ward, An Khe Town.