Introduction to Ako Dhong village

Located not far from the bustling town of the highlands, Ako Dhong village still retains its ancient appearance and the thousand-year-old traditional culture of the Ede people in this land of Buon Ma Thuot. Traveling to Dak Lak’s capital Buon Ma Thuot, you will have a lot of choices about destinations. If you want to discover a proper traditional space of the Ede people, then come to Ako Dhong village, also known as Co village. This village is one of the attractive destinations for you to explore the “village within the city” space with many exciting things waiting for you.

In the Ede language, Ako Dhong means valley upstream of the stream, “Ako” means headwater, and “Dhong” means valley. This name also means prosperous village or tile house. Kinh people often call Ako Dhong to Buon Co Thon citadel for easy calling. The village’s name also comes from the fact that this place is the starting point of many streams such as Ea Ding, Ea Pii, Thun M’nung Ea Giang, Ea Dung, and the most significant stream in Buon Ma Thuot is Ea Nuol stream. The people in the village are also very friendly, and ready to become home guides to help visitors discover more about the house architecture, lifestyle and cultural beauty of their ethnic people. 

Ako Dhong Village has more than 30 typical longhouses. These houses are shaped like big boats. The main door will be on the left side of the house, the windows open to the side, and the wooden ceiling looks like the roof of a boat. An extended home of the Ede will have two parts, including the front half, “Gah”, which is the place for the host to welcome guests and the common living space of the family. The second half is “Ok” which is the private space of family members and the kitchen.

Prominent in this village is the old Ama H’Rin, who once led the villages to clear the flower forest and founded the famous Ako Dhong village. The village elder’s house is considered the soul of the village, and when looking at the village, people will also remember the legendary chief of the village. Following the gentle slopes leading to the end of the village, visitors will be walking under the rows of green trees. The slope’s end is a large lake with clear water and a wooden bridge spanning the cool thatched hut. 

Cultural information

In Buon Ma Thuot, visitors will be able to return to a vast sky of red basalt soil and be immersed in the unique cultural space of this land and Ako Dhong with traditional longhouses, tops, and mountains. The flickering fire or the wine jar of the people will be one of the great destinations for visitors’ journey. No need to go to the remote villages in the middle of the forest, but right in the heart of Buon Ma Thuot, you can still discover the culture of the Central Highlands echoing the epic of a thousand years.


Transport to Ako Dhong Village

Buon Ma Thuot is about 350 km from Ho Chi Minh City, and about 1,400km from Hanoi, visitors can choose between road or plane.

From Buon Ma Thuot city airport, you can rent a taxi or bus to Ako Dhong village. If you want to be more comfortable, you should stay at a hotel in the city center, rent a motorbike to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the cafe capital, and be more active in visiting the village of Ako Dhong.

To get to Ako Dhong, you go along Phan Chu Trinh street, turn right through Tran Nhat Duat street, and through the gate of Le Quy Don high school, the road to the village appears spacious and clean.

Getting around the area

Traveling in Ako Dhong, visitors will see the image of an ancient Ede village with longhouses with unique architecture. Walking around the town, visitors will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the beautiful and peaceful scenery.


What’s good to eat in Ak Dhong village?

Coming to Buon Ako Dhong, tourists cannot ignore can wine, it is often said that if you have not drunk can wine, you have not really been to the Central Highlands. In particular, you will be treated by the indigenous people with their special dishes such as pounded bitter fish, grilled wild pork, mixed stewed bitter eggplant, and the unique forest leaf hotpot.

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    The village has a peaceful vibe, and the roads are clean and spacious. In front of each long house is a garden with many trees. Long houses are part of the architecture of the Ê Đê people. They are an embodiment of the matriarchy and places where the cultural and spiritual values of the Ê Đê people are preserved.

    These houses, on stilts, are built from wood and bamboo. They are long enough to house many people, and residents here seldom build new houses to replace the old ones. Instead, they just expand the existing structures to make space for new family members.

    Top Tips for your stay in Ak Dhong Village

    Visitors should bring low, soft shoes to comfortably walk on the gentle slopes in the village. Consider bringing sweat-absorbent clothes to be able to walk around more easily. You should also prepare a full range of insect repellents,  and any personal first aid equipment you might need. 

    When visiting the long house of the Ede people, visitors should notice that the house has two stairs, one is the Cai staircase for women and guests to go up and down. The top of this staircase is hewn like the bow of a ship, the bottom has a crescent moon and double gourds symbolising the power of women in the matriarchy. Visitors to the house should touch it to show respect to the host. Smaller Male Stairs, located on the far left, for the man in the family to go up and down.


    Best Things to do in Ako Dhong village

    Going to Buon Ma Thuot on the days leading up to Tet, you will encounter a shimmering mountain town with flower markets on New Year's Day. There are so many peaches, apricots, and kumquats blooming, or look at high-rise buildings and shops. The cafe is beautifully decorated, so you can comfortably sit and listen to the city's transformation as it welcomes a new spring.

    About 2 km to the North, you will be surprised with a spring which has completely different colours, a spring full of wild features of thousands in Ako Dhong village, also known as Co Thon village. It seems that everything in Ako Dhong village is so peaceful, making people seem to forget the hustle and bustle of daily life. Buon Ako Dhong is even more beautiful on the occasion of March, when the coffee flowers race to show off the white sky. The whole space seems to glow with a new life, a new hope for bountiful crops.

    If you love the magical yellow color of wild sunflowers, you can visit the village on the days of December of the solar calendar. The feeling of walking on the winding roads in the village, looking at wild sunflowers, and taking a few commemorative photos is so rewarding.

    Coming to Ako Dhong village, you can't ignore the gong music festivals of the locals. For them, gongs are sacred objects, their spirituality. Sitting next to a jar of wine, listening to the sound of gongs in the Central Highlands is like telling the story of the Ede people from the early days of establishing a village, as if arousing a mysterious power.