Pleiku is the city of Gia Lai province and is 500 km away from Ho Chi Minh City, 200km away from Buon Ma Thuot city. It is one of interesting destinations in my journey exploring the Highlands in Vietnam. I was suggested by my Vietnamese friend who works at a travel agency EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM and feel happy what this suggestion.
How to get there and get around
Coach: You can easily buy coach tickets with sleeper seat from Saigon – Gia Lai start in the evening. It normally takes 8 hours to travel will arrive to Pleiku. Some of the coach are: Hung Thanh Coach departs from Eastern bus station at 7 PM; Gia Phuc (sleeper seats) departs at 7:30 PM. There is also Thuan Hung (236 Highway 13, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District). Price: 200.000-300.000 VND/ ticket/turn.
Airplane: Airplane of Vietnam Airlines takes off from Tan Son Nhat Airport – Ho Chi Minh City. There are 3 -4 flịghts from Ho Chi Minh City to Pleiku. Fares from: 700,000 VND/ ticket/turn.
Get around Pleiku: you can easily hire a motorbike in motels, hotels to explore the city yourself. This way can save a lot of money in comparison to take motorbike taxi or taxi. It costs about 150.000-200.000/day. If you want to save costs further, you can also ask the hotel staff help you to rent bicycles.
Where to stay:
You can find a cheap hotel in the area around the Duc Long bus station (Ly Nam De – Pleiku) or go to the central area of Hung Vuong, Tran Hung Dao and Le Loi, Pham Van Dong to find the hotel with higher quality. Prices of hotel for your reference are: Se San Gia Lai (291.000 VND/ night) or hotel Duc Long Gia Lai 1 & 2 (309,000 VND/night).
Eating and drinking
Dry “Pho” is a specialty of Pleiku, you can enjoy this dish at Pho Hong (Nguyen Van Troi), Tau Li (Tran Phu), Ngoc Linh (Su Van Hanh), Ngoc Son (Hung Vuong). In the afternoon you can visit the park Dien Hong and look for snacks or cakes, fruit in the Ly Thai To.
The café shop on the top floor of the hotel Hoang Anh Gia Lai is a great place to enjoy panoramic view of the city and mountain Ham Rong Pleiku.
Breakfast: Pancakes of Ms. Tam (Crossroad between Tran Binh Trong and Le Hong Phong) is very tasty.
Cafe: small coffee shops on Tran Hung Dao and Tran Phu, Hoang Ha, Nguyen Van Troi road will help to understand people and daily life of Pleiku.
Lunch: Pho Hong (Nguyen Van Troi)
Dinner: “My Quang”, cakes on Nguyen Dinh Chieu. Eating grilled chicken leg on Hung Vuong Street (in front of the Post Office).
Attractions to explore:
• Ham Rong mountain peak: 11km to the south of Pleiku, at the gateway to the city on Highway 14B, located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters above sea level is considered as the roof of the city. From the top of Ham Rong, visitors can see the entire city of Pleiku and the plantation of coffee, pepper and rubber.
• Nine storey waterfall: located 20km away from the city, surrounded by forest. This is suitable for weekend picnics and Pleiku youngster.
• Hydroelectric factory Ialy: 30km from Pleiku center to the northwest, located in two districts Chu Pah district (Gia Lai) and Sa Thay District (Kon Tum).
• City tour: Buu Temple (4 Ly Thai To), Minh Thanh Temple (Nguyen Viet Xuan) architecture is quite beautiful and impressive. You can also visit the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Soccer Academy located 13km away from Pleiku city.