The Central Highlands province of Gia Lai is a land of mist, fog, and sunlight playing hide and seek at dawn.
Photographer Hoang Quoc Vinh said dawn, 5.30 a.m. to 6.30 a.m., is a great time to go photo hunting in the province. “Driving a bicycle or motorbike through green pine forests when the first rays of sunshine penetrate the mist is also an awesome experience,” he said.
Bien Ho is one of the oldest tea estates in the Central Highlands province. The first plants were grown here by the French in 1921. Today it is owned by the Bien Ho Tea Company that grows 351 hectares of tea and more than 700 hectares of coffee. On harvest days, hundreds of farmers work from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to collect the leaves and take them to the factory for processing.
Tea is a major agricultural produce of locals. Stay for a little longer in the morning, and you will have the opportunity to meet the workers who come to pick tea leaves.
Sacred and mysterious, the Buu Minh Pagoda, around 15 km to the north of Pleiku Town and a popular spiritual destination in the Central Highlands, seems to rise out of the clouds.
Phan Nguyen, a Gia Lai resident, said the fog was so thick these days that two people standing only a few meters away could not see each other.
T’Nung, which means ‘the sea on the mountain,’ is the largest natural lake in the region, surrounded by verdant pine forests and is actually the caldera of a million-year-old volcano. Despite its beauty, the lake remains largely unknown to most tourists.
Photos by Hoang Quoc Vinh, Phan Nguyen