Area: 15,536.9 sq. km.
Population: 1,161,7 thousand habitants (2006)
Capital: Pleiku City.
Administrative divisions:
- Town:An Khe, Ayun Pa
- Districts: Chu Pah, Chu Prong, Chu Se, Duc Co, Ia Grai, Kbang, Krong Pa, Kong Chro, Mang Yang, Dak Doa, Ia Pa, Dak Po, Phu Thien.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Gia Rai, Ba Na, Tay...

   
         

Geography (Click here to see location)
Gia Lai is located in the Central Highlands. It shares the border with Kon Tum Province on the north, Dak Lak Province on the south, Cambodia on the west, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen provinces on the east. Gia Lai is source of Ba and Se San rivers with Yaly hydroelectricity plant. It owns many springs, lakes, waterfalls, rives, and primary forest.

Climate
There are two seasons: the rainy season lasts from May to November and the dry season lasts from December to April. The annual average temperature varies between 21 and 25ºC. The west of Truong Son Ranges has annual average rainfall is 2,200 - 2,500mm. The east of Truong Son Ranges has annual average rainfall is 1,200 - 1,750mm.

Tourism
Coming to Gia Lai, visitors have a change to discover many impressive, poetic scenes. They are Kon Ka Kinh, Kon Cha Rang tropical forests, Xung Khoeng Waterfall, Phu Cuong Waterfall, Da Trang, Mo springs and Ayaun Ha Lake. Located on the top of an extinct volcano, Bien Ho (To Nung Lake) is called the 'Pearl of Pleiku'. Its water is so clear that visitors can see fish swimming under blue water.
The province is also proud of funeral houses, La Phum, D'ko Tu traditional villages with special Rong house. Whenever going to this windy and sunny land, visitors are likely to see the unique architectural style of the statues in funeral houses, and to investigate the local customs and practice mysterious to them. Apart of that, tens of thousands of visitors are attracted to Dong Xanh Cutural Park in which many typical varieties of flowers and trees of Central Highlands are planted. You can visit Yaly Hydro-elictric also.
Gia Lai has historic sites such as King Quang Trung's guerilla base, Nup hero's Homeland, Pleiku Prison, Pleime, Cheo Leo, and La Rang battlefields.


Ethnic Groups
Many ethnic groups live together. Kinh make up 52% of population, Gia Rai (33.5%), Ba Na (13.7%), then Gie Trieng, Xo Dang, Co Ho, Nhang, Thai, Muong...
Gia Lai has long history and old ethnic culture, mainly Gia Lai and Ba Na ethnics. This uniquely character stamps of rong house, house on stills, tomb-house statue architectural styles, traditional festivals, customs and musical instruments. In attractive events like Po Thi (leaving-the-tomb) ceremony, buffalo stabbing festival, xoang dance the ethnic groups show their customs with colorful, mystical pattern, perform many traditional dances and uniquely musical instruments (horn, gong lu, gongs).


Transportation
Pleiku is 186km from Quy Nhon, 197km from Buon Ma Thuot, and 550km from Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam Airlines has daily from Danang and Ho Chi Minh City to Pleiku Airport. Pleiku Airport is 25km from Pleiku City centre, 45km from Kon Tum.

 

         
   

Bien Ho (To Nung) Lake

Location: approximately 10km from Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province.
Characteristics: Situated in the middle of the highlands red soil area, To Nung Lake looks like an emerald, with its green clear water.

   
         

 

The lake lies on the top of an extinct volcano. The view is spectacular with the lush vegetation and the colorful insects around the lake.
From the bank of the lake, one can get a general view of the area including Bien Ho Tea processing farm, Pleiku City, and Kon Tum Town. Legendary Horung Mountain nearby makes the lake even more beautiful. One can visit several rong houses and meet hospitable highland inhabitants. To Nung Lake is the pride of the Pleiku highland area.


         
   

Xung Khoeng Waterfall

Location: 30 km from the south-west of Pleiku City, Chu Prong District, Gia Lai Province.
Characteristics: Xung Khoeng Waterfall is a beautiful landscape in Gia Lai.

   
         

The waterfall is about 40-m high, and from afar, visitors can hear drawling sounds of flowing water. On the two sides of the falls, trees and plants grow luxuriantly, and above is the high blue sky. The water makes its way into cracks in the rock to form a clear lake, surrounded by craggy walls.

 

 

         
   

Leaving the tomb festival

Time: Not fixed, often lasting from 3 to 7 days in spring time
Place: The cemetery
Objects of worship:The deceased people
Characteristics: Rituals of sacrifice offerings, eating, playing of the whole community beside the tomb house.

   
         

Unlike other ethnic minorities in Vietnam, some groups in the Central Highlands, including E de, Gia Rai, Ba Na do not have the practice of worshipping their ancestors and deceased persons. The bereaved only look after the tombs of the deceased for a period of three, five or seven years, and thereafter perform a "leaving the tomb" ceremony to bid farewell them to the village of the death, and the tomb is left unattended. The "leaving the tomb" Festival is the most important one reserved for the deceased held by their family members. All the local villagers attend the festival that lasts for three or four days. It involves two to three slaughtered buffaloes and hundreds of small jars of liquor. The meaning of the "leaving the tomb" festival is to see off the spirits of the deceased to their permanent world so that they can reincarnate and continue a new life. As for the living, they finish their duties and are free to remarry. The festival is associated to the cycle of agriculture. It is held in the lunar first months that is the transition time between the two cycles of production. The festival is also an opportunity for farmers to give thanks to the gods and pray for a new bumper crop. Although this ceremony is associated to the death, it is very cheerful, bearing the nuance of a festival. The festival includes three steps: taking the tomb to pieces, erecting the new tomb, and seeing off the death's spirits to their world and treating the villagers with a feast.

 

         
   

Yaly Hydro-electric

Location: In Ia Mo Nong Commune, Chu Pah District, Gia Lai Province.
Characteristics: It is a beautiful site along Se San River. A new hydro-electric power plant was built at Yaly Waterfall and has a design capacity of 720MW.

   
         

Process of construction and operation of Yaly Hydro-electric Power Plant affected strongly economy, culture, society of Central Highlands in general and Gia Lai Province in particular. Especially it has supplied power with villages and contributes to raise cultural standards of the people. In the future, four hydro-electric power plants expected to build are Se San 3, Se San 4, Plei Krong and Thuong Kon Tum. Se San 3 and Se San 4 are in lower section of Yaly Hydro-electric Power Plant.