Hotspot volcanoes

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoes

By Tran Hoa June 29, 2021 | 04:00 PT

The central highlands province of Gia Lai is one of the few places in Vietnam where traces of centuries-old extinct volcanoes can still be found today.


Chu Dang Ya is the name of a volcano that was active millions of years ago. In the language of the J’rai ethnic minority, Chu Dang Ya means “wild ginger root”. It is in the village of Ploi Lagri in the Chu Pah district of Gia Lai, which is home to the Jarai ethnic minority.

The Chu Dang Ya volcano has been dormant for millions of years, providing fertile land for cultivation.

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoes

From above, the volcano looks like a giant funnel, with its crater bearing the red hue of basalt soil created by lava since ancient times.

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoesMit, 45, clears her family's 1,500-square-meter cassava field at the foot of Chu Dang Ya volcano.

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Mit, 45, cleans his family’s 1,500 square meter cassava field at the foot of the Chu Dang Ya volcano.

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoes

Around the basin, the Jarai grow coffee, maize, potatoes, pumpkin and galangal to earn their daily bread. Locals say the red basalt soil makes their produce taste sweeter than those grown in other regions.

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoes

Remains of an ancient concave-shaped crater in Op village of Pleiku town with a radius of about 500 meters, forming a large valley. The land is fertile and has a stable water source, allowing locals to grow rice, potatoes and other vegetables on the dormant crater for millions of years.

Gia Lai, land of million-year-old dormant volcanoes

At an altitude of 1,028 meters, Ham Rong Mountain was once volcanic. The mountain, about 10 kilometers from Pleiku, enjoys cool weather and is often covered in fog.

The mountain has a crescent shape resembling a horseshoe. Currently, the top of the mountain serves as a telecommunications base station for the entire province and is prohibited.