The village is around two kilometers from the center of Buon Ma Thuot City. To get there, we followed Phan Chu Trinh Street before making a left and going straight ahead for 300 meters and reaching the village at the end of Tran Nhat Duat Street.
In the past, Ako Dhong had nothing but forests. Ama H’rin, now the chief at the village, is one of the first people who had reclaimed the area and turned it into a new land for the Ede ethnic community.
According to the Ede elderly, “Ako” means upstream and “Dhong” means valley. Ako Dhong means the upstream valley.
The peaceful village is an attractive destination for local and foreign visitors thanks to traditional activities of Ede people and scenic lake and forest views.
Our first impression is that the roads, yards, gardens and houses in the village are clean and tidy. The main village road is lined by more than 30 houses with red tile roofs where more than 260 people live.
Inside the village, visitors can explore a strange banana species that has a huge trunk with fruits inside. According to local people, they do not breed the tree by its seedlings but its seeds.
Passing the residential area, we entered the farming area of villagers. Coffee is the major crop of Ako Dhong villagers. With a total coffee cultivation area of 26 hectares, villagers have a stable source of income.
On September 21, Ako Dhong villagers still preserve the traditions of making ruou can (wine stored in a big jar and drunk by using a long pipe), and weaving brocade. Especially, they preserve their traditional long houses.
Although children and grandchildren of Ama H’rin are now teacher, doctor and engineer, he still keeps his long house he built decades ago.
A French visitor identified as Bogarde said Ako Dhong village is not only beautiful but preserves many cultural values of Ede people.
The village allows him to indulge in nature while villagers are friendly, he said.