The experience we share

Vietnam Culture


(Vietnam Travel Times) – Graves and statues around the graves are the very best special cultural feature of hill tribes in the central Highland Vietnam, across ethnic groups named Bana, Jrai, Mnong, Ede, etc who are hosting the plateau. Those are the farewell and the last connection between the death person and the relatives who remain alive. Continue the story of Plei Phun village in Pleiku, central Highland Vietnam, we would like to invite you to have further discovery on these graves and statues.

The hill tribes in highland Vietnam believe that death is a start of a ghost life, which are also of daily life activities and belief. That life also have food, wine, warriors, pregnancy, crops and even sex. To be more informative, the hill tribes do not follow Buddhism or Taoism, but a distinctive belief on their God of Mountain, of River, of Water and of Fire.

Most of tribes in the highland does not have writing language, then the statues around the graves with certain face expression are also a kind of language for telling stories to the next generation.

Let’s skip a long story of a process of rituals since there is a person passing away in a family till he is buried and presented in that magic grave. (we will show you in the coming time). These graves are with  mini-houses covering on them and with carved wooden statues around the house. Let’s see the house since we arrive the Plei Phun village.

The graves are often at the West site of the village, under the big trees. There is a link between the passing away people and the sunset. And the trees should be place for ghost to hang around.


The grave is covered by a roof with beautifully colorful decoration. These are also protected by fence if the person is at much respect of the village.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (2)

The face features express the sentiment of the death person.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (4)

Passing away is a journey that causes te seperation, then it is of course sad.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (3)

However, wherever you live and what ever life you experience, fertility is a must to keep the generations continue. And sex can help.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (5)

If you look inside a grave, there are a lot of treasure that the relatives alive share for the death person. I said treasure because these jars, bottle and cups are very valuable to the village. These jars might be hundreds of years old, and the owners should barter with many buffalos each.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (7)

We kept moving and visit the East side of the village where we found more alive scenery.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (1)

We must go down to a valley with a very steep way. And we have found a fountain of youth. That’s the source of water for the whole village to use for drinking, and bathing. It’s magic that just a bamboo pole connecting to a soil cliff, and the water keeps running, day and nights, from this century to another. Only the head and the prayer of the village know how to find this water source. And only that can show they are reserved for the position. What a special kind of knowledge that is prime valuable to survive among the jungle.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (10)

This hollow log should be a coffin, but for some reason it could not be used. Then it was used to contain water.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (9)

Imagine how high when we come back to the village, from the place of water source.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (11)

One the way out, we keep walking, feeling a simple but happy life here.

Highland vietnam pleiphun (13)


  1. What a fascinating adventure! Vietnam looks so lush and beautiful.

  2. Wow, I learnt so much, and this is really interesting. I love their belief and the way they honor the one who pass away. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Ben

    Looks like a real interesting place to visit. Especially love the statues. Can’t wait to visit Vietnam soon..

  4. That is absolutely fascinating! I love places with unique history and shows different culture and tradition. This is the kind of place I’d visit myself!

    Did you go down from the same steep stairs? I’d probably roll down to the bottom of it. :p

    • Comment by post author

      Nguyen Long

      Hi Piney, fortunately they go down by a long way so they don’t have to roll down to the bottom at this steep stairs. This is just a short cut but also to show you all how the soil cliff where they get water. I was really impressive the whole day as visiting this place. I believe you will, too.

  5. Carol Colborn

    How fascinating! Stories about how people honor their dead is always fascinating. And then you add the story of the high water source. Precious.

  6. Very interesting. I learned something new. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply