Chu Dang Ya near Pleiku in Gia Lai Province, Vietnam
© Quang Ngoc Nguyen/Alam
A sleeping green giant
We're looking down on Chu Dang Ya, an extinct volcano that last erupted millions of years ago. Located in the Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Chu Dang Ya means 'wild ginger' or 'tough ginger root' in the local Jarai language. The volcano provides fertile soil for crops including pumpkins, sweet potatoes and taro. This lush landscape is at its most striking at the beginning of the rainy season in late April and early May, and as the rains subside in November. That's when Chu Dang Ya takes it up a notch - its hillsides erupt with sunflowers and other wildflowers along roads, paths and fields.