Sunday, 19/02/2023 08:13

World Coffee Museum boosts Central Highlands tourism


The buildings of the World Coffee Museum has unique curving architecture that is inspired by traditional houses of the Ê Đê ethnic minority. Photo courtesy of the World Coffee Museum

The World Coffee Museum in the central province of Đắk Lắk is a venue for a series of cultural activities, which has attracted many tourists to the locality.

The museum is on Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street, in a coffee city project covering a total area of 45ha in Buôn Ma Thuột City, Đắk Lắk, known as the "Coffee Capital" of Việt Nam.

The museum, which opened in late 2018, impresses visitors with its unique architecture. It consists of five curving buildings, the design of which is based on the nhà dài (long house) and rông house (a variation of stilt houses) architecture of the Ê Đê ethnic minority that resides across the Central Highlands.

Built as an open exhibition space, the World Coffee Museum offers visitors many exciting experiences within its various spaces for displaying artefacts, tasting coffee and organising events.

Exhibits at the museum are collected from all over the world, including over 10,000 coffee-related objects from different coffee cultures that used to belong to Jens Burg Coffee Museum, a popular tourist attraction in Hamburg, Germany. They include many artefacts dating to the 19th century, such as a coffee sorting machine manufactured in Germany in 1930 or historical Vietnamese coffee processing tools.

A  foreign visitor is introduced to three coffee cultures – Ottoman, Zen and Roman – at the museum. Photo courtesy of the World Coffee Museum

Another highlight of the visit to the museum is the show displaying three coffee cultures: Ottoman, Zen and Roman. Participants are immersed in the space filled with light, music, art and the seductive aroma of coffee while listening to stories about coffee history and cultures via 3D mapping technology.

In addition to a vast collection of valuable artefacts that help visitors learn about more than 12 centuries of the history of coffee, the World Coffee Museum regularly organises thematic exhibitions, like The History of Coffee, Coffee: A Panacea for the Brain – A Panacea for Creativity, Coffee: A Journey to Discover Human Values, and Coffee: Creative Energy of Art.

Due to its unique architecture and exhibitions, the museum, the first of its kind in Việt Nam, has received many compliments from international media. Right after its opening, AP news agency (US) said: "The largest, most lively and unique living museum."

It has also been placed 6th out of 17 of the best destinations in Việt Nam, according to the leading British travel magazine, Wanderlust.

In early 2022, National Geographic praised the World Coffee Museum on its Spanish-language travel website, saying it was "where visitors can fully immerse themselves in the coffee culture".

Cultural hub

A variety of cultural and artistic activities have recently been held at the museum, expecting  to bring visitors distinctive experience.

Visitors join traditional festival re-enacted at the World Coffee Museum on Lunar New Year holiday. — Photo courtesy of the museum

They include the re-enactment of the old countryside Lunar New Year markets of the early twentieth century, the medieval Christmas market in Europe, or special occasions of countries around the world that showcases their cultural essence, such as the Istanbul Grand Bazaar in Turkey.

In the journey to explore the coffee capital and particularly, the World Coffee Museum, visitors can join in the many cultural activities of different local ethnic groups, like the Pác Ngan Krông Giang rituals (the rituals of clapping hands to invite God), and the rituals of offering wine or paying tributes to the Fire God of the Ê Đê.

They are also guided through the process of making various kinds of coffee and regional cuisines at the museum.

On the first time visiting the Central Highlands, Phạm Thu Trang from the southern province of Tiền Giang was overwhelmed by the majestic natural scenery, the unique culture of the indigenous people of Đắk Lắk and the World Coffee Museum

“As soon as we came there, we were invited to participate in the rituals of paying tributes to the Fire God of the Ê Đê. We also tried making traditional leaf dishes of the local groups. I was most impressed with the traditional market days held there in the middle of a buckwheat flower field, which we thought we had to travel as far as the northern province of Hà Giang to witness,” she said.

The museum has become the venue for many art programmes featuring famed Vietnamese artists and performances, including the musical The Tale of Three Coffee Cultures.

The World Coffee Museum is the venue for many contemporary art programmes like classical concert 'Cảm Hứng Chiềng Đi' (Chiềng Đi Inspiration). — Photo courtesy of the museum

The classical concert Cảm Hứng Chiềng Đi (Chiềng Đi Inspiration) and the launch of a special contemporary fashion collection entitled Xuân Trên Bản Thượng (Spring on the Highland Village) by designer La Phạm have recently taken place in the museum as a special gift dedicated to local ethnic communities and visitors to the coffee capital of Việt Nam. Music and fashion events have impressed the public with thousands of attendants and followers on social media.

At the upcoming Coffee Festival 2023, which will take place in Đắk Lắk from March 10-14, the museum will host a number of programmes, including a street festival, a photo contest and exhibitions on Vietnamese coffee and the history of coffee around the world.

According to the Đắk Lắk provincial authority of culture, sports and tourism, the World of Coffee Museum is a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

In 2022, it was visited by millions of tourists from 22 countries, helping to increase the revenue of the provincial tourism industry by more than 473 per cent. VNS



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