That Luang festival mixes culture and business

The trade fair associated with the annual That Luang Festival officially opened yesterday in a ceremony attended by government officials and business representatives.

Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and Vientiane Mayor Sombath Yialiher were among those in attendance.

The trade fair takes place in two venues. The That Luang esplanade accommodates 1,411 booths from October 28 to November 2, while Lao-ITECC with 778 booths is open from October 24 to November 2.

The trade fair is a lively part of the festival, bringing together a wide range of domestic products as devotees come from all over the country to worship at the grand stupa.

Vientiane Vice Mayor Somvandy Nathavong said the festival was a wonderful opportunity to preserve Lao traditions and display the rich and diverse cultural identity of Laos .

On this occasion people of ethnic groups from all over Laos come to worship at this most magnificent of festivals.

Mr Somvandy said the festival would give security units the chance to prove their worth in ensuring safety for everyone and preventing accidents.

Amid a joyful atmosphere, various activities serve to preserve the country's fine traditions.

As happens every year, people take part in a colorful wax castle procession, watch a traditional game of hockey, and process around the stupa in a grand candlelight procession.

This year the festival will give city authorities ideas on how best to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Vientiane as the capital of Laos next year.

Do’s and don’t in Lao culture- showing respect for Lao religion and culture

With the increasing number of people visiting Laos every year, it is very important to know what you should do or shouldn’t. Foreign travelers may find it difficult to navigate the cultural norms of Lao culture. It is also important to consider what might be offensive to the Lao people.

Show respect and use your head and eyes and common sense will guide you well in navigating Lao culture safely.

When in Laos, try to do as the Lao do and remember; don’t touch head, don’t lose your temper with people and don’t flash your fresh. The rest is about manners, shoes left outside, accepting hosts, greeting and not upsetting religious feelings.

The Lao are very friendly and hospitable and a minimum effort will make your trip smooth and memorable. Respect the culture and you will earn its respect in turn.


Instead of checking hand, Lao use “Nop” to greet people. The Nop is a short bow done with raising your hands in a praying gesture. The higher you go the more respect you show, but don’t be over the top. A kiss or embrace from a stranger is insulting and humiliating.

Feeling in public

Public display of affection is taboo in Lao society so don’t cause shock or embarrassment by kissing or cuddling in front of people. Modest dress and discreet behavior will ensure you don’t attract unwanted attention or embarrass others.

Foot and Head

In Buddhism and general Asian society, the head is very important to the souls and its purity, while the feet walk the earth and all that is deposited on it. Raising your feet to headheight, putting them on furniture or pointing with them is taken as a deliberate insult or sign of barbarism. Don’t gesture with your feet or touch an Asian head. You would be asking for trouble. Here, as in all things, check out what local people do with their feet and shoes and try to follow suit.


Never raise your voice to Lao people as they never react well to it. Even shouting to friends or for taxis will cause shock and worry. Lao is a land of calm and patience, and shattering the peace will do you no favors.


Bodily hygiene and cleanliness are of the highest standard in Lao and a visitor’s failure to meet these standards is not well received. Wash yourself and your clothes daily or prepare to be laughed at and avoided!

In a Lao House

Shoes are generally no-go indoors. Use your eyes and common sense to maximize your chances of social success. Keep your head and general profile low at gatherings.


You will rarely be alone in Laos, even when you seem to be, and pollution is not well received. Bins are scarce, so use your plastic bags to return rubbish to towns or villages.


The penalties may be severe for you and even worse for the Lao society.


Religion is a major part of daily life and remains the practice of the massive majority. Show respect in temples and shrines, watching how locals behave in such place. Dress neatly when visiting temples and religious shrines. You should never go shirtless, or in short, miniskirts or hot pants. It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around a temple compound, but not inside the chapel where the principle Buddha image is kept. Visitors are welcome to relax and be peaceful in all temples. Every Buddha image is regarded as a scared object, no matter how big, small, old or new. Never climb onto a Buddha image to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect.

Keep your head lower than the Buddha and monks. Buddhist priests must not be touched by a woman or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman gives anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it. Don’t turn your back on a Buddha.

Lao Airlines Special Discount for International Routes

Laos Airlines has announced a new promotion effective July 21 to October 28, 2009 for international routes.

Vientiane - Bangkok(VTE BKK) one way 105 USD, return 189 USD.

Vientiane - Hanoi(VTE HN) one way 110 USD, return 200 USD.

Vientiane - Siem Reap one way 137 USD, return 263 USD.

Vientiane - Kunming one way 137 USD, return 263 USD.

Luang Prabang - Chiang Mai one way 100 USD, return 179 USD.

Luang Prabang - Bangkok one way 126 USD, return 242 USD.

Luang Prabang - Hanoi one way 105 USD, return 200 USD.

Luang Prabang - Siem Reap one way 158 USD, return 294 USD.

Luang Prabang - Udone Thani one way 79 USD, return 147 USD.

Savannakhet - Siem Reap one way 114 USD, return 209 USD.

Savannakhet - Bangkok one way 95 USD, return 179 USD.

Thanks source from

Learn Lao Language

When you visit Laos it is always good to learn some words. You probably won't need to use much if you travel to only the main tourist areas. However, the lao people you meet will be impressed if you try to use a little Lao with them. Here are some Lao words you should know if you travel to Laos

"Sabaidee" that is how we say Hello in Lao.

How are you = Sabaidee bor (Lao)

I am fine = khoi sabaidee (Lao)

I am not feeling very well = khoi bor sabai (Lao)

I am sorry = Kaw tode

Never mind/ you are welcome = Bor pen yang

Thank you = khop jai (Lao)

Can you speak Lao = Jao wao pasa lao dai bor (Lao)

Can you speak English = Jao wao pasa angkit dai bor (Lao)

My name is.... = khoi sue wa......

What is your name = Jao sue yang

Nice to meet you = Yin dee ti dai hu jak jao

Yes = Chao

No = Bor

I am hungry = khoi hew

I am full = khoi im

I want to eat = khoi yark kin

I want to go.... = Khoi yark pai....

I've got a headache = Khoi jeb hua

I've got a stomachache = Khoi jeb tong

I like Laos = Khoi mak Muang Lao

I like Lao people = Khoi mak kon lao

I don't want to go back home = Khoi bor yark kub baan

You are very beautiful = Jao ngam lai

I really like you = khoi mak jao tae tae

Do you want to go out with me = Jao yark pai tiaw kub khoi bor

Do you want to go see a movie with me = Jao yark pai berng nang kub khoi bor

I enjoy talking to you = khoi mak lom kub jao

I love you = khoi huk jao

Lao culture

Questions and answers about traveling to Laos

1. I am soon going to travel up to Luang Prabang and from there I would like to travel by land to Hanoi. What is the best way to do this ? If possible I would like to avoid going back to Vientiane.

Answer: The best way to do this overland is going to Hanoi from Vientiane but since you want to avoid Vientiane you can go via XiengKhouang Province.

2. We are thinking of staying in Vientiane for 3 days at the Lao Orchid Hotel or the Le Calao Hotel. Which would you recommend?Also like to stay 5 days in Luang Prabang at the Le Calao Hotel or something similar but must have pool, any recommendations? Also could you please send me some information on tours and things to see and do in both places?

Answer: I would recommend Lao Orchid Hotel, it’s a good hotel, you can check review on internet, many people thinks the same as me. For Luang Prabang I would recommend grand hotel. You can check information on tours and things to see and do following these links:

3. I am visiting laos for 6 days starting next week. i am wondering whether i can rent a car with an English speaking driver for 3-4 days. How much will that cost? i would like to travel to LP and Van Vieng and whatever places in between.

Answer: You can rent a car with a driver, about the price, it depends on where you want to go. The price for city tour is USD 35 per day but if you traveling to Vangvieng and Luang prabang is quite expensive, they would charge USD 120- USD 150 per day.

4. I will be travelling to Laos from Siem Reap.How to get to Vientiane from Siem Reap? Bus or train? Plan to spend one night at Vientiane and how to travel
to Vang Vieng? Heading to famous Luang Prabang for 2 nights..How to go to Hanoi after Luang Prabang?

Answer: there’s no train from Siem Reap to Vientiane, you can either fly or take bus, taking a flight would be the most convenient, it would take you a very long drive if you choose to go by bus. From Vientiane you can take bus to Vangvieng, it takes about 3-4 hours. There’s direct flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi.

5. I will be traveling with intrepid travel through Laos to Vietnam. The trip plans for us to travel overland from Vientiane to Hanoi through Lak Sao. I was wondering if this is an interesting route. Since the trip will be hours and hours in a minivan I am thinking maybe it would be preferable to fly from Vientiane to Hanoi. What do you think?

Answer: Yes, flying is the best option.

6. am going to Laos in August. My plan is to first stop in Vientiane and then goes to Luang Prabang. In Luang Prabang, I plan to take my Visa to Vietnam and then head to Hanoi.Could you please advise me on the possibilities for going from Luang Prabang to Hanoi? Bus and Airplane?

Answer: There’s direct flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, if you want to go over land you can go back to read question 1, I already answered it there.

Learn Lao

If you have questions about Laos please post your questions here or send me email at I would be willing to answer to all questions.

Naga Rockets and Wat Phabat Phonesane

Wat Phabat Phonesane is one of the most important temples and tourist sites in Bolikhamxai province. It is situated km 82 from Vientiane on the left hand side of road N.13 south.

Wat Naganimid phonesane was first build on the right hand side and 2 km from the national road to the Mekong river.

Wat Phabat Phonesane is the Lord of Buddha foot print temple and stupa. It is very beautiful place to visit and worship.

Wat Naganimid was build of the top of the hill and has 100 stairs and surrounded by the big trees which made the temple more attractive.

Wat phabat Phonesane and Wat Naganimid are not the same temples.

There is an old saying which say that Wat Phabat Phonesane place the Lord Buddha sit for lunch, when he arrived from Somphoutavib to teach the Buddha's word. When he looked for a place to sit for lunch, there were no places for him, because everywhere were his former graveyards. because of that, the king of the dragon named Soukahathinak collected the rocks and soils to from the hill for him to have lunch.

After lunch, before he said good bye, the two dragons named Soukahathinak and Sangkalanak requested him to print his foot print as the symbol of Buddhism in Kokchiviengngoua hill which was as far as the shout of an elephant from the place where he took lunch. The Lord Buddha printed his foot print on the rock as we have seen in Wat Phabat Phonesane.

The size of the foot print is 40 cm deep, 120 cm wide and 240 cm length. The nails of the foot are the same length. The images of the wheel, the lotus and one hundred and eight types of animals marked in the central of the foot. It was his right leg and facing to the Mekong river. After the image of the Buddha foot was printed the dragon arranged a religious ceremony then returned to their kingdom.

Since then, at the end of the Buddhist lent, the king of the Naga and his followers have organized rocket festivals to worship the foot print in an annual ceremony. That is because people see the man made rockets lights launched from the land and the river. it is called Bangfai PhaNhanak(The Naga rocket).

Wat means temple, Phabat means foot important person and Phonesane means the hill where Lord Buddha sit for lunch. Unknown another temple on the top of the hill which has 100 stairs called (The dragon conjured the temple) to the Mekong river and green big trees which made the site.

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Boat racing festival and loy Krathong Ceremony

Maha Sila VIRAVONG wrote in the book of Hidsipong, the twelve customs. This ceremony was performed for thoundsands of years and it was the original ceremony of Brahmanism to worship the god and floating the Loy Krathong. Some countries organize the ceremony from the full moon of the 14-15 in the twelve month to the 1st dark moon of the first month, the same time as in Thailand, Lanna Xiangmai. In Laos, we do not know the exact time because there is of no evidence, but we know the exact time that the illuminate ceremony was officially organized in the king of Soulignavongsa in 1641 as noted by Van Wustop, trade diplomatic from Holland, who met the king of Soulignavongsa in 1641. (His detailed notes is too long, but there is the part of his note on the illuminated boats as written below).

After meeting the King in That Luang festival, the Holland trade diplomatic envoys had an opportunity to see the ceremony on the illuminated fire boats. Van Wustop said: "The king sits on a seat made of gold. the king saw the illuminated fire boats. We were sitting close to the King camp. The ceremony was organized on the Mekong river. There was one bamboo pole. It was high as the pole at the head of the ship on the sea. Four men climbed up and jumped down to the river to show people. The four men could be injured or hurt.

When it was dark, more than two hundred fire boats were running down along the Mekong. Among these, there were three illuminated fire boats which had fire like the four square stupas. These made the river bright. After the ceremony was over, the king and his followers and I returned back."

The illuminate ceremony in Vientiane as written in the note of Van Wustop was organized in the twelfth month, after That Luang festival was over. In that time, That Luang festival organized in the 1st dark moon of the twelfth month.

Now the illuminated boats and Loy Kathong ceremony is organized in the full moon of the eleventh mounth. The fire boats are made of forest bamboos and banana trucks. Banana truck sheets are placed on the boats to put kikouang, burning powders for fire lighting. Heua fai Kok, the land fire boat is also made in the yard of the pagoda. The purpose is to make the illuminated boats or Loy kathong or Loykamot, as Brahmanism are made to worship the god and to drive away the sin or the bad luck. In Laos, these are made to worship Lord Buddha, the god of the rivers, the god of the dragons to send the rain to us.

Racing Boats Competition: After the end of the Buddhist lent, at the 1st dark moon of the 11th month, Lao people in the villages, districts and provinces organize racing boats festival along the main rivers such the Mekong, its tributaries and streams, particular in Vientiane municipality, Pakxe, Champasak boats racing was also organized in the 1st dark moon of the eleventh month, except in Luang Prabang where people organized in the nine month and at the same time of Boun Hokhaopadabdine(worship the food for the deads), because Luang Prabang uses Namkane river so in the middle of this month Namkane river level is high enough for the racing boats competition.

Raing boats and the end of the Buddhist lent are organized concurrently, but the day for boats racing, old and young gather to see whose boat will be the champion and on this occation there are chanting team in boats, on the roads and pagoda yards and having fun.

Usually, the boat racing purpose was the social sport to gather friends and to worship the Lord of Buddha, the rivers and the god of the dragon. It was not rowed for a prize but small gifts were given as incentives.

Lao culture

Buddhist Lent End

After performing the Buddhist lent for three months, in the rainy season starting from the 1st dark moon of the eight month to the 1st dark moon of the the eleven month, the closing ceremony is organized. Firstly, the performance of buddhist lent activities is the responsibilities of the monks, not the lay people.
There after, the form of the ceremony change as the villagers decide to prepare the offerings for merit making. So in the morning of the fifteen day of the eleventh month, the villagers take the offerings to the temples and listen to Buddha's teachings while the candles ceremony, light worshipping, and fire boat festivities are performed in the evening.
In the next day, the 1st dark moon of the eleven month, boat racing is organized on the Mekong river.
The Buddhist Lent closing ceremony is performed in the same way as the beginning of Buddhist Lent, Boun Hokaopradabdine and Boun khao Sark or Salark. At the festival day Buddhist villagers, dressed in new and beautiful clothes take the silver bowl of plateful of food and materials to offer the monks for merit making.

How to organize the ceremony: The term "Watsa" means the rain or rainy season. The monks complete the practices of Buddha teachings during the period of three months in the rainy season without spending any nights in other places. On the 1st day of the dark moon of the eleventh month the closing ceremony for Buddhist Lent should be arranged. But, in practice, it is organized in the full moon of the fifteen in the eleventh month, one day before the due date. In the Buddha's teaching, the closing ceremony was instead made after three months of Buddhist Lent ended. So, in practice the monks made Palavana on the evening of the full moon of the fifteen in the eleven month. It is one day before the real closing date.

The term Pavalana means to announce something in advance or warn or advise each other for example when the villagers say to the monks in advance that " if the monks need to have the 4 main factors such as; clothing, bedding, medicines or something else, please advise us." This also means Pavalana. It's to say something to do in advance.

Pavalana is the task of the monks violate the Buddhist rules, they should warn each other. The reason that the Lord of Buddha allowed the monks to give advise is that when the monks stay together during the Buddhist Lent in the same place it would a few of them might behave badly or make mistakes. After the Buddhist Lent ends, they warn or advice each other before leaving. This means "Pavalana."
To conduct the ceremony for Pavalana, the oldest monk has make a decision first. He may say three, two times or one. Then the others say like him or saying one by one. The words are said in Pali language. it means that " To you all the monks, please listen to me today is the full moon day. It is the day to give prior notice that we have completed the Buddha practice."

in front the others in After the decision is made, the oldest monk sits on his knees, joins his hands and says Pavalanapali language: " To you all the monks, may I notice you in advance and do not in doubt that I made mistakes or sins caused by a breach of the rules of the monastic order(Patimakkha), please warn me, to change my bad behaviour for proper behaviour acting." Then all the monks have to say the same words until its completion. The monks who completed the Buddhist Lent, can again Anisong 5, merit making.

Illuminate ceremony: an illuminate ceremony is the custom of Brahmanism to worship the gods whose names are; the God of Pha Phom(Brahman), the God of Pha Ixuan, and the God of Pha Nalai(Vishnu). Illuminated boats made of bamboo trucks. The oil for the lights screened from the cow fats. After the lamp making the lamp, it was fixed on the top of the pole which is about of 10 Wa high, each unit of Wa lenght equivalent to 2 metres (About 20 metres) from the ground of worship the tree gods above. It is organized in the twelve month. After the worshipping period is over. The lamps are sent along the rivers.

The illuminate ceremony begins in the full moon of the 14 or 15 to the 1st day of the dark moon in the eleventh month. They made the fire place in the yard of pagoda. The oil for fire are from the oily fruits namely Marktumka and fix the cotton coils for fire lighting.

The perfume sticks are made of perfume powder called Omnien. Firstly Omnien powder is dried under the sun, then mixed with the coconut skins and covered with paper. It is called Pathub or Phan Thub.

The worship place for perfume sticks lighting is called Vongkotkhili which means the mountain. According with the story of Vetsantala, it was the place where Phravet lived. To perform the lighting perfume sticks ceremony, some pagodas make camps with many complicated and curved roads inside. There is one entrance in and many doors out and curved roads inside. There is one entrance in and many doors out. Entering to this place, some people lost the way out. Therefore the ones who enter to burn the perfume sticks should consider for not forget the way out. It just made for fun.

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Sisavangvong, street of heritage city
Mekong River is a source of food for Lao and people that Mekong gets through. Beside Mekong River Luang Prabang has Nam Kane River as a source of food for Luang Prabang people. There’s a street in Luang Prabang which is also a source of income for Luang Prabang people, that street is Sisavangvong Street, the local night market is located here, and this is the popular market in Luang Prabang , local people in Luang Prabang sell their handicraft, silk, clothes, cloths, drawing pictures, carving stuffs for tourists.

At night is a place to sell stuffs from local people but day time is cultural street for tourists to visit many places such as: former palace, old temples especially Sisavangvong museum (former palace), Wat Xiengthong.

When the time of Lao New Year arrives, this street becomes the street of festival. There are people marches through this street; there are also ceremonies for good bye old year and welcome new year.

This street is very important for Luang Pabang people. It’s one source of income for people who sell stuffs there and it’s also a tourist spot where you shouldn’t miss if you go to Luang Prabang.

Buffalo Horn Mountain
Buffalo Horn Mountain is located 70 km far from Vientiane. Buffalo Horn Mountain is a protected area which has a charming nature and this is a place to find the true Lao way easily.

If you want to be in nature and relax, picnic, camping, boat ride to see nature and animals like tigers, elephants, bears, wolves, monkeys, birds, butterflies and other spices that they are hard to be seen in Laos this is a great place for that.

This mountain is the most beautiful reserve area which covers the area of 2000 square kilometer and the mountain is 1671 meter high which include mountain river, waterfalls straight from east to west 80 km long and 40 km long from north to south.

In 1993, Lao government announced that Buffalo Horn Mountain is a national protected forest area in purpose to reserve this wonderful forest for animals to live forever and it’s a spot for tourists to touch the real Lao nature in this wonderful forest.

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Laos work visa

If you want to stay longer in Laos, say like 1 year and up you would need 1 year Laos visa, in order to get this kind of visa you must have a job in Laos. The employer will take care of the work permit, once you have 1 year work visa stamped(it is written B2 visa) in your passport then it's easy to apply for work permit and resident card.
Obtaining the Laos work permit, documents needed:
1. Passport
2. B2 visa (1 year visa)
3. Resident card.
4. photos.
In order to get B2 visa, first of all you would need a document from your employer, it's a confirmed document that you're working with the company, your employer should give you that document , if you are in Laos you would need to leave the country and re enter again before they issue you a B2 visa. You would enter Laos with the document provided by your employer and give them at the border crossings or international airports then they would give you B2 visa, you still have to pay fee same as cost of Laos visa on arrival
After you have the B2 visa then it's easy to apply to either work permit or resident card, your employer would take care of that, the fee of resident card is about $90 for the first time but the next time when you extent the cost would lower to $60, the most expensive thing is work permit, the fee is about $240, your employer might pay for you, it depends on agreement between you and your employer. It's pretty easy to get 1 year work visa as long as you have a job in Laos.

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Laos Airlines Announcement

Pakse airport will close for 2 months.

Referring to the notice of the Department of Lao Civil aviation No. 721/DCA dated 12/06/2009 informing that Pakse Airport will be closed from 1st July to 30th August 09 for its renovation work. Otherwise during this period Lao Airlines flights to/from Pakse will be suspended, thus the Savannakhet Airport will be used for the operations of the flights instead.

We would like then to inform that our previous notice is replaced by this one.
Remark: Passengers who has already bought or reserved his/her ticket for Pakse as destination or as point of departure, Lao Airlines will provide him/her with mini bus service from/to Pakse airport on the day of flight.

(Vientiane times) Champasack province, Pakse Airport will be close from July to the end of August for repairing work.
Mr.Yakua Laopangkao said that some part of the runway was feeling the pressures of several decades’ wear and tear and the country’s tropical climate.

These parts are needed to be fixed to ensure a smooth return to earth for planes, their passenger and cargo.

It’s necessary to for the airport to close temporary due to schedule plan for improvement the airport. The repair work will reconstruct the oldest section of the runway which is showing signs of potholing which cause undue wear and tear on the plane.

To facilitate the construction, the airport would be closed from July 1 to September.

If the construction is facing heavy rain for many days, it would cause delays to the contraction and it wouldn’t be able to finish the work on time. The reason that that chooses this time for renovation is it’s a low travel season so it’s the most suitable time to repair the runway.

Lao airlines will add more flight to Savannakhet airport. People who will fly to Pakse Airport will transfer to Savannakhet airport instead then continue over land to Pakse using public transport or tour services. The flight from Vientiane to Savannakhet normally leaves three times a week but now increase to nine flights per week.

For the passengers already booked on flights for Pakse Airport would be flown to Savannakhet then transferred by Lao airlines chartered bus or Van to Pakse.

It was the responsibility of Lao airlines to serve those passengers to ensure they reached their destination.

For more information please contact Lao airlines office:
Address: pangkham street P.O.Box 6441, Vientiane Lao PDR.
Tel: (+856 21) 212-016.
Fax: (+856 21) 212-058.
Once again we do apologize for the changed.

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More revolutionary hideouts revealed to public

More caves used by Lao revolutionary figures as hideouts during the struggle for independence have been unveiled to the public.
The Lao national Tourism Authority (LNTA) recently organized a promotional tour to the newly revealed caves in a bit to promote tourism and gather ideas on how to improve historical tourist sites in Viengxay district of Huaphan province.
The opening of the caves will boost Laos tourism numbers in the province and benefits students and researchers of Lao history.
Participants who followed the convoy to the new caves were impressed with the hidden grottoes that were used by officials, soldiers and police during the war as factories, shops, hospitals, schools, meeting places and entertainment areas.
The Viengxay caves in north- eastern Laos are an extensive network of caverns carved out of the limestone mountains. The district, which was stronghold of the Lao people's revolutionary Party of the pathet Laos during the 1960s and 1970s, abounds in caves.
The revolutionary leaders used the protection afforded by mountains to create offices, meeting rooms and shelters for themselves and Laos revolutionary Party members.
Authorities have so far opened only seven caves to the public. These include the living quarters of key leaders such as Mr.Kaysone Phomvihane, Prince Souphanouvong, Mr. Phoumy Vongvichit, Mr. Nouhak Phoumsavanh and Mr. Khamtay Siphndone. LNTA hopes to open all 28 caves to the public in the near future.
Minister to the prime Minister's office and LNTA President, Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, said the hideouts will appeal to visitors from around the world and explain the story of the Lao People's revorutionary Party leaders and the people who fought during the Indochina War.
The authority will exhibit displays describing the lives of officials, soldiers and police so that students and the younger generaton can learn about the nation's history, " he said.
Viengxay is increasingly being visited by foreigners and Lao people, esspecially those iterested in history.
LNTA plans to develop the caves to enable visitors to fully understand the role the site played in the nation's struggle for independence.
Authorities also plan to develop the town of Viengxay into a historical tourist attraction, recapturing revolutionary battles and showcasing the caves, in an effort to draw more foreign tourists t the area.
The developement of the area as a tourist destination is aimed not only at pasing on the ahtonishing story of the revonutionary leaders who lived in the caves, but also at reducing poverty amongst the people og Huaphan province.
It is hoped the development of the sites will significantly boost tourist numbers, which are steadily rising. Viengxay attracted just 400 visitors in 2001 but this had increased to 9,000 by 2009.
LNTA has put a lot of effort into raising funds to develop the Viengxay caves as a tourist attrction. The province is an isolated area and poverty is widespread. Outside support is necessary to develop the province. Mr. Somphong said.
How to get there: a bus from the northern bus terminal in Vientiane takes about sixteen hours to reach Vienxay district in Huaphan province.

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Laos jobs

1. English teacher wanted: Santisouk Montessori Pre-school

We are looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated and experienced teacher to work with our students, aged 2.5 to 6 years old. We prefer a qualified native English speaking teacher who has experience working with young children; knowledge of Montessori method is an asset.

You'll be joining the team of enthusiastic, creative and experienced 9 Lao teachers and 1 foreign adviser. Application deadline: August 1st. The position will be vacant from 12th of August. Interested to join, please submit cover letter and CV to Marieke before August 1st(Interview will be held the week after). You can bring your CV in person to our school(School is open till July 24th), or send by email to For more information, please read our website or give a call.

Here's the address of the school:
P.O.BOX 5340
Vientiane, Laos P.D.R
Tel: (+856 21) 312-342
Source: Vientiane times newspaper

2. Volunteers needed: Vientiane Times
Vientiane Times requires volunteers to help with editing. We will bear some basic expenses if required.
Application from organizations as well as individuals are welcome.
- Native English speaker.
- Background in journalism.
- Keen to learn about local culture.
For more information please contact Vientiane Times, Pangkham Rd, Vientiane.
Tel: (+856 21) 216-364, 217-593
Fax: (856 21) 216-365, 252-631
Closing date: July, 30, 2009
Source: Vientiane times newspaper

Laos news
Laos work visa
laos visa
Laos tourist visa
cost of living in laos
Laos tourism

Laos airlines promotion
Laos airlines announcement
Introduction to Laos
Laos jobs
Laos elephant festival
Hotels in Vangvieng
Luang Prabang first class flight
Vientiane itinerary
Luang Prabang itinerary
Tourist attraction in Laos
Vientiane Hotels
Luang Prabang hotels
Laos transportation
Management of two World heritage sites in Laos
Laos embassies abroad
Foreign embassies in Laos

Hotels in Vangvieng

Thavisouk Hotel & Resort in Vangvieng Laos
Tel: (+856 23)511-096, (+856 20)760-7111,570-3111,(+856-21)414-149
Fax : (+856 23)511-215

The Elephant Crossing Hotel
Address: Vang Vieng, Lao PDR
Ban Viengkeo, Vang Vieng District,
Vientiane Province, Lao PDR.
PO Box 5512,
Vientiane Lao PDR.
Tel/Fax: (+856 23) 511-232
Mobile: (+856 20) 560-2830 or 245-4730

Vansana Vang Vieng District
Address: Ban sysavang, Vientiane Province
Tel: (+856 23) 511-598-9, 511-600-1
Fax: (+856-23) 511-602
Email :

Villa Nam song
Address: Vang Vieng - Laos
Tel: (+856 23) 511-637
Tel/Fax: (+856 23) 511-016

Laos elephant festival
Luang Prabang first class flight
Laos travel visa

Laos Elephant festival in Paklay district

(From Laos Cultural magazine)-Travel to Laos
Elephant festival is a part of the project for heightening knowledge abut the Lao elephant Association, which was established in the Lao PDR by Elephant Asia. Its purpose is to preserve elephants in Lao PDR, protect the natural heritage and enhance cultural relations between the Lao people and elephants.

The elephant festival was organized on 17-18 February 2007 in Viengkeo village, hongsa distict, Sayaboury province and 46 elephants joined the even. The event is very significant to the Lao people and elephants, who have had close relations of working, fighting and living on this land for a long time. It's the milestone for starting the elephant festival in the following years. In 2008 this event was held in Paklay district, Sayaboury province.

Mr.Bouaphanh Makhaphon, Secretary of the district party Cell Committee, Chef of Paklay District , Sayaboury province 70 elephants from Paklay and Thongmixay districts joined and only good elephant was taken part in this event. Besides the elephant procession, there was acrobatic performances and elephant riding service for tourists, who never ride an elephant but like to try it to view paklay district and Lay riverbank. A team was set up to province tourists with the elephant riding service.

Mr. Bouaphanh Makhaphon told about other activities, saying: "beside the exhibition of goods from businessmen and people, boat racing contest, Phavad festival and rocket festival was organized on 16 February 2008."

This is a good luck of those who attend the festival because they admired nature, lifestyle of the people, the wealth of the area and a part of the culture of people living in paklay district. Moreover, visitors saw ten of beautifully-decorated elephants in the procession, command of the caravan and the use of the elephant labor. Furthermore, there was trade fair, traditional festival and other festive activities, which tourists enjoyed this occasion.

Cost of living in Laos
Laos tourist visa

Luang Prabang first class flight(Tad Sae waterfall)

Heartbeats and natural highs on jungle journey

(From Vientiane times newspaper) If you’re anything like me, standing on a mountaintop or at the top of a tall building makes your heart beat rapidly and your legs shake, and you dare not move.

A fear of heights is far from rare, but is also a serious business when one is high up in a rain forest canopy.

I had little time to ponder my fate as I prepared to fly like Tarzan through the treetops in
Luang Prabang province recently.

Contrary to what you are probably thinking, this was not a case of jungle fever getting the better of me.

The answer came in the form of zip lines, also known as aerial runway, mini cable car, or the mighty flying fox.

Fortunately for myself and others who are vertigo afflicted, cables clip into a harness allowing one to swing along through the forest like a modern day Johnny Weismuller.

There are a total of 19 platforms on this particular nature-soaked 1km journey.

The space between tree platforms starts at 35 meters, and then gets progressively longer.

Between platforms 9 and 10 is the longest gap, a distance of 200 meters.

Based in the treetops around
Tad Sae waterfall in Luang Prabang province, the cable run encompasses some breathtaking views.

World heritage-listed
Luang Prabang is well known as one of the country’s most popular tourist sites for experience culture.

Yet the province and the area around Tad Sea waterfall in particular rank highly as one of the most attractive sites for experiencing the natural wonders of Laos.

The flight of nature begins 16 km south of Luang Prabang on Northern Road No. 13.

Take a left onto an unsealed red dirt road, and about five minutes later you will read Ann village. Next, take a boat on the Nam khan river for about five minutes to reach the waterfall.

It is usually in full flow from august to March, the best time to view the cascades and take a dip.

Arriving at the waterfall, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sight and trees galore. How much water you will see, however, depends on the time of year.
When the water is tumbling over the rocks, the freshness of the scene will relax you.
While that wasn’t the case today, it was still a more than enjoyable trip.

But anyway, back to the task at hand.

After a five minute hike, I was at the start of what promised to be unforgettable journey.

At first, I didn’t dare to swing from a thin cable high above the forest floor, but under pressure from my relative I decided to steal myself for the challenge.

Finally, I decided to join them after being promised that two guide would help me to complete the run in one piece.

Before I knew it, I was strapped in and ready. The first of two guides cruised effortlessly to the next platform, while the other helped us to clip into the harness. My turn was rapidly approaching.

My two relatives took first, leaving a nervous you-know-who attempting to slow his rapidly beating heart. Yet those formerly trustworthy legs of mine would not respond. After no less than seven deep breaths, the encouragement of guides and cajoling of my relatives, I was off.

With my pride at stake, my recalcitrant legs dared to move and before I knew it. I was flying off towards the second platform.

My legs had not yet been cured of the shakes when the guide told me that I now had no choice but to continue.

So I redoubled my courage and set my sights on eventually reaching the 19th and final platform.

While I was busy shaking sweating and agonizing, my two relatives were all smile.

It was clear they were enjoying the challenge of the activity. “It is not difficult,” said one, smiling happily. “It would be even more even more exciting if it was higher”, remarked the other. I have to admit that at this point fratricide crossed my mind.

Yet as I flew from tree to tree on my way to the third and fourth platforms, I was beginning to adjust to the sensation of having nothing beneath my feet.

However, my heart rate gathered pace on the journey from platform 9 to 10, the longest point between footholds.

At this point we had to use a pre-prepared piece of bamboo to help with the braking process.

Our guide for the flight, Mr.Suchat, told us the drill.

“Platform 10 is the only point where most people need some extra braking. Our guide will wait there and call out when you need to brake.”

“ You will pick up quite a bit of speed on this section and if don’t brake you might hit a tree, but it’s not serious.” (“Not serious!?” I thought to myself). It was then the thought of sending him crashing to the forest floor flashed through my brain.

But if you brakes too soon you could also be in trouble.

“If you brake before the guide tells you, you will probably stop before reaching the platform and then the guide will have to go out and lead you in,” he added.

After passing platform 10, the fear in my heart and shaking in my legs completely disappeared and it all started to feel more enjoyable. I also enjoyed lowering myself down by rope to the station below, which is done at four points along the ropeway.

Meanwhile at some stations you have to lift your legs to avoid the tree branches below.

Most of the high stations boast beautiful views when seen from the platforms. Nearing the end of the ride you pass by waterfall.

Within 30 minutes of returning to solid earth, one is able to enjoy lunch at a restaurant overlooking the waterfall. You can also take an elephant ride on a trek through the surrounding jungle.

My suggestion to those of you who are scared of heights: try the lower platforms first and graduate to the higher ones. This will help you adapt to the challenges of the ride.

The Tad Sea flight of nature opened in May.

Guide Mr. Sichat said about 70 people had so far attempted the ride, most of whom had been foreigners.

While it is not yet well known, this adventure activity is sure to gain in popularity, even when a “nervous Nellie” like your writer recommends this first class flight through the treetops in
Luang prabang.

Source: Vientiane time newspaper :
Vientiane times

Laos Airlines, Special discount, Domestic promotion 2009

Laos Airlines has announced a new promotion effective April 01 to September 30, 2009. A special price will be offered for two and more passengers traveling together on the same domestic flight.

Vientiane - Luang Prabang (VTE LPQ) one way 510,000 kip, return 975,000 kip

Vientaine - Xiengkhouang (VTE XKH) one way 510,000 kip, return 975,000 kip

Vientiane - Hoeuisay (VTE HOE) one way 660,000 kip, return 1,260,000

Vientiane - Oudomxay (VTE ODY) one way 660,000 kip, return 1.260,000 kip

Vientiane - Luangnamtha (VTE LXG) one way 660,000 kip, return 1,260,000 kip

Vientiane - Savannakhet (VTE ZVK) one way 460,000 kip, return 880,000 kip

Savannakhet - Pakse one way 373,000, return 714,000 kip

Vientiane - Pakse (VTE PKZ) one way 773,000 kip, return 1,474,000 kip

Luang Prabang - Xiengkhouang one way 510,000 kip, return 975,000 kip

Luang Prabang - hoeisay one way 510,000 kip, return 975,000 kip

Luang Prabang - Pakse one way 998,000 kip, return 1,902,000 kip

Ticket shall be purchased 03 days before departure

For more information please contact the nearest Lao Airlines offices
Tel: 021-212051-4,021-212016
Fax: 021-212056, 212058

Lao airlines discount
Laos tourism
Suspension of flight from/to Paskse
Laos visa
Laos work visa

Laos tours - Luang Prabang Itinerary

Luang Prabang is the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. I will give more some more information about where to go in Luang prabang and also Laos tour plan for Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang tour itinerary

5 days Luang Prabang tour

Day1: Luang Prabang city tour
take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc, Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang.

Day2: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave- Laos tours
Go to boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height. En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is at a riverside restaurant. In late afternoon, continue by car to outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.

Day3: Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Waterfall - Laos tours
take a drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, which, though not very high, is spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route, stop to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit. Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before we head back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is spent by visiting various craft-shops, including silver smiths’ and also Hmong market in town, where some skilled embroidery-works of Hmong ladies can be seen.

Day4,5: 2 days Elephant Lodge - Nature outside of Luang Prabang.
trekking around Luang Prabang ,mountain biking, go to the nature of Laos outside Luang Prabang. There are big mountains with jungle inside , elephant ride into nature going to water falls like Tad Sae waterfall. It would be a great Laos tours experience.

Tourist attractions in Laos

Laos tours - Vientiane itinerary

Laos is a Buddhist country with many temples. There are many interesting things to do and places to see. You’ll be amazed of how many temples there are here. I will give you literately Laos tour plan.

Vientiane tour itinerary

3 days Vientiane tours

3 days in Vientiane would be great. If you travel to Laos then you shouldn’t miss Vientiane, Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. It’s very peaceful and someone might even say Vientiane is a sleeping city. If you are looking for a place to relax then Vientiane is the right one for you. There are also many interesting temples in Vientiane and places to see in the tour.

- Pra That Luang stupa: is the single most important monument in Laos, which was built to cover the original small stupa containing a piece of the chest bone of Buddha.

- Wat Ho Phra Kaew Museum is the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue or Pra Keo and was originally built in 1566 by king Setthathirat to house the Emerald Buddha. It was taken by the Thais to Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, but today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in around Vientiane.
- Patuxay monument: is situated in the center of Vientiane prefecture, its architecture is inspired the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and incorporates typical Lao motifs. It’s built quite recently in commemoration of those who died during the wars in the past and it is today as the land-mark of Vientiane, Wat Si Saket is the oldest temple to have been survived from the Siamese war of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues. Spending your first day explore this Vientiane city tour.

the second day you might consider Buddha Park also known as Xieng Khuan (as well as other variations of the spelling) is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane, Laos in a meadow by the Mekong River. It may be referred to as Wat Xieng Khuan although the park is not a temple (Wat). The name Xieng Khuan means Spirit City. The park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues and do some shopping in the morning market(Talat sao mall).

The third day go to Nam ngam dam to explore the nature, take the boat trip, visit local village. This will take full day, it takes 2 hours to travel from Vientiane city to Nam ngum dam. It’s a very interesting Laos tour to see and relax.

Laos tourism
Tourist attractions in Laos
Laos work visa
Tourist spots in Laos
Lao culture

Laos tourist visa

Laos tourist visa

You can get your Laos tourist visa on arrival when you enter Laos. You can obtain Laos visa on arrival in almost border crossings in Laos.

Requirement for laos visa on arrival

1. Application for Laos visa
2. 2 recent passport size photographs
3. valid passport
4. Fee between USD 20-40 depending on your nationality

This laos visa is issued for one entry only
You will get 30 days Laos visa and can be extent by the Laos immigration office.

Here’s the list where you can get your Laos visa on arrival:

Laos tourist visa on arrival:
International airports
1. Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital.
2. Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province.
3. Pakse International Airport in Champasack Province.

Border check points for laos visa
1. Mohan(China) – Boten (Luang Namtha Province)
2. Mohan(Yunnan, China) – Botene(Luang Namtha Province)
3. Xiangkok riverport on Mekong River in Luang Namtha Province , no visa on arrival

4. Xiangkong (Thailand)- Houaixay (Bokeo Province)
5. Nongkhai (Thailand) - Friendship Bridge (Vientiane Capital, Laos)
6. Thailand - Xayabouly Province (Nam Heuang Friendship Bridge)
7. Nakhon Phanom (Thailand)- Thakhaek (Khammouane Province)
8. Moukdahan(Thailand)- Friendship Bridge II (Savannakhet Province)
9. Chong Mek (Thailand)- Vang Tao (Champasak Province)
10. Chiangkhong (Chiang Rai, Thailand) – Houixay (Bokeo Province, Laos)
11. Nakaxeng(Loei, Thailand) – Kaenthao(Sayabouly Province, Laos)
12. Bungkan (Thailand)- Pakxan(Bolikhamxay Province, Laos) , no visa on arrival.
10. Nakorn Phanom(Nakorn Phanom, Thailand) – Thakhaek(Khammouane Province, Laos)
13. Chongmek (Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand)- Vangtao( Champasack Province, Laos)

14. Nam Kanh (Vietnam) - Nong Haet (Xieng Khouang Province)
15. Cau Treo (Vietnam) - Nam Phao (Bolikhamxay)
16. Lao Bao(Vietnam) - Dene Savanh (Savannakhet Province)
17. Taichang (Laichau, Vietnam)- Sobhoun( Phongsaly Province, Laos), no visa on arrival
18. Nameo(Thanh Hoa, Vietnam) – Banleui(Huaphanh Province, Laos)
19. Namkan (NgeAn, Vietnam)- Namkan (Xieng Khouang Province, Laos)
20. Napao (Quangbinh, Vietnam) – Chalo (Khammouane Province, Laos) , no visa on arrival
21. Laobao(Quang tri, Vietnam) – Dansavanh (Savannakhet Province, Laos)
22. Dong Calor(Cambodia) - Veun Kham (Champasak Province, Laos), no visa on arrival

If you need more information about laos visa please contact me at --> laos tourist visa on arrival

Laos work visa
Vientiane itinerary
Luang Prabang itinerary
Introduce to Laos

Travel to Laos - Vientiane Capital

If you travel to Laos then you shouldn't miss Vientiane. Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. There are good places for sign seeing and city tour such as that Luang Stupa, Pataxay Monument, Wat Sisaket and Wat Pha Keo. There are many historical places in Vientiane like temples. If you travel a bit out of city, Buddha park is the great temple. There are many buddha images. It's a very beautiful.

Here are the pictures of places in the center of Vientiane

Cultural hall in Vientiane, Laos

Small eating house in Vientiane

Lao omelet with chili sauce

Road in the center of Vientiane capital

Cost of living in Laos

The following are estimates of how much things cost in Laos. The cost of living in Laos depends on where you live. The following prices are in Lao kip and also USD and reflect the cost of living in Vientiane only. Things will be cheaper in a small town and villages throughout the country.

Renting a house or an apartment
House rental rates vary so much in Laos. It depends on what you want. It costs between USD100 to 2000 and up per month. The $100 would be a single room without any furniture. The more expensive rate is usually a big house with 3 or 4 bedrooms or more and a garden. The fact you can find a room or house lower than $100, it all depends on location and the quality of the house or room. If you want to seek out where you should find a place to rent here’s a list of the agencies you can contact:

2.Tou Tou's House for Rent
Tel: 020 5522142, 5100408, 7718417. Email:
3. LFT Consulting Co; Ltd. Real Estate Services
Tel: 021-244435, Fax 021-244436, mobile 020-5718893.,"
4. Ourdalee's house renting service
Tel 0205 512 502, 0205 511791, 0205 659 146. Email:"
Vientiane Property Service: 020 5599900, 5619160,
* Apartments for rent: 020 5023782,
* Houses and home advisor: 020 5519152
* Peter's Rent-a-House: 0205-526 525 or

The following are the estimated prices only and the prices can be much more or less depending on where you eat. Eating house: they usually offer many kinds of dishes, such as pho (beef noodle) and should cost between USD 1.5 to 2. The Prices are the same for fried rice, rice with chicken or pork, and there are still many others with this same price tag. There is delicious French bread here and it should cost about USD 2 for a French bread sandwich with tuna fish. Or there are meat, cheese and other you can choose. The prices are about the same or a bit more or less depending on what you what sandwich you want. If you buy only bread then the cost should be about 3000 kip (USD 0.5) per big loaf in street markets but it’s more expensive if you buy in the supermarket or tourist areas.

There are many restaurants in Laos, especially in tourist areas. There are Italian restaurants, French restaurants, Indian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. You can expect to pay about 20000 to 70000 kip per portion in nice restaurants. There are buffet restaurants, too, and the price is between 35000 kip to 150000 kip, depending where you want to go. There is no pizza hut or KFC here but Thai Pizza Company is going to open the branch here.

Drinking water
3000 kip for a small bottle and 5000 kip for a big bottle

Soft drink
5000 – 8000 kip (less than $1) for a can, 8000- 10,000 kip($1 and a bit more ) for a small bottle, 12,000 – 15,000 kip($1.5- $2) for a medium one and 18,000- 20,000 kip ($2 – $2.5)for a bit one

Lao Beer
6000 kip(a bit less than $ 1) per can and 8000 kip(about $1) for a big bottle, up to 10,000 to 15,000 kip for a big bottle if you order in a restaurant or a bar

Local brands around 5000 kip, Marlboro about 10,000 to 12,000 kip

Cost of Utilities in Laos:
It’s about $ 10 – 15 per month for electricity and $ 5-10 for water, this can be greatly or less depending on how much you use. If you use air condition often you expect to pay $ 50 and up per month. It’s pretty cheap compare to other countries.

T-shirt and shirt cost about $5-$10, jeans about $10 - $15, sandals are $8 to $10

Local bus: these are very cheap, about 2000 – 5000 kip anywhere in the city but bus here is not convenient, usually only local use this kind of buses, I seldom see foreigners in these buses.

Taxi: majority in the airport, they charge $ 6 dollars from airport to anywhere in the city. There are not many taxis in the city. They usually use Tuk-tuk .

Tuk-tuk: it’s mainly use, the cost vary from the distance you go, they can charge you around $2- $5 depending on your destination but be careful many people get scam from those tuk-tuk driver they charge you over price so better discuss the price before you go with them. You can bargain if you think that their charge is so ridiculous.

Laos tourism
Laos work visa
Hotels in Vangvieng
Laos news
Laos beef noodle soup
Laos Airlines
Laos visa
Laos tourist visa
Luang Prabang first class flight
Laos tours Luang Prabang itinerary
H1N1 cases in Laos
Introduction to Laos

Management of two world heritage sites in Laos

(From Lao cultural magazine by Bounthavy Champathong) - Travel to Laos. After Luang Prabang town was inscribed to be a world heritage site on 2 December 1995 and Watphou was also declared as a world heritage site on 9 November 2001, the Lao government activity implements the international Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and National Heritage and this action is relevant to the guideline on this convention implementation.

For Luang Prabag town, the Government signed the cooperation agreement with Ville de Shinon, which is the world heritage town in France to together study and formulate the master plan for conserving and expanding the value of world heritage sites. With the fund granted by French Development Agency the Government established the world heritage office and hurried to register preserved houses and imposed the rule on maintenance and restoration of some old houses. It trained technical officers and created a model restoring old buildings and sites under the preservation purpose. This plan is called:"Master Plan for Preserving and Expanding the World Heritage Value." In 2002 the Government approved to UNESCO the Master plan for Preserving and Expanding the World Heritage Value and set up the measure on implementing this plan.

For Wat Phou Champasak, the Government implemented the master plan for managing Wat Phou Champasak and presented it to UNESCO. This plan clearly determines the territory and purpose of conservation and the rule is imposed to fulfill this purpose. There is also the measure on implementation. The fund was gained from the government of Japan(JICA) to build the embankment system to prevent water flowing from the mountain. The museum at the world heritage site was built and technical officers were trained and assistance from the French government was gained to comprehensively educate.

Today, The Government set up the national heritage committee. Its President is Mr.Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Minister and Standing Member of the Government. In addition to that, the office of the two world heritage sites is set up to implement the protection task and coordinate with other organizations.

The future plan is to improve the work preserving the world heritage town in Luang Prabang. Previously, the conference of the international heritage committee was held in Luang Prabang and adopted resolutions for determining the future work as follows:

To coordinate with other sectors to carry out the conservation, which is harmonious with development; Don't let development to destroy the world heritage management but it must facilitate development.

Strictly fulfill the promises of the Lao PDR as a party to the convention to UNESCO. To be a model and preserve uniqueness of Laos to attract assistance from the world community.

To decide to get rid of weakness in the work implementation at the heritage preservation site. To implement the procedure of the preservation plan and expat the heritage value to more educate and train, upgrade knowledge and understanding of masses and enable people to gain Honoria and benefits from the national heritage.

Moreover, it is to prepare documents as data about the two world heritage sites in Laos; including advocacy, which is assigned to provincial authorities. In order to implement work, the local committee shall be avialable to formulate the detailed management plan and regularly coordinate with the national committee through the secretariat. The ministry of Information and Cultural is assigned to supervise, set up and implement the national heritage fund.