Houaphanh marks Visit Laos Year, city pillar’s 10th anniversary

Thousands of visitors crammed the provincial capital on Friday, 18 May, to enjoy the colourful activities organised to officially launch Visit Laos Year in Houaphanh Province. The occasion coincided with the 10th anniversary of Xameua district’s city pillar, which takes centre stage in the town, according to the Vientiane Times. Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and provincial authorities joined the crowd of spectators and participants who turned out for the celebrations.

Activities included traditional sports and food contests, a walk through the town, cultural shows, and a street fair.

The Governor of Houaphanh, Mr Vanxay Phengxoumma, reminded those present of the province’s many beautiful and fascinating tourist attractions which are largely centred on the stunning landscape and Huaphan’s historical associations. 

More and more people from both Laos and other countries are visiting Houaphanhand Mr Vanxay said the province extended a warm welcome to everyone and hoped visitors would be pleased and impressed with their experiences.

The double celebration of the city pillar and Visit Laos Year was aimed at further promoting tourism, with activities taking place from May 16-19.

Leaders, senior officials and the media visited Pha Thee hill in Xamneua district, a strategic site that was wrested from enemy control in 1968 during the Indochina war, and has recently become a tourist attraction. On the morning of the final day, leaders and local residents took part in a grand almsgiving ceremony at the city pillar.

Huaphan’s other attractions include the Sa Lery waterfall, the Hintang archaeological site, Nam Neun Night Safari, Nam Et-Phouleuy National Protected Area, Tadloun waterfall, Hiem hot springs, Tham Hang cave, Nam Meuang hot springs, Tad Kone waterfall, and Phavang waterfall. Visitors can also sample the local food, including jeo pa bam (fish with chilli sauce), chicken soup, and phan xeen (pork with chilli and herbs wrapped in pomelo leaves). 

Other colourful events and festivals taking place in Houaphanh this year include the Lao New Year festivities, Tai Deng ethnic festival, Huaphan-Son La tourism week, Crystal City Pillar festival, Boun Pa Khang Na (fish jumping in rice fields), and longboat races on the river.

According to the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, about 49,000 people visited Huaphan last year, generating about 34 billion kip in revenue for the local economy. Houaphanhhas 152 officially designated tourist sites, of which 51 are nature-based, 35 are of cultural interest, and 66 are historical, with 54 of these sites open to the public.
According to 2017 statistics from the Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the province has 10 hotels, 58 resorts and guesthouses, 122 restaurants, and three entertainment venues.

Houaphanhis located about 600 km north of Vientiane and can be reached by road or air routes. More information about the province’s special attractions can be obtained online at www.tourismlaos.org or from the Huaphan provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department on 064 312 567.

Source: Vientiane Times, 21 May 2018

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