Sayabouly Elephant Fest: What to do with Chinese Influx?


Sayabouly authorities are wondering how to accommodate the 500 or so Chinese visitors who will attend the elephant festival in the provincial capital this week and next.

The popular annual event always fills guesthouses as people from around Laos flock to Sayabouly for the chance to see elephants close up and personal.

Deputy Governor of Sayabouly province, Bounphak Inthapanya, told Vientiane Times yesterday they are expecting at least 100,000 people from Laos and other countries to attend the festival.

“Authorities are discussing how best to accommodate the 500 Chinese visitors. They may have to stay in Phieng district, which is about 40km away, or in Luang Prabang,” she said.

The Chinese contingent will travel in a convoy of vehicles arranged by a local tour operator.

Head of the Sayabouly provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Chanthy Symanychan, said 70 elephants will take part in this year’s festival, which runs from February 22-28.

The event will include cultural performances by eight ethnic groups, while the elephants will also put on shows including running and picture painting, and will play games of football and bowling.

Another big attraction is a street fair selling handicrafts and goods made in Laos and neighbouring countries.

Sayabouly website 

Source: Vientiane Times, Siladda Souliyong


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