Oudmxay to spotlight temple, resort, ethnic festival for Visit Laos Year

OUDOMXAY, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Singkham Buddha temple, Nam Kat Yorlapa Resort and an ethnic festival will be the highlights of Oudomxay province’s programme for Visit Laos Year 2018.

Director of the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Phonsavanh Phanthavichit, told Vientiane Times yesterday, these places and events would get top billing during the year.

Oudomxay will officially launch Visit Laos Year 2018 during a Khmu festival to be held from January 12-15 at the provincial sports stadium in Xay district. The event aims to promote the region’s culture, lifestyle, tourism products and landmarks, and attract greater numbers of domestic and foreign guests.

During the festival, visitors can observe the lifestyle of the Khmu ethnic group, their traditions and culture.

Visitors can wander round showpiece Khmu houses and huts in rice fields, which will be built especially for the event. There will also be a beauty contest in which Khmu women will take part, as well as a Khmu singing contest.

The Khmu are one of the 49 ethnic groups in Laos and have many colourful customs.

Mr Phonsavanh said “To welcome Visit Laos Year 2018, we are developing infrastructure and facilities so that we can better serve tourists in the districts of Xay, La, Houn and Pakbaeng.”

“We are improving many tourist sites and repairing the 48-km road to Chom Ong cave in Xay district. We are also renovating the Singkham Buddha temple in La district and recommend that visitors go to Tad Talae and Tad Nam Haeng waterfalls in Houn district,” he added.

“One of the highlights of our province is the Nam Kat Yorlapa Resort in Xay district because it is set in verdant surrounds amid lush vegetation,” Mr Phonsavanh said.

“We are also developing infrastructure and facilities in Pakbaeng district to cater to visitors. We have plenty of hotels and guesthouses to accommodate everyone.”

“This year, we hope to draw 300,000-400,000 visitors after seeing a drop in visitor numbers two years ago,” he said. 

In 2016, about 215,000 foreigners visited Oudomxay province, with most touring the above attractions and spending time in the provincial capital, Xay district, according to provincial authorities.

Oudomxay province is mainly rural and is home to several ethnic groups.

There is also the Chom Ong cave, which is more than 16 kilometres long. Another place worth visiting is Singkham Buddha temple, where devotees can offer up a prayer.

Oudomxay is one of the most beautiful places in Laos and is located in the north. It has a population of 300,447, mainly consisting of Khmu, Hmong and lowland Lao, although there are 12 ethnic groups in total, each with their own language and lifestyle, according to the Tourism Marketing Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.