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Strawberry farm a sweet stopover when visiting Luang Prabang

Welcoming Visit Laos Year 2018, Vientiane Times publishes a series of feature articles and

photographs inviting you to experience the authentic nature, culture, history and hospitality of

South-East Asia's Simply Beautiful Laos.

The town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos is well known as one of the world's top travel destinations with its well-preserved culture, historic sites and numerous temples, but if you are looking for a nice getaway outside of Luang Prabang for the weekend, Phoukhoun Strawberry Farm would be a great choice.

The farm is situated on a hill in Samyak Phoukhoun village, Phoukhoun district, Luang Prabang province, about 2-3 hours drive from Luang Prabang close to the junction that links the roads to Xieng Khuang and Vientiane.

Mr Anouphone said he and his father set up the strawberry farm almost two years ago. They offer visitors an overnight stay at the farm as well as camping so that people can experience the cool weather up on the hill.

The strawberry farm and camping area at Phoukhoun.

It's also a great place to observe the stars in the clear night sky and to watch the sea of fog in the morning as well as drink in the breathtaking views of the Phouphachao landscape and, of course, pick juicy ripe strawberries.

“At our farm we don't offer food; we encourage people to bring their own or buy it at the market here so they support the local people and then cook here in true camping style,” Anouphone said.

Tents are available in two sizes costing 50,000 and 100,000 kip depending on size. If y ou bring your own tent you need pay only 30,000 kip for cleaning and toilet services. You can stay there for free if you're prepared to help out with some work!

Anouphone graduated in chemistry, banking and engineering. He tried office work for a year but yearned to spend time outdoors. The idea of setting up a strawberry farm at Phoukhoun came to him when he visited the area on a motorbike trip a few years ago and discovered this amazing location. Then he came up with the idea of arranging farm-stays and sharing this awesome place with other people.

Not knowing how to grow straw berries, he did some research, watched online video tutorials and went to Chiang Mai in Thailand to learn about the actual planting process on a strawberry farm there.

Then he imported some strawberry seedlings and began planted them out on his two-hectare plot of land. About two months after planting the fruit can be harvested over a period of up to six months, depending on the weather conditions.

Anouphone sells most of his strawberries via home deliveries in Vientiane. Only 30 percent of the crop is sold at the farm, which visitors pick and buy themselves.

Last year more than 5,000 people stayed at the farm, most of whom were locals, while more than 7,000 people dropped in for a short visit.

In the near future Anouphone plans to expand the camping area and provide more facilities to make the experience more convenient and comfortable. He will also offer more activities that allow visitors to interact and experience the local life in this small community.

He may also expand the farm so that he can provide a wider range of products instead of just fresh fruit. These might include strawberry jam, juice and dried strawberries.

Phoukhoun Strawberry Farm is truly a wonderful place for an overnight stop to recharge during a road trip northwards from Vangvieng and offers a complete contrast to the bustling streets of Luang Prabang. Plan to go there soon and discover a different side of Laos!

By Phoonsab Thevongsa
(Latest Update September 1, 2017)


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