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Luang Prabang gears up for gala boat races

The city of Luang Prabang will hold its annual boat racing festival this month, with huge crowds expected to cheer on the crews at the much-anticipated event.
Luang Prabang city governor, Mr Chansouk Phandolak, told Vientiane Times yesterday the festival will take place over four days.
The first race will be held on August 23 on the Nam Khan river in Hath-Hian village, in which nine longboats will take part.
The second race will take place on August 27 on the Nam Dong river in Sangkhalok village, with at least 10 boats expected to compete.
The third day of the festival on August 28 will not feature any boat races but will be centred on a market fair in the town centre, where local farmers will sell their produce.
The final day of the festival on August 29 will see the biggest boat race take place on the Nam Khan river in Xiengthong village, when more than 30 traditional and modified longboats will compete.
Mr Chansouk said each boat will have 40-50 oarsmen including crews from Xayaboury province and Vientiane.
This colourful festival is an event not to be missed. But this picturesque province offers plenty of other reasons to explore the area and a raft of entertaining activities and attractions awaits the visitor.
Luang Prabang province is located in the north of Laos and is about 339km from Vientiane. The journey by road takes at least six hours, and an international airport serves both domestic and international flights.
Make sure that Kuang Si and Tad Sae waterfalls are on your itinerary along with several others that provide the perfect opportunity for a swim or a picnic.
Another place of interest is Tham Ting cave, located on the Mekong River. This is a place of pilgrimage and contains thousands of Buddha images of varying sizes.
And don’t forget to taste the acclaimed local food, including mou neam (rice mixed with lime, chilli and pork skin), jaew bong (a piquant sauce made with chillies and buffalo skin) as well as khaiphand (dried riverweed lightly fried with sesame seeds and garlic) and the sweet khao nom mor thord (sticky rice mixed with coconut and banana).
There are also souvenirs aplenty such as handmade namkieng baskets, which are used by locals to store food to be offered to monks, or make attractive home décor items.
More than 755,000 tourists visited Luang Prabang province last year. This year, over 365,000 people visited the province from January to June, a drop of 1.25 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to the provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.


By Siladda Souliyong
(Latest Update August 9, 2019)

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