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Borikhamxay​ authorities to declare Phabath Phonsan temple a national heritage site

Borikhamxay​ provincial​ authorities​ plan to officially declare the Phabath Phonsan temple in Thaphabath district as a national heritage site in January, together with the annual Boun Phabath Phonsan festival.
This festival is the most important event in Borikhamxay’s calendar, when local residents pay homage to the old stupa and visit the Buddha’s footprint at the temple.

The Boun Phabath Phonsan temple festival in Thaphabath district, Borikhamxay​ province. (File​ Photo​ Pasaxon​ Daily​ newspaper)

The festival is also one of the events named in the Visit Laos Year 2024 programme.
Head of the Borikhamxay​ provincial​ Information, Culture​ and​ Tourism​ Department, Mr Sonthong Vibounkuang, said the festival will take place from January 22-25.
The event includes a street fair, and this year will see the declaration of Phabath Phonsan Temple as a national heritage site, which will be celebrated with a singing contest, cultural shows, and a fashion show staged by ethnic groups in the area.
Phabath Phonsan Temple was built in the Buddhist calendar year 902. It sits on a 1.2-hectare site next to Road No. 13 South near Na village.  In 1993, locals discovered a 2.4 x 1.2 metre footprint believed to have been made by Buddha and built Phabath Temple around it.
Devotees make merit by placing gold leaves on the phabath (Buddha footprint) and every year a festival is held in mid-January for people to pay respect to the footprint.
The temple attracts visitors from within Laos and from other countries, who come to pray and venerate the adjoining Phonsan stupa and the Buddha footprint.
The stupa sits in sprawling green grounds on the Mekong riverside, and is believed to be where Buddha stopped to eat during his travels.
The stupa is also known for the annual appearance of the Naga fireballs during the full moon in October, when pink coloured orbs mysteriously rise from the river.
Borikhamxay province is located to the east of Vientiane in central Laos and offers several eco-tourism activities through its two national protected areas and extensive system of wetlands.
In addition to Phabath Phonsan temple, visitors should also take time to visit some of the province’s many waterfalls, such as Tad Xay, Tad Leak, Tad Mangkon, Tad Nampa, Tad Huay Kou, Tad Thon, Tad Khoun, Tad Tek and Tad Kai.
The province has 102 officially designated natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Last year more than 164,000 people from around Laos and other countries visited Borikhamxay as tourists, according to provincial officials.

By Times​ Reporters​
 (Latest Update December 20, 2023)

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