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Laos

Laos: Holidays

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
6th January Pathet Lao Day - the day is celebrated with parades in the capital
January 20 Army Day
January Boun Pha Vet - memory of the incarnation of King Vessanthara to Buddha
January February Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebrations. Although it is only celebrated by the minorities, many shops in the country are still closed.
February Magha Puja Buddhist holiday
8th of March Women's Day is celebrated with parades.
March 22 People's Day
March Boun Khoun Khao harvest festival
April Boun Pimai. Traditional Lao New Year Festival. Like the Songkran festival in Thailand, it is celebrated over three days. You splash each other with water.
1st of May Labor Day. The day is celebrated with parades in the capital.
May Boun Bang Fai Babus missiles are shot into the sky. You think you are generating rain.
June 1 Day of the child
June July Khao Pansa - beginning of Buddhist Lent. On that day the young men are consecrated as monks.
13 August Lao Issara Day, Laos Liberation Day
August Ho Khao Padap Din "All Saints' Day" - The dead and ancestors are remembered.
September Bouk ok Pansa - The end of Buddhist Lent
October 12 Day of Liberation from the French
2. December Independence day
December Hmong New Year celebration

Source: Countryaah - Laos Holidays

Laos Holidays

Laos: climate

The climate of Laos is a tropical monsoon climate with a rainy season in May - November and a dry season in December - April.

Travel times

For people who want to go to the mountains in the north

The hot season, i.e. the months of March and May, can also be used for trips to the mountains. However, you should avoid the south, as temperatures can exceed 40 degrees.

For people who want to navigate the rivers

Those who want to travel the country by water should visit the country after the rainy season, in November.

For people who prefer a temperate climate

People who prefer a moderate climate and lower temperatures should better use the dry season, from November to February, for a stay in Laos. There is then less precipitation and the temperatures are a little cooler.

Attractions

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Luang Prabang with the royal palace and Buddhist monasteries (1995)

Luang Prabang is the capital of the province of the same name in the north. It is an old royal city. The historic center of the city is located on a rock that is about 300 m high.

Unfortunately, many of the old wooden structures fell into disrepair over time due to the damp climate. Luang Prabang with the Royal Palace and the Buddhist monasteries was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995

Wat Phou Temple District and Champasak Cultural Landscape (2001)

Champasak is a province in the southwest, borders Thailand and Cambodia and lies on the Mekong. The temple district of Wat Phou and the cultural landscape of Champasak still provide information about the culture of the Khmer (10th to 14th centuries). The temple is laid out in terraces and skilfully adapted to the landscape. The "Four Thousand Islands" and the Mekong waterfalls are also located in Champasak Province. The temple district of Wat Phou and the Champasak Cultural Landscape were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2001. More information about the complex can be found below under temple complexes, Wat Phou.

Megalithic jugs in Xieng Khouang (2019)

More than 2,100 megalithic jugs have given the “plain of stone jugs” in central Laos its name. The sandstone vessels, some weighing more than 1,000 kg, were probably used for burial purposes during the Iron Age. The serial site includes large carved stone jugs, tombstones, quarries and grave goods. All finds are between 1,500 and 2,500 years old and are considered the most important evidence of a civilization that disappeared around the year 500.

The Megalithic Jars in Xieng Khouang were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019

Vientiane

Vientiane is the capital of the country and has about 350,000 residents. The city lies on the Mekong, which forms the border with Thailand here.

Hongsa

The mystical city in Saiyabuli Province is well worth a visit. The elephant center, which is financed by Germany, is located in the vicinity.

www.help-elephants-laos.org

Muang Xing

The small town of Muang Xing is located in a valley near the border with China and is surrounded by many rice fields. The city is mainly inhabited by the Thai Lu - a Buddhist group of people who originally came from China and immigrated to Laos in the 17th century. However, if you are looking for the typical architecture of Thai Lu, you will be disappointed. Only the museum "Muang Xing Exhibitions" at the end of the city towards the Chinese border has been preserved in its old style. If you look closely, you will find that the houses of the Thai Lu have certain characteristics, so the stairs always have an odd number of steps.

The city's market halls are well worth a visit - they offer a wide range of foods and goods for everyday needs. On a hill outside the city is the stupa That Muang Xing.

Luang Prabang

The city was a royal city until 1545.

Then the royal seat was moved to Vientiane. Luang Prabang is located in an area very popular with tourists. It has recently been linked to the south of the country by a new road. This makes the journey considerably easier, as the Mekong is not navigable here all year round.

The city, which has one of the most intact urban layouts in Southeast Asia, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1995. It represents a successful mixture of traditional architecture and the urban planning of the colonial rulers in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Special buildings and structures

Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge

The 1,170 m long Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong connects Vientiane in Laos with the province of Nong Khai in Thailand. The bridge was opened in 1994. The two capitals Bangkok and Vientiane were thus directly connected by land. It is part of the Asian Highway AH12. The bridge has two lanes for motor vehicles and two footpaths, although cyclists and pedestrians are not allowed to pass the bridge - they have to use a regular shuttle bus. Since there is right-hand traffic in Laos, but left-hand traffic in Thailand, there is a traffic light regulated and signposted transition point from right-hand traffic to left-hand traffic in Thailand on the Laos side.

Patou Xai

Patou Xai (Monument des Morts) is a triumphal arch in the Lao capital Vientiane.

That Dam

That Dam is a huge stupa - a Buddhist shrine - in Vientiane, the capital of the country. According to the belief of many Laotians, the building is home to a seven-headed deity who tried to protect the Laotians from an invasion by the Siamese in 1827.

Museums

Lao National Museum

This museum in Vientiane houses an extensive collection of the country's history. In addition to a small souvenir shop, the museum has a small gallery with pictures by local artists.

Thanon Samsenthai

District: That Luang

Vientiane

Tel: +856 - 21 21 2460

Fax: +856 21 21 2408

www.culturalprofiles.net/laos/Units/159.html

Temple complexes

The temple complex, a Khmer hero, in the southern Laotian province of Champasak, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2001. Compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the complex is relatively small, but no less impressive. It lies in the Mekong plain at the foot of the sacred Lingapavarta mountain ("phallus on the mountains"). It is believed that the construction of the complex began under the Chenla Kingdom between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. Towards the end of the 13th century AD the complex was completed.

The complex is divided into three levels:

Lower level:

The former ponds, Baray, are rectangular in shape. A promenade lined with statues runs between the two ponds.

Middle level:

The two former Hindu temples, which stand in the extension of the ponds, became Buddhist temples in the course of history.

Upper level:

As an extension of the promenade, at the end of the axis, there is the main temple, in the center of which there is a huge Shiva phallus, which was once washed around by water. Two palatial laterite buildings were probably built before the other buildings, they are called the "men's palace" and the "women's palace".

The ruins were rediscovered in 1866 by the French Francis Garnier (1839-1871).

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang is an impressive Buddhist stupa in Vientiane from the 16th century. The builder of the complex was King Sai Setthathirat I.

A stupa was originally understood as a stupa a burial mound of kings in India, later it became monuments and temples in honor of Buddha.

However, they are not temples for worshiping a god as in other religions, but primarily serve for contemplation and inner contemplation.

Pha That Luang was built on the ruins of an ancient 13th century Khmer temple, which in turn was built on the ruins of a 3rd century Indian temple.

The stupa was destroyed by the Siamese invaders from Thailand in the 19th century, but was later rebuilt almost true to the original.

Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong was built between 1559 and 1560 under King Setthathirath (1534-1572). In 1887 it was the only temple in Luang Prabang to be spared from the looting and destruction of the Ho. The temple complex consists of a further 20 shrines, temples, pavilions and residences. It lies at the tip of the city's peninsula, which is formed by the Mekong and Nam Khan. Until 1975 the temple was under the patronage of the royal family and this is where the Lao rulers were crowned.

Striking and typical of the architectural style of Northern Laos are the roofs reaching far down. Between 1960 and 1962 the complex was extensively restored.

Some of the small temples were built in 1957 on the occasion of the 2500th birthday of Buddha.

In the burial chapel from the 1960s there is a hearse belonging to the royal family along with a number of urns.

In the drum tower from 1961 there is a 1 m large drum, which was made from one piece.

Wat Si Saket

The Buddhist temple complex Wat Si Saket (Wat Satasahatsaham) is located in Vientiane. The builder of the temple was King Anouvong, who started construction in 1818. It should be mentioned that Anouvong was installed by the Siamese rulers from Thailand as king in the region of today's Laos. When he dared an uprising in 1827, he was defeated and as a result Vientiane was largely destroyed. Wat Si Saket, however, was spared the destruction. The main building of the stupa has a five-part roof and a surrounding terrace. The entire complex is surrounded by a wall in which there are numerous images of Buddha. Nowadays there is a museum here.

Wat Ho Phra (Pha) Keo

This temple was built in 1565 as the "chapel" of the royal family and the site of the statue of the "Emerald Buddha" made of jade. This figure comes from northern Thailand, from where it was stolen in 1551 and then brought here. As long as the statue of the Buddha was here, the name of the sanctuary was as shown in the title. In 1778, however, the Thais got the statue back, which has since been in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. is located. Since the statue was in Thailand, the complex has been called "Ho Phra Keo" ("Altar of the Emerald Buddha"), as there is only one altar left here. Nowadays the facility is no longer used as a religious sanctuary but as a museum. The temple is adorned with carved figures and features a 16th century lacquered door with Hindu carvings, numerous Kher stone statues and a number of Buddha statues

War legacies

Xieng Khunag

The area is located in the Hua Phan province and is known for the war garbage that is scattered around. To this day, the residents of the region use and recycle it in a creative way.

Unfortunately there are also dangerous duds here.

Natural beauties

Vang Vieng

Caves The Vang Vieng Caves in the vicinity of Vientiane:

The caves are considered to be the most impressive in Laos. They are about 40 km southeast of Ban Na Hin. They are so big that they have to be viewed by motorboat.

Veing Xai

Caves The Veing Xai Caves are located in Hua Phan Province.

The city of Vieng Xai is surrounded by over 100 caves.

The Tham Than Souphanowong cave, which served the PL chief as a shelter, and the Tham Xieng Muang cave, which is 200 m deep and was used as a hospital, should be mentioned.

Nam Ha National Park

The Nam Ha National Park is located in the Luang Nam Tha Province in the north of the country:

the park is approximately 2,224 km². The tourism project was funded by Unesco. You can go on trekking and rafting tours with overnight stays in the surrounding villages.

Bolaven Plain in the south of the country:

The plain is blessed with a relatively cool climate and many waterfalls. It is also quite fertile.

Coffee, bananas and rubber trees have been planted since the beginning of the 20th century. The plain was vehemently bombed in the 2nd Indochina War (duds!).

Si Phan Don

Si Phan Don is located in the south of the country on the border with Cambodia. About 4,000 islands are scattered over a length of approx. 50 km in the Mekong. With a little luck you can watch the endangered freshwater dolphin here.

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