Blogs from Xiangkhoang, East, Laos, Asia


Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang January 23rd 2019

We start our day at the Chinese restaurant with a glass of tea and a fried egg breakfast. The tea looks like it has twigs floating in it. Tastes fine though. The eggs are great, but why do they serve them with a mixed salad? We eat the eggs and leave the salad. This morning we are heading to old Xieng Khoun, the region’s old capital city, but not before a trip to the SOS Children’s village. We have often been handed envelopes for donating unused foreign currency on return to the UK airline flights but never quite known anything about the charity. It turns out to be an orphanage with a modern, less institution-like approach. The kids (who are not all orphans), live in ‘families’ with a house mother. This village is aimed towards bomb ... read more
Visit to SOS Village
SOS Village
Wat Si Phoum

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang August 20th 2017

Before coming to Laos over one month ago, I was naively unaware of the many historical treasures that this country holds. In Vientiane, the current capital of Laos, one will find the Patuxai, an "Arc de Triomphe"-like structure built between 1957 and 1968 to commemorate the independence of Laos from France in 1949. Similarly, in Luang Prabang, one will find numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries in a city that was once the royal capital of the Kingdom of Laos until the Pathet Lao (a communist political movement and organization) took it over in 1975. But this past weekend, I traveled to Xieng Khouang, a province of Laos that is far less frequented than either Vientiane or Luang Prabang. Yet, despite its relative lack of attention from tourists, Xieng Khouang is home to a dizzying array of ... read more
Silk weaving...
Wat Pia Vat
Poster from MAG office

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang May 12th 2012

Xiangkhoang, on the north east of Laos, border to Vietnam. The capital is Phonsavan literally means "Hills of Paradise". Its original name was Muang Phouan. A population of 37,000. Its lush green forest, with pine trees everywhere, rugged kartz formation, valley with plenty of rivers, caves and waterfalls. People are friendly, mostly agricultural and livestock. Peaceful and breathtaking. People have other names for this place. I called this place, The Swiss of The East. About two kilometres from the town, there is a plateau which was named Unesco World Heritage. It is the Plain of Jars. It is about 2500 years old, a megalithic archaelogical landscape, scattered at the low foothills and uphill valley. The archaelogists has discovered prehistorical burial artifacts and human remains. There are about 400 jars discovered this moment. In the morning, we ... read more
Swiss of The East 2
Swiss of The East 3
On the way to Phonsavan

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang February 1st 2012

Today was another early start. Again our guide was also our driver. We headed off after a wander around the morning markets. First planned stop was a large bomb crater somewhere out in the countryside. Unfortunately they were doing road works and there was no way our little van was going to get through. Second item on the agenda were the Tham Xang Caves. After waiting around in the local village for a little while the head of the village confirmed to our guide that the gate was locked and the key was lost. We had a great time anyway walking around the village. The residents were very friendly and didn't seem to mind us having a look around...even encouraging us to take photos. We headed off again..this time heading for the Hmong Village our guide ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang January 31st 2012

Breakfast was included at the White Orchid Guest House. It consisted of eggs, toast, jam, tea and coffee. It was quite filling but again the bread was the thin sweet white bread found all over South East Asia and the coffee you could stand a spoon up in. After breakfast Stephen and I along with our new German friend set off with our friendly Hmong Tour Guide who had also become our driver as none other was available. We headed off to the Plain of Jars and started with Jar site 3. It is not the largest number of jars but was certainly a great introduction to the rest of the days activities. The trip out was very pleasant through the Lao countryside but it was also very dusty. On the way back we passed a ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang January 30th 2012

Excitement today as we are to fly out to Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars. Breakfast was had in the hotel restaurant and as our flight didn't leave until the afternoon we took a wander through the back streets near our hotel. There are quite a few wats and many bakeries within walking distance of the hotel. We stopped off to have coffee and pastry at a little French bakery in one of the streets of the main road. The coffee was so horribly strong and sweet. I had forgotten they made it with condensed milk, reminded me why I only ever drink tea in SE Asia. We wandered the streets taking photos of every day life in Vientiane until it was time to head back to our hotel for the taxi ride to the airport. ... read more
Photo 2

Asia » Laos » East » Xiangkhoang June 11th 2010

The bus to Laos left Sapa early and was to take about 10 hours. I hadn't slept well the night before, so I figured I could catch a few hours on the ride to Laos. Boy was I wrong. I've been on rough bus rides before, but this one was comically brutal. I also had a seat behind the rear wheels which means that we got an extra spring on every bump in the road. The road was the worst I've seen, yet that will soon not be the case. On the entire journey from Sapa to the Laos border you could see a modern road under construction several hundred feet up and back on the mountain. Staggeringly large amounts of concrete had been poured to retain the terrace needed to support the road, and bridges ... read more
Baking Roadside
another valley view
New bridge

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