"Take me to your village" Top 5 Page for this destination Luang Prabang Things to Do Tip by xuessium
Luang Prabang Things to Do: 461 reviews and 1,015 photos
If you take day trips out of Luang Prabang, then it's most likely that you will get to visit at least one local village.
I hired a Tuk Tuk for a day to bring my mate and myself to both Pak Ou Caves and Tad Kwang Si. Along the way, I got to visit 2 villages, with 1 mentioned fondly in a number of guidebooks.
Ban Xang Hai or otherwise fondly known as "Whisky Village" is 20km upstream from Luang Prabang and it's along the road to Pak Ou Caves. The name of the village means "making wine pots" and during the rainy season, the villagers grow glutinous rice which they ferment during the dry season to brew "lao lao", a local potent whisky. It is a true village but Tuk Tuk and mini-van loads of tourists have made this more like a Disney-isque stop with stalls lining the streets selling various types of liquer. Check out centipede and snake wines, along with the famed "lao lao" and rice wines.
The other reverse direction to Tad Kwang Si (south of Luang Prabang) will lead you to a number of Hmong villages. Hmong people is one of the main groups of people inhabiting Laos. (The other 2 is of course the Lao. The 3rd is the Khmu) I got to stop at one of them about 1 hour after passing through Luang Prabang (though I failed to get the name of the place). Decidingly less touristy than Ban Xang Hai, it is STILL a touristy stop, as each household has a stall outside selling weaves and other local products. However, the place is more benign. As I wasn't part of any day tour group, my mate and myself had the place all to ourselves as we meandered and wandered through the village uninterrupted. See the villagers dry their rice, wash their laundry and feed the chickens.
We also get to use the modern toilets, all locked up and reserved only for visitors for 1000 Kip each!
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