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Laos

Release:2017-09-07

Interpretation of Laos culture + attractions + food


 Luxury temples, monks in orange robes, green fields and friendly, honest people are the symbols of the country, Laos. Whether enjoying the Mekong river sunset in the South Island, the passion drifting in the South Pine River, or exploring the morning offering ceremony in the capital in Luang Prabang, you will be indulged in the realm of Buddhism. While Laos has been influenced by the Vietnamese and Khmer culture since ancient times, its culture and language have more connection to Thailand, regardless it is the common Theravada Buddhism or the Thai pop music.

 

Theravada Buddhism is dominant in the Lao culture. From language to the temple, as well as art, culture, performing arts, it can be seen everywhere. Touching someone's head and expressing strong feelings are not encouraged. However, many of the elements in the Lao culture are more ancient than that of Buddhism. For example, Lao music mainly use Khaen to play. Khaen is a bamboo pipe, being a Lao folk instrument, with long history.

 

While being casual and humble are the common state of the Lao people, they also expect others will respect that. Here the traditional greeting is the same as doing a prayer, placing hands together before face or chest, though shaking hands is getting more and more widespread in major cities. When visiting the temple, people should be dressed formally, and take shoes off when entering religious places or local homes, including most of the local hotels.

 

——  Recommended places ——  

1The Mekong River


The Mekong River, a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia, has an estimated length of 4,880 km. It is the world's 6th major river. From the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, the river runs through China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and flows into the South China Sea in Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam. Apart from China and Myanmar, the rest of the countries it flows through are member states of the Mekong River Commission. The upper reaches of the Mekong River in the territory of China, known as the Lancang River, downstream of delta in Vietnam. In Vietnam it is called the Jiulong River, as it has 9 places entering the South China Sea. The total length is 2139 kilometers long. In November 2011, Youguo Fang, Secretary of the Lancang River Ship Owners Union, said that China would join Laos, Myanmar and Thailand to armed escort for the shipping vessels on the Lancang Mekong River. Lancang Mekong River covers a large area, with many spectacular and beautiful scenic spots along. A phenomenal geographic scene of the Jinsha and Nu rivers flow alongside but without intersection can be witnessed in side Yunan Province, China.

 

2Royal Palace Museum

The Royal Palace Museum built in 1904 is located in the centre of the ancient town of Luang Prabang between Phousi Mountain and the Mekong River. It was originally the Kings’ place for King Sisavangvong and then the kings after. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1975, the Lao People's Democratic Republic was established. The Royal Palace was then converted into National Museum for visiting, being one of the famous scenic spots the ancient city of Luang Prabang.

 

3Wat Xieng Thong Temple

Wat Xieng Thong Temple was constructed in 1560. It lies in the north of Luang Prabang Peninsula, and was a Buddhist temple built by King Setthathirath. Like many other palaces, Wat Xieng Thong is adjacent to the Mekong River, being the most beautiful and representative of the temples. It includes a few small temple halls and the Stupa, along with many statues. There is also a Buddha Temple worshiped from the beginning of the days the temple was built. This Buddha was displayed in the exhibition in Paris in 1931, which was then collected by Vientiane Municipality of Vietnam until its return to the Luang Prabang in 1964. Luang Prabang city was looted by the Black Flag Haw in 1887. While most other temples were devastated to the ground, the Wat Xieng Thong survived. Some claimed that this is because the black flag army leader Deo Van Tri learnt in the temple and made it a rest spot for the army. Tripitaka Library and Drum Tower were built in 1880 and 1961 respectively.

 

4Si Phan Don Islands

Si Phan Don Islands located in the Mekong River near the boundary of southern Laos and Cambodia. It is the widest section of the Mekong River in Laos. Plane is a viable means to transport to Pakse, where Si Phan Don can be reached by bus from. Alternatively, it can be reached from Vientiane. With the small lakes and sandbars all counted, there are over a thousand island, and thereby the area was named Si Phan Don, meaning thousands of islands. In fact, it mainly consists of 3 islands, namely Don Khong Island, Donkhon Island and Don Det Island. Ornamental palm trees and housing along the Mekong River make a gorgeous view.

 

5Phousi Mountain


Luang Prabang was the ancient capital of the ancient Lao LAN sang. It is located in a valley surrounded by mountains near the Mekong River, over 500 kilometers from the capital Vientiane. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1995. In this small town near water, the traditional architecture of Laos is contained in the 19th to 20th century European city structure left by European settlers, being an integration of two distinctive cultural traditions. The Phousi Mountain is located in central Luang Prabang, with one side next to the Mekong River and the other side to the Khan River. The peak is the best place overlooking the ancient city of Luang Prabang. There are two ways for tourists to reach Phousi Mountain. Through a winding stone path, there is a temple around the hillside, which is known as the Wat Tham Phu Si. There are many people here to burn incense and pray. But most visitors will climb to the top of the mountain to visit another temple, called Wat Chom Si. It is a landmark building on the top of the hill. Looking down from the temple, the whole ancient city can be viewed. The view is spectacular, specially the sunset. 

 

—— Characteristic diet ——

The Laotian people have a simple diet and spices. Foreigners are not easy to adapt, but they do have a flavor. Laotian people like eating rice, Laos dishes are characterized by acid, spicy, raw, with ethnic characteristics of the dishes are: fish sauce, grilled fish, roast chicken, fried minced meat parsley, cold papaya silk, hot and sour soup, vegetable and more raw food. 

1.Glutinous rice

Glutinous rice is a staple of laotians' favorite food, accounting for about 70 percent of all food.

2. Bamboo rice

Bamboo rice is a delicious food. People will mix the soaked rice, glutinous rice or purple rice and some fish, sometimes add coconut juice or coconut, into the bamboo tube, and banana leaves sealed, on the charcoal grill, when bamboo zoom becomes black, the rice cooked. Split bamboo, a long rice on the adhesion of a layer of bamboo, its taste is delicious, and it has a unique flavor.

3. Lap

"Lap" for the Lao "Lap" transliteration, is a kind of Laos national characteristics of the dishes.

4.Papaya

5.Corton

Corton is similar to China's brown. Wrap the soaked rice or glutinous rice together with pork, fish and shrimp, mushrooms and ingredients with banana leaves into a square, tie with a thin string, and then cook them in water. The taste is very attractive.

6.Piah

It is a kind of soup, it usually takes the grass that is not fully digested in the stomach of the cattle or herbivorous fish, and then cook with the ingredients.

7.barbecue

Lao people like to eat barbecue food very much. There are a wide variety of barbecues, including pork, chicken, chicken gizzards, chicken wings, fish, frogs, sausages and so on, and even some vegetables are used for barbecue. In the street you can often see the barbecue stalls, they are popular among laotians, especially teenagers.