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Luang Prabang Prepares for Annual Boat Racing Festival

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Luang Prabang provincial authorities will organise their annual boat racing festival in Namnheungkhan village, Luang Prabang district, seeking to promote Lao culture and customs to visitors.

Luang Prabang District Governor, Mr. Soukan Bounyong told Vientiane Times on Thursday that the boat racing festival in Namnheungkhan village is the biggest annual festival of Luang Prabang province, which this year will be held on September 1.

The boat racing festival in Luang Prabang province is a little different because throughout Laos most boat racing festivals are held to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent but Laung Prabang chooses to hold its festival earlier.

This year’s boat racing will also be held during the time Lao people are celebrating Boun Hor Khapadapdin festival. This festival is held

during the third full moon of the lunar calendar. During the Hor Khapadapdin residents will prepare offerings for their ancestors and deceased relatives.

The Luang Prabang Boat Racing Festival has grown in popularity annually. Last year there were 34 teams which enteredtherace.Thisyearthey also expect 34 teams of 45 to 50 men per boat to take part.

Aside from the boat races, the main attraction is a massive fair where many people gather to shop for bargains at stalls along one kilometre of Sisavangvong Road for the Boun Hor Khapadapdin festival.

After the boat races end in the evening there will be various entertainment activities including traditional dancing and singing, with student performances among the main highlights.

Various live bands will also be on hand to entertain the crowd and make sure the evening is enjoyed by all.

Mr. Soukan said they would like to call on Lao people and foreign visitors to join the annual boat racing festival in Luang Prabang district because it is very different from boat races anywhere else in the country.

According to tourism statistics from the Luang Prabang provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, the number of tourist arrivals to Luang Prabang province reached 500,000 people in 2015.

Luang Prabang is the top destination for all travellers to Laos, with 83 percent of visitors citing it as their first choice, followed by Vientiane.

Tourists mainly visit temples, admire the architecture, make trips to waterfalls and caves, and observe the lifestyles of local people.

Luang Prabang was awarded a gold medal after being voted World’s Top City by readers of the British travel magazine Wanderlust in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Source: Vientiane Times