Luang Prabang Handicrafts Festival Attracts more Visitors

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Luang Prabang Handicrafts Festival has attracted more than 3,000 local and foreign visitors since the event began on December 4.

The weeklong festival is being organised by Luang Prabang Handicrafts Association and before it concludes on December 11 it is hoped they will be able to attract at least 9,000 visitors.

Ms Keo Oudomvilay, who is in charge of the organising committee told Vientiane Times about the visitor target yesterday.

This year marks the fifth year the festival has been held, Ms Keo said.

Holding this festival aims to coincide with celebrating the 21st Anniversary of Luang Prabang as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, she added.

Ms Keo said the festival has featured 20 booths and tourists can shop at the producers’ market as well as join demonstration events.

This year, it is mostly artisans and handicrafts makers participating in the festival. They are selling an extensive variety of products including textiles and many other cultural items from Luang Prabang and surrounding areas.

Beautiful handmade pieces are on sale to suit all budgets, from inexpensive souvenirs to exquisite high-end collectables, she said.

Food products such as coffee, tea, oils and spices produced in Laos are also a key feature of the event.

Moreover, visitors will be able to experience Lao cuisine, coffee and tea as well as witness traditional music and dancing performances.

Ms Keo added that visitors to the festival will notice that many women still wear a traditional tube skirt or sinh .

The sinh is usually made of silk, cotton or a combination of fibers and is woven with motifs that reflect the ethnic culture of a community or region, or the occasion for which it is intended.

Traditionally, a sinh is completely handmade; from the hand spinning of the silk or cotton threads to the dyeing process, preparation of the pattern and loom, and finally; hand weaving.

UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site in 1995 and since then tourist arrivals have risen with each passing year.

Luang Prabang is the former capital of the Lane Xang Kingdom, meaning the Land of a Million Elephants. The town is a cultural centre in the region, with its numerous temples paying testimony to its former glory.

Its landmark attractions are its centuries-old Buddhist temples and monasteries, Kuang Xi waterfall, Phousy hill and Buddha cave, all of which are easily accessible.

Luang Prabang was most foreign visitors’ first choice because of its old and attractive temples and the activities of the monks who live in these temples.

According to the Luang Prabang Tourist Office, over 400,000 tourists of all nationalities visited Luang Prabang province last year. They hope to boost the number to 700,000 tourists by 2020.

Source: Vientiane Times

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