History and Weaving
Located in Sayaboury Province’s far northeast, Hongsa District was known for it’s elephants but since the arrival of the Hongsa Power project it has much changed it’s character. But visitor’s can still find cultural pleasures in nearby villages off the main road.
Hongsa town itself underwent rapid expansion and modernisation with the arrival of the Hongsa Power project. A new market made way for the old market near the football field, once the centre of town. One can still stay in one of the guesthouses behind the field and wander around to some of the nearby restaurants.
Inteam Waterfall cascades down forested Nongchong Mountain just 8 km from Hongsa Town, and a one-hour drive north leads to Khamsane Waterfall near Tha Xouang on the Mekong. From here, a local boat cruises downriver to Ban Kaengeng for a taste of traditional Khmu lao hai, a rice wine served in a large jar for communal drinking through bamboo straws.
Closer to town, Ban Vieng Keo, a two-time host for the annual Elephant Festival, presents skilled local women weaving cotton-embroidered fabrics used for shoulder bags, traditional sin skirts, table cloths, and other decorative items, which can be purchased in the village. Remains of the 13th-century moat and wall built by Jao Houd can be found nearby. Further down the road one can visit Mr. Chan a former Mahout and expert knife maker, in the style of the mahouts.
For a great sunset view overlooking Hongsa Valley’s rice fields, climb a hill just 1 km from town to That Lak Mueang Stupa. Built in 1572, the site is highly revered by locals.
Good to Know
Where to Sleep?
Where to Eat?
Hongsa District center is a one-hour song taew ride (LAK20,000) from the Mekong’s Tha Xouang Pier, after about an eight-hour boat ride from Luang Prabang (approx. LAK100,000) or a two-hour river cruise from Pakbeng (approx. LAK30,000).
Public song taews connect Sayabouli municipality to Hongsa with morning departures for the 2.5-hour ride leaving when the vehicle fills with passengers.CHECK A MAP