Situated in the Xiangkhouang Province of Laos, Phonsavan is recognized for its lush green vegetation and wide-open farmlands. This serene town is great for a quiet vacation with your family as it boasts some of the most spectacular sightseeing locations and also provides opportunities for hiking and cycling. Here are 10 things Phonsavan has to offer to visitors.
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Best Things to Do In Phonsavan | Laos
1. Explore the astonishing Tham Pha & Nong Tang Lake
Only a short distance from Phonsavan, the small town of Nong Tang is known for its spectacular archaeological sites such as the Wat Mixay and Wat Ban Ang. Adjacent to the town lies the secluded Nong Tang Lake, which is a great place for meditation or arranging family picnics. If you get hungry, purchase a delicious meal from the noodle shop overlooking the pristine lake.
After touring the lake, visit the Tham Pha Cave Complex known for showcasing several pictures of Buddha. Prepare to be astonished at the sight of the humongous Buddha statue at the cave entrance. Other than that, you will also find various Buddha figurines dating back to the 19th century.
2. Learn how to weave at the Mulberries farm
If you like products woven from silk, then you must visit the Mulberries farm on your visit to Phonsavan. This farm will guide you through the entire process of silk production, starting from silk extraction from silkworms to the manufacturing of silk-based commodities. Interestingly, this farm also allows visitors to obtain first-hand knowledge by attending a silk production class. Towards the end of the classes, you will have learned how to weave and dye silk products.
3. Learn about the province’s history at Muang Phuan
Previously known as the Tai Phuan Kingdom, the town of Muang Phuan is well-known for its historic remnants and blend of Buddhist and colonial architecture. Dating back to the 12th century, this ancient town was once a trading hub for the Lao Lan Xang Kingdom. There is a massive statue of Buddha at Wat Phiavat, and several temples scattered throughout the area.
You will also be able to observe a dilapidated French hospital in the vicinity. On the top of the hill, you will find the picturesque That Foun and That Compset Stupas. Entrance to this historic place isn’t cheap, but it is certainly a haven for history buffs!
4. Experience native Tai Dam traditions at the Tai Dam Cultural Hall
If you want to learn about the traditions and lifestyle of Tai Dam people, then you should check out Ban Xieng Kheio’s cultural village near Phonsavan. The famous Tai Dam Cultural Hall has been constructed in the village, showcasing traditional farming tools, baskets, and tools used for weaving and hunting.
Furthermore, the hall consists of a Tai Dam styled bedroom, complete with mattresses, cotton sheets, and blankets. This place also has an in-house gift shop selling a wide range of handbags, scarves, and wall hangings.
5. Check out the amazing Tham Xang Caves
Tham Xang Caves is close to the town of Phonsavan, and it is well-known for sheltering fighters at the time of the Secret War. During the war, this cave even had its medicine depot and hospital. To discover this historic cave, you need to keep an eye out on the limestone cliffside. If you have a keen interest in the history of the Secret War, then you should take a guided tour of Tham Xang Caves.
6. Become wonder-struck at the Navang Craft Center
Phonsavan is hailed for its exceptional woodwork, some of which can be seen at the Navang Craft Center. Most of the wood carvings this establishment showcases are made from the luxurious and scarce Fujian Cypress wood. Almost all of the wooden pieces and furniture are handcrafted with great precision.You will also be able to purchase souvenirs from the center’s in-house gift shop.
7. Learn about the Secret War at UXO Survivors Information Center
The UXO Survivors Information Center exhibits several unexploded bombs and mines from the Secret War. This is a great place to learn about the tragic aftermath of the war. You will even get to listen to personal stories of survivors and empathize with them.
The center also houses a reading room displaying a multitude of books and pamphlets about the war and its long-term effects. Furthermore, you will be able to buy a variety of handicrafts and jewelry created by survivors, the proceeds from which are used to rehabilitate and treat the war victims.
8. Appreciate the beauty of Kha Waterfall
You will find two Kha waterfalls near the town of Phonsavan. One of them is located in Nong Het district brushes along limestone karst cliffs offering an unforgettable view. This waterfall has a height of nearly 100 meters and has a pool underneath.
The other waterfall, bearing the same name, is in the vicinity of the amazing Tajok village. This waterfall flows over multiple levels and can be a bit challenging to reach. The twisted trail leading to the waterfall passes through a dense forest. The view of the waterfall, however, makes the added effort worthwhile!
9. Visit the Fresh Food Market at Phonsavan
The Fresh Food Market has gained quite a bit of reputation in Phonsavan for stocking up on the freshest produce in the region at reasonable prices. Unlike your average grocery store, you will always find a diverse selection of organic fruits and vegetables here.
Some of the fruits, like the Chinese pears, can only be found in Phonsavan. Other than that, you can even purchase some popular local items such as swallows and unique mushrooms.
10. Tour the incredible Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars is undoubtedly Phonsavan’s primary tourist attraction. This historic site is big enough to keep you busy for an entire day. This area consists of wide-open plains with several jar-shaped megalithic structures scattered around. You will catch a glimpse of these beautiful structures all over the hills and valleys. Even after being subjected to bombings during the secret war, this area remains relatively unchanged.
In conclusion, Phonsavan is not only recognized for being near the world-famous Plain of Jars. This town is brimming with fun activities that you need to see to believe! Make sure to stay in this wonderful town on your visit to Laos.