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Sayabouly

Sayabouly

  Area:                16,389 sqkm

 Population:   374,000 million

  Capital:             Northwestern of Laos

 Language:       Lao, French

  Currency:         Kip

Sayaboury in northern Laos is the only province in the country that lies to the west of the Mekong River. This relative isolation means that this is a predominantly rural area, home to ethnic minority villages and the largest elephant population in Laos. It's a beautiful region of mountains and jungle, little visited by Western tourists, so making a trip here feels like an adventure into real' unspoiled Laos.
Sayabouly Overview
Sayabouly Province in the northwest of Laos borders with Thailand on the west. It is a mountainous province that offers a wonderful natural environment for those on Vacation in Laos and Indochina  Packages. Even though it is mountainous the local people still manage to produce rice, cotton, sugarcane, and beans with elephants.
 
They are well treated; in Hongsa they are actually regarded as sacred and visitors on Laos travel packages will be able to get really close up at the festival held in February and it calls “Land of a Million Elephants.”
Sayabouly History
Once part of the Lan Xang kingdom and used as a conduit for warring Siamese and Lao armies, by the late nineteenth century Sayabouly became a slice of desirable real estate for expansionist Siamese and French colonial governments, both of whom claimed dominion over its territory and rich forest resources.

The Siamese were forced to cede it to France in 1904 by treaty, no doubt recognising its strategic importance for buffering the important city of Luang Prabang. During the Second World War in 1940, Thailand annexed it with the help of the Japanese army and renamed it Lan Chang, but the province returned to French control six years later with the restoration of French Indochina and Thailand was obliged to drop its claims as part of the conditions for its entry into the United Nations.


Sayabouly also offered an important sanctuary for Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) fighters during the 1970s and 80s, a leading member of which used to be a neighbour when I lived in remote Phiang District for two years in the late 1990s. I was a field-based advisor with a UNDP-funded aquaculture extension project working with the provincial livestock and fisheries department in a role that gave me a unique opportunity to travel extensively throughout the province, at a time when road communications were still problematic and slow, while telecommunications facilities did not extend much further than the provincial capital.
 
Sayabouly also offered an important sanctuary for Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) fighters during the 1970s and 80s, a leading member of which used to be a neighbour when I lived in remote Phiang District for two years in the late 1990s. I was a field-based advisor with a UNDP-funded aquaculture extension project working with the provincial livestock and fisheries department in a role that gave me a unique opportunity to travel extensively throughout the province, at a time when road communications were still problematic and slow, while telecommunications facilities did not extend much further than the provincial capital.
Sayabouly climate and best time to visit
The monsoon season is May to October before a drier and cooler season follows. Temperatures rise in March and April before the rains return. The rains are rarely persistent and there is no real reason not to visit during the monsoons.
Sayabouly Transportation
By Airplane

The road is surprisingly good when you consider the overall condition of Laos roads. The highway connects Sayabouly to Luang Prabang in the north and Thailand in the south.

Those on Indochina tour packages may make several border crossings during their holiday though those flying into Laos direct will arrive in Vientiane before onward travel.

By Bus
 
Buses connect Sayabouly with other parts of the country while those on Laos private tours have everything arranged for them.
 
Things to do and see in Sayabouly
There is a monument in the town but the real reason to visit Sayabouly is the natural environment which attracts many who just enjoy being out in the wilds. One of the great delights of adventure traveling is learning about the local culture and there are a few tribes locally that visitors will enjoy meeting; the Lue, Yuan, Iu Mien, Phrai or the Hmong for example. Each is naturally hospitable.
 
There is a number of Festivals including New Year, the Boat Racing Festival and the Spiritual Ghost Festival but the highlight is certainly that Elephant Festival in February. It is towards the end of the dry season and before temperatures begin to rise; an ideal time for a visit.
 
Choice of trekking, traveling by boat and of course on an elephant. Independent travelers may rent a motor bike to help them explore. There are some fascinating caves to explore while the fauna is excellent although the chances of seeing a tiger are remote. Birdlife is good throughout the whole of the country.
 
Visit Ban Viengkeo, a Lue village is famous for its weaving traditions.  countryside tours explore in Laos to watch and learn then, of course, buy a souvenir. There is also local pottery produced and tourists are able to watch the skill of the local people and it is great things and highlights in Laos trip
 
 
Sayabouly Travel Tips
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