XAYABOULY (ELEPHANT CONSERVATION CENTER)
Located in the northwest of the country, Xayabouly province covers an area of 16,389 km2. The province has shared border with Bokeo Province and Oudomxai Province to the north, Luang Prabang Province and Vientiane Province to the east. Its topography is quite mountainous with the Luang Prabang Range running roughly in a north-south direction and forming a natural border with the Thai highlands.
Like other regions in Laos, Xayabouly is home to wide range of ethnic communities such as Khmu, Tai Lue, Akha Htin, Phai, Tai Dam and Kri. Tai Lue people still remain many long-standing traditions these days. Most of their houses are built with high-sloping roofs. Also, hand-weaving job is still practiced throughout the province, which results in visitors can easily buy a variety of lovely items made by the talented hand of weavers.
Xayabouly is well known for Elephant Conservation Center. At the Center, a dedicated team of guides, mahouts and elephant will take visitors into the worl of Lao elephants.
Laos is home to the country’s largest pachyderm population and famous for the Elephant Festival celebrated every year. It is often hold in mid-February in Xayaboury Province. Launched in 2007, the annual fete draws more than 80.0000 elephant fans to the ceremonies, processions, and performances to pay tribute to the national symbol of “The Land of Million Elephants”.
After an opening ceremony, elephants enter the host village through a bamboo arch and bathe as well as are blessed by monks with participants making merit in a baci ceremony. Then the entertainment begins with many interesting activities such as pachyderm performances, musical concerts, outdoor films, dance shows, and fireworks displays in a carnival atmosphere including elephant rides and a “Fun Fair”.
After the second day’s procession and religious ceremony, mahouts round up their massive mammals for a day of elephant entertainment and visitor education capped with the crowning of the elephant of the Year.
The aim of this event is to raise awareness about the needs to protect the endangered Asian elephant, which has played such a vital role in Lao people’s livelihoods, culture and heritage.
Nam Phui National Protected Area
Nam Phui National Protected Area is another recommended place for travellers. It is about 1,912 square kilometres and has steep and rugged ridges composed mostly of Mesozoic sandstones. There are about 350 species in NPA such as Gibbon, gaur, tiger, dhole, serow, silvered langur, Asiatic black bear.
Sumatran rhinos and wild elephant population are some of the other large animals possibly found in the area. Moreover, the scenic waterfalls Nam Tok Na Kha, Nam Tok Ban Kum, and Tad Ham Waterfall found in the southern part of the province could not be missed.
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- LUANG PRABANG
- NORTHERN LAOS
- VIENTIANE AND CENTRAL LAOS
- SOUTHERN LAOS