Xiangkhoang, Laos

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Xiangkhoang, Laos

Region: Xiangkhoang


Geographic Coordinates: 19.416700, 103.500000
Population: 267172
Language: Lao

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Important Landmarks

  1. The Plain of Jars is a well-known landmark in Xiangkhoang, featuring an intriguing archaeological site with numerous large stone jars scattered throughout the area.
  2. Phou Khoun is a quaint town situated on the main road between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, boasting breathtaking mountain scenery and traditional Hmong villages.
  3. The Viengxay Caves are located in a remote valley in northern Xiangkhoang and were once used as a secret base by the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War.
  4. Tham Piu Cave is another significant historical site in Xiangkhoang that served as a refuge for local villagers during the war and now stands as a memorial to those who lost their lives there.
  5. Muong Ngoi Neua Village is an enchanting riverside village that attracts many backpackers due to its stunning views of surrounding mountains.
  6. Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area is one of Laos’ largest protected areas, home to rare wildlife species such as tigers, elephants, and gibbons.
  7. Wat Phia Wat Temple is an exquisite Buddhist temple located atop a hill overlooking Phonsavan city center.
  8. The UXO Lao Visitor Center provides visitors with information about Laos’ ongoing struggle with unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the Vietnam War era.
  9. The Hmong Market is an animated outdoor market where visitors can purchase authentic handicrafts made by local Hmong people.
  10. Tad Sae Waterfall lies just outside Xiangkhoang province near Luang Prabang city; it’s surrounded by lush jungle vegetation and offers swimming opportunities for visitors seeking picturesque views of nature’s beauty!

Primary Industries

  1. Xiangkhoang, Laos is renowned for its agriculture and forestry industries.
  2. The province plays a significant role in the production of crops such as rice, corn, cassava, and other agricultural products.
  3. Additionally, it possesses abundant timber resources that are exported.
  4. In recent years, Xiangkhoang’s tourism industry has been on the rise due to its historical sites like the Plain of Jars and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  5. Besides this, there are several mining operations in the region that extract minerals such as copper and gold.
  6. Apart from these industries, Xiangkhoang also has small-scale manufacturing units for handicrafts and textiles.
  7. Retail shops selling goods imported from neighboring countries like China and Vietnam are also present in this area.

Noteable History

  1. Plain of Jars: The Plain of Jars is a large archaeological site located in Xiangkhoang Province. It consists of thousands of stone jars scattered across the landscape, believed to have been used for funerary purposes during the Iron Age.
  2. Pathet Lao: The communist Pathet Lao movement was active in Xiangkhoang Province during the Vietnam War era. They established a base in the province and received support from North Vietnam.
  3. Kaysone Phomvihane: Kaysone Phomvihane was a prominent communist leader in Laos who served as Prime Minister from 1975 until his death in 1992. He was born in Xiangkhoang Province.
  4. Hmong people: The Hmong are an ethnic minority group that has lived in Xiangkhoang Province for centuries. During the Vietnam War, many Hmong fought alongside American forces against communism.
  5. UXO: Unexploded ordnance (UXO) is a major issue in Xiangkhoang Province due to heavy bombing by American forces during the Vietnam War era. Many areas remain contaminated with UXO, posing risks to local communities.
  6. Ho Chi Minh Trail: The Ho Chi Minh Trail ran through Xiangkhoang Province during the Vietnam War and served as a major supply route for North Vietnamese forces fighting against South Vietnam and its allies.
  7. Thongphanh Syackhaphom: Thongphanh Syackhaphom is a Laotian-American businessman who was born and raised in Xiangkhoang Province before fleeing to Thailand as a refugee following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975.
  8. Luang Prabhang Agreement: In 1973, an agreement between US, North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese was signed in Luang Prabhang to end the Vietnam War. The negotiations were held in Xiangkhoang Province before being moved to Luang Prabhang.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Plain of Jars: This archaeological site is a popular tourist attraction in Xiangkhoang, featuring hundreds of large stone jars scattered across the plains believed to be over 2,000 years old.
  2. UXO Visitor Centre: This center provides information about unexploded ordnance (UXO) that still litters Laos from the Vietnam War and its impact on local communities.
  3. MAG (Mines Advisory Group) Center: This organization works to clear landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Laos. Visitors can learn about their work and the impact of UXOs on local communities.
  4. Phou Khoun War Memorial: This monument honors those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War in Xiangkhoang province.
  5. Mulberries Artisan Shop & Cafe: This social enterprise supports women artisans by providing training and employment opportunities for them to create beautiful textiles, handicrafts, and jewelry.
  6. Hmong Village Homestay Experience: Visitors can stay with a Hmong family in a traditional village setting, learning about their culture, traditions, and way of life.
  7. Tad Ka Waterfall: A beautiful natural attraction located near Phonsavan town with stunning views over rice fields and mountains surrounding it.
  8. Wat Si Saket Temple: A historic Buddhist temple built-in 1818 featuring intricate carvings and murals depicting Buddha’s life story.
  9. Nam Ngum Reservoir – A scenic lake created by damming Nam Ngum River featuring water sports activities such as boating & kayaking along with scenic views around it.
  10. Tham Piew Cave – A limestone cave situated near Plain Of Jars known for its rock formations & prehistoric burial sites inside it showcasing ancient history & culture of Laos people


Sports Teams

  • Unfortunately, there is not much information available on sports teams and their histories in Xiangkhoang, Laos.
  • The province is primarily known for its natural beauty and historical sites such as the Plain of Jars.
  • However, it is possible that there are local amateur sports teams or clubs in the area.


  • Cultural Events

    1. Rocket Festival: This is an annual festival celebrated in May where locals launch handmade rockets into the sky to bring rain for the upcoming rice season.
    2. Khmu New Year: Celebrated in January, this festival is a time for the Khmu people to honor their ancestors and welcome the new year with traditional dances and music.
    3. Hmong New Year: Celebrated in December, this festival is a time for the Hmong people to celebrate their culture through traditional dances, music, and food.
    4. Boun Bang Fai: This festival takes place in June or July and involves launching bamboo rockets into the sky as a form of worship to spirits for good luck and prosperity.
    5. Boat Racing Festival: Held annually on Nam Ngum Lake in October or November, this event features boat races between different villages as well as cultural performances and food vendors.
    6. Lao National Day: Celebrated on December 2nd every year, this holiday marks Laos’ independence from France in 1945 with parades and cultural events throughout the country including Xiangkhoang province.
    7. That Luang Festival: This Buddhist festival takes place annually at That Luang Stupa in Vientiane but attracts visitors from all over Laos including Xiangkhoang province who come to participate in religious ceremonies, processions, and enjoy local food vendors.

    Cuisine

    • Laap: a spicy salad made with minced meat (usually chicken or beef), herbs, and spices.
    • Khao Soi: a noodle soup dish made with coconut milk, curry paste, and meat (usually chicken).
    • Tam Mak Houng: a spicy papaya salad made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, chili peppers, and fish sauce.
    • Mok Pa: steamed fish wrapped in banana leaves with herbs and spices.
    • Sai Oua: grilled pork sausage seasoned with lemongrass and other spices.

    Some popular restaurants in Xiangkhoang include:

    • Khammouane Restaurant: known for their delicious Laap and Khao Soi dishes.
    • Phonsavan Market Food Court: a bustling food court offering a variety of local dishes at affordable prices.
    • Nisha Indian Restaurant: serving authentic Indian cuisine such as tandoori chicken and naan bread.
    • Lao Kitchen Restaurant & Bar: offering traditional Lao dishes as well as international cuisine like pizza and burgers.
    • The Craters Cafe & Bar is known for their scenic views of the surrounding mountains while enjoying local delicacies like Mok Pa or Sai Oua along with beer or cocktails from the bar menu.

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