February 19, 2013

Vat Phou Festival Ready to Welcome Visitors

Champassak district, where the Vat Phou festival will be held from February 20-25, is able to fully accommodate about 500 visitors per day.

Champassak District Governor, Mr Nouchan Chanthaphong in an interview with Vientiane Times on Friday said that Champassak district authorities were ready to welcome a great number of visitors to the Vat Phou festival this year.

There are three hotels and 17 guesthouses with a total of 250 rooms which are able to provide accommodation for 300 people per day. Home stay is also available if visitors would like to stay with local people.

“We are able to provide food for more than 500,000 people in Champassak district. So there will be plenty to serve to visitors at local restaurants,” he said.

He said visitors to the Vat Phou festival need not worry about accommodation, food or transportation.

If they don't want to stay in the district, they can go to hotels and guesthouses in Pakxe or other nearby districts because transportation between Pakxe and Champassak district is no problem.

Mr Nouchan also said that local people will prepare traditional foods such as boiled chicken served with red ant eggs in a chicken soup, grilled native chicken and khaolaam (sticky rice mixed with coconut cream, sugar, salt and water in a young bamboo stalk and grilled over hot charcoal). “Boiled chicken served up with red ant eggs in a chicken soup is a traditional food symbolic of Champassak district,” he said.

Travellers to the Vat Phou festival can taste the boiled chicken which local people cook in large pots in the grounds of the temple. It makes a delicious meal which visitors should try when they are there.

Mr Nouchan said that travelling to the festival this year will be easier than in previous ye ars. Visitors can get there through four approach roads. One way is to begin from Road 14 A at the three junctions road between Pakxe and Phonthong districts at Houyphek village. If visitors are coming from Pathoumphon district to Vat Phou, a ferry is available to take vehicles across the Mekong river to Phaphin village in Champassak district. Anyone who travels from Mounlapamok and Soukhouma districts will find that the road is smooth and comfortable.

Vat Phou is located in Champassak district, about 700km south of Vientiane on Road No.13 South. A bus to Champassak province departs every day from the Southern Bus Station at Xangkhou village in Xaythany district, Vientiane. There are also direct fights from Vientiane to Pakxe, the provincial capital.

By Phon Thikeo, Vientiane Times
(Latest Update February 9, 2013)
Article Source:  Vientiane Times Newspaper

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