December 16, 2022

The return of the Lao National Games

2022 11th Lao National Games opening ceremonies celebration
Photo Credit: KPL, 2022

December 16, 2022 - After multiple delays in previous years, the 2022 11th Lao National Games is currently happening, from December 13-22.  This year the event is being hosted in the province of Xiengkhouang.

Hundreds of athletes from 17 provinces, Vientiane prefecture and four government ministries are competing and vying for medals and glory.

Crowds and long lineups of excited fans, cars and motorbikes have been noted throughout Phonsavan, the province's capital city, especially on routes going to sport venues.

High turnout of spectators were noted at volleyball, football, and kickboxing, among many other sports.

As a result of the Games, local tourism has shot up with many hotels reportedly being fully booked and tourist sites such as the Plain of Jars seeing an uptick in visitors.

The event was last held in 2014 in Oudomsay.  It was originally scheduled for 2018 however it was delayed that year due to construction issues.  In 2019 the  floods caused yet another delay.  By 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and it was officially shelved again.

As the country attempted to rebound from the pandemic, it re-opened to tourists last year.  This National Games was seen as a way of giving both the local population and tourists motivating reasons to visit Xiengkouang.

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