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Bokeo, Land of Sapphires

Situated in the heart of the golden triangle, Bokeo is just over the border from Chiang Rai province in Thailand and also borders Myanmar while China is less than 100km away. Although Bokeo is the smallest province in Laos, it harbours a large number of interesting minority groups (approximate 30 ethnicities). The province split off from Luang Nam Tha and was created in 1983. The name Bokeo translates as 'gem mine' and the city is known as the 'land of sapphires'. Panning for gold, and digging for precious stones is a major occupation here.

Huay Xai, the capital provincial of Bokeo, sits on the bank of the Mekong River. Like most minor cities in Laos, several temples built in earlier centuries and surrounding villages seem to be the only attractions. However, Bokeo's real economic strength is tourism. A holiday among a network of hunts and shelters built on top of trees in primary monsoon dry deciduous forest is a decidedly appealing one. A perfect spot where one can observe the forest's rare habitants from above. Besides fascinating attractions and delightful activities, Houay Xai is also known as the gateway to explore the rest of Laos, a famous stopover spot for most arrivals before boarding a boat and heading southeast to Pak Beng and Luang Prabang. A trip up north on Bokeo's winding and bumpy roads will lead to Luang Namtha and beyond.

Over the centuries, Bokeo has remained an important stopover for Chinese traders traveling by boats between China and Thailand. Nowadays, the only connection between Bokeo and Chiang Rai is via ferry and speedboat. However, a bridge between Laos and Thailand is scheduled to open in 2012. 

Ban Nam Sang Hill-Tribe Village

The best kept secret in Huay Xai is the Ban Nam Sang hill-tribe village. Less than 20 kilometers or only an hour ride on bumpy road from Huay Xai. The village hosts to a large population of the rare Lao Huay ethnicity. It is best not to bring gifts or items such as sweets, T-shirts, pharmaceuticals as it is felt that these may threaten their traditional ways. However, if visitors want to help they can donate some money or discreet gifts to the headman. Such money will be used for the village school. A reminder, visitors are recommended to check-in with the village headman (phuu nyai baan) first.

Ban Tom Lao

The name of the village literally means 'Brew-comes'. 'Lao tom' - a form of hooch - is illegal in many countries but is legal in Laos. Apart from growing rice and working the land, villagers here produce many kind of alcoholic beverages such as, Sa Tor and Kasae. The alcoholic degree of each beverage is very difficult to determine as it depends on how long they have been fermented. However, it is generally thought to be more than 40 degrees.

Jom Khao Manilat Temple

When in Huay Xai, Jom Khao Manilat Temple is a must-see. The temple was built in 1880 out of teak and is Shan-style, with spectacular painting in bright colours, like those sacred places in Jakarta. Also, a stele-house, donated by a former Chaing Kong prince in 1458, is located here. Jom Khao Manilat affords a fascinating overlooking view of the town and the Mekong River below, a perfect site especially at sunset. The temple is just a few minutes' walk from the ferry pier.  

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Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

 “when is the best time to visit Vietnam?”

If you’re not entirely sure about the time to go, let us clear your clouded thought by a fact that any time can be a good time to travel to Vietnam.

Why? The different weather patterns from the North to the South of Vietnam give each month in the year an advantage.



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Visa on arrival in Vietnam

Visa to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Visa to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

For our clients who need a visa to enter Vietnam

Agenda Tour Offir for all its customers the administrative costs of the prior approval of Visa on arrival in Vietnam. This means that customers can prepare only 25 usd / person for the printing costs of visa and 2 photos Identities…

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Exploring Cham Culture at Po Klong Garai Tower

Exploring Cham Culture at Po Klong Garai Tower

 Po Klong Garai Tower near the city of Phan Rang-Thap Cham in Ninh Thuan Province is an attractive destination for visitors who want to learn about the culture of Cham ethnic people.


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