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The Beauty of Champasak

Champasak was once, 1400 years ago, the centre of power in the lower Mekong basin, later a revered outpost of the Khmer Angkor empire and later still one of the three kingdoms to rule over the remains of Lane Xang. A fine heritage that, according to the last prince of Champassak, was brought to hard times by a former queen's indiscretion.

 

The beautiful Nang Pao ruled over Champasak in the mid-17th century. But it's lonely at the top and the queen found comfort in the arms of a prince from a neighbouring kingdom. Alas, for the lady's pennyroyal was ineffective, and Nang Pao fell pregnant. A great scandal ensued and, though the queen remained in power and was succeeded by her illegitimate daughter, Nang Peng, the unhappy Nang Pao decreed that all unmarried mothers in the kingdom must sacrifice a buffalo for their sins. The practice survived in some local communities until the 1980s, the unfortunate women being known as 'Nang Pao's Daughters.'

Though the Kingdom of Champasak prospered for a while after the final dissolution of Lane Xang, at the beginning the 18th century, its fortunes faltered quickly and it was reduced to a vassal state of Siam before the century had passed. For its part in Chao Anou's abortive attempt to win freedom from the Siamese for the Lao kingdoms, Champasak lost all of its territory east of the Mekong. Under French rule the once mighty kingdom became a mere administrative block; its royalty stripped of many of its privileges.

 

4000 Islands in Champasak

Known also as ‘Si Phan Don’, the Four Thousand group of small islands are dotted across the Mekong. The southern islands of Don Dhet and Don Khong are the two most visited as the remaining majority stay wild and uninhabited, largely due to their minute size. Both islands are situated close to the Cambodian border and as such provided a vital connection between Saigon and Laos during the French Colonial times when a railway was built to connect the two sides.

Self-sufficient villages survive on local produce including rice, coconuts, sugar cane and vegetables, with clothing and textiles made by their own weaving techniques as and when required. The islands are a great place to discover a new very rural side to Laos, rich in tradition and culture with old buildings, walking trails and a choice of places to sleep and eat.

Wat Phu (Vat Phou)

Wat Phu is considered one of the oldest archaeological sites in Laos. One temple in the site was constructed around the 5th century but most buildings found in the complex are from the 11th to 13th centuries. Like other notable Khmer architecture in Southeast Asia, it was constructed using sandstone, laterite and bricks. Among many of the outstanding carvings there are the Indra, the Hindu god of war, storms, and rainfall, riding a three-headed elephant and Vishnu riding on a garuda, an eagle.

If you visit Wat Phu on the full moon of the third lunar month (usually in February), you will come across the temple’s biggest annual festival with many impressive ceremonies and fun activities going on during the week-long period. These include monk-blessing ceremonies, elephant racing, buffalo and cock fighting as well as a trade fair. The event is never short of entertainment such as live music and traditional Lao dancing.

Bolaven Plateau & Tad Fane Waterfall

Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos is famous for its great scenery, ethnic villages and unexplored corners. It’s probably best known for being home to some of Southeast Asia's most spectacular waterfalls including Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao (aka Taat Fang). The plateau’s elevation ranges approximately from 1,000 to 1,350 metres above sea level and here the weather in general is milder than the rest of the country, getting cool, especially at night.

Its fertile plains allow farmers to produce some of the best tea and coffee in the country (coffee remains Laos' biggest agricultural export.) Tourism has become another important source of income for locals as the area has almost unlimited trekking and daytrip opportunities.

 

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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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News

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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