Source: Vientiane Times
A straw hut village has opened in Meuang Feuang district, Vientiane province, as a new tourist attraction in this increasingly popular bucolic riverside retreat.
Sam Meun Toup Feuang (Thirty Thousand Straw Hut Village) was set up to entice visitors to the district for the Sam Meun Toup Feuang Straw Hut Festival, which took place from December 4-15. Even though the festival is now over, the forty or so enchanting straw huts are still available for use and can each accommodate two people overnight.
The Managing Director of the complex, Ms Vonmanivong Stern, said the huts were in popular demand during the festival, with visitors enchanted by the novelty of staying in a hut made of rice straw and other natural materials.
“We plan to keep the huts open, as they are clearly a big visitor attraction,” she said.
Prices range from 200,000 to 600,000 kip per night depending on the size and type of each hut, which also have a bathroom outside and other essential facilities.
Ms Vonmanivong said she plans to add other amenities to provide an extra level of comfort.
The concept of the village is to give visitors a taste of the lifestyle of local ethnic groups, while enabling people to immerse themselves in the lap of nature and eat locally sourced fresh food.
The village is a peaceful place. There is no music to detract from the sense of being in a rural idyll, which is enhanced by the backdrop of limestone mountains. Above all, it is a place to immerse oneself in quiet solitude and relax.
During their stay, visitors can dress up in local ethnic costumes and have fun posing for photos.
The Governor of Meuangfeuang district, Mr Khomphet Chansomphou, said “We organised the Sam Meun Toup Feuang Straw Hut Festival to acquaint people with the story of “Phathor Norkham”, the limestone mountain range that runs through this district, local heroes from bygone times, and the area’s cultural traditions.”
As part of the event, local people brought their agricultural produce to sell, giving them a chance to boost their incomes and pump some much-needed money into the community. At the same time it brought people of different ethnic groups together, who gladly shared in the growing prosperity of the district.
Head of Office of the district’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Ms Somekhith Chithdavong, said “The number of people visiting Meuangfeuang district has doubled over the past year or so as word has spread of its attractions. This year we have had at least 47,000 visitors.”
Most visitors come from Thailand and enjoy the chance to relax by the Nam Lik river, soak up the serenity of the area and go to a temple to ask for blessings.
Travel to Meuangfeuang district is straightforward because the roads are paved with asphalt. If you travel from Vientiane via the expressway and take the exit at Hinheup district and continue on to Meuangfeuang, the journey will take about one hour and 30 minutes.