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The Luang Prabang Boat Racing Event of 2023 is Ready to Display an Impressive Spectacle

Source: Vientiane Times

The annual Boat Racing Festival in Luang Prabang province​ will take place from September 5-14, but this year will exclude competitors from other provinces.

Luang​ Prabang​ City Governor Mr. Viengthong​ Hathsachan said the event will focus exclusively on the talents of local boat crews, with about 25 teams expected to participate.

“Provincial​ authorities​ are decorating the city and local tourist attractions in anticipation of the event, as well as ensuring that streets and embankments along the Nam Khan river, where the races will take place, are able to accommodate spectators and visitors.”

The authorities will also oversee the sale of street food, safety aspects of the event, and ensure the town and all its facilities will make a good impression on visitors,” Mr Viengthong said.

The boat racing festival also includes a market fair at the That Luang stupa from September 5-14, boat races in Hath Hien village on September 8, and boat races in Sangkhalok village on September 12.

A special market, Lo Lad, will be set up on Sisavangvong Street on September 13.

September 14 will begin with almsgiving at temples and senior government leaders from Laos and other countries will then assemble by the Khan River to watch the boat races.

The boat racing​ festival is one of the main activities on Luang Prabang province’s calendar,​ and takes place every year during Boun Hor Khaopadapdin on the15th day of the ninth month in the Lao lunar year. 

Boun Hor Khaopadapdin is an annual festival during which people prepare parcels of food for the spirits of their forebears, reflecting their love, respect and gratitude for their deceased relatives and guardians.

The City Governor​ hopes that people from around Laos and other countries will visit the town to experience the colourful traditions that have their roots in ancient times and quoted the saying “Luang Prabang makes an impression that will never end”.

Luang Prabang is one of the most well-known provinces in Laos and is a top tourist draw because of its riverside location, old temples, quaint streets and alleyways, colourful festivals, and scenic beauty.

In January this year, the province received 12 Asean Tourism Standard awards in acknowledgement of its compliance with Asean tourism standards.

Luang Prabang city’s old quarter was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which determined that its architecture was culturally significant and worthy of protection by the United Nations.

Other popular attractions in and around the provincial capital include the Phu Si stupa, Xieng Thong temple, Sae waterfall, Kuangxi waterfall, and the large night market.

Over the last two years and five months, nearly 1.1 million tourists visited the​ province, although this number was a sharp decline on previous years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Luang Prabang Provincial Information, Culture and​ Tourism Department.