Week-Long Annual Fair Kicks Off At That Luang

Vientiane authorities expect that the annual That Luang trade fair will generate over 36 billion kip in revenue for vendors and organisers during the week-long event.

The trade fair was officially opened last Friday at the That Luang esplanade. It takes place on two sites – the esplanade and Lao-ITECC.

According to the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department there are about 450 stalls on the That Luang esplanade, including 10 run by foreign, diplomatic and international organisations in Laos.

Meanwhile the fair at Lao-ITECC will comprise about 350 booths with a large variety of local and imported products on display as well as booths run by foreign embassies in Laos.

Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Mayor of Vientiane Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Dr Anouphab Tounalom and invited foreign diplomats were present at Friday’s opening ceremony.

Speaking at the event, Dr Anouphab said the fair aimed to promote opportunities for local traders as it was also a platform for them to discuss trade cooperation with other participants.

“We are now making special preparations to mark two historic days next year, the 40th Lao National Day and the 60th anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party,” he said.

This year’s That Luang festival marks the 448th anniversary of the construction of the grand stupa. The celebration has become a long-time practice handed down from generation to generation with the fair being associated with the festival so people can stock up on goods of all kinds. ODOP products from Vientiane’s nine districts can also be seen at various booths on the That Luang esplanade, while the stalls at Lao-ITECC will further cater to the needs of the many people who flock there looking for bargains.

As usual, thousands of food stalls line the streets surrounding the esplanade, where visitors can sample local delicacies at the many tables set up for customers.

The most popular snacks are khao laam (sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes) and ping kai (grilled chicken on a stick).

These are the most highly recommended foods and should be tried at least once whilst visiting the nation’s biggest festival. Every night at the fair, visitors can also enjoy performances and live concerts on stages set up on the esplanade and at Lao-ITECC.

Artists and performers from Laos will entertain the crowd, along with invited artists from Thailand and several other Asean countries.

Source: Vientiane Times