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Xayaboury Gears Up for Massive Elephant Celebration

Source: Vientiane Times

Xayaboury province will host its annual Elephant Festival from February 12-18, with more visitors expected during the country’s Visit Laos Year 2024 tourism promotion programme.

Deputy Provincial Governor​ Mr Phetphixay Sounvilay said the 17th Elephant Festival will feature a colourful programme of activities, including a street market selling a wide range of products, cultural shows, a concert, elephant circus acts, skydiving, and a beauty contest.

Visitors will be able to get close to the elephants and feed them.

Various events will take place on each day of the festival and visitors can also visit local villages including those that are home to several groups, as well as watch cultural performances.

An elephant drawing contest is sure to be an added attraction, Mr Phetphixay said.

Expecting a large crowd over the week-long event, provincial authorities will set up tents on the Houng riverbank to accommodate people unable to find a room in a homestay, hotel or guesthouse.

Restaurant and hotel staff and individuals providing other tourism-related services will be given extra training about cleanliness and safety, and an attempt will be made to keep prices at reasonable levels, to ensure visitor satisfaction

The Elephant Festival is one of the events named in the Visit Laos Year calendar.

Xayaboury is also hosting the Boun Kong Khao Yai Festival (rice festival) from January 7-12. This event takes place in Phieng district every year to celebrate the bountiful rice harvest in this region, which is renowned for its fertile soil and large areas of farmland.

The main attraction is the huge rice stacks that are specially built for the occasion. There will also be a Baci ceremony in honour of rice, alms-giving, and a beauty contest.

Sports contests and performances by local ethnic groups will also be organised, while a cooking competition will provide visitors with some tasty dishes to sample.
In addition, visitors can learn about the lifestyle of the Tongleuang ethnic group, goods made under the One District, One Product scheme, and products made from rice.

Xayaboury is situated in northern Laos about 300 kilometres from Vientiane. It has many attractions for visitors including 29 officially designated nature-based attractions, 12 cultural sites, and six places with historical associations.

The province is readily accessible within Laos and from neighbouring countries and contains a National Protected Area that is rich in biodiversity.