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Art and Culture from Laos

The Vietnamese plant the rice, the Cambodians watch the rice, and the Lao listen to the rice grow… The above saying, attributed to the French during colonial times, probably best sums most visitors’ impressions of Lao people and of their differences with their neighbours. Lao people are renowned for their laid-back nature and generally live a much slower paced way of life than those in surrounding countries. In Laos the very relaxed attitude and ‘baw pen nyang’ (no problems – it’ll be ok) approach is enchanting but may also take a little time for some foreigners to adapt to.
Customs of Chewing Betel and Areca Nuts and smoking thuoc lao
altAccording to legends, chewing quid of betel and areca has been a custom since the Hung Vuong period and is connected to the antique legend of betel and areca.
Destinations in Laos

Luang Prabang is the ‘jewel’ of Laos and should not be missed – it is undeniably the most popular destination for visitors to the country. While most tourists will want to include the capital Vientiane and the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in their Laos itinerary, it is also possible to incorporate the mysterious Plain of Jars area, or a visit to the less discovered Southern Laos where natural beauty abounds. Remote mountainous Northern Laos is the home to many of Laos’ distinct ethnic minority groups and although travel in this region can be rough and standards are still basic, the rewards to the adventurous traveler will outweigh any lack of comfort.
Laos History

Early History

Approximately 10,000 years ago, a Neolithic race known as the Hoa Binh spread through most of Southeast Asia including Laos, and over time developed agricultural skills including rice cultivation to supplement their hunting, fishing and gathering. They are said to be the ancestors of the present day Khmu people, a Lao Theung (‘upland Lao’) ethnic group who are known as the indigenous people of Laos. The first known kingdom in what is today Southern Laos had is capital nearby Champassak and dated from around the 5th Century – it was known as the Chenla by the Chinese. Other kingdoms were later founded by Mon peoples in South and Central Laos, including kingdoms near the location of present day Tha Khaek and Vientiane.
River Cruising in Laos

The mighty Mekong River is the longest river in Southeast Asia and is often referred to as the lifeblood of this region, with tens of millions of people said to depend on the river for their livelihood. In Laos the Mekong is known as the Nam Khong and runs the length of this land locked country. With less developed infrastructure and over 70% of the land area of Laos being mountainous and forested, the majority of Laos’ population is settled along the fertile river valleys, and local river transport has traditionally been an important means of travel for local people and supplies. As Laos opens its doors to foreign tourists and its reputation as one of Asia’s last unspoilt wilderness areas grows, river transport is becoming an increasingly desired way of travel for the discerning visitor wishing to truly experience this remarkable land.
Y Ty "cloud nine" for Valentine visitors - Vietnam Beautiful

Y Ty, a foggy and mountainous commune in Lao Cai Province, 2,000 metres above sea level, is an ideal place for dating.


Y Ty is greatly attractive for boasting three different kinds of weather at the same time, foggy, sunny and clear.

The days in Y Ty, located in Bat Xat District, seem to be shorter during this season. The communal centre market looks tinny amid thick forests that surround it, and is often covered with thick fog.

The fog sets for a soft, cloud-like atmosphere. In fact, it is sometimes so thick that the local people, called the Ha Nhi, have got used to locating each other by their voices.

However, just few minutes of walking around the old forests of Nhiu Co San, and one might suddenly find sunshine. All of this, along with the mild weather of the season, has attracted many couples for a romantic get-away this year.

On Valentine's Day, more and more young couples from Muong Hum, which is 40 kilometres from Y Ty, come for a special memory.

Nearby, Then Pa looks charming with clear and vast sky.

Foggy market in the centre of the commune

Y Ty market is open on Sunday mornings

The sun behind the market

Thick fog in Lao Chai Hamlet

Finding acquaintances in foggy weather

The sun appears in nearby Lao Chai

An overview to Lao Chai

A view towards Y Ty from Nhiu Co San

Path romance

Wildflowers along the road

Romantic ambiance

A Ha Nhi ethnic couple

Muong Hum boy on a date with a Lao Chai girl in Nhiu Co San

Ha Nhi young people enjoy a bit of free time

Love in the air


Nhiu Co San Mountain engulfed in clouds


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