We are already in the month of September, the last month of the rainy season. Soon Laos will be buzzing with tourist in the peak season, which starts from October up till April next year.
Boun Awk Phansaa is the last day of Buddhist Lent, it occurs in October, three lunar month months after Khao Phansaa, on the 15th day of the 11th month of Laos lunar calendar. It is a day of many celebrations, mostly notably the boat race festival held in Vientiane.
On the first day at dawn, donations and offerings are made at temples around the country. In the evening, candlelight processions are held around the temples and it is a celebration of Lai Hua Fai, people gather at the nearest river to release dozens of small banana-leaf boats decorated with candles, incense and small flowers, similar to Thailand's Loy Krathong festival.
These are said to pay respect to the Buddha and to thank the mother of rivers for providing water for their lives. Some believe that Lai Hua Fai procession is an act to pay respect to the Naga that lives in the river, while others send the lighted boats down the river to ask for blessing and to float bad luck of the past year away enabling the good luck to flow in.
Most towns with a river bank nearby will engage in this lovely ceremony. In bigger towns, there are also procession of lighted boats and the ceremony is more popular especially among young romantic couples. Villagers who live far from rivers set up model boats made of banana stems decorated with flowers and candlelight, while others simply light up candles in front of their house and do their little prayer wishing for good luck.
This colorful rituals have been carried on by Lao people for thousand of years.
In addition, the evening before the boat race is the day the celebrated Naga fireballs are supposed to appear. The Naga fireballs are a phenomenon peculiar to the Mekong. The Naga is a mythical water dragon believed to live in the Mekong and on the night of 15th day of 11th month in the Lao lunar calendar at the end of Buddhist Lent, the Naga is supposed to shoot up pink-red fireballs to signify the occasion. Some believed, while others doubt they are real. Still today, there is a festival surrounding this time and certain areas of both Thai and Lao sides of the river are packed out with willing sightseers, who also take time to enjoy the multitude of food and drink stands which spring up to cater for them during their wait.
This extraordinary phenomenon occurs in the area of the Mekong River stretching over 20km between Pak-Ngeum district, about 80km south of the Lao capital Vientiane, and Phonephisai district in Nong Khai province, Thailand. On the Lao side, some people say they can see the fireballs floating in the area of the ponds and rice fields near their villages. On the Thai side, the fireball shoots up in a pond locally known as Nong Pra Lay, residents say. In Laos you can hire a taxi or truck to take you and from the site, but be prepared for traffic jams and crowds.
Are you planning to get away from it all and are looking forward into the tropics for that long deserving break? And Laos is in your crosshairs? What a fine choice. There's a bit of everything here, families and friends will have great time together, tailor made for romantics and even single travellers will have fond memories of the place.
But when should you come here? That is a question that plagues many visitors and guests all the time and we're here to help make that decision easier for you. There is really no right or wrong answer to that question. In the end, like most situations and circumstances out there, it depends solely on you.
Generally, the high season corresponds with the dry season that runs from November to April, with November to February much cooler and March and April are blisteringly hot. The weather will surely work for your advantage but this perfect weather comes with a price, no pun intended. Hotel and resort prices will go up and it will be hard to find a place to stay, unless you plan and book way in advance. A safe gauge would be around now, that's three months in advance, although earlier will definitely be better. This also means that popular sightseeing destinations will have more than its usual amount of guests.
And for the low season, this is when the rains start coming in, that's why it's also known as the wet season. which usually kicks in from May right until October. Rain in Southeast Asia come in short bursts. Yes, they may be hard but usually only last about half an hour or one hour at most. It could even be followed by a surprising bright sunshine right afterwards. The rain may actually be a welcome relief as temperatures will become a little bit more tolerable with a two or so degree Celsius drop. If it rains once, usually that is it for the day. Umbrellas will be your good friend during these months, not only will it keep you dryfrom the rain, it can also help shield you from the sun.
So which season is the right one for you? The low or the high season?
If you just want to hop on a plane or boat and be on your way here now, then coming during the low season is not a bad choice at all where most attractions are almost empty of visitors. You’ll get the feeling that the cities, town and villages, musuems and temples are practically yours. Accommodation and transportation will cost less too, and can be done almost last minute (although still not advisable, as availability can always change). However, if you prefer to book in advance, for a ‘winter’ experience here, then it is another fantastic choice as well. You’ll enjoy what is sure to be the country’s best weather. And the people here are also in a festive mood and will surely spread their holiday cheer to you.
In the end, it all comes down to you, what do you really prefer or how you want to experience Laos. After all, it is your holiday.
Please take a look at our climate page for more information on weather and seasons. Also remember to check out our tour packages which include Day Tours, The Journey Highlights and Adventure Modules, what better way to experience Laos. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Laos Heritage Tour, a tour specialist in Laos announcing the official soft-launch of our website today, an auspicious day, Monday, 8th of August 2011 (or 8.8.11).
We have been working really hard behind the scenes getting the websites ready for the launch, making the finishing touches to www.laosheritagetour.com, with lots of tour packages to choose from and completely been populated with very informative contents of Laos for you, as the tourist.
We would like to thank everyone for their tremendous support and hope to continue our relationship with you through this venture that we are very proudly to finally present.
Toh Kok Chun, the CEO of Laos Heritage Tour said, "The launched of our website is one example of how we are building and strengthening relationships with customers and partners." He added, "This website is not only a market-specific, time-efficient and easy-to-navigate for our web visitors but also an interactive place to achieve continuous product and service innovation leading to conitnued mutual prosperity for Laos Heritage Tour and our partners."
We are not only working behind the scenes on a whole host of premium packages and informative content, but are also continuing to develop this website, where we will soon be integrating e-Commerce.
Based on our vast experience and wide network of partnership with our regional peers currently, we hope that this online facilities will provide additional avenue for future growth and enhanced partnership experience to our existing clients and future customers.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.
Yours truly,The Team @ Laos Heritage Tour
We are currently offline. If you have any questions, you can still contact us via the Contact Us form and we will get back to you in due course.
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