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The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.
The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.
Vietnam would scrap the Covid-19 testing requirement for all arrivals starting Sunday, May 15th 2022, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed.
In a document issued Friday, the Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Health to closely follow the coronavirus situation and provide proper guidance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should direct Vietnamese authorities outside the country to inform people who wish to enter Vietnam to follow appropriate disease prevention measures, he said.
The latest decision has been made as the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths drops both in Vietnam and around the world. Several countries have been taking steps to relax coronavirus restrictions, including scrapping testing before entry.
Current policies issued by the health ministry require entrants to have negative results from PCR tests done within the previous 72 hours, or a negative result from a rapid test done within the last 24 hours.
Those who don’t have a negative test result must refrain from making contact with others during the first 24 hours after entry. They will be able to move freely once they test negative after arrival.
Children under two don’t need to be tested.
Vietnam stopped requiring medical declarations from those arriving from abroad starting April 27, and for domestic travel starting April 30.
A report from Andy Jarosz from BBC Travel about his day trekking to the remote 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw 10 years ago (in 2012). The experience that you cannot miss when visiting the area. Check out the details as below so that you have some ideas of what to expect.
In the last four years, the rural village of Nong Khiaw has seen a steady stream of adventure travellers who want to experience the 10km trek before it disappears.
Strictly speaking, the name of the 100 Waterfalls Trek in northern Laos is misleading, since it is impossible to say how many waterfalls tumble through the thick jungle along the steady 10km ascent, with each one tumbling immediately into the next.
Laos has announced a full reopening to tourism today that allows vaccinated arrivals to enter the country without any testing requirements.
Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, spoke during an announcement broadcast live across social media.
She said that as the number of Covid-19 cases had significantly decreased, and in order to ensure economic recovery, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and the government of Laos had coordinated with a number of sectors to determine new entry measures in line with the global situation.
After canvassing public opinion and consulting with experts, the Taskforce has set out the following measures for entry to Laos, effective from 9 May onward:
All international checkpoints will be open for entry and exit by Lao citizens, foreign residents, tourists, and other types of visitors.
Citizens of countries that have bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreements with Laos may now enter Laos without the need for a visa.
Citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Laos may now apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate abroad or via the e-Visa online system. Visa on arrivals will also be reinstated at certain international checkpoints.
Fully vaccinated foreigners or Lao citizens carrying a vaccination certificate may enter Laos without any screening or testing for Covid-19 when arriving by land, air, or water.
Non-vaccinated citizens of Laos, foreign citizens, or residents aged 12 years and over must take a Rapid Antigen Test (ATK) at least 48 hours prior to departure and present the results upon arrival.
Foreign arrivals in Laos that become infected with Covid-19 must bear responsibility for any and all medical costs involved in treatment.
Private vehicles may now enter and exit the territory of Laos via checkpoints as prior to the pandemic. Guidelines regarding this measure will be drafted and publicized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Madame Thippakone said that ministries and tourism departments, as well as tourism businesses, must now be fully prepared to welcome foreign tourists.
At the same time, she announced the reopening of entertainment venues and karaoke bars, however, such venues must ensure they fully comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.
Bangkok, 22 April, 2022 – Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today approved the lifting of the RT-PCR testing requirement for international arrivals beginning 1 May, 2022, and introduced two new entry schemes specifically customised for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.
Laos is preparing to commence a new phase of reopening to tourism that will require Covid-19 tests prior to departure and on arrival.
Dr. Sisavath Soutthanilaxay said during an announcement by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control yesterday that the country is now actively preparing for a full reopening.
Under new entry regulations, which will be officially announced at a future press conference, arrivals in Laos will be required to undergo two Covid-19 tests.
According to Dr. Sisavath, tourists will be required to take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure, as well as an RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) on arrival.
“The wait time for results will depend upon the number of travelers arriving,” said Dr. Sisavath.
Those who have been infected with Covid-19 and recovered will not need to take an RT-PCR test, however, an official medical certificate will be required.
Arrivals with a negative RDT test result may enter the country freely, while those who test positive will need to quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel.
Those with serious symptoms will be hospitalized.
The news comes after Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh agreed to a full reopening of the country to tourism on Tuesday.
The PM said that he agreed “in principle” to the reopening and that relevant sectors should “draw upon lessons from neighboring countries” when drafting new regulations.