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Sayaboury is situated in the northwest of Laos, sharing borders with Vientiane and Luang Prabang in the east; Thailand and the Nam Phui National Protected Area in the west. This mountainous province has several peaks with altitudes of more than 1,000 meters. Travelling to this rugged landscape will reveal many beautiful mountains and flower gardens. The local people earn their living via agricultural products such as growing rice, cucumbers, cotton, cabbage, sesame, maize, oranges, beans and sugarcane. Teak forests cover large parts of the province.

The Malabri, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer groups in Southeast Asia inhabit the forests in the province’s western region. Other ethnic groups located in the province include the Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Lue, Htin, Phai, Kri, and Akha. In Muang Ngeun District are ethnic Tai Lue villages, which still build traditional houses constructed with characteristic high-sloping roofs.

Best time to visit

During its ‘coldest’ months of December, January and February, Sayaboury experiences the average temperatures at around 17°C and nights and early mornings can be chilly. Those months are the best time to visit Sayaboury, especially at the Sayaboury Elephant Festival held in February.

Check the below table for the general idea of Sayaboury weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 28.3 19.9 14.1
Feb 32.2 23 15.4
Mar 33.9 25.6 18.2
Apr 35.2 28 21.6
May 34.8 28.6 23.4
Jun 33.7 28.3 23.9
Jul 32.6 27.7 23.9
Aug 32.7 27.6 23.7
Sep 32.9 27.3 23.3
Oct 32.3 26 21.3
Nov 30.3 23.2 18.1
Dec 27.7 20.6 15.5

Sayaboury’s current weather and 7-day forecast

SAYABOULY WEATHER

Travelers who choose to visit Laos, often find themselves looking for Things to do in Sayaboury.

We have made for you a list of the most exciting things to do in Sayaboury, Laos.

Attractions

The Elephant Conservation Center

The Elephant Conservation Center marks a new era for conservation of the Asian elephant within the Lao PDR and offers a unique experience to visitors wishing to contribute towards the preservation of an endangered species. The first of its kind in Laos, the Center is not another elephant camp but an innovative approach that combines conservation of an endangered species with eco-tourism. Minimum stay is overnight, however we recommend the 2 nights package to experience all the activities and truly enjoy this tranquil part of the world. Volunteer experiences, 6 nights/7 days are also available. Here they offer the transfer by minivan departing Luang Prabang daily at 8am and it takes you back the following day or days arriving Luang Prabang 4.30pm. It is only a 2 hour journey from Luang Prabang, Laos' UNESCO World Heritage listed town.

Location: Nam Tien Lake Sayaboury Lao PDR
Click here to get more information

Vat Sibounheuang Temple

Built in 1456, Sayaboury’s oldest amongst most beautiful temple houses a 7-meter-long reclining golden Buddha…the province’s largest. Located on a hilltop overlooking the Nam Houng River in Sayaboury municipality, the mural-adorned Vat Sibounheuang attracts locals who come to ask for blessings before a trip and go to make merit upon their return.

Also visible are the remains from the original temple.

A stupa on the grounds sits on a singkhone with four spirit-ghosts – two small and two large – who are honest and strong. The village ghost also resides at Vat Sibounheuang, and each year in mid-March, the district’s three-day Boun Phavet (Ghost Festival) procession, held in remembrance of Phavet who was once upon a time guarded back to town by the forest spirits starts at the cemetery and ends with the burning of clothes and throwing them in the river.

Location: Vat Sibounheuang is located in the center of Sayaboury municipality.

Vat Sisavangvong

One of three Lao temples regarded as of the highest rank (the other two being in Paklai District and Attapeu Province), it is considered a privilege for aspiring novices to study, meditate and be ordained for the monkhood at Vat Sisavangvong, as only some 100 are chosen for the honor.

The temple stands out for its long decorative Naga banisters, which represent the guardian water serpent, and tiger figures, which are the earth’s protectors. According to legend, if a male wants to be a monk, he must first ask Naga and make merit by presenting it with gold. Then the resident monks decide on admission.

Location: Vat Sisavangvong is located in the center of Sayaboury municipality next to the Governor’s building.

Tad Jao Waterfall

The waters feeding this narrow, 20-metre plunge on the banks of the Mekong have attracted royalty from Lane Xang Kingdom rulers to present-day Thai Princess Prathep as bathing in or drinking from them is believed to bring good health and wash away bad luck.

A small hermit cave and shrine sit at the head of the falls, and villagers built a shrine above it in 1985 as they consider the area sacred, and disturbing it leads to illness and death. Elders remember when a Lao Airlines flight crashed after flying over the falls, air space that is now a no-fly zone. They say a Khmu soldier returning home in 1976 moved rocks in the stream, thus changing its course. The soldier died shortly after. A family once built a house there, but the stream washed it away.

Steps built for the Thai princess’s 1990-visit lead down to a picnic area on the Mekong and a view of the Tad Jao Waterfall.

Location: From Sayaboury municipality, drive for about 1 hour to Tha Deua and turn left at the turnoff to the under-construction bridge to Luang Prabang. At the cul de sac, a short trail leads to the falls.

Vat Natornoy

Constructed in 1950, fire razed the original wooden temple in 1959, but a local villager rebuilt the hilltop Vat Natornoy the following year. Inside, villagers hang baskets to make merit to Phavet (see page 40).

A 100-year-old don pho tree rises over the well-landscaped compound’s religious structures, including a curiously-configured “Heaven’s Tower”, which plays a prominent role during Pii Mai (Lao New Year) in mid-April. Locals carry perfumed water and flowers for merit-making, climb its stairs to pray, and pour the water down a wooden trough into a small hut and the hands of an awaiting Buddha image. Back downstairs, the faithful bow under Buddha’s hands, allowing the holy water to drip on their heads for good luck.

Location: From Sayaboury municipality, head south towards Paklai, pass the airport, and follow the road to the right, and then turn left. A small road to the river and temple.

Tham Phakounhuoay cave

35 km south of Sayaboury municipality. From Sayaboury Town rent a small motorbike or book tuk tuk and get ready for a ride along a mountainous road and across rivers until reaching Ban Nathang. Stop for lunch and a rest before embarking on a two-hour walk through rice paddies, forested hills (keep your eyes open for monkeys!), and rock formations. On the way visit Tham Phakounhuoay cave to view impressive limestone formations, and for the more adventurous and fit, follow the cave’s stream that runs for several kilometers through the extensive cavern network. After this venture, continue to the Khmu village of Ban Keo for dinner, Lao Hai (rice wine) and an overnight stay.

Location: Drive south past the Sayaboury bus station towards Paklai for some 10 km, and turn left at the signs for Ban Houaykeng.

Festival

The Lao Elephant Festival

The Asian elephant has its day, actually two, in mid-February when Laos turns its eyes to Sayabouly Province and the Elephant Festival. Launched in 2007, the annual fete draws more than 80.0000 elephant fans to the ceremonies, processions, and performances to pay tribute to the national symbol of “The Land of Million Elephants”.

Home to the country’s largest pachyderm population, Sayabouly Province is the natural choice to host this growing event that also aims to raise awareness about the need to protect the endangered Asian elephant, which has played such a vital role in Lao people’s livelihoods, culture and heritage.

After an opening ceremony, a procession of elephants enters the host village through a bamboo arch. The elephants bathe and are blessed by monks, with participants making merit in a baci ceremony, before with the election of the “Elephant of the Year”. Then the entertainment begins: pachyderm performances, musical concerts, outdoor films, dance shows, and fireworks displays in a carnival atmosphere that includes elephant rides and a “Fun Fair”. After the second day’s procession and religious ceremony, mahouts round up their massive mammals for a day of elephant entertainment and visitor education capped with the crowning of the elephant of the Year. For an even more authentic experience, visitors can book a village home-stay.

All of the accommodations in Sayaboury are budget and very basic.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Khanthaphone Guesthouse

Set in Ban Na Tak, Khanthaphone Guesthouse offers a shared lounge.

The closest airport is Sayaboury. It is 4.11 km from the hotel and approximately a 7minutes journey by taxi.
The check-in time is from 14:00 and the check-out time is before 12:00.

Location: 119 Nuay 13 Xayabouly, Sayaboury, 01000, Sainyabuli, Laos

Three Sisters Resort

Three Sisters Resort offers accommodation in Ban Thana. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. All guest rooms at the guest house come with a seating area, a TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with free toiletries and a shower. All units at Three Sisters Resort feature air conditioning and a desk.

Location: Srimiungkhoun village, Ban Thana, Sayabouly 01000, Laos•+856 20 55 779 282

Vanhnida GuestHouse2

Boasting a shared lounge, Vanhnida Guesthouse 2 is situated in Ban Thana. All rooms boast a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a private bathroom. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available. At the guest house, every room comes with a wardrobe. All units will provide guests with a fridge.

Location: Xayaboury, Laos•+856 74 213 203

Xangkham Guesthouse

Xangkham Guesthouse provides free WiFi and rooms with air conditioning in Ban Lang Ma. Rooms include a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.

Location: Ban Thana, Ban Lang Ma, Laos•+856 20 59 185 119

Outhoumphone Hotel

Outhoumphone Hotel is located in a residential area of Ban Thana, Xayaboury. It is just 1.2 km from Xayaboury Government Office and local markets. This hotel offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms, free on-site parking space, and free WiFi. Complete with bright-coloured tile floorings, each guestrooms at Hotel Outhoumphone comes with a flat-screen TV, a seating area and a desk. A refrigerator is available in all rooms as well. Featuring a shower, the en suite bathrooms are also fitted with a bathtub and free toiletries. At Outhoumphone, guests can make use of laundry service or approach staff at the in-house tour desk for interesting trip arrangements. Sayaboury Airport is situated about 3.6 km from this property; whilst Luang Prabang International Airport is 85.0 km away. Guests can find local and international dining options within 2.0 km of the accommodation. 

Location: Simoungkhoun village, 01000, Laos•+856 74 211 308

Vangmoungkhoun Guesthouse

Designed for both business and leisure travel, Vangmoungkhoun Guesthouse is ideally situated in Ban Nahai; one of the city's most popular locales. Only 4.00 Km from the city center, the hotel's strategic location ensures that guests can quickly and easily reach many local points of interest. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

At Vangmoungkhoun Guesthouse, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. The hotel offers access to a vast array of services, including 24-hour front desk, car park, laundry service, currency exchange, smoking area.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide non smoking rooms, air conditioning, desk, fan, television to please the most discerning guest. The hotel's garden are ideal places to relax and unwind after a busy day. With an ideal location and facilities to match, Vangmoungkhoun Guesthouse hits the spot in many ways.

Location: Ban Nayao, Ban Thana, Sayabouly, Sayabouly 01000, Laos•+856 20 99 111 118

Soksaycharoensub Resort

Featuring a garden, Soksaycharoensub Resort is situated in Ban Nato. The air-conditioned rooms provide a garden view and come with a desk and free WiFi.

Location: Ban Noensavanh, Ban Nato, Laos•+856 20 55 552 074

Khamvone Restaurant

Small local restaurant where you eat well, especially good soups. The menu is printed in English and Lao, which allows for mutual understanding.

Location: Sayaboury, Laos
Menu: A la carte, from 10,000 to 30,000 kip for a dish.

Say Nam Hung Restaurant

A charming restaurant pleasant for lunch; the cuisine is tasty. However, the staff does not understand English well. A very good address.

Location: Sayaboury, Laos
Menu: Local cuisine. À la carte, from 10,000 to 40,000 kip for a dish.

Changpheumeexai Restaurant

Location: Shailene Woodley, Sayaboury, Laos
Menu: Cuisine lao.
 

From Vientiane

Public buses depart Vientiane for Sayaboury via Paklai at 08:00 from the capital’s Northern Bus Terminal – located about 5 kilometers west of the airport on the Luang Prabang Road. Later departures for Sayaboury Town leave between 09:00-10:00 for the 9-hour journey. A night bus departs Vientiane at around 18:00 for a smoother, approximately 12-hour trip via Luang Prabang. Also, fledgling Capricorn Air offers two weekly flights, but service can be sporadic.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via rome2rio.com

From Luang Prabang

Buses and private vehicles depart Luang Prabang daily to Tha Deua ferry crossing (bridge under Construction in 2010). Hired speedboats (800,000K for six people) deliver passengers to Tha Deua in barely an hour, and it’s another hour to town via song taew.

From Hongsa

Public song taews depart from Hongsa’s Morning Market at around 08:00 (depending on when the vehicle fills with passengers) for the 2.5-hour ride.

From Paklai

Song taews leave Paklai in the early morning for the 4-5-hour drive. Passengers can also catch the Vientiane-Sayabouli bus in the early afternoon.

Check departure times as they are subject to change.

Contact us to get more information

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Laos BLOG ARTICLES

Though opened to tourism since the last 20 years, Laos still has many hidden places or gems that are waiting for the curious explorers. 

Xe Champhone Loop is one of the places.

Early September 2022, we made an Educ tour here, under the operation of Tetraktys Organization to explore the loop, which was an effort to promote the area to the international tourists.

We were impressed with what we saw and learnt here. The area is full of interesting nature spots, traditional culture, and hospitable hosts.

Below is everything you need to know about the area.

Stay tuned!

...more

The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead. 

...more

Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.

A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River. 

The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.

Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.

The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.

In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.

The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.

Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.

...more

How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Laos? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.

...more

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.

...more

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.

...more
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