- Encounters with locals
- Off the beaten track
I found myself in Sayabouri completely by chance and it was one the best experiences I had during my holiday in Laos. I'd met other travellers beforehand who wanted togo to Sayabouri for the Elephant Festival. I followed them and received a lovely, hospitable welcome from the local residents. We took shelter in a school where the assistants shared their meal with us and, later on, we were able to learn about certain traditions that form part of the festival.
Laotians love to party and this festival was the perfect opportunity to do so! The elephants formed a procession in the stadium and festival goers, representing tribes from all over Laos, followed along behind. It was a really hot day and a plunge in the river proved to be as refreshing for the elephants as it did for the humans! By the evening, the town was in full swing, with shows, dancing and a Laotian barbecue. There were very few tourists and this provided the perfect way to discover the country...by joining in!
The addes bonus? The lovely welcome and kindness the locals showed us.
A negative side? Only that the village is not particularly beautiful in itself and it's way off the beaten track.