Theme Week Laos – Vientiane

26 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Patuxai © Gorgo

Patuxai © Gorgo

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1573 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was later looted then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 820,000 as at the 2015 Census.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Luang Prabang

25 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Luang Phabang, commonly transliterated into Western languages from the pre-1975 Lao spelling as Luang Prabang, literally meaning “Royal Buddha Image“, is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. It was listed in 1995 for unique and “remarkably” well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. It had also been known by the ancient name of Xieng Thong. It was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, until the Pathet Lao takeover in 1975. The city is part of Luang Prabang District of Luang Prabang Province and is the capital and administrative centre of the province. It lies approximately 300 km (190 mi) north of the capital Vientiane. Currently, the population of the city as a whole is roughly 56,000 inhabitants with the UNESCO protected site being inhabited by around 24,000.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Pakse

24 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det
© Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pakse is the capital and most populous city of the southern Laotian province of Champasak, making it the second most populous city in Laos. At the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, it has a population of about 88,000. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Champasak Town

23 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Champasak is a small town in southern Laos, on the west bank of the Mekong River about 40 km south of Pakse, the capital of Champasak Province. The town was once the seat of the Kingdom of Champasak, an independent Lao state which was abolished by the French in 1945 when they created the Kingdom of Laos, but the last King of Champasak had his palace in Pakse.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Phongsali

22 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Phongsali © Stefan Auth

Phongsali © Stefan Auth

Phongsali or Phongsaly is the capital of Phongsaly Province. It is the northernmost provincial capital in Laos, opposite Attapeu in the south. The town has about 6,000 inhabitants. It lies at approximately 1,430 meters elevation on the slopes of Mount Phu Fa (1,625 meters). Phongsali has summer temperatures around 25-30 °C, with frequent rain. In winter, from November to March, it is cool and mostly sunny, with daytime temperatures between 10-18 °C.   read more…

Theme Week Laos

21 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Mekong River flowing through Luang Prabang © flickr.com - Allie Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Mekong River flowing through Luang Prabang © flickr.com – Allie Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxôn Lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. At the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast and Thailand to the west and southwest. It is a one-party socialist republic, espousing Marxism–Leninism governed by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, under which non-governmental organizations have routinely characterized the country’s human rights record as poor, citing repeated abuses such as torture, restrictions on civil liberties, and persecution of minorities. There is a distinct rainy season from May to November, followed by a dry season from December to April. Local tradition holds that there are three seasons (rainy, cold and hot) as the latter two months of the climatologically defined dry season are noticeably hotter than the earlier four months. The capital and largest city of Laos is Vientiane and other major cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse (Geography of Laos and List of cities in Laos). In 1993 the Laos government set aside 21 percent of the nation’s land area for habitat conservation preservation. The country is one of four in the opium poppy growing region known as the “Golden Triangle“. According to the October 2007 UNODC fact book Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia, the poppy cultivation area was 15 square kilometres (5.8 sq mi), down from 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi) in 2006.   read more…

Theme Week Luxembourg – Diekirch

29 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Sauer river © Phils/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sauer river © Phils/cc-by-sa-3.0

Diekirch is a commune with town status in north-eastern Luxembourg, capital city of the canton Diekirch and, until its abolition in 2015, the district of Diekirch. The town is situated on the banks of the Sauer river. Diekirch was the first town in Luxembourg to have a pedestrian zone, in 1977. Diekirch is home to a brewery of national importance carrying the town’s name. The town’s mascot is the donkey. There is a donkey fountain in the centre of Diekirch. The yearly cavalcade (carnival procession) is held under the sign of the donkey.   read more…

Theme Week Luxembourg – Esch-sur-Alzette

28 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, European Capital of Culture

Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Esch-sur-Alzette is a commune with town status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country’s second “city”, and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 35,040 inhabitants, as of 2018. It lies in the south-west of the country, on the border with France and in the valley of the Alzette, which flows through the town. The town is usually referred to as just Esch; however, the full name distinguishes it from the village and commune of Esch-sur-Sûre which lies 45 kilometres (28 miles) further north. The country’s capital, Luxembourg City, is roughly 15 km (9.3 mi) to the north-east. The town has the longest shopping street in Luxembourg. On November 10, 2017, Esch was selected by the European Council as the European Capital of Culture in 2022 on the recommendation of the responsible committee. The city shares this title with the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. In addition to the other ten municipalities of the PROSUD syndicate, the municipalities of the Pays Haut Val d’Alzette municipal association across the border in France will also take part in the events.   read more…

Theme Week Luxembourg – Dudelange

27 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Town Hall © Cornischong/cc-by-sa-3.0

Town Hall © Cornischong/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dudelange is a commune with town status in southern Luxembourg. It is the fourth-most populous commune, with 19,734 inhabitants. Dudelange is situated close to the border with France.   read more…

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲