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Ben Xoum Village


sunny 95 °F
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On our bus ride to Van Vieng, we met a local named Puen, who invited us over for an annual village festival. We decided it would be a cool opportunity to have a more authentic experience, and see what village life is for the majority of Laotians. We were welcomed into the village and offered food and Beer Lao at every turn. Then we went to the temple, where a band was playing Lao music to raise money for the Wat, where all the elders were praying to Buddha in midst of the Lao pop music. We stayed in the village overnight and left for Van Vieng at noon.


Francis was incredibly brave during our stay. We were offered various morsels of tasty curdled blood, pig liver and fried teeny tiny fish. Much to my surprise, Francis swallowed her pride, and graciously tried them. She knew the importance of saving face in the Laotian culture. Francis was very convincing...for a second I actually thought she had enjoyed it. Needless to say, her stomach did sommersaults for the next 24 hours.

At the village, we also met Tuni, a Laotian that immigrated to the US at age 13, and came back after college to work for a development agency. She was very spunky. At first glance, her trendy glasses and free spirit gave her away as American.


The next morning, we participated in the villages money tree procession, and made our own contribution to the ritual via a $5. Each household created their money tree and walked through the streets singing and being merry. It was a festive mood.


Posted by edcastano 19:58 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking

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