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Phongsaly the province of cloudy sea
Welcome to Phongsaly the Province of Cloudy, Laos
Phongsaly Info

Phongsaly Products and Specialties in Phongsaly Province, Laos

Green Whiskey (Lao Khiaw) or Green Lao Lao
Homemade rice-whisky (lao lao) is found in every province, almost in every village. But in Phongsaly it is green! During the final stage of the distillation process the alcohol runs over fresh raspberry leaves and absorbs the green colour. You will probably have the opportunity to try a shot of this country-wide famous whisky…or two: it is said that two glasses (at least) are needed, as we have two legs! It is to sell in mineral water bottles at the market or local shops. You can also buy the most famous and tasty green whisky directly in Kounsouk village.
Green Whiskey (LAO KHIAW) or Green Lao Lao in Phongsaly
Green Whiskey (LAO KHIAW) or Green Lao Lao in Phongsaly
 
Green Tea
Phongsaly is surrounded by tea plantations and its green tea is well-known for its highest quality and superb taste. Most of it is exported to China, but you can also find it at local shops. The tea with green packaging is from the local tea factory located at km 2, on the road to Hatsa (blue building on the left). But especially famous is the tea from the 400-year-old plantation of Komaen village link to Komean village under attraction (15km from Phongsaly), where tea leaves are picked by Phunoy people from tea trees, standing 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. These precious tea leaves are then compressed in bamboo cylinders and sold in cigar-shaped tubes. Fertilizers and chemicals have never been used. Drinking a daily cup keeps the body in good health, reduces fat and preserves a clear mind… not only according to local belief!
GREEN TEA in Phongsaly, Laos
Green Tea in Phongsaly, Laos
 
Food and Drinking

Phongsaly town offers a delicious variety of Lao and Yunnanese cuisine. Wild forest ingredients such as fragrant herbs, bamboo and rattan shoots are often used. The wild honey is fruity and delectable, its taste varying depending on the place it was harvested. The rare Mak Ku forest nuts can be found at the market in winter. The quantity of tofu available shows clearly the Chinese influence: it is made and sold by Hor women. But Phongsaly most famous specialty is Tom Pa (fish soup). The single pot in the middle of the table, boiling on a charcoal stove, reminds of the Chinese fondue. Originally from China, this soup is very popular with Lao people. Relatively cheap, very convivial, and great to warm up in winter, the Tom Pa shop is the place to go on birthday, women’s day and other events’ celebrations, and with visitors or official guests. But it is unknown by western travellers, as most of the shops don’t have sign nor menu, and it is often needed to order in advance. If you want to try, the Jai Dee Restaurant (at km 2 on the road to Hatsa, after the tea factory) is a popular place and its location allows a good combination with a walk to the Phufa (the jungle trail finishing at the tea factory). Fish is sold per kilo (it then includes heads and tails!), other ingredients such as noodles, potatoes, vegetables, mushrooms per plate. The tourism office will be happy to give you more information.

 
 
Handicraft

Women of most ethnic groups wear traditional dresses that they embroider, sometimes even weave and sew themselves. Akha women in particular are very skilled and embroider beautiful and colourful patterns, often adding pearls, pompons, coins, shells, seeds,… The Tourism Office, supported by GIZ (German Government’s Development Agency), and in collaboration with Luang Prabang Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre and the Akhabildjo! Association supported Akha women in some of its homestay villages to develop handicraft products. Selling handicraft generates additional incomes to remote villages, promotes and helps to maintain traditional skills and makes the women proud of their culture and know-how. These products can be bought directly in the villages, at Phongsaly Tourism Office, and at TAEC Museum in Luang Prabang.

Other Phongsaly’s handicraft products include the creative and colourful Akha dolls, animals and necklaces, sold at Akhabiladjo! Shop in BounNeua and Phunoy and Akha Oma bags, available at different shop in Phongsaly. The Phunoy’s bamboo hats and the steamed rice baskets are also found in Phongsaly only. In Muang Khua, the Ethnic Handicrafts Shop (at Chaleunsuk Guesthouse) sometimes sells unique handicraft products made in the surrounding villages.
Handicraft in Phonsaly, Laos Product from Phonsaly, Laos
Hindicrafts in Phongsaly, Laos
 
 

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Laos Tourists Information
Power by: Somsavath NAMINTHA, Luang Namtha Tourism Department
Tel: +856-20-22 39 01 97, E-mail: coo_vath@hotmail.com