Weather :

Timings : 8 AM to 5 PM

Time Required : 5 to 6 hours

Entry Fee : Free entry. The tours cost 30 to 50 USD per person.

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Ban Phanom, Luang Prabang Overview

Ban Phanom is a village located on the banks of the Nam Khan River, one of the largest tributaries of the Mekong, close to Luang Prabang city in Laos. It is a remote village known for the minority ethnic group of people Lue, who have been practising traditional cotton and silk weaving since the 11th century. It is one of the most popular attractions for people visiting Luang Prabang to make a day trip or spend half a day. Tourists in Ban Phanom can shop for local cotton and silk products and get to know the life of this traditional ethnic group, including weaving.

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Ban Phanom History & Significance

The people of Ban Phanom were the designated weavers and providers of silk fabrics for the royal family of Laos for many generations until the monarchy ended. The village is known for its unique weaving techniques, which involves traditional methods to create intricate woven textiles. Cotton and silk weaving has remained the primary sources of livelihood for people of Ban Phanom for hundreds of years. With the introduction of tourism, the villagers are able to make a living out of selling woven goods to travelers.

The Lue people set up shops in the night market of Luang Prabang and also carry out exports in small proportions to neighboring cities. All families possess immense expertise in weaving, a skill that has been passed on. Every family has weaving looms in their houses. The weaving is done combining colourful cotton threads with patterns woven from silk, a blend that gives gleaming effect and provides reliable durability of the fabrics.

Tips

  • There are not many restaurants or cafes for dining and drinks apart from a few small eateries. It is better to carry some snacks and water. Also, there are no public toilets.
  • If you are traveling in a group, getting around by a tuk-tuk is economical as well as comfortable.
  • There are no ATMs here, and all transactions are carried out only in cash. Carry sufficient cash if you intend to shop or make any purchase.

Ban Phanom Village Tour

Tourists can take organized tours to see how weaving is done. There are also periodic weaving workshops open to locals as well as tourists which can be booked directly checking with the villagers. Unlike in the night market of Luang Prabang where the prices of these fabrics are slightly higher, you can buy these from the village for a better price.

How To Reach Ban Phanom

The village of Ban Phanom is located about 6km from the city centre of Luang Prabang. The best way to reach is to rent a motorbike for about 12 to 15 USD per day. You can also get there by hiring a tuk-tuk for about 20 USD per person for a roundtrip that can be shared. You can also go by bike, which would cost less than 5 USD per person. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to reach the village.

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