Northern strawberry farm a popular winter attraction in Laos

LUANG PRABANG, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) – Phoukhoun strawberry farm in Phoukhoun district, Luang Prabang province, is increasingly popular with visitors from both Laos and other countries, who like to go there in the winter to enjoy fresh strawberries.

A local official, Simone Silikoun, told Vientiane Times recently that many people are now visiting the farm, which is situated on a hillside in Samyaekphoukhoun village.

Visitors go there to see the mist rise over the hills and enjoy the tasty strawberries that are grown on the farm. Many people camp there and get a true taste of the natural world, especially when the temperature plummets and there is frost.

Tourists can bring their own food to cook while they’re camping, with tents available for rent at 120,000 kip for a large tent and 60,000 kip for a small one.

The farm is about 250km north of Vientiane and can be reached via a good but winding road.

Tourists camping at the strawberry farm at Phoukhoun district, Luang Prabang province. – VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN

Besides the strawberry farm, the district has other places of interest including a smaller version of the Plain of Jars and caves.

The district has 12 guesthouses, 18 restaurants and some entertainment venues. While there are 27 officially designated tourist sites, only two are described as developed.

Visitors to the strawberry farm often also make trips to Tham Ting cave, Tad Sae and Kuangxi waterfalls, temples, and the former royal palace in Luang Prabang province.

The food is also a highlight of a visit to the area, including jaew bong (a sauce made with hot chillies and buffalo skin) and khaipan (dried riverweed lightly fried with sesame seeds and garlic).

Souvenirs of the province include Namkieng baskets, which are handmade. They can be used to hold food that is offered to monks, or for home décor.

Luang Prabang province was declared a city last April and the old town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

The province has 108 officially registered places of natural beauty, 86 cultural sites and 34 historical attractions. It has 53 hotels, 260 resorts and guesthouses, 290 restaurants, and 19 entertainment venues.

More than 655,000 tourists visited the province in 2017, according to a report by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.